iPad 2 Cases: Support for Smart Cover Tech is Now a Dealbreaker for Me

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I’ve found recently that waiting for iPad 2 cases is like the old saying about buses – you wait ages for one to come along and then three come at once. For a number of weeks I couldn’t find any cases for the iPad 2 that were ready to ship; they were all available for pre-order with shipping dates some weeks away. The few I found that promised slightly quicker shipping ended up being delayed and not arriving when expected. And then came last week – and I suddenly had five iPad 2 cases arrive within just a couple of days.

A more important discovery that I’ve made is that support for Apple’s smart cover tech in the iPad 2 is a must-have for me for iPad 2 cases. Even though I have mixed feelings overall about the iPad 2 smart cover, I have found that I love the automatic sleep/wake feature.

I love the feature so much that I don’t want a case that forces me to use the Power button. One out of the five cases I got in last week (that I’ll review here soon) doesn’t support the smart cover tech. It’s an otherwise very nice case, smart looking, versatile, and so on – but I quickly realize that it will be a very rarely or never used case, because it lacks the smart cover tech.

It feels a little crazy to me to be so enamored of one feature (of a case / cover!) that it becomes a dealbreaker, but that is where I’m at. From here on I’ll restrict my looking for iPad 2 cases to those that support smart cover tech or the smart cover itself.

How about all of you? Have you used the smart cover with your iPad 2? If so, do you love it / hate it / not feel too fussed about it? What are you looking for in an iPad 2 case?

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 “iPad 2 Cases: Support for Smart Cover Tech is Now a Dealbreaker for Me

  1. I like the auto-wake/sleep feature, but as someone who used my iPad1 “au natural” for a year, I get annoyed at having to fuss with the cover when folded back. It’s particularly awkward when taking pictures. I find little need to use it in “stand” mode. And, for going out of the house/office with my iPad 2, I still slide the iPad 2 + cover into my trusty Targus Hughes leather portfolio to protect the sides and back as well.

    Basically, I could live without it, but since my wife included the cover as a birthday present, I’ll keep using it! :-)

    • That fussing with the folding back is one of the main reasons for my mixed feelings about the smart cover. It bugs the heck out of me.

  2. A case that protects the back of the iPad, with a lid that closes like a ‘smart cover’. That’s what I’d want (as I sit here typing this on my iPad 1. Lol!).

    • Yeah, luckily there are starting to be a few options around. I’d still like to see more though.

  3. I have a Smart Cover for my iPad 2 and I really like it. Sometimes it seems to get in the way but I really like the automatic on/off feature. I will be getting some sort of protection for the iPad 2 for the back, something that works with the Smart Cover. I look forward to some reviews of cases like that.

    • Cool. I’m on the lookout for cases like that and full-protection cases with smart cover tech built in. Have several reviews coming soon.

  4. One should be careful about buying cases which are advertised as “smart cases”, look like “smart case”, but are cheap knockoffs without any magnets. I bought one which sells also through Amazon for $45 and just have to return it because it doesn’t work at all. Hopefully, I’ll get some money back, after absorbing the shipping costs and restocking fee.

    • Ouch. Good point – it’s best to stay with trusted / known names when possible. The iPad 2 cases market is so new, and so sparse, right now that this is harder to do than usual.

  5. I was very skeptical, at first, but the Smart Cover has won me over more than I expected. I actually like it. I figured that I would prefer to have a thin case that covers the entire device, like I had with my original iPad, but with the thinness of the iPad, I now prefer just having the Smart Cover and my Best Skins Ever full body skin.

    I don’t find myself folding it back too often. I am often using it as a stand in one configuration, or the other, depending on where I am sitting. And when I do fold it, it hasn’t bothered me as much as I expected it might. I’m sure this will vary to some degree from user to user.

    I also appreciate how easy it is to just remove and then re-attach later when I do find it getting in the way. Since I carry my iPad from place to place in a netbook sleeve for added protection and storage on the go, I always have a place to put it.

    All that said, I would certainly be open to a well designed front and back case with Smart Cover tech built-in. I’m just finding the status-quo works pretty well for me, for now.

  6. It definitely has to have the smart cover technology built in for me to consider it. I have been pretty happy with apple’s smart cover so far.

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  8. Clearly I’ve not really paid to much attention to this ‘smart cover’ support option. I bought a Smart Cover from Apple, and am yet to open it, and even try it.

    I read a few reports online of people stating that it was scratching the sides on their iPad 2′s. From reading those, I made sure to leave it in it’s packaging; for now…

    But, to be honest, I’m an Otterbox lover. So, I’m really holding out for whatever they release. Hopefully it won’t be a long wait…

    • I have an Otterbox on my iPad 1 that I let my two year old daughter use. I LOVE the thin size and light weight of the iPad 2. Putting an Otterbox on it would ruin it. The Otterbox on my iPad 1 makes it weigh too much and makes it too thick. The Otterboxes are great, but I don’t want one on an iPad that I use regularly.

      • Yeah, the Otterbox cases are always great rugged solutions, and some of their more recent cases are much less bulky then before, but still not something I’d like on my iPad for everyday use either.

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  10. I am a dedicated fan of cases made by Piel Frama in Spain. They are leather, and can be colour-customized. I have one on my iPhone 4 and am always asked about it by cashiers, etc. (it has slots for credit/debit cards in the flip cover). I had one for the original iPad and ordered a custom one for my new iPad2, and I LOVE IT! They are expensive, but absolutely worth every penny. The stitching and cutouts are of superb quality. And yes, it does have the “Smart Cover” technology in it, in that when I open it the screen comes to life, and goes off when I close it. See http://www.pielframa.com/ for their extensive range of cases.

    • Glenys – very cool. I’ve always heard very good things about Piel Frama cases. Your comment spurred me on to have a look at their iPad 2 cases and I just ordered the iMagnum, to work in tandem with the Apple smart cover.

  11. For my iPad2, I got the light blue Smart Cover, but in the first week I had the iPad, I somehow got a long diagonal scratch across the back–so I looked into getting a backing. I didn’t want to get something that did not support the smart cover–because I money for it, and i like the power on/off feature of it. I saw the AViiQ (?) cover that came in the same colors as the smart covers–but at $50, it was too much (not sure if its even out yet, but it also looked like it added bulk to the body). In the end, I was just looking for a back cover– and found DoDoCase’s iPad 2 BookBack. Basically, it’s just a big sticker, handmade with leather and book binding techniques (I thought that was cool) and it’s designed to cover the flat part of the back with. But, because that’s all it is, the iPad is still slim and lightweight, but has a leather cover, that makes it softer to hold on, and does not scrape when you lay it on a glass or polished surface.

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