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Apple iPad Smart Case Review

Apple made some great announcements in WWDC this year including the stunning new MacBook Pro with Retina Display and some great improvements to iOS and OSX. They also quietly announced two accessories, the new AirPort Express and the Smart Case. 

 

The iPad now has two protective products made by Apple, the (fantastic) Smart Cover and now the Smart Case. 


As the name suggests, the Smart Case takes a more holistic approach to protecting the iPad (2nd and 3rd generation). It is essentially a Smart Cover with back protection.

 

The packaging is similar to the Smart Cover. This runs for $49. Also interesting to note that this is the first Apple accessory to offer customized engravings.

 

Everything sounds great doesn't it? I've always loved the utility of the Smart Cover but wanted a bit more protection. The problem is, this case sucks. It might be the worst product I have ever bought from Apple.

 

Entirely made from polyurethane. The flap of the case is identical to the Smart Cover and offers great functionality, including the magnetic on/off switch.

 

The first flaw is that the hinge is just a thin material, which makes it droop when in typing position.

 

It also makes it far less stable in "video" mode as the iPad is on a steeper angle and no longer has a rigid base.

 

The iPad is held in using a stiff ring that is fused into the bezel. The problem with this design is that it makes the screen appear comically small.

 

Just like the first generation iPad case, the edges are uncomfortably sharp.

 

The biggest problem is that the case has horrible tolerances. The iPad has wiggle room causing the cutouts to become misaligned. Using the rotation lock switch becomes an issue because of this.

 

Notice the gap. How can a company that makes precise products as the iPhone let this go?

 

The dock connector shows that there's about 2mm of wiggle room. 

 

I had high hopes for this case but it's simply lacking in proper execution. This is the first time I’ve ever been disappointed this badly by an Apple product. I’m returning it tomorrow.