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First Look: Apple's new iPad 2 Smart Cover ships in smart packaging

post #1 of 57
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If you pick out an iPad 2 Smart Cover and decide you don't like the color, it's easy to exchange without destroying the packaging, thanks to a new "frustration free" retail box.

The $39.99 in polyurethane or $69.99 in leather, magnetically retained iPad 2 Smart Covers are presented in a retail package that doesn't require scissors to open. Instead, there's an adhesive-backed tab that holds the cardboard back of the box to its clear plastic front.

Once peeled up, the box opens to reveal a recyclable plastic film that slides out of place to access the Smart Cover itself.







Available in both several colors of polyurethane (blue, green, orange, pink and grey) or "aniline-dyed Italian leather" (cream, tan, black, dark blue and red), the Smart Covers snap in place, then roll up to form a tall stand optimized for FaceTime or watching a movie, or a flatter stand for touch typing on the virtual keyboard or playing games.



Inside, the Smart Cover has a soft side that helps pick up smudges and dust. And while the new cover fits the previous iPad, it doesn't work with it because that model lacks the magnets that the new cover needs to hold on and snap into place.









post #2 of 57
While the Smart Cover is probably the most clever invention of the last several decades, I would personally prefer the old case. The new one appears to lack a "open and hold in your hands, but don't detach the cover" mode.
post #3 of 57
I too was impressed by the packaging.

Some milestones here. iFixit does teardown of a case/cover for the first time and AI does an article on the box the case/cover comes in.
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post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

While the Smart Cover is probably the most clever invention of the last several decades, I would personally prefer the old case. The new one appears to lack a "open and hold in your hands, but don't detach the cover" mode.

I haven’t found that to be a problem. I fold it over, but I can let is flop to the side and open with gusto without the hinge detaching. I have to be deliberate to get hinge to come off.
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post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

While the Smart Cover is probably the most clever invention of the last several decades

wow. i just spat coffee all over my monitor (luckily it missed my macbook).

neat and cute sure. but probably a few inventions of the last several decades that i'd put ahead of it.

eg PCs, cellphones, the internet, the iPhone...
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post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

wow. i just spat coffee all over my monitor (luckily it missed my macbook).

neat and cute sure. but probably a few inventions of the last several decades that i'd put ahead of it.

eg PCs, cellphones, the internet, the iPhone...

I never said useful, or important to society. I specifically said clever.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I havent found that to be a problem. I fold it over, but I can let is flop to the side and open with gusto without the hinge detaching. I have to be deliberate to get hinge to come off.

Not the right thread in which to be asking you this, but nevermind:

Are you having more joy with the iPad vis-a-vis web browsing? I know you were frustrated by iPad 1's constant reloading when switching to background tabs.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

I never said useful, or important to society. I specifically said clever.

to that end, on the clever and market defining products in the past decades....
- post-it notes.

- viagra.

and both borne of failure (post-its were supposed to be a glue that didn't unstick, and viagra was supposed to be a Hypertension/angina medicine... temporary priapism was just a useful side effect).
post #9 of 57
I'm honestly almost as excited about getting the Smart Cover as I am for the iPad2 itself.
post #10 of 57
Does it work, stick to iPad 1 ?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Not the right thread in which to be asking you this, but nevermind:

Are you having more joy with the iPad vis-a-vis web browsing? I know you were frustrated by iPad 1's constant reloading when switching to background tabs.

Much better, but there is still an issue that I experienced yesterday with AI reloading after I wrote a long message that refreshed when I came back to the page. I didnt leave the Safari app and only had 3 pages open. I havent had it happen since.

My other major issue was also resolved. The iPad case was too bulky to use with the dock and was too cumbersome to take on and off as needed. I love this Smart Cover! It makes the iPad 2 absolutely brilliant, IMO. See, now the thread is back on track.
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post #12 of 57
Too bad they didn't think of frustration free packaging for their Mighty Mouse, Universal Remote, or In-Ear Headphones. Those things are glued together like a virgin.
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Does it work, stick to iPad 1 ?

I would think it wouldnt since aluminum isnt a ferrous metal. Even if it did stick to some steel components inside I dont think it would be wise since the first iPad wasnt designed alongside the cover and the way it sticks to the curved bezel of the iPad 2 would make it a bad fit.
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post #14 of 57
I’m waiting for iFixit to do a teardown of the Smart Cover packaging and for iSuppi to list its BoM.
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post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

I never said useful, or important to society. I specifically said clever.

Yep, i understand.

And for sure it's clever. My point is simply that I think are likely hundreds (if not thousands) of inventions from the last few decades that people will look back on as even "clever-er" than a magnetic screen cover.

Take the Steripen for example that purifies drinking water using light in seconds... this is extremely clever!

http://www.steripen.com/

No biggie though, and don't wish to derail thread. The cases are cool, look forward to getting one etc etc, just find the hyperbole on this site a little over the top sometimes...
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post #16 of 57
When folded up to become a stand, does the inside become the outside as per the promo video? Stands to reason that you could open up the possibility of picking up dirt and scratching the screen.

I think it is a really clever idea and well executed, but if I were getting an iPad 2, I'd much prefer protection to the back of the device as well. These devices are ground up portable and should be protected as such. That's why I why I like the apple case on my first gen. The seams actually provide a buffer against falls.
post #17 of 57
I ordered one, but I think I would prefer something that covers the back of the iPad 2, too. (to).
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Much better

Glad to hear it

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

but there is still an issue that I experienced yesterday with AI reloading after I wrote a long message that refreshed when I came back to the page. I didn’t leave the Safari app and only had 3 pages open. I haven’t had it happen since.

I hate it when something like that happens

As a backup, when I'm writing long replies on message boards, I do a quick "select-all, copy" every so often. That way if something goes awry with the browser, I've still got my hard work "saved" on the clipboard.
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

As a backup, when I'm writing long replies on message boards, I do a quick "select-all, copy" every so often. That way if something goes awry with the browser, I've still got my hard work "saved" on the clipboard.

I long ago got into that same habit with the iPad 1. I was going that route when I stopped myself. I thought This is the iPad 2 with 512MB RAM. I dont need to do that anymore. Time to break that habit. Oops!
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post #20 of 57
I'm sorry, but I don't like the new iPad 2 cover. While it covers the display, it doesn't really protect it from breakage. The old iPad cover was very protective. Enough so that you could kind of toss it around. I dropped it several times without even thinking that it could've broken.

The new cover doesn't protect the back or the sides. There's going to be damage unless you drop it right on the cover...and the glass could break easily if dropped on its side.

I also find that the cover doesn't feel comfortable when fully folded back. As a result, I'm constantly taking it off, which I'm imagining will ultimately lead to scratching.

Speaking of scratching, since it doesn't do anything for the back, it will get scratches simply by having it slide around on hard surfaces.

While I like the use of magnets and the auto-wake/sleep, the cover doesn't work as a lazy-bed stand. You can't lay on your back with the iPad 2 on your chest propped up with the cover like you could before, making it completely unfappable for dualies.

I haven't seen any 3rd parties actually shipping that are any good or take advantage of the magnets, anyone else?
post #21 of 57
I'm vacationing in Japan now (keep positive hopes and thoughts for the people here) and saw this on a Japanese website. Seems Apple may have gotten the idea for the iPad cover from a popular Japanese bath cover:

post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Does it work, stick to iPad 1 ?

Why don't you read the article? Maybe the answer lies within.

Try starting with the very last sentence.
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I’m waiting for iFixit to do a teardown of the Smart Cover packaging and for iSuppi to list its BoM.

I'm waiting for Apple to put up a high production value video of the making of the packaging for the Smart Cover, complete with earnest testimonials from the design team regarding the deeper human values in play.
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post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

The new cover doesn't protect the back or the sides. There's going to be damage unless you drop it right on the cover...and the glass could break easily if dropped on its side.

It's not meant to be heavy duty protection. More of a prop/stand than anything else. I suspect a lot of people who buy the Smart Cover will opt to also use some type of sleeve case as well.
post #25 of 57
I picked up the Cream leather cover on Friday and it already has some finger prints on it. I tried a leather cleaner and it didn't seem to do much good. I checked both the Apple store and their website and nothing about cleaning.

Anyone have any suggestions?

The cover works great (has three positions: rolled on the side so you can grab it and hold the iPad2 with one hand, rolled across that top (button on left) so that the iPad lays flatter for typing, and rolled at the bottom so that the iPad2 stands nearly vertically for displaying pictures (button on right)).

It doesn't provide much protection for the back, but I am assuming that it will only be a matter of weeks before someone develops half shell case with magnets that will just slip on the back yet still allow the Apple cover to be used. I stopped by a stationary store today and purchases one of those sliver mylar bubble sleeves for toting it around until something better comes along. Its big enough that it will also hold some adaptors and cables.

Check out the Alibaba.com website for dozens of Chinese designed cases waiting for large orders before going into production.
post #26 of 57
I haven't handled any of these yet, but I find that I prefer the color selections of the leather Smart Cover. Does anyone who has handled both find a preference in function?
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post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I haven't handled any of these yet, but I find that I prefer the color selections of the leather Smart Cover. Does anyone who has handled both find a preference in function?

I prefer the leather cover colors and feel.

Im not sure what you mean by "preference in function" unless you are referring to the old and new Apple-made case/cover accessory. I can see why some would want the extra protection, but Im glad Apple went the other way with the Smart Cover. I suppose it just depends on your needs and interest. Personally, Im okay with getting scratches on my iPad so long as its not on the glass.
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post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm waiting for Apple to put up a high production value video of the making of the packaging for the Smart Cover, complete with earnest testimonials from the design team regarding the deeper human values in play.

Jon Ive: We start with 100% recycled paper"
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post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Jon Ive: “We start with 100% recycled paper…"

Jon: "...When you can reatedly take out and put back a product in its retail packaging without damaging the packaging, it truly becomes magical..."
post #30 of 57
This is a fun thread.
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post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

I'm vacationing in Japan now (keep positive hopes and thoughts for the people here) and saw this on a Japanese website. Seems Apple may have gotten the idea for the iPad cover from a popular Japanese bath cover:


They could have gotten the idea from a '60s movie for a pool clover, as well.
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Seems Apple may have gotten the idea for the iPad cover from a popular Japanese bath cover:


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

They could have gotten the idea from a '60s movie for a pool clover, as well.

Show me a pool cover photo that has almost the identical color, folds - pleats, and style of the Japanese bath cover and I'll concede.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

While the Smart Cover is probably the most clever invention of the last several decades, I would personally prefer the old case. The new one appears to lack a "open and hold in your hands, but don't detach the cover" mode.

Hate the dumb cover. Love the original case. Using paper hole punch for the rear camera, Xacto Knife to cut speaker rectangle and mic hole in top. Save $39 and get further use out of the original iPad case for another year.

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2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
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64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I prefer the leather cover colors and feel.

Im not sure what you mean by "preference in function" unless you are referring to the old and new Apple-made case/cover accessory. I can see why some would want the extra protection, but Im glad Apple went the other way with the Smart Cover. I suppose it just depends on your needs and interest. Personally, Im okay with getting scratches on my iPad so long as its not on the glass.

Sorry, I knew my "preferences in function" question was unfinished. I actually didn't mean to post it, I was going to drop it but I got distracted...

What I was trying to get at is: I assume that the leather feels better (being leather and all) but I wondered if there was a difference in the way the covers hold to the back when open--does one type offer a little more grip/friction with the back of the iPad or in the hand? Is there a difference in flexability/stiffness when bending at the folds? That sort of thing.

I agree with your scratches sentiment. I've never been one to worry to much about scratches on the backs of things (iPods, iPhones, laptops)--I love the battle scars my old TiBook has! Sure, when they are new I hold my electronics like children for a day or two, but who wants to live like that?
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post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

I'm sorry, but I don't like the new iPad 2 cover. While it covers the display, it doesn't really protect it from breakage. The old iPad cover was very protective. Enough so that you could kind of toss it around. I dropped it several times without even thinking that it could've broken.

The new cover doesn't protect the back or the sides. There's going to be damage unless you drop it right on the cover...and the glass could break easily if dropped on its side.

I also find that the cover doesn't feel comfortable when fully folded back. As a result, I'm constantly taking it off, which I'm imagining will ultimately lead to scratching.

Speaking of scratching, since it doesn't do anything for the back, it will get scratches simply by having it slide around on hard surfaces.

While I like the use of magnets and the auto-wake/sleep, the cover doesn't work as a lazy-bed stand. You can't lay on your back with the iPad 2 on your chest propped up with the cover like you could before, making it completely unfappable for dualies.

I haven't seen any 3rd parties actually shipping that are any good or take advantage of the magnets, anyone else?

I agree 100% with this mini-review! I actually bought an iPad last Friday and a smart cover, but had to return them due to light leaks and a yellowy screen on one side. I've decided to wait a while in the meantime, since there weren't any replacement units and because I wasn't very excited about the smart cover -- I want to see what third-party cases come out. I currently have an iPad 1 with the Apple case, and that case is just about perfect, for the reasons mentioned above. I really wish Apple would release an iPad 2 version of that case!!
post #36 of 57
My biggest issue with it is that it leaves lines on the screen that just happen to correspond to the pattern of the case... Great idea.. but add together finger oils, lint & dust, and a pattern and you get a screen that needs cleaning more often that it does without the cover. I think its ALMOST brilliant. It has a coolness factor, but it is far from perfect.
As soon as Otterbox brings out a case for the iPad 2, I'll have a magnetic cover for sale...
post #37 of 57
Wow. I just spat tea on my computer.

He was probably being sarcastic (like my first sentence)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

wow. i just spat coffee all over my monitor (luckily it missed my macbook).

neat and cute sure. but probably a few inventions of the last several decades that i'd put ahead of it.

eg PCs, cellphones, the internet, the iPhone...
post #38 of 57
Am I the only one who is bugged by the "Fast forward" look of some of the iPad 2 videos? You can see it in the Smart Cover demo, or the clip showing the teacher using the HDMI out dongle.

It's like they just took their footage and pushed the fast-forward button. Or artificially increased the frame rate. Grr! OK, I know no one else cares. It just gives this super cheap look to their videos, which are usually top notch.

Anyway, my iPad made it to Alaska from China! Halfway there, buddy!
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Jon: "...When you can reatedly take out and put back a product in its retail packaging without damaging the packaging, it truly becomes magical..."

"There's a sensation of discovery, almost as if the product were being created anew each time it's returned to its packaging. It's a profound felling of rebirth, of imagining the possible and then going beyond even that."
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post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

As a backup, when I'm writing long replies on message boards, I do a quick "select-all, copy" every so often. That way if something goes awry with the browser, I've still got my hard work "saved" on the clipboard.

I do that on every forum, whether using my regular computer or my iPhone. Every so often a quick CMD-C on the computer or a Copy on the iPhone, and then for sure one at the end just before I hit Send.

I do NOT like it when the web site does not accept my Reply and I have to rewrite it.

I know people who write a dozen paragraphs without ever doing a CMD-C and then complain for another half dozen paragraphs about how they lost their Reply!

And don't get me started about people who don't do a CMD-S as soon as they start a document and then every couple of minutes afterward.

Oh, and I think the SmartCover is cool, and if you want to protect the back more, get something like a GelaSkin. (Back on topic!)
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