Apple's magnetic Smart Cover for the iPad 2 was a great addition to the tablet, but when it comes to preventing scratches and dings on the backside, a little more padding and a sprinkle of style never hurt anyone. As summer traveling comes to full swing, the real smart cover is one that doesn't add too much bulk to the new streamlined design, while keeping your iPad tucked in tight as you board planes, trains and automobiles bound for weekend getaways or business trips. Below are six cases we think fit the bill.
AviiQ Smart Case
A companion to the Smart Cover, AviiQ's hard aluminum and plastic Smart Case ($50) compliments the iPad 2 in every way, even matching Apple's bold color palette. At 1.5mm thick, the case minimizes bulk and works with or without the smart cover
Casemate's stylishly simple brown suede Walkabout folio ($50) snugly fits both the iPad 2 with the cover attached. Our test model came without the metal pieces on the top-closing flap, a simpler design, which we enjoyed.
Marware C.E.O. Hybrid
Combining a hardshell exterior with a soft fabric interior, Marware's sturdy C.E.O. Hybrid case ($50) sports a professional look with equally functional features. Like the Smart Cover, the C.E.O. Hybrid's lid puts the iPad 2 to sleep upon contact, wakes it up on removal, and doubles as a viewing stand. The additional hand strap is perfect for publicists managing the door or for reading briefs on the train.
Speck PixelSkin HD Wrap
Speck's super slim PixelSkin HD Wrap ($50) is as close as you can get to not having a case at all, enveloping the iPad 2 like a glove. The cover stays securely shut with Speck's "microsuction" system, which folds back into a stand similar to Apple's Smart Cover. The wrap comes in pink, black and blue.
B&M iPad Sleeve
Made from super plush 100% German wool, B&M's felt iPad sleeve ($39 AUD), though it may not be the most durable option and will pick up lint in your bag, is perfect for those who like to keep it streamlined. B&M keeps it simple with a cheerful range of colors to choose from and the case can snugly hold your iPad with the Smart Cover in place.
Kenton Sorenson iPad Sleeve
Kenton Sorenson's tan leather iPad sleeve ($125) is for anyone who appreciates the feel of raw leather and is a great contrast to the sleek design of the iPad. Like all raw leather products the case will develop a nice patina with age, showing the unique character of its owner. The case nicely fits the iPad 2 with the Smart Cover and is sure to turn heads in the boardroom.
Brenthaven Prostyle Sleeve
A leather case complete with a faux fur interior lining and handy side pocket, Brenhaven's Prostyle Sleeve ($80) is a well-executed design that takes the standard sleeve up a notch. The case's zipper keeps the iPad or iPad 2 safe, and the pocket is great for storing an iPhone or cords and chargers.