iPad 2 Smart Cover review

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When Apple released the new iPad 2, it was obviously met with much fanfare. This is really the only tablet device on the market that was complete(shaking head at Motorola) and ready to go. There will be more tablets coming down the line, but clearly Apple is the leader at this point. One of the more hyped aspects of the iPad 2 announcement had nothing to do about the device itself though. It was the new Smart Cover. This magical new device was designed to give more practical use to the tablet while protecting the screen and leaving the beauty of the device open for all to see.  Well, let’s see how it stacks up with the others.

This being my second iPad case review, and both of them being for my wife, I of course had to go with the pink polyurethane cover. The cover retails for $40, and can be found at Apple stores, Best Buy and others around the globe. You have the choice of 6 different colors for polyurethane, or leather ($69), whichever suits your interest.

The cover itself is of very high quality. It has a soft texture on the top (pink) side, and a felt lined interior to protect the screen. This lined interior supposedly helps keep the screen cleaner (magicalyl), but doesn’t do this any better than other covers would. It keeps the dust off because it covers the screen. This doesn’t help with fingerprints or anything else that collects on the screen, and why would it? This Smart Cover also folds into a couple of different angles to give you a little stand to type on, or a more upright stand for watching movies. Pretty convenient. One thing to watch out for though, is that when you use the cover as a stand, the inner lining is exposed to whatever surface you rest it on. This can pick up debris and other crap, and might not be good for the screen. just be weary of this when using in some environments.

Another magical aspect from this cover is the new magnets. It magnetically aligns on the left side of the iPad 2, and basically suctions onto the tablet. There are also another set of magnets on the opposite side to keep the cover closed when not in use. When you open the cover, the iPad awakens. The same happens when you close the Smart Cover, it goes to sleep. This is where the real benefit comes into play. You don’t have to push the home button to wake up the screen, and then swipe to unlock. It’s a feature you don’t realize how nice it is until you use it all the time. Again with Apple, the little things add up.

I have to say that in daily use though, I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, the cover looks nice, and keeps the iPad slim and light. It also looks great to keep the iPad covered, but I hate using it. If you fold the cover behind to use the iPad, it has too much play. Sometimes the magnet secures it to the backside, and sometimes it doesn’t. So you either have a situation where the cover dangles past your fingers (if it doesn’t secure with magnet), or you have too much play in the cover which dangles uncomfortably in your hand. It is just a little too big when folded behind. It becomes a nuisance, and I usually end up just pulling it off when I actually use the iPad. Another thing to note, which is obvious, is that it doesn’t provide any protection during use. So, make sure you don’t need extra protection (for kids and the like) when going to pick this up.

Conclusion

The Smart Cover is a nice cover. It’s made well, and looks great. Some people will enjoy it no problems at all, and can look past the awkward feeling when using the iPad 2 with it. I can’t however, and am taking it back. There are some available now, and plenty of covers coming down the line that will use the iPad 2’s magnet placement to operate the sleep/awake function. They can also provide more protection than the Smart Cover offers. I don’t feel that I can’t recommend this because of the awkward use, but rather it’s something to be aware of. The other potential faults/benefits are obvious, so you just have to figure out what you need. This just doesn’t fit the bill for me.

 

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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