So you’ve bought an iPad 2, and now you need to protect your investment. What are the options available, should you go for Apple’s smart Cover, or perhaps something else from one of the third-party case manufacturers.
Here we look at some of the best iPad 2 cases available and give you our verdict on whether you should or should rush out and buy one.
Why you shouldn’t get the Smart Cover
Before we tell you which covers you should look at getting, it’s worth telling you why you shouldn’t get a Smart Cover made by Apple. First off, it’s just a cover. It won’t protect the back of your iPad 2.
That’s right it might use fancy magnets to attach to the iPad 2, but the back of your iPad is going to get scratched pretty quickly, especially if you are throwing it in a bag along with all that other junk you carry around.
The second reason not to opt for the Smart Cover it’s not actually that smart. Having used one since the UK launch on our iPad 2 it actually leaves three neat smudge lines across the screen, which while don’t permanently damage the screen, will get in the way of your viewing experience, especially if you’re outside.
The third reason, is that the smart cover can easy dislodge in your bag. That metal bracket that sticks to the side of your iPad quickly becomes a vicious scraping tool ready to attack the back of your unprotected iPad 2. Eek.
Speck PixelSkin HD Wrap
The Speck PixelSkin HD Wrap takes the idea of the Smart Cover and makes it better giving you front and back protection. It’s thin, doesn’t add much weight to the device and is the only one we tested that actually lets you retain some of the size saving work Apple has done with the new iPad.
The front cover is kept on through a strip that sticks to the iPad’s screen, while the pixel design is cool and very industrial. That front cover, like the Smart Cover doubles up as a stand. We like it.
This to many is the Smart Cover done right using wood instead of leather or the stuff space suits are made of.
Instead of four grooves that can be folded into a triangle the Minot comes multiple grooves that curl into a stand.
It’s handmade, it’s exclusive, and there are various woods and designs to choose from. You will, if you go for this, be the talk of the town. The catch? It's 50 Euro ($70).
Price: 50 Euro
Tuff-Luv for iPad 2
If you’re clumsy, then this is probably the one for you. The downside however is that it will make your iPad 2 thicker than your iPad 1, and take up most of the bag while your at it.
The main selling point of this leather case is that it's got lots of protection. The second is that it can be folded to create a decent prop for a range of good viewing angles using a stack of Velcro to do so. Well padded, easy to use, and multiple angles available its comfortable to hold, as well as giving you an executive feel, which should mean it fits in nicely with a suit and a Starbucks, but not so well with a pair of shorts and a Frappuccino.
Logic 3 Silicone Case for iPad 2
The lightest and thinnest case offering we look at here, the Logic 3 Silicone Case for iPad 2 is more for those planning on needing protection around the home rather than out and about in a bag.
It comes in a range of colours including pink and clear, adds a good grip to the iPad 2, and fits around your tablet snuggly.
It’s worth pointing out though, that your screen will be unprotected so if you are one to drop your toys it might be worth getting a screen protector too.
Cygnett Lavish Earth
The Lavish Earth is a faux leather-suede case that gives you some style, but without breaking the bank.The iPad 2 sits in a snug pouch leaving space to access all the controls and the camera will protecting the front and the back in your case, and means that it’s not going to fall out at any time.
Three ribs on the inside cover allow for three different angles making this ideal for giving presentations or just watching a movie.
Like the Tuff-Luv this is better suits for those that need a smart case rather than a fun one, however unlike the Tuff-Luv it will live comfortably with everything in your bag rather than hog all the space.
Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2
What was that, oh you couldn’t afford the MacBook Air. That was the one you really wanted, but the budget wouldn’t stretch. This then is the next best thing.
While the iPad 2 doesn’t give you Mac OS X Snow Leopard (or Lion) the Alluminum case by Zagg adds a Bluetooth keyboard nonetheless so you can type away and protect your iPad 2 at the same time.
The keyboard comes with special function keys for music control, volume control, slideshow, home, search, etc and a full sized QWERTY keyboard making typing a lot easier. Closed it even looks like a Mac.
Hard Candy iPad 2 Street Skin
Think flatted car tyre and that’s the basic look of this Hard Candy case of the iPad 2. It comes with 3 mm of shock-absorbing TPU rubber at the corners and edges with a case material that won't stretch or surrender. That says it’s makers means that it won’t stretch or dirty like silicone.
The front cover peels off and attaches to the back when not in use and you get full access to all the audio outputs, dock connectors, Multi-Touch display and controls. It comes in a range of colours including pink.
You’ve bought an iPad, but you still like making notes on paper. If that’s you then the Booqpad is going to be the case you want. It comes with a pouch for the iPad 2 and a pouch for a notepad and pen so you can have your apps and notes at the same time.
“Keeping a pen or stylus, business cards, cash or tickets close to your iPad and written notes has never been more convenient,” claim the makers.
Lefties will be happy to hear you can have the iPad on the left or the right of the case to suit your writing style.
C.E.O. Hybrid iPad 2 Case
If it’s a hard shell you want, a hard shell you will get with the C.E.O Hybrid iPad 2 case. The back is hard, the front is soft, and it like some of the other covers here features the intelligent sleep/wake lid that turns the iPad display on when open and puts it to sleep when closed, while that lid also doubles as a stand.
Importantly, you can get to all the buttons and ports so you can charge and sync without removing case.
Kensington KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard Case
This is another case that comes with a keyboard making it easier to write if that’s what you are using you're iPad 2 for. Here however, instead of a metal aluminium case found on the one by Zagg, you get a softer leather offering with multiple positions for viewing in landscape mode.
The keyboard itself comes with rubberized keys are spill-proof and also protect iPad screen from scratching when closed. As for battery life? While it won’t improve the capabilities of your iPad 2, the keyboard works for 90 hours off a single charge. Plenty of time to write that report.
BookBack for iPad 2
If you think the iPad 2’s all metal finish is a little bit too industrial for your liking, you can now reduce the hardness by applying the BookBack for iPad 2. Coming from the same people that make the DodoCase, the BookBack uses the same Moroccan fabric the company uses on their cases, now combined with a reusable, peel and stick adhesive to create a second skin for your iPad2.
It won’t protect the front, but it will give you a more comfortable feeling around the back, and at just under $20 won’t break the bank either.
Bonus: ShieldView Matte Screen Film iPad 2
If you’re planning on using your iPad 2 out and about especially in the sun it might be worth opting for a protective screen that also gives you a matte rather than reflective edge to your viewing.
The ShieldView iPad 2 screen protector is easy to apply and then protects your screen from the odd scratch. But it also has a double use, dulling that screen so you can see what you are doing when you use it in the garden.