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Best cases for iPad 2 – Updated

We take a look at a range of different cases for Apple's new iPad 2

So you’ve finally given in and bought an iPad 2. It’s a wise choice, as there’s currently no better tablet. The problem is that your shiny new toy is unprotected as Apple doesn’t bundle a case with it. With such a bewildering choice, it’s hard to know where to spend your cash. Fortunately, we’re here to help, and we’ll show you what to wrap around your device to keep it safe.

The first thing to bear in mind is that cases designed for the original iPad generally won’t fit on the iPad 2, and they won’t have the cut-out for the rear camera, so make sure you buy the right version as some cases are available for both iPads. The next decision is whether to shell out £35 for Apple’s Smart Cover (or even £59 for a leather version).

Smart Covers certainly have advantages: they automatically turn the iPad 2 on and off when you open and close them, and they double as a stand for watching videos or typing. They’re also very slim and don’t cover up the iPad 2’s stylish design. Plus, thanks to magnets built into the side of the iPad, Smart Covers are simple to remove and snap back into place.

Apple Smart Cover

The two problems are price and protection. Although £35 isn’t bad, it’s more than most third-party cases, and it does nothing to protect the sides and back of your precious iPad 2. We’ve already discovered that the supposedly “durable” aluminium back is prone to scratching and marking, and the sharp-edged sides are easily dented by even small knocks and drops.

So, although you could buy a Smart Cover and combine it with a sleeve to provide protection in transit, you leave your iPad exposed to damage while you’re using it. However, there’s now the HyperShield Back Cover which solves this problem – see page 4 for the review.

Apple Smart Cover: 3/5

The silicone case

For £19 (from Amazon) Cygnett’s SecondSkin Ink is a particularly good silicone case for the iPad 2. It adds only a couple of millimetres of thickness but the rubber makes the iPad much grippier, so you’re less likely to drop it. It provides that much-needed back and sides protection, too, and the pattern on the rear isn’t garish.

Cygnett SecondSkin Ink

The volume and power buttons are covered up, which should prevent any dust and grime getting in, but still work perfectly. As it’s black, it’s a better match for the black iPad 2, but still looks ok with the white version. The only disadvantage compared to a Smart Cover is that there’s no stand for typing or watching videos. For that, you’d need a separate stand such as the Belkin Flip Blade.

Cygnett SecondSkin Ink: 4/5

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