iPad 2 Case Review: The Joy Factory SmartGrip2

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We have already taken a look at some of the iPad 2 cases that are now being released that work with Apple’s Smart Covers. The other day Jamie reviewed a case that picks up where Apple’s screen protection leaves off. Here’s another example of a case that lets you also use the Smart Cover you may already own.

This one comes from The Joy Factory. We reviewed their SmartSuit2 and loved it. (I’m still using it as one of my two “daily drivers”.) The company also offers the SmartGrip2. It is a simple case that hugs the back and sides of the iPad while still allowing you to use Apple’s covers. Here’s a look.

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From The Joy Factory:

iPads can be slippery! Get a good grip on your iPad2 with the SmartGrip2 iPad2 case from The Joy Factory. Made with durable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), this transparent, elastic case fits snuggly over your Apple® Smart Cover® to protect your iPad2 against wear, scratches and dents. TPU resists abrasion, oil, grease, and temperature changes, keeping your iPad2 clean and protected. SmartGrip2 won’t interfere with the magnetic capabilities of your Apple Smart Cover. You can use them both to ensure a secure, slip-free grip and the best possible protection for your iPad2. Well-placed openings make it easy for you to get to the controls you use the most—like the camera, speakers and key buttons. SmartGrip2’s attractive frosted matte finish is available in two colors—smoke or clear—to suit your personal style.

• Slips on the back of your iPad2 to protect the edges against wear, without interfering with the magnetic functionality of your Smart Cover.

• Made with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), an elastic, transparent material that resists oil, grease, scratches and temperature changes.

• Provides a secure, slip-free grip so you won’t drop your iPad2.

• Protects edges against wear without interfering with your Smart Cover.

• Clean, attractive frosted, matte finish—available in smoke or clear.

• Well-placed openings for easy access to the iPad2 speaker, cameras and buttons.

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Like the SmartSuit2, the SmartGrip2 comes in a simple package that includes a reuseable plastic bag. The insert inside gives some basic information but nothing more.

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The SmartGrip2 is a simple product. When you look at the interior of the case you might think the Joy Factory logo is big, white and obnoxious. Here’s the thing: from the inside it is.

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But from the outside it is not.

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In fact, you will only see the logo when the case has light shining through it at just the right angle. I love that!

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The SmartGrip2 slips on the iPad with ease. It isn’t that it is loose and will fall off but it is not nearly as tight as some other shells I have reviewed.

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You can see just how good the fit is in this image.

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The back shows how nice the translucent material the company uses is. It lets the Apple logo show through just enough.

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The cutouts are sized well and the cuts are finished nicely. There are no rough edges.

The company didn’t make the cutouts around the key buttons and access point too big… Or too small. In fact I would judge them to be “just right”!

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The key to a cover like this is the cutout along the side where the iPad’s Smart Cover is attached. In this case they left off just enough material to accommodate the smart Cover.

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This is how it looks when the cover is attached.

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And from the front you do not know it is even there.

This case does exactly what the company says it will. It lets you use Apple’s Smart Covers but also protect the back and edges of the iPad and adds some “grip” to the device. When both the SmartGrip2 and the Smart Cover are in place it pretty much replicates the look of the company’s SmartSuit 2. And that’s where the question comes in. Does a new iPad 2 owner buy the SmartSuit2 or the combination shown above? I went into this review thinking that this combination would be better since it lets me use the iPad 2 with or without the Smart Cover. After using both I’m no longer sure and here is why. The SmartGrip2 DOES let you remove the cover and use the iPad 2 without the added bulk and weight of the Smart Cover. But once the cover it removed an entire side of the iPad is exposed. The reason you use the SmartGrip2 in the first place is to protect the back and sides of the device and removing the cover defeats that purpose. At the end of the day I’m left with this:

If you want the option to change the color of your iPad’s cover get the SmartGrip2.

If you want the option to use your iPad 2 without a cover get the SmartGrip2.

If you want the iPad 2 as protected as possible but want a folio case that has the smart sleep/awake functionality, get the SmartSuit2.
Either way you can’t go wrong.

You can check out colors and order the SmartGrip2 directly from The Joy Factory Website.

MSRP: $29.95

What I Like: Light; well made; lets you still use Apple’s Smart Covers; translucent so you can see the Apple logo

What Needs Improvement: Nothing but think through how you want to use and protect your iPad before ordering since the company offers a few different choices

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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. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.