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The iPad 2's best case scenario: Smart Cover-friendly cases (updated)

Does a back cover plus Apple's Smart Cover equal the perfect iPad 2 case? We look at some Smart Cover-compatible solutions and put them to the test.

Belkin's Snap Shield: one of my favorite Smart Cover-compatible iPad 2 covers to date.
Belkin's Snap Shield: One of my favorite Smart Cover-compatible iPad 2 covers to date. Sarah Tew/CNET
Updated July 13, 2011, with new Smart Cover-compatible back covers.

When I bought my iPad 2, I noticed immediately that the perfect case for my new iPad might not resemble what I bought for my old one. I was a big fan of Apple's microfiber case for my original iPad. However, like many iPad 2 owners, I bought a Smart Cover. I like its magnetic easy on/off flexibility, but it doesn't play nicely with many iPad 2 cases.

That's starting to change now, thankfully. The Smart Cover offers front protection, but what I was looking for was a good back protector. It seemed to me that a good back cover, plus the Smart Cover, would the best case scenario for the iPad 2.

Since I last wrote this post, some new solutions have hit the market. Click through to see some of the best Smart Cover-compatible back covers we've seen so far for the iPad 2, along with hands-on impressions of each. As of this update, my favorite is Belkin's Snap Shield, followed closely by Speck's SmartShell (thanks to some readers below for the research recommendations).

Related links
• What's the iPad 2's best case scenario?
• iPad 2 case roundup
• Searching for the perfect iPad bag

Do you prefer a Smart Cover/back cover combo, or do you like a different case solution? Have you found your ideal best case scenario? Sound off below.