As I’ve mentioned here a lot lately, Apple’s iPad 2 Smart Cover has become my new best pal and my favorite iPad 2 case by a landslide margin. I’ve found a few full-protection sort of cases for the iPad 2 that are quite good, but I always find myself returning to the smart cover as my most-used option.
Recently I’ve also been trying out a handful of cases that are ‘iPad 2 smart cover compatible’ – i.e. cases that are back covers designed specifically to work as companions to the iPad 2 smart cover. I’m gradually discovering that even the lightest of these (that I’ve tried so far) make the iPad 2 feel quite a bit heavier.
This discovery has lead me to start thinking about more minimalist alternatives for use with the smart cover. I already use Ghost Armor screen protectors on the front and back of the iPad 2, so one option is to just stick with the smart cover and these. Another is to look at skins for the iPad 2. My friend and writing colleague Thomas (@ragart) has been singing the praises of Gelaskins – and this weekend I took a look and ordered a couple.
For a while now, I’ve been on the lookout for 3rd party iPad 2 cases that offer both full protection and support for the smart cover tech, for magnetic closure and automatic sleep/wake of the iPad 2.
There are not many around as yet. There is this beautiful one from Vaja Cases though. It’s called the Libretto for iPad 2 and I ordered one yesterday in the standard dark brown shown above. Here are its key features:
Vaja exclusive leather
Opens like a book
Black microfiber interior lining
Magnetic closure with sleep mode
Access to main functions
2 different landscape positions
If you’ve ever seen and felt a Vaja case, you know these are wonderfully high quality leather and beautifully crafted by Vaja in Argentina. They are relatively pricy cases but as soon as you lay eyes on them you know they’re well worth the cost.
I chose zero customization options for the Libretto, though as usual there were plenty to choose from, as I’m hoping that may slightly reduce the estimated 35 days production and ship time.
Speaking of Vaja, I’ve got a very nice giveaway contest starting later today for those of you who have an original iPad. Look out for that very soon.
If you’ve run out of ‘serious’ options for cases for your new iPad 2, Rovio and Gear4 have got a nice alternative – official Angry Birds iPad 2 cases.
There are three versions of these minimal, hard plastic, back cover cases. They go for $49.99 each and are available at the Gear4 page for them here: http://us.gear4.com/category/_/135/ipad-2-cases/
I’m still looking around for a full-protection case with smart cover features; but I’m pretty sure if my daughter had a vote she’d go with one of these, probably the middle one above.
News Via: MacStories
When I bought my iPad 2 on launch day last week, I also picked up an Apple Smart Cover for it. Even though I hated Apple’s case for the original iPad, the smart cover looked so different and so … smart, that I felt I had to give it a try.
The smart covers for the iPad 2 come in polyurethane or leather, and in a small range of colors for each material. I chose leather and the Navy color for mine. I’ve been using the smart cover for around a week now and have had it on my iPad 2 just about constantly. I have mixed feelings about the smart cover so far – there are some things I love about it, and others that I don’t like at all.
Hit the break for a quick rundown of my iPad 2 smart cover likes and dislikes …
I’ve had my iPad 2 for a few days now, and I’m more than happy with it. The more I use it, the more I’m appreciating its new slim-line build and its blistering speed. One of the few downsides of having this shiny new companion is that many of my original iPad accessories will not work with the new iPad. I’ve already got two new cases on order for the iPad 2, just as one quick example of the need for replacing some iPad kit.
Happily, I have found a few old faithful original iPad accessories that work just as well (or close to) with the iPad 2 – and several were among my favorite iPad accessories of 2010.
Here’s four of them that have already proven to play nicely with the iPad 2:
That’s the Padova leather case for the iPad 2 shown above. It’s a very stylish looking, full-protection case for the iPad 2, with Apple’s cool new smart cover tech built into it as well.
We were just talking last night on our weekly live talkcast show, The Magical Revolutionary iPad Show, about how we’d love to see some 3rd party case that include the new smart cover features – and sure enough this morning I’ve spotted two of them.
The most interesting new accessory from Apple for the iPad 2 is the Digital AV Adapter, aka the cable that lets you do HDMI mirrored video output from the iPad 2 to your HD TV. I knew as soon as Apple announced these at the iPad 2 unveiling event that I wanted one, and I picked one up along with my new iPad on Friday afternoon.
This afternoon is the first chance I’ve had to try the new cable out. After just a quick play around with it, I’m impressed. There’s zero setup required to make this work – all you need is the Digital AV Adapter cable ($39 from Apple), and HDMI cable, and an HD TV. You plug one end of the HDMI cable into a free HDMI slot on your TV and the other end into the Digital AV Adapter. Then plug the Digital AV Adapter into the connector port on your iPad 2, and choose the right source (for the HDMI slot your used) on your TV, and away you go.
Video mirroring basically means sharing your iPad 2 screen to the TV. So everything you do on the iPad 2 is shown on the TV screen, regardless of what app you’re using. Audio is also shared from apps that support it – it worked a charm from the awesome Aweditorium music discovery app for me today.
Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad 2 was heavily featured in the iPad 2 announcement event this week. It’s a versatile looking cover / case with some clever tricks up its sleeve. Here’s a section of its intro on Apple’s iPad pages:
The slim yet sturdy Smart Cover protects your iPad screen without covering up its durable aluminum back.1 So your iPad still looks and feels like an iPad — just with a little extra protection. Even better, the Smart Cover doubles as the perfect movie-watching, game-playing, web-surfing, do-it-all companion. It folds in all the right places so you can quickly create a stand that holds iPad upright. Or one that lets you tilt iPad into a comfortable typing position. If you prefer to hold iPad, the Smart Cover flips back and out of the way like a page in a magazine. And if you want to shoot some HD video on the fly, the Smart Cover folds in half to expose the back-facing camera. Now that’s something to smile about.
The ZAGGmate with Keyboard for iPad 2 – the updated version of popular keyboard + case combo from Zagg – is now available for pre-order.
It goes for $99.99, the same as its predecessor for the original iPad.
Here’s the promise on pre-order shipping times:
All ZAGGmate pre-orders for the Apple iPad 2 will ship no later than March 31, 2011.
For more details and to place a pre-order, visit the Zaggmate page here: