There have been so many awesome iPad 2 cases released already this year, I know because our storeroom is packed full of test units! However, of all the cases we’ve reviewed ten stood out, often for different reasons, as it’s certainly not a situation where one case fits all. So without further ado I present:
The Top Ten Best iPad 2 Cases for 2011
1. ZAGGmate Keyboard Case for iPad 2
ZAGGmate / Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2
ZAGGmate was, without a doubt, the most popular case for the original iPad last year. And this year ZAGG has done it again with the ZAGGmate Keyboard Case for iPad 2, which has already picked up MacWorld’s coveted “Best of Show” award for 2011. This case is my personal favorite, and my iPad doesn’t leave home without it. It’s also a high quality gadget in its own right, with this year’s model featuring a top-of-the-line Logitech Bluetooth keyboard (I love Logitech, their keyboards and mice are great, their MX Anywhere mouse is the best I’ve ever used).
The look and feel of the ZAGGmate is really as good as it gets in terms of complimenting the iPad, with the case being made out of the same bead-blasted, anodized aluminum as the iPad itself. Here’s a funny little aside which proves the point:
ZAGGmate for iPad 2
When I was visiting my parents a few days ago I flipped my iPad 2 out of its ZAGGmate and went into the living room, leaving the case in the kitchen. Mom called out in a concerned voice: “Dear, you’ve left part of your iPad on the kitchen table”. If that doesn’t say how much the ZAGGmate compliments the iPad’s design, I don’t know what does.
The ZAGGmate exudes the same high quality and elegance that all Apple products have. But the real reason I love the ZAGGmate is that having a keyboard is so damn handy. It’s not that I don’t flip it out of its case all the time to play Angry Birds, or read Flipbook, but I find the ZAGGmate is just essential when I want my iPad to double as a notebook, and it happens a lot!
ZAGG really have thought of everything; this case also puts the iPad to sleep when you place it in the case, just like the Smart Cover does. It doubles as a stand, in both portrait and landscape modes. It’s also very protective (though I use a screen protector on the back, also from ZAGG, so the iPad won’t pick up scratches on the exposed side). And if all that wasn’t enough, this device has elegance to boot.
Padova II is a full protection premium leather case for iPad 2 with built-in Smart Cover technology. This exquisite case is made to measure for your iPad 2 and it is stitched by hand for perfect fit.
The premium vegetable tanned Italian leather and the brushed metal Home button are only two of the details that recommend this case as the best choice for really elegant people.
The front flap becomes a viewing stand, suitable for both landscape and portrait orientation. Padova II also features a removable metal typing stand.
You can see more details, choose your color and pre-order the case on the Orbino website.
3. Barely There iPad 2 Case
Barely There iPad 2 Case
Well-known to iPhone 4 fans, Barely There is now available for iPad 2 as well. It features the same slim profile, adding almost no bulk to the iPad. The impact resistant, hard-to-break flexible shell covers and protects the back and the corners of the iPad. Barely There is a beautiful snap-on case, but it’s not compatible with Apple’s Smart Cover. If this is not a deal breaker for you, you can buy the Barely There from Case-Mate.
4. Twelve South BookBook for iPad and iPad2
The Twelve South BookBook is a hardback leather case which fits both iPad and iPad 2. As opposed to many cases on our list, this one makes a perfect contrast to the modern curves and materials of the iPad. Handmade from genuine leather, the Twelve South BookBook looks and smells vintage. It is more a piece of art rather than a simple case.
Despite its simplicity, this case enables you to charge your iPad while inside, thanks to the double zipper closure which you can unzip only a little, just to allow a cable to pass through.
The case folds as stand. Unlike many other folios, the Twelve South BookBook allows you to set the viewing angle as you like, thanks to a simple but highly functional “tassel and button mechanism”. The padded interior is smooth and protective against scratches, the corners of the case are reinforced to resist impact and the hard inner frame protects against accidental crush of the iPad.
We found the Twelve South BookBook for iPad and iPad 2 on Amazon.
5. iPad 2 Street Skin
iPad Street Skin from the Hard Candy Cases White Collection
The iPad 2 Street Skin from Hard Candy Cases is a form-fitting case featuring a magnetic integrated screen cover. By the time we wrote our Street Skin review, the case was to be released in black, pink and clear. Now it’s also available in white, as part of the White Collection of iPad 2 accessories recently launched by Hard Candy Cases. Be it you want to go for the White Swan or the Black Swan, you can find the iPad 2 Street Skin on eBags.
6. Miniot Cover
Miniot Cover for iPad 2: real wood cover and stand
Miniot is a very beautiful cover which also rolls into a three-way stand. You can also snap it to the back for handheld use of the iPad, as you can see from the image below:
Working positions of Miniot Cover
The Miniot iPad 2 Cover is made from real wood and it is available in five different finishes or in a custom setup of your choice. You can also have custom engraving on the cover, free of charge. The cover has built-in magnets which keep it attached to the glass screen. The Ultrasuede microfiber lining is very smooth, so it won’t scratch the iPad screen. You can see more details or buy this cover on the Miniot website. The Miniot Cover is made in Holland. International shipping is available.
7. Kensington KeyFolio Keyboard Accessory Case
Kensington KeyFolio iPad 2 case
The Kensington KeyFolio Keyboard Accessory Case is durable and good-looking, despite the fact that it’s made from artificial leather. It is better than other keyboard folios because Kensington is a reputable name in the tech world, the materials they use in their keyboards, connectors or switches are of excellent quality. The case doesn’t have magnets, therefore it doesn’t interact with the iPad compass. However, this means that it doesn’t support the iPad 2 Sleep function either. You can read our review of Kensington KeyFolio Keyboard Accessory Case here.
8. The Smart Cover from Apple
Apple Smart Cover for iPad 2
“Clever” and beautiful, the Smart Cover quickly gained its place in the hearts of many Apple fans. Sleek and slim, foldable as stand, extremely easy to attach and to remove, this cover is the perfect companion for the iPad 2. Well, if you don’t believe that the back of the iPad 2 is scratch-resistant, you’d better go for a threesome and buy one of these cases that work with the Smart Cover. As of the Smart Cover itself, we found it at an excellent price on Amazon, where you can also read more about it. You are welcome to read our iPad 2 Smart Cover review as well.
9. GumDrop Drop Series Military Edition Case
GumDrop Series iPad 2 Case Military Edition
You don’t have to be in the army to keep your iPad protected in military style. The Military Edition of GumDrop Drop Series iPad 2 Cases will keep your iPad protected as if you were on the battlefield. This extra rugged case features several protective layers, as you can see from the image above. It comes with microfilm dust filters and built-in privacy screen. We found the Military Edition iPad 2 case on Amazon.
10. Speck PixelSkin HD Wrap
Speck PixelSkin HD Wrap iPad 2 Case
The Speck Pixelskin HD Wrap took the Smart Cover from Apple one step further: it’s more than a cover, it’s a full hard-shell case. Unlike the Smart Cover, this case doesn’t use magnets but microsuction to stay closed. This also means that it doesn’t come with the iPad 2 Sleep function. The Speck Pixelskin HD Wrap weighs 9.6 ounces, so it makes the iPad noticeably heavier. However, it is very protective, perfect for traveling. This case is available on Amazon.
We were only going to list the top 10, but one case was late to the party, and although we had a look at a very nice review unit, you can only pre-order it at this point in time. However it’s an extremely nice and innovative design, so we have included it here as the “11th Case”.
11. Grove iPad 2 Case
Grove iPad 2 case
The Grove is another “smart” case for iPad 2, meaning that it has the power to put the iPad to sleep when closed. The case body is made from bamboo. The front cover is made from leather and it folds into a triangle-shaped stand. If you want to know more details, read our Grove iPad 2 Case review.
What do you think of our 11 best iPad 2 cases list? Would you add some other case to it? Would you leave anything out? Please have your say!
Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG is the new name of ZAGGmate, winner of the Macworld Expo 2011 Best of Show. Just shortly after releasing the new ZAGGmate for iPad 2, ZAGG signed an exclusive master license and distribution agreement with Logitech, as announced in a press release by Logitech:
The Logitech Keyboard Case has been developed in partnership with ZAGG (NASDAQ: ZAGG), a market leader in providing innovative mobile device accessories. The two companies have entered into an agreement that provides Logitech with exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the ZAGGmate™ case design for the iPad2 and other tablets.
According to the same press release, ZAGG retains the rights to continue selling the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG on its website. For the time being, ZAGG’s website is the only place where you can buy the newly re-branded Logitech Keyboard Case.
Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2 announced on ZAGG's website
If you want to know more about this aircraft-grade aluminum case with Bluetooth keyboard which got so many awards last year, please read our original ZAGGmate case review.
If you want to enjoy the beauty of the naked iPad 2 and Smart Cover combination then buy the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD, the best invisible protection available. It is totally compatible with Apple’s Smart Cover; the invisible shield protects the back of your iPad, while the Smart Cover protects the front when it’s not in use. If you already know about this, but wish to know more about iPad 2 cases that work with Smart Cover, this article is for you.
Apple’s Smart Cover brought a revolution to the iPad world. Many fans appreciated it, but even more of them feared the inevitable scratches and wear due to leaving the back of the iPad unprotected. This is why some people gave up buying a Smart Cover and got full cases. Others were keen to find a compatible hard shell case to protect the back of the iPad 2. We did a bit of research and came up with the following list:
GreatShield Smart Cover Buddy Snap On Slim-Fit Case
GreatShield Smart Cover Buddy snap-on case
The GreatShield Smart Cover Buddy offers a slim fit, free access to all iPad 2 functions and at the same time it keeps the back of the iPad protected from scratches and normal wear. This snap-on case is very easy to install and to remove. It is available in Transparent Smoke and Transparent Clear. Although it is branded, it leaves the Apple logo visible. You can find it on Amazon.
Useful tip: Gift-wrap is available if you’re buying for someone else.
Smart Cover Companion Flexible Hard Gel Case Cover
Smart Cover Companion
The Smart Cover Companion is made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). This makes it very flexible, yet tough, so it preserves its shape very well. There are cutouts for all ports and commands, as well as for the back camera.
The case is very durable and provides a good grip without being sticky like those really cheap silicone skins. You can find it on Amazon. It is available in black and clear.
Marware MicroShell iPad 2 Case
Marware MicroShell iPad 2 Case
Made from polycarbonate, this hard shell case covers only the back of the iPad 2, being fully compatible with the Smart Cover. It is durable and stress-resistant and it allows access to all ports and buttons.
The Marware MicroShell iPad 2 case also features a cutout for the back camera. The case is available in 5 beautiful colors.
Shipping is free for US Priority Mail if you order from the Marware website.
Enki Genius Case
Enki Genius case
Enki Genius will be made from precision fit polycarbonate and it will come in four variants: Clear, Smoke, Blue and Pink.
This case is not available yet, but you can pre-order it now and get it after May 2nd.
Enki will offer “Forever Guarantee”, which means they will replace any defective product at any time.
We think Enki Genius looks very promising.
Available in Clear and Smoke, the Joy SmartFit2 is a ultra-thin iPad snap-on case that is compatible with Apple’s Smart Cover. It is branded with the Joy logo, but that doesn’t obstruct Apple’s branding.
The case features openings for all functions on the iPad, including the microphone and the speaker.
XGearlive Smart Cover Enhancer
XGearlive Smart Cover Enhancer
The Smart Cover Enhancer from Xgearlive is a snap-on case which protects the back of the iPad, while being perfectly compatible with the Smart Cover.
It leaves all ports and controls open, so there’s no problem in using your iPad 2 normally without having to remove it from the case. The hinge flap for the Smart Cover is not blocked at all. This allows the cover to fold as if there wasn’t any case on the back of iPad.
Xgearlive EXOSkin Carbon Fiber Skin
XGearlive Exo Skin
The EXOSkin is a super slim 3M durable skin which gets applied on the back of the iPad2 and which is compatible with the Apple Smart Cover. It looks like real carbon fiber, thanks to the high-quality material, but it comes much cheaper than carbon fiber cases. It is available in black, white or red.
If you want to change it, you need to peel it off. Unfortunately it is not reusable.
XCase Flexible Shield For Apple iPad 2
This is another cool-looking case, or at least is promises to be so.
There’s not much of a description on the XGear website. Nonetheless, we think the photo looks cool, so we decided to include it in our list.
This case is going to start shipping on April 29th, but you can pre-order it if you want.
Belkin Snap Shield for iPad 2
Belkin Snap Shield
The Belkin Snap Shield is another beautiful, low-profile case which works with the Smart Cover. It is translucent and it has a soft-touch finish. We found it on the Belkin website. However, buying directly from them is not possible, so you’ll need to find a retailer or wait for it to become available on Amazon.
There’s no indication of the price on Belkin’s website either.
Update: This may be available at Best Buy, see comment below from Clyde Anderson.
Speck iPad 2 SmartShell Case
This hard-shell protective case will be available in 5 colors, all matching the Smart Cover.
There aren’t many details available about Speck iPad 2 SmartShell Case yet, other than it’s 1.2mm slim and that it is designed to keep the Smart Cover in place even when flipped open.
The case is not even listed on the Speck website. We are keeping an eye on it and will update you as soon as we have news.
Cool Bananas SmartShell Case for iPad 2
The Cool Bananas SmartShell Case is made from TPU. It offers excellent protection against scratches without interfering with the normal use of the iPad. All ports are free, there’s a cutout for the back camera and a lateral one for the Smart Cover.
Cool Bananas SmartShell Case - color range
We found this case in the Cool Bananas online store, but it is currently sold out. They expect to have it back in stock on April 28th.
Are there any other iPad 2 cases that fit the Smart Covers? If you found one which is not on our list, please let us know, so we can add it.
Grove iPad 2 case: hard bamboo body, ecological leather cover, high resolution engravings
Wood is such a beautiful material, and we’ve seen some very innovative iPad cases made from wood in the past year. However, isn’t it a shame to cut down so many trees just to cover our iPads and iPhones in wood? We can do better than that. Grove did it. Instead of wood, they have created an amazing case using bamboo.
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource. It can grow as much in 5 years as other trees do in 100 years. This is one reason why the use of bamboo has become an increasing design trend in recent times.
Grove have created an exquisite iPad 2 case from bamboo, and it’s completed by a leather cover tanned with vegetable based stain, thus providing beautiful, eco friendly protection for your device. This ecological case also provides full coverage and 100% functionality for the iPad: both cameras are fully operational with the case on, the precision speaker grill prevents sound obstruction and the cover is “smart”.
The iPad 2 case from Grove is "smart"
The smart cover folds into stand
You already know from Apple what Smart Covers can do: put your iPad to sleep when you close them. This cover does the same. Like the Apple one, the Grove cover can be folded to form a triangle-shaped stand. It can also fold flat, in case you don’t need to use it as a stand.
The Grove case for iPad 2 is still “a work in progress”, but the outcome will be worth the wait, as the Grove team detailed on their website:
At Grove we have the highest standards of quality and we chose to significantly improve the functionality of our product at the cost of
delaying the release. Combining leather and bamboo, our iPad case has both the functionality of a detachable smart cover with the protection of a full case while maintaining a thin profile and signature Grove Quality in design and construction. We debated making the change because it would cause significant delays but we chose to emphasize the added functionality over a timely release.
Although we are sorry we can’t give you a hands-on review of this awesome iPad 2 case right now, we are certain it’s going to be amazing when it’s released as Grove only produces accessories built to the highest quality standards.
Grove iPad 2 Case Features
Grove iPad 2 case - speaker grill detail
the case body is handcrafted from bamboo
there are cutouts for all ports and cameras, as well as a nicely finished grill for the speaker
the vegetable tanned leather “smart” cover automatically puts the iPad to sleep when closed and it folds into a small stand for watching videos or typing on the virtual keyboard
the cover is stitched for an exquisite look and for more durability
the case features a hand-rubbed natural oil finish
there are two choices of color: natural bamboo or amber
the vegetable leather cover can be plain, custom or laser engraved (the artist series features some amazing models, all engraved in super high resolution)
If you like the Grove iPad 2 case and you want to be locked into the special price of $79, you need to make a $20 pre-order deposit. This will secure your place for an early shipment. Pre-orders can be made here.
Tuff-Luv Marrakesh Multi-View "Stasis" Series: Case Cover for Apple iPad 2
The Tuff-Luv Marrakesh iPad 2 case belongs to the Multi-View “Stasis” series and it is available on Amazon. “Stasis” is a feature which puts your iPad 2 to sleep automatically when you close the cover. Tuff-Luv implemented this feature in several iPad case models: Marrakesh, Tri-Axis Genuine Leather, Tri Axis Saddleback Leather, Natural Hemp and Veggie Leather.
I’ve chosen the Marrakesh for today’s review because it’s probably the most cheerful iPad case I’ve seen so far. The combination of high-quality textiles and faux leather looks so exotic that it makes heads turn. There are two versions of the Tuff-Luv Marrakesh iPad 2 case: Medina Red and Souk Brown. While we think that the fabric patterns on the Medina Red looks fabulous, we can’t say the same about the Souk Brown with its checker board pattern stripes which don’t fit the overall aspect of the cover.
Main Features of the Tuff-Luv Marrakesh Case for iPad 2
Tuff-Luv Marrakesh - detail
“Stasis” – close the cover and your iPad will automatically go to sleep, thus saving on the battery power
Multi-view stand feature – this allows you to choose from five viewing angle settings within the 30 degrees – 75 degrees range
Tuff-flap – your iPad is secure even if you accidentally drop it (this means it won’t come loose, but it might still suffer)
Stylish looks - the case is made from an excellent quality fabric with an interesting hand-crafted exotic motif
The Tuff-Luv Marrakesh iPad 2 Case Cover is available on Amazon and if you order it now, you’ll benefit from a special discount.
The Street Skin from Hard Candy Cases is one of the first cases adapted for iPad 2. As far as I’ve seen, it is also the first case to make use of magnets, apart from Apple’s Smart Cover. Like the previous version, the Street Skin for iPad 2 provides full access to all ports and controls. This includes both cameras, so you don’t have to worry whether or not you’ll need to remove the case to use FaceTime. The skin is made from form-fitting TPU rubber, which is less stretchy than silicone, and an excellent shock absorber. TPU rubber provides rigid protection, but at the same time it is soft to the touch. The magnetic integrated screen cover attaches to the back of the case while not in use. It features a new hinge design which keeps the cover attached to the case, thus giving you more security and helping you protect your new iPad 2 with style.
Hard Candy Cases - Street Skin for iPad 2 - black
Another cool feature of the iPad 2 Street Skin is the protection against overheating. The heat dissipation issue was addressed in a simple but effective way, by providing vents in the case that correspond to the location of the vents on the iPad 2. The iPad 2 Street Skin will be available in three colors: black, clear and pink. You can see it here.
UPDATE: You can get the Smart Cover from as low as $26 from Amazon. Thanks to Simon’s helpful comment below.
The long-awaited iPad 2 is now available. Although the screen size is still 9.7”, the new iPad is slimmer and slightly smaller than its predecessor. Those of you who resisted the impulse of buying an iPad as Christmas present can have it now for the same price but with the new operating system from Apple, iOS4 and with lots of additional functions such as dual video cameras, gyroscope, HDMI video out and magnetic screen covers.
iPad2 Smart Cover unfolding
The magnetic screen covers are called “Smart Covers” and they surely live up to their name, thanks to a series of interesting features which we are going to talk about here. This is not a hands-on review of the iPad 2 Smart Cover, since it’s yet to become available for purchase, but a description of its main features and benefits that make it awesome.
First of all, the Smart Cover addresses the issue some iPad users had, that it was a shame to cover such a beautiful design with a case. For the iPad 2, the case was designed right alongside the product, and the result was a cover for the glass screen. The back of the new iPad is made from durable aluminum, therefore it doesn’t need protection.
iPad 2 Smart Cover folded as typing support
The Smart Cover attaches to the iPad 2 via magnets and it bends and folds around, revealing the screen and at the same time offering support for typing or watching movies. There are magnets not only inside the cover but also inside the iPad 2, therefore the cover will snap onto the iPad in the correct position every time. It’s so easy to attach or remove the Smart Cover, that you can have more than one, so you’ll be able to match it with the colors of your outfits. Apple will provide the Smart Covers in ten colors, five in polyurethane and five in leather.
The Smart Cover will be available in 10 colors
The cover is padded with a microfiber lining which cleans the screen any time you move it.
Another interesting feature is that the cover automatically wakes up the iPad when you open it and puts it to sleep when you close it. This will be a great battery life saver.
The price announced by Apple is $39 for the polyurethane covers and $69 for the leather covers. We are going to update this article with a list of online stores where you can order your Smart Cover as well as other iPad 2 accessories.