I’m loving my iPad 2. Thanks to its thinner design and slightly lighter weight I find even easier to use than its predecessor. And the speed, well the speed is amazing. My biggest frustration with the iPad 2 is that the protective back shells I have for the original iPad don’t work due to the slight change in shape and size. That means my iPad 2 spent its first week with nothing protecting the back. I did finally get DODOcase BOOKback but that doesn’t protect the sides of the iPad. That’s where the new Tuffwrap Shine for iPad 2 from XtremeMac comes in.
The Tuffwrap Shine pretty much covers every part of the iPad 2 except the screen. That means you can now grab your iPad 2 and use it without fear of scratching the back when you put it down.
Here’s a closer look at one of the earliest ways to protect the back and sides of the iPad 2.
Protect your iPad with style and shine. XtremeMac’s Tuffwrap Shine is a durable form-fitting case that protects your iPad from damage. While the soft material provides added grip without adding bulk, the high gloss finish adds a touch of style.
Durable form-fitting case for iPad 2
Full access to switches, jacks and camera
Soft touch material for nonslip grip
Border wraps around iPad face for added protection
Available in Clear, Black or Pink
As you can see, when the TuffWrap Shine is on the iPad 2 you can barely notice it is there. Yes, there is a slight border that is added along the edges of the device but that it the only indicator that full-body protection is in place.
I suspect that is the idea with the TuffWrap Shine; protect the iPad’s body with minimal disruption to the device’s look and functionality.
As you might expect, the dock connector is full accessible when you are using the ToughWrap Shine. I did not encounter any issue when trying a variety of cables. Of course, you cannot DOCK the iPad 2 when the case is on but that should be no surprise to anyone who has used a case like this.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is accessible, as is the microphone that Apple placed in the upper edge of the iPad. On the left you can just make out the sleep/awake button. It is covered but fully functional.
My biggest annoyance with the iPad 2 is that, due to the sharply tapered sides, the volume rocker and mute/rotation switch are angled toward the back and, as a result, more difficult to access. The ToughWrap Shine does not alleviate this issue but it does not add to it either. The Volume rocker is covered while the mute/rotation switch is open and accessible.
The key to the case is that it is as simple as possible while it completely covers the back of the iPad 2.
Here is a look at the top half of the iPad 2’s back with the ToughWrap Shine is on. As you can see, the cutouts are precise.
An even closer work shows just how well the case functions as a “skin” that tightly wraps the iPad.
Of course there is a cutout for the new, larger speaker-grill. Sadly it does nothing to improve the sound coming from Apple’s yet-again-rediculously-anemic-mono-speaker.
The company felt the need to add their name to the case but at least they were thoughtful enough to do it in a rather subtle manner.
In all, the ToughWrap Shine accomplishes what it sets out to do. When placed on the iPad 2 it leaves the screen exposed and useable while covering the back and sides of the device with a thin, but tough, layer of protection. Unfortunately it suffers from one fatal flaw. One of the attractions of the iPad 2 is not the iPad itself but the amazing SmartCover Apple rolled out with the iPad 2. That (overpriced) accessory has the potential to transform the experience of using the iPad 2. (No, that is not an overstatement and in an upcoming post I will expand on that.) The SmartCover is a “must-have” iPad accessory. If you have one and you get the ToughWrap Shine it is pretty much an either/or proposition. If you use one you cannot effectively use the other. This is simply because the SmartCover attaches to the iPad 2 along the side via magnets. The ToughWrap covers that side and, as a result, does not let the SmartCover make contact with the iPad. In other words, if you love using the SmartCover this probably isn’t the case for you. If you are not wed to the SmartCover, however, there is a lot to like here.
The ToughWrap Shine comes in Clear, Black and Pink and can be ordered directly from XtremeMac.
What I Like: Covers everything but the screen; doesn’t add much bulk or weight; priced well
What Needs Improvement: Not compatible with Apple’s SmartCover