Not using a “permanent” case on the iPad 2 doesn’t mean you have to leave it totally unprotected. The screen has had a screen protector since day one, but that left he back vulnerable. Enter the custom skin from Gelaskins!
Gelaskins has a reputation as the best in the business when it comes to vinyl skins. First off, they let you customize the skin yourself- which is simply awesome. Second, they use some (apparently) impressive 3M adhesive to stick the skin to the device, making it tryule 100% removable without leaving residue- or so they say, anyways. I decided to take their word for it and ordered a custom back skin for the iPad 2 for $20 + $6 postal shipping to Norway- not a bad deal at $26 total in other words, although I wouldn’t say the price is as affordable as the $30 SubCostume custom plastic shell or the $50 M-edge custom jacket, as those are real cases and this is just a skin. Still, I’m not complaining. To order one, you simply go to their website and use the design tool. The amount of devices they support is naturally much higher than the above case makers as it’s a lot easier to add a new device’s measurement to the process.
Below is a video I made during the installation process. Since I needed to be able to see what I was doing the camera focus got second priority in this video but it should still give you an idea of what’s going on.
The fit is pretty goodall around and I got no wrinkles near the corners or anywhere else, a problem that some YouTube reviewers had with theirs- probably due to improper application. There are cutouts for all the ports and the corners (to prevent said wrinkles) which means that if you want a design that blends, you need to make the design about the same color as the brushed aluminum on the iPad.It’s also worth noting that while some tight fitting cases won’t work with the skin on, most of them- including the Smart Cover- won’t have an issue with the skin being on.
The speaker cutout is the biggest hole in the skin itself. You can’t really expect anyone to align the skin with holes that small so that’s the only way to do it I think.You can also that the cutout of the dock connector is just right, and since the skin is so thin it shouldn’t interfere with any accessories.
The before-mentioned corner cutout, there to prevent wrinkling that would occur if you tried to fit a square edged skin onto a curved device like the iPad 2.There’s also the headphone port, which is perfectly cut out as well. They could technically have made the cutout smaller to really fit tightly around it, but that would have made it a pain to align. Half a millimeter off on one side can mean a complete miss on the other, so putting on such skins is enough of a pain as it is.
Barely visible, the microphone cutout also fits perfectly.
Camera and sleep/wake button cutout, plus volume rocker and mute/orientation lock switch. This corner is where I started putting the skin on since the volume rocker on one side and the sleep/wake button on the other provide a nice guide to put it one- once both of those fit perfectly (and the skin is cut out correctly), the rest will fit too.
There isn’t all that much to say about a skin like this. It feels solid, 3M hopefully makes a good ahesive, the cutouts were perfect and being able to customize the skin is always a win. As with the previous two custom accessory reviews, this is a great way to promote your business, show off your app or accessory during conventions, or just put a personal image on your iPad. As for protection, this one is more of a scratch protection accessory than a drop protection accessory, but that’s fine. Considering the quality, $20 is well worth the money- and if you want a front skin as well, they have full sets too.