I was asked on Twitter to post my thoughts on the iPad 2 smart cover. I've been using it for a few days so think I'm in a position to give my opinion on it now.
It's quite neat that's for sure, but it doesn't really offer much protection. Yes, it does cover the screen when it's not in use, but the back of the device is totally naked. I've already managed to pick up a few scratches on the back of my iPad. The touted screen cleaning abilities of the cover are a joke, just having a soft fabric laying on the screen can't clean it! What I have noticed though are marks on the screen where the hinges are. This means you end up with three distinct vertical lines down the screen, they can be easily wiped away, but it's still annoying when it happens.
The different configurations of the cover are handy in certain circumstances. I've used it in both forms at various times. The upright stand is great for propping it up on the desk while watching a video or other times when you don't need to be "hands-on" with the device. The raised keyboard position is ideal for web browsing and typing blog posts like this one. I can type almost as quickly on this keyboard as I can on a real one. Having the slight angle means you can easily see the screen over your hands, and you aren't typing on a totally flat surface.
The magnets that the cover uses to connect are quite clever, I think it must use a system of opposing magnets that force it to hook up in the correct location. It just seems to know where to go! Simply swing the cover towards the edge and it will snap on. When it's attached the magnets are strong enough that it can support the weight on the iPad dangling beneath, but not if you start jiggling it about too vigorously. It will soon lose its grip then!
When the cover is used in one of its two setups, it's great. The problems only arise when you aren't. Holding it with the cover open can be annoying, it doesn't magnetise itself to the back as it does to the front, so it wants to constantly flap open. If you fold it into a triangle and hold on to that, it gives you something to grip, but it makes typing on the keyboard harder with your thumbs and it still wants to flap about too much.
It's an expensive cover that doesn't really offer any real protection, but the stand system is useful. Is it worth the money? Probably not, it's expensive and I'm sure there will be other 3rd party solutions that will do a better job than this.
EDIT: Updated with a video below to show the marks.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad