iPad Case Review: iSkin Duo

iPad Gear

There was a time when I was a HUGE fan of silicon skins for my devices. The excellent protection, wide array of color options and variety of designs were just some of the reasons I would, at times, choose a silicon case over a leather one. More recently however I have found myself choosing leather when I decide on which case to use. All this noted, iSkin’s new silicon iPad case offerings have me rather tempted with regard to opting for the brightly colored silicone.

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One of the designs they are now offering is the iSkin Duo for iPad. It is available in Sky (Blue/Black), Diablo (Red/Black), Glam (Pink/Black), Persia (Purple/Black), Soleil (Yellow/Black), Arctic (Clear/Black) and Nigh Hawk (Brown/Black).

Let’s take a look.

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From iSkin:

Covered With Love. iSkin Duo for iPad- Extend safety at home or in the classroom with the shock absorbing, moisture resistant, hypoallergenic Duo for iPad. Made from premium-grade silicone with extended protective technology. Designed to gracefully encapsulate and protect, the iSkin Duo covers both form and function with an outstanding fit and look.

The Duo is composed of a beautiful black screen frame accented with a patterned design and a fused translucent body color that makes protecting your iPad easy and attractive.

Docking- The iSkin Duo easily connects with the Apple iPad Dock and the Keyboard Dock – there’s no need to first remove the cover when docking. This feature is unique to iSkin and demonstrates the design and innovation prowess found in all iSkin products.

Materials– The iSkin Duo is made with premium Japanese silicone – a safe, inert and hypoallergenic polymer that is made with silica, a natural element found in sand. It is soft, flexible and molded to follow the exact curves of the iPad to provide excellent protection. The Duo’s silicone is non-porous and moisture-resistant which means you can safely handle your iPad no matter how dirty your hands. You can also remove and wash the Duo with hot water and detergent if required. The Duo is safe for everyone. Its premium silicone is ideal for children and does not contain chemicals such as Phthalates, BPAs, PVC or lead. Perfect for your home! Exclusive to the iSkin silicone is embedded Microban® antimicrobial protection which inhibits the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria and fungus on the product. Microban® is FDA-approved and used in many of today’s consumer products.

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The review unit we were sent is the Cosmo (pink/rose) color.

The iPad slips into it quite simply, but the fit is tight enough to keep the device securely inside once it is there.

The dark frame around the iPad’s bezel looks nice and has a bit of added texture which is great when you are grabbing the device to carry it from one place to the other.

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The Home button is covered and therefore protected, but because it has a different texture and the circle of the button is lower than the rest of the material around the bezel, you can find and activate it without having to look; it is a nice design choice.

The cutout on the button provides access to the Dock Connector and has open holes for the speaker so sound is not muffled.

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You might be wondering why so much material is cut out around the Dock Connector and the material in the center of the back looks thinner.

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The answer to that is simple — the gap in the material is wide enough to accommodate the sync/charge or keyboard dock. In this stock photo you can also see some slightly thicker and differently textured material on both the lower left and right sides. These make gripping the iPad easier and more secure. By NOT having this thicker material in the center of the lower portion iSkin ensures that you can easily dock and undock the iPad. Again, these are some good design choices.

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The upper portion of the case has a cutout for the light sensor. The rotation toggle (or mute switch in OS 4.2) is open and accessible. It is fairly easy to activate but, as is so often the case with and case, the material around it makes accessing it a tiny bit more of a challenge.

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The microphone is always accessible but the 3.5mm headphone jack has a protector that can easily be pulled back when you want to plug in any sort of speaker or headphone.

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The left side has no cutouts or changes of interest. The case simply protects the entire side.

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In all the iSkin Duo is an excellent fit, offers good protection to everything but the iPad’s screen and feels nice in the hand. It is well though out and nicely executed. As silicon iPad cases go this is a great choice. The range of colors is nice, bt the MSRP of $49.99 may strike some potential buyers pause before ordering. At the same time I should note that iSkin’s products are not only thoughtfully designed and well-constructed but they hold up beautifully over time. Elana is using one of the cases with her BlackBerry and, a year later, it is still going strong. Buy cheap and you likely get cheap. Buy quality and you get a product that looks good and lasts well.

You can see the full range of colors for the iSkin Duo for iPad over on iSkin’s site.

MSRP: $49.99

What I Like: Good protection; great fit; cutouts perfectly designed; still lets you dock the iPad while it is in the skin; provides nice grip on the otherwise slippery device; wide range of color choices

What Needs Improvement: Priced a bit high; no screen protection

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him.

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