By Jonathan Charles | Jun 13, 2012 10:11 AM EDT
Among the hubbub of iOS 6 and Apple's Retina display MacBook Pros, the company quietly unveiled a new product (and not during the conference): the iPad Smart Case. The Smart Case is an upgrade from the Smart Cover, Apple’s front-only case which covers the screen, and has a sleep/wake function.
The Smart Case is available for $49.95, and its major difference to the Smart Cover is complete protection. While the Smart Cover looked great, it was criticized for being less of a case and more of a cover. The Smart Case fixes that issue, but comes with its own issues.
Like the Smart Cover, the Case is made of soft touch polyurethane and comes in six colors: light gray, dark grey, blue, pink, green and red. The Verge's hands on said the case isn't built for complete protection, and more from scratches. Putting an iPad in the case isn't a case of sliding it in, instead pushing it in and fitting the case around the device. The iPad 1 could slide into Apple's full-body case built for the device.
There are also more issues: the sides are loose, with a new iPad or iPad 2, with the device popping out. The camera, headphone jack and side buttons are all offset and as a result can be difficult to reach.
"Opening the front cover is also significantly more difficult than it should be. In our experience, the best way to open a cover was by slipping a fingernail under it - something far easier said than done," The Verge added in its hands-on. The Smart Cover can simply be lifted and folded naturally.
Using the case as a stand was also troublesome as the case was hard to balance, whether typing or watching a video, requiring a gentle touch and even "a stroke of luck" to stay upright. The end result is that the Smart Case does offer more protection, though there are more reliable alternatives such as the i-BLASON Back Cover Case or The Ridge by Devicewear.
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