The Speck iPad 2 SmartShell [Review]

June 17, 2011 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I’m always interested in Macworld’s iPad accessory reviews. I don’t always agree with their take, but they do a wonderful job rounding up what’s available. Their recent update on iPad 2 cases was no exception.

I was intrigued by the Speck SmartShell and decided to drop the $35 to try it myself. I was not disappointed.

The Good

  1. It works with the Smart Cover. There is a cutout that fits the Smart Cover hinge. I didn’t want a whole new case, just something to protect what the Smart Cover does not.
  2. It’s very thin and light. It only adds a bit to the otherwise sleek iPad 2.
  3. It has cutouts for everything, including the diminutive speaker and camera.
  4. Rubberized coating. One of the reasons I use vinyl decal is add a bit more “stick” to the iPad body. A nude iPad 2 is very slippery and can easily slide off of a lap or seat. The rubberized surface of the SmartShell increases the coefficient of friction slightly which makes it easier to hold on to.
  5. MAGNETS!!!! There is a magnetic strip on the back of the shell. That means the Smart Cover will fold back and stay in place. In fact, it works better than without the shell.

The Bad

  1. The price. $35 is a bit steep for half of a case. I expected shells to be cheaper. Then again, it does have MAGNETS!
  2. The cutouts now make the volume and mute switch more recessed and harder to use. This is good and bad. I was forever accidentally adjust the volume when hold it in landscape, but the Smart Shell has solved that problem. Now, it’s a bit difficult to adjust the volume on purpose.

Speck SmartShell