My Ideal iPad 2 Outfit: Smart Cover + Gelaskin

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The iPad 2 Smart Cover is one of my favorite things about the latest version of the iPad. It feels so much like a perfect extension of the iPad 2 itself that I very rarely take it off. I started out with mixed feelings about the smart cover in early days with it, but the more I’ve used it the more I’ve grown to love it. It is now my iPad 2’s BFF.

I’ve been continually looking for the ideal companion for the iPad 2 smart cover, because I don’t like having the back of the iPad ‘naked’. I initially went with just a Ghost Armor screen protector for the back cover. That worked well enough and certainly offered stellar protection against nicks and scratches – but I wanted something a little more, or thought I did anyway. So I tried out several iPad 2 back cover cases that are compatible with the smart cover.

Most of the back cover cases I’ve tried have been very well made and are high-quality cases – for instance the Speck SmartShell for iPad 2 and the Incipio SmartFeather for iPad 2 – but they all made the iPad 2 feel much heavier to me. None of them actually weigh very much at all, and they feel very light when you hold them on their own, but once they’re on the iPad 2 it just loses that wonderful feeling of lightness that sets it apart from the original iPad.

As soon as I applied the Gelaskin to my iPad 2, it felt very right – not least because it kept the iPad 2 feeling just as light, light, light. It feels like it adds zero weight to the iPad 2 – and that’s just fine by me.

I had to sacrifice a bit of back protection in removing the Ghost Armor screen protector in order to be able to apply the Gelaskin – but for me preserving the lightness of the iPad 2 and adding a little style to the back is more than an acceptable trade-off.

The Gelaskin I’m using is ‘Vintage Dr. Gonzo’ by Ralph Steadman – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas style. I also bought another which is a print of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’.

I’m happy with the Gelaskin in every way possible so far. Despite the fact that I’m one of the world’s worst when it comes to applying things like this, the skin is looking great after a couple weeks use. There’s not a noticeable mark on it, and the few small bubbles it had after the initial application have all worked themselves out. And of course it has left the iPad 2 feeling just as light as it ever has. It has even survived a few test runs with back cover cases.

I haven’t installed the front piece of the Gelaskin, as I prefer to keep the Ghost Armor screen protector in place to protect my iPad 2 screen.

The smart cover and the Gelaskin are now the perfect outfit for my iPad 2. When I’m going out to places where the iPad 2 may be more exposed to knocks and similar, I’ll likely still go with more of a full protection case and leave the smart cover at home – but all the rest of the time, it’s the smart cover plus Gelaskin combo for me.

Gelaskins for iPad 2 are priced at $29.95 and they come come in a wide range of fun and creative designs; you can even upload your own artwork. That’s something I may well end up doing at some point. Here’s the page to go to check out all of these or to place an order:

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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27 thoughts on “My Ideal iPad 2 Outfit: Smart Cover + Gelaskin”

  1. Patrick,

    I got my iPad2 on it’s first day and the smart cover on the second. I too wanted something for the back and bought a Gelaskin. I had to design one on the site (at the time they had hardly any designs ready to go). I formatted the Escher Drawing Hands. It looks nice and fits me and the iPad perfectly. It was easy to apply and I was assured by Gelaskin that it is fine on my 3G model. After having it several months I am pleased to say that it provides the protection I want. It has not had any tendency to peal off.

    For going places, I put my iPad with smart cover in a Hard Candy bubble case. Very nice. Very good protection to toss in the car and go.

    1. That sounds like a good setup all the way round. That case fits the iPad 2 with the smart cover on it?

        1. Very cool. Up to now, I just drop the smart cover and swap to a full-protection case – but a setup like yours would be a nice option.

  2. How does it compare to skinits? That’s what I’ve got my iPhone & works great. I too love the clean feel of the ipad2, but would love something with a bit more grip on the backside. How did it feel with the ghostarmor?
    Thanks Patrick.

    1. Sorry – I’ve never used skinits – so can’t offer any comment on that.

      I use a Ghost Armor protector on the screen of the iPad 2, but only the Gelaskin on the back of it. They work fine that way. I’m not sure if you were asking about using them together / both on the back. Believe that is not possible.

    2. I prefer the gels skin over skinit. Skinit puts their logo on it, it is doesnt have a texture and feels thicker than the gelaskin. The gelaskin has a texture on it that is super nice and I just prefer the quality over it, plus it doesn’t have a logo on it (I have my iPad branded for business use)

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