When I got my first iPad a few months after Apple made available the first generation, there were not covers available besides Apple’s own synthetic wrap-around black cover. It was a good solution, but didn’t suit all of my needs, and I was annoyed by how it collected dust and fingerprints.
The iPad 2 came along, and by this time there were many good cases to be had for the first and second generation. Third party companies seemed to get what they were aiming for in a good cover design after some time with the device. I purchased one of Apple’s Smart Covers when I got the iPad 2, and also added for some extra protection and functionality Speck’s SmartShell for the back of the iPad 2. This gave the Smart Cover something to magnetically cling to when I folded it around the Smart Cover to the iPad’s back, and it guarded the aluminum housing.
Now we’re sorta back to square one for the new iPad. Third parties are all boasting about their new iPad cases/covers that are coming out soon, but few have a solution that is available now. Some companies have noted that their iPad 2 covers fit the new iPad, but it can be difficult to distinguish which ones do fit the new iPad versus those that do not (I guess the best thing to do if you’re really interested in an iPad 2 cover design for your new iPad is to contact the company and ask if it’s compatible, but this can take a lot of unnecessary research time).
So in the meantime, here are my conclusions: I want Apple’s Smart Cover, or a knock-off (i.e. generic form of it). It get’s the job done well. It’s still easy to remove, offers multiple standing positions for the iPad, and it’s made with durable materials. It looks good on the device to boot, and I don’t have to wonder whether it will fit the new iPad or not. We already know that it does.
Secondly, I still want the Speck’s SmartShell, but for this iPad. Regrettably, it’s not available yet for the new model, and I’ll have to wait.
But if you are interested in the rest of my findings that intrigued me, and a review of all the covers that catch my attention, read on:
This is an award winner, and rightly so. It looks and feels like a book cover (it’s crafted by people that used to make hardback books). There are options to get “personalization” and a camera hole on the back. It makes a great disguise and stands up the iPad in two positions.
The only thing about the Dodocase that’s not working for me is that it can wear out the padding to take the iPad out of the cover on a frequent basis. I like the Dodocase a lot, but if I’m gaming, or want to drop some of the weight while reading for a long time, I’d like it if the Dodocase were a bit more durable. It’s designed to stay on the iPad and rarely be taken off.
This stands up the iPad in two positions. It magnetically holds in place on the front of the iPad when closed, and will automatically put the iPad to sleep mode when it is closed. The material is great, it’s versatile, but getting one from any retail store or Apple.com is pricey. I recommend you get one from Amazon or eBay.
Note: this one also fits new iPads even if it’s made for the iPad 2. Also, this cover provides no protection for the back of the iPad, so I recommend Speck’s SmartShell in addition to the Smart Cover.
Speck’s Option – A SmartShell for the Back (Coming Soon)
This is the light and well-made back cover that magnetically holds Apple’s Smart Cover in place on the back (no other brand’s does this that I can find). Of course, the Smart Cover will still hold itself in place on the front with this case on the iPad. I’ve used one of these and want to get another for my new iPad because it’s so good.
Otter Box’s Option – Best Durability (Now Available)
While not the most aesthetically pleasing case, this one is one of the most recommended for durability. I’ve never heard anyone criticize an Otter Box case. It also doubles as a stand — which is made to be detachable from the case parts — for the iPad. The one downside to this case is its weight coming in at 15.86 oz. There’s more info about this case here.
Macally’s Option – Better for Sound (Coming Soon)
If having the Smart Cover magnetically held in place on the back of the iPad doesn’t seem important to you, then this case is recommendable because it is from a very reputable brand, and it improves (amplifies) the sound of the iPad’s speaker. This is a nice feature because the iPad’s speaker alone isn’t all that good.
I can’t wait for the third party developers to catch up with the new iPad. I think they understand the device very well now, and what users expect from a cover. While it may take time to find the right cover for the individual (per his or her tastes and needs), there is cover out there that’ll address just about any need or want. However, there are none that do it all, and there are few that are suitable for the iPad (third generation) that are available now.
So, case makers, lets race to the finish line and get your latest and greatest to market!