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Apple iPad 2 Smart Cover review: Apple iPad 2 Smart Cover

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The Good Attaches to the iPad 2 magnetically; folds quickly into a stand; light; automatically wakes and puts the iPad 2 to sleep.

The Bad Doesn't protect the edges or sides of the iPad 2; flaps about when open; stand doesn't work in portrait mode.

The Bottom Line Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad 2 is a good solution if you like travelling light, but still want to protect your tablet's screen. Its ability to fold into a stand is also very handy.

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7.5 Overall

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Apple's made a glamorous, Pixar-inspired movie to entice you into purchasing the Smart Cover, which aims to protect the front of your iPad 2. The Smart Cover isn't so sexy in person, but its simplicity means we won't be taking ours off. It's not suitable for true gadget abusers, though, and it can be annoyingly flappy at times.

The fabric version of the case costs £35, while the leather one will set you back £59.

Magnetic attraction

The best thing about the Smart Cover is that it attaches to the iPad 2 via the magic of magnetism. The Smart Cover's hinged side connects to the side of the iPad 2 with a satisfying click, and the cover itself clings to the tablet's screen like a baby monkey clings to its mother.

The Smart Cover can fold into a stand that allows you to put the iPad 2 at a steep angle, for watching videos...

We were always taught to keep magnets away from computers, but apparently those days are over, since there are magnets in both the case and the tablet. That's why you can't use the Smart Cover with the original iPad -- the older tablet doesn't have a sufficiently magnetic personality. 

When prised from the screen, the cover flaps about freely. To stop it doing so, you have to hold it against the back of the tablet with your hand. In this state, the Smart Cover is at its least impressive. It doesn't fit neatly behind the iPad 2, and it even protrudes slightly, depending on how the hinge is sitting, potentially digging into your hand.

But one bonus is that the case will stick to metal surfaces, so you can stick your iPad 2 to your fridge. Just don't blame us if the magnets fail and you end up crying over a smashed screen.

The magnets also mean that the iPad 2 knows when the cover is closed, so it goes to sleep automatically. It also wakes up when you open the cover. If you don't like this feature, you can turn it off in the iPad 2's settings menu. 

Stand and deliver

The Smart Cover is divided into four differently sized sections, so that you can fold the case into a triangular stand. Once you get the hang of it, it's very quick to do.

You can lean the iPad 2 against the stand so that it's at a steep angle, for watching videos, or a shallow angle, for typing and swiping. We were anxious, at first, that the stand was too wobbly. But we used it to watch video on a moving train without any problems and, after spending plenty of time with it, we've come to rely on it.

If you use the stand on a sloped surface, such as your lap, sometimes it won't sit still. If the angle of the surface is steep enough, the weight of the iPad 2 pulls it down, and the stand flips over to the front of the tablet. 

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