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And.... we're back! Over the next few day we'll be catching up with a backlog of reviews to get through. We think you'll like some of what you'll see! But we start off now with a better-late-than-never review of Apple's Smart Cover. Is it intelligent? Is it safe to go with Apple's own cover? Well... in a word, no. And in two words, - goodness no. As usual, the jump is below, right there. Go on. Click it. Please!

Apple got it mostly right with the first-generation iPad case. Really they did. The cover was slim, protected the front AND back of the iPad, and was really not intrusive in terms of usability. It wasn’t perfect (what is?), but it just worked!

So it would make sense that Apple would continue this tradition with its iPad 2 case, right? Wrong. So, very, wrong.

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In bighugenerd’s experience, the large slab of glass that dominates the front of the iPad is the least of your worries in terms of general use. The aluminum gets essentially trashed much more easily. To see what we mean, carry out the following experiment:

Put your naked iPad 2 down on a hard table, and then… slide it… a bit… across the table. Say goodbye to the beautiful iPad aluminum, and enjoy the grinding sound of dust/dirt/food crumbs trouncing its rear end.  While not as hairline-scratch prone as the iPod touch’s booty, the iPad’s rear-nether regions come in a close second.

So, the Smart Cover, then. What a genius idea. Genius we tell you. This is the stuff that nerds dream are made of. And it all involves magnets! And it sucks! But it’s genius! (And it sucks). Available in a myriad of colors, we picked up a blue polyurethane cover and a black leather version for the purpose of this review.

Connecting the Smart Cover to the iPad is a simple affair. Guide it over the front and it wants to place itself. This is slightly unnerving, but it worked every time. There’s no misaligning this cover, that’s for sure. A soft magnetic strip locks the cover firmly in place on the left side of your iPad (in portrait mode).

With the cover on, it unlocks a secret menu option in iPad 2’s Settings menu. This is to allow the screen to turn off automagically when you close the cover, and turn on when you open the cover. All down to the joy of yet more magnets on the right side of your iPad. 

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And that’s really about it. A clever hinge system lets you wrap the cover around the back of your iPad 2, and it also folds up into a little stand for landscape typing.

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OK, so that’s all the praise we can manage to heap on this case. Because none of us here at bighugenerd like this cover. And with good reason.

See, the Smart Cover forgot about your iPad’s curvaceous booty. Completely. And what a shame that is! Look, it's a naked iPad 2's behind, with the Smart Cover attached. Do you see any protection, here? Because we don't. Every curve and corner is exposed. This picture pains us oh-so greatly.

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There are also more issues when holding the iPad. You want to fold the cover around the back of the unit, out of the way, but as the below images illustrate, - the cover flops down of its own accord, and actually extends over the edge of the iPad when held flat in place, making for not very comfortable holding.   
  
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And even opening the cover is a little tricky, because the darn thing sits so flush against the iPad glass! We recognize that those of you with finger nails that haven't been chomped off during exciting episodes of Law & Order will have less trouble here.  

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It’s hard to recommend the Smart Cover. It starts at $39 for the polyurethane cover, and increases to $69 for the leather cover. Ouch. And… ouch!

However, the Smart Cover does do one thing excellently. And that is provide support for other manufacturers to take advantage of the magnets in the iPad 2, such as with our favorite cover, - the Yoobao Executive Leather Case.

So What's to Like?

Apple’s attention to detail with the magnets and hinge system to connect to the iPad is very impressive. Turning your iPad on/off with the magnets is a really great idea, and hiding that menu option until a Smart-Cover-capable device is attached is genius.
 

So What's Not to Like?

No real protection except basic scratch prevention for the glass, which is arguably much stronger than the aluminum rear of the iPad…  Uncomfortable holding positions for the iPad with the cover attached. Questionable pricing. (By questionable we mean outrageous.)

Verdict:

We’re just not impressed. Such a great idea devastated by poor implementation. Apple’s addiction to form came at just too much of a price for function. We award the Apple Smart Cover a disappointing 2 nerds out of 5. Boo!
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7/30/2013 09:59:28 pm

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2/3/2015 07:07:53 pm

And smooth opening the cover is a little difficult, since the darn thing sits so redden next to the iPad glass! We be familiar with that those of you with handle nails that haven't been chomped off throughout exciting affair of Law & arrange will have less complexity at this time.

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2/16/2015 08:29:44 pm

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3/25/2015 02:28:35 am

And smooth inaugural the shelter is a little tricky, because the darn thing sits so flush against the iPad glass! We identify that persons of you with finger nails that haven't been chomped off through exciting incidents of Edict & Order will have less concern currently

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3/26/2015 12:35:32 am

i bought a cover for my ipad first it looked good but soon after a whole when i took it off it left scratches on my screen..

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