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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.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
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
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Updated July 13, 2011, with new Smart Cover-compatible back covers.

iPad 2 Smart Cover-compatible cases (photos)

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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.