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.
- 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.
- It’s very thin and light. It only adds a bit to the otherwise sleek iPad 2.
- It has cutouts for everything, including the diminutive speaker and camera.
- 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.
- 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 price. $35 is a bit steep for half of a case. I expected shells to be cheaper. Then again, it does have MAGNETS!
- 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.