As we’ve written previously on here on the site there is a lot to like about Apple’s Smart Covers. They are thin, they are light, they function as a two position stand, and they have the really neat automatic sleep/awake functionality built into them. At the same time, they do nothing to protect the back and sides of the iPad two. There are many who don’t worry all that much about scratching up their iPad. Their approach is simply this–the iPad is meant to be used and Apple slimmed it down for a reason. Why bulk it up unnecessarily.
I happen not to be one of these people. I like to keep my devices as pristine as possible both because I appreciate the aesthetic value of an un-marred device and because most every device I purchased eventually finds its way to eBay. Devices that look great tend to fetch a far better price than those that are even a little bit worn.
For people like me Apple’s choice to protect only the screen creates a bit of a dilemma. Fortunately there are an increasing number of companies that are stepping in to solve the issue and today we’re going to look at one of the best examples yet–the AviiQ Smart Case for iPad 2. I’ve been using it for a few days and have a lot of positive things to say about it. It’s not perfect but it comes pretty darn close!
AViiQ Smart Case For iPad 2: Designed to complement the Smart Cover™ and protect your iPad™ 2 in style.
Introducing the long awaited AViiQ™ Smart Case for iPad™ 2. Protect your iPad™ 2 with our case made of rugged plastic encased in a solid aluminum plate anodized to match the colors of the Apple® Smart Cover™.
Smart Cover Compatible: Works seamlessly with your Apple iPad 2 Smart Cover
Unlike other iPad 2 Cases which don’t allow you to use your Apple Smart Cover, or are designed to make it difficult to remove your Apple Smart Cover, the AViiQ Smart Case designed to allow you to put on your Apple Smart Cover or remove it in a snap with no complication.
Cool & Comfortable: Keep your hands cool and comfortable.
The aluminum plate and the ABS plastic work together to dissipate heat from the ipad which minimizes the heat that would normally reach your hands. We know how uncomfortable it can get after long usage so you can enjoy longer hours of cool & comfortable usage.
Protection: Surprisingly thin, yet extraordinarily protective.
The AViiQ Smart Case for iPad 2 is made from a very strong and durable ABS plastic shell which protects your iPad 2 from most drops and impact. It is also backed with a thin aluminum plate which provides an additional level of protection and rigidity to minimize the potential of breaking.
Perfect Match: Designed to fit the Apple iPad 2 and Smart Cover perfectly
Have access to all of the Apple iPad 2 features and functions including ports, buttons, camera and speakers without any obstructions. We’ve given all the openings ample space to accommodate a variety of speaker jack connectors, iPad 2 connector accessories such as the case USB and Card Reader add-on accessories. Installation is also simple with our easy snap on design. You can put on and remove your Smart Case effortlessly.
Choices: Designed to match the entire line of Apple Smart Cover colors.
The AViiQ Smart Case for iPad 2 has an anodized aluminum black plate which gives you a smooth high quality finish in 7 color options to match and compliment your Apple iPad 2 Smart Cover. Unlike other painted iPad 2 cases, the AViiQ Smart Case is designed to last by minimizing stretches and fading.
The Smart Case for iPad 2 is made out of plastic. Bonded to it is a solid aluminum plate which covers the majority of the back. This combination means that metal doesn’t come in contact with the iPad but, at the same time, it has the rigidity and the solid feel that plastic alone doesn’t offer. It also looks pretty cool–especially since there are a number of different colors available.
Initially I had requested a review unit in black but there were some issues with getting it in a timely manner. As a result I opted for silver and I’m glad I did. I think it looks really nice.
When the Smart Case for iPad 2 is on the iPad it is all but impossible to notice it when looking at the iPad’s screen. I love case designs that are so minimalist that they pre-much disappear. I want my case to protect my iPad but I don’t want it to obscure such a gorgeous device.
With this particular case the company accomplishes this minimalist approach to securing the case to the iPad by having small clips in each of the four corners. They may not look like much but when the iPad is clicked into each of the four of them it’s held quite securely. It also means that the vast majority of the perimeter of the iPad is left free. The result is this “disappearing design” that serves quite well. You just NEED to make sure the iPad is clicked into each corner as fully as possible!
If you look at the iPad from the back when the case is on it you’ll notice that the Smart Case mimics the angled sides of the second-generation device. That means when you hold the iPad and the case is on it you find that, while it is certainly thicker and heavier (much more akin to the original iPad without a case), than the iPad alone it does have the same shape and feel as a naked second-generation device.
If you look along the right hand side of the image you’ll see that Apple’s Smart Cover attaches along the side just as it would to an naked iPad.
The cutout for the speaker and the dock connector are clean and perfectly positioned. The company opted to make sure they didn’t obscure any part of them while also making them only large enough to keep the proper degree of functionality.
The same holds true if you look at the sleep/wake button, the camera lens, the mute/rotate toggle and the volume controls. All of them are exposed just enough to maintain the proper degree of functionality.
Here is a look at the iPad from the top. You’ll also notice that the microphone is left open.
Because the Smart Case for iPad 2 is designed to work with Apple’s Smart Cover you still get the same degree of functionality from the overpriced Apple accessory. I do appreciate the fact that the Smart Cover presents a perfect angle for typing on the iPad.
Finally, here’s a look at the Smart Cover and Smart Case from the side.
In all, this is the best example of an iPad case accommodating Apple’s Smart Cover technology yet. It feels substantial, maintains the overall aesthetic of the device, and comes in a variety of colors. At first I was a bit mixed about the added weight it brings to the device but the trade-off is one I’m happy to make since it means I can fully protect my iPad without a loss of functionality. And because the entire back of the Smart Case is a sheet of aluminum when I hold the iPad it feels almost as if there’s nothing on the device at all. Sure, it’s a bit heavier and bulkier but it’s still 100% iPad 2.
My only concern with this case is the question of whether or not the four corners will maintain their tight grip over time. If the aluminum plate were to be even the tiniest bit bent for whatever reason I do wonder if they would loosen up and be a bit less reliable. That certainly is not the case at this point and I like this combination so much that I’ll be able to find out if they do loosen over time since this is the case that I’ll be using for the foreseeable future. (Unless my young friend Sam sees it… you see, this is EXACTLY the kind of case he has been looking for!)
Check out all the colors and order yours here on the AViiq web site.
What I Like: Available in a wide range of colors; works with Apple’s smart cover; the aluminum metal back maintains the feel that you expect from holding an iPad that is not protected by case; grips the iPad in such a manner that it does not obscure the screen at all; all cut outs and ports are fully accessible
What Needs Improvement: Between purchasing Apple’s accessory and this case you’re looking at a fairly significant investment; some concerns (although unfounded) about the ability of the four corners to maintain a tight grip over an extended period of time; increases the weight and thickness enough that it is closer to the original iPad