Apple surprised everyone with its nifty Smart Cover for the iPad 2, unveiled at the same time as the second-generation iOS tablet.
The company had made cases before, from the expensive (iPod Leather Case) to the frankly bizarre (iPod socks). But the Smart Cover seemed more significant, as it shipped at the same time as the iPad 2 and the tablet’s software was engineered specially to work with the accessory – when you lift the Smart Cover the iPad automatically wakes itself up.
The Smart Cover is a breeze to use, and simply turns itself into a two-position stand (one for viewing, one for typing).
One argument against the Smart Cover is that it neglects its protective duties. Yes, it covers the most fragile part of the iPad, the screen. But the back and sides are left exposed to everyday knocks and scratches.
If you like the look and design of the Smart Cover but wish for greater protection you should consider Speck’s PixelSkin HD Wrap for iPad 2, which mimics the slim look and form of Apple’s wrapper but adds better protection.
Like the Smart Cover it has a magnet on its right-hand edge, which creates a tight connection when shut. Unlike the Apple cover it doesn’t wake the iPad when lifted. That’s the big advantage Apple has over accessory makers.
The PixelSkin HD Wrap certainly grips the iPad 2 with almost impossible-to-break force, and the padding feels tough enough for most light to medium knocks.
The stand isn’t magnetic, instead clipping back on itself to create the pyramid stand.
The PixelSkin HD Wrap for iPad 2 is available in black, cobalt blue and raspberry pink.