Review: Apple iPad Smart Case

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iPad Smart Case Dark Grey

One of the quieter new product releases this week from Apple is the new iPad Smart Case. It’s a sort of extension of the iPad Smart Cover – offering protection for the front, back and sides of the iPad.

It was released on Monday afternoon and I picked one up at my local Apple Store first thing Tuesday morning.

Notes

The new iPad Smart Case is made of polyurethane and comes in a range of six colors – light gray, dark gray, blue, green, pink, and red.

The case’s interior is a soft, color-matched microfiber lining that should help a little in keeping the iPad screen clean.

It’s priced at $49, is compatible with the iPad 2 and new iPad 3, and can be personalized with laser engraving for free.

iPad Smart Case Interior

Highlights

– The case is smart looking. I don’t find the polyurethane smart covers as nice looking (or feeling) as the leather versions but these are attractive enough. I got the dark gray model and I’m happy with the look of it.

– The coverage of the back and sides of the iPad is complete – with the only openings being for the dock connector port, the screen lock switch, the camera, and the headphone jack. This is not a rugged case like an Otterbox but it provides a basic level of full-body protection for the iPad.

– All the buttons and ports are still accessible and usable while in the case. The Power/Sleep/Wake button and the Volume up and down buttons are actually covered by the case but it’s designed so they can be used easily with extra rubber buttons over them and they work well. Even the camera works as long as you fold the front cover when using it.

iPad Smart Case flat

– The back of the case sports an Apple logo – so you won’t miss it by covering up the aluminum back of the iPad.

iPad Smart Case back 2

– It’s relatively easy to get the iPad into the case, and the iPad feels very secure in the case.You slot the iPad into the holder at the corners and then just pull the rubber of the case over it on each side.

– In much the same way as Apple’s case for the original iPad, the iPad Smart Case works as a stand in a viewing mode and typing mode. The typing mode works quite nicely.

iPad Smart Case Typing Stand

– The case adds some bulk and weight to the iPad of course, but it’s fairly minimal and still feels more than comfortable to carry around and when using the iPad. I’ve currently got two iPad 3s – so I took a quick shot of one with just a smart cover stacked on top of the other with the new iPad Smart Case:

iPad Smart Case and iPad Smart Cover

Lowlights

– I find it a little less easy to open the smart cover when using this case. It’s not as instant an action as it is with just a smart cover – though perhaps I’ll get more used to it and more adept at this as I spend more time using the case.

Overall

If you enjoy using an iPad smart cover but also want some protection for the back and sides of the iPad, the new iPad Smart Case is quite a nice solution. It’s also nicely priced for an Apple accessory and in comparison to some of the other similar 3rd party cases of this type.

You can check these out at a local Apple retail store or see details and place an order at Apple’s online store page for the iPad Smart Case.

Disclosure: This accessory was independently purchased by the post author. For information on our review policies please see our About page.

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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.

14 thoughts on “Review: Apple iPad Smart Case

  1. Have you tried the Targus cases? How is the weight in comparison?

    I have a Targus 360 which is great but quite weighty

    • Hi Paul – I haven’t tried any of the Targus cases yet. So I’m sorry – I’m not able to make that comparison. Do you have an Apple store anywhere near you? I wonder whether one of their staff would be willing to throw one on an iPad and let you feel the weight. Would be worth asking if you do have a store nearby.

  2. Does it come integrated with the cover or do you have to have a smart cover as well? Can the cover separate from the case?

    • Yes it comes as one integrated case that includes the smart cover and its automatic sleep/wake feature. And no to the second question – nothing is detachable.

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  4. I bought the Dark grey for my third gen iPad last night.
    The case is nice and form fitting but I found this morning after pulling my iPad from my bag that the case seems to show scuff mark really easy. I have one of the Water Field leather bags for my iPad that has a canvas material inside. the canvas and polyurethane don’t get along together well.

    • Yeah, the polyurethane smart covers tend to show marks like that as well. The leather ones do too but on a leather case the aging just sort of adds character and looks OK – not so much on these polyurethane cases I think.

  5. I prefer my Grablet. Look it up. I have secure “handle” i run my wrist through. It is minimal and smart cover works great. I added 1″ wide rubber closure from Gripiti and I am set. Looks cool too.

    Bonnie

  6. Do not buy the smart case – it’s terrible. I did – when you put the case into the position to type on your iPad at a desk – the same way you would with a smart cover, when you start typing, the iPad moves up and down where the case is so flimsy.

    When it is standing up if you are watching a video, and you want to press a few buttons, it wobbles. It doesn’t make your iPad feel secure. It’s so flimsy, rubbish, and very non-Apple.

    Yes, it will protect your iPad against scratches as it covers the back, but for £39 – which is very expensive for a case, it’s not good enough.

    Save your money, and get something better!

    …I got a refund.

  7. I just received a smart case in the mail today. Unfortunately I found that my third generation iPad has too much wiggle room in the case. When shifted a certain way, this makes the volume buttons difficult to use.

  8. I bought one for my 3rd gen iPad, and was extremely disappointed with it as others have mentioned. Too much wiggle room, it’s wobbly on the stand, and it’s hard to open.

    It didn’t last a week until I bought my current case from Monoprice.

  9. I bought an apple green smart case for my generation 4. The pad fits snugly within it and I find that the case is light weight and provides a perfect angle for the pad when I use it like a stand. I’m sold.

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