Apple released their iPad Smart Case for their latest iteration of the iPad (4th Generation 2012). Does it provide the same level of protection as its predecessor? Find out in the full review after the break!
Our review sample was the specialty Product(RED). The vibrancy of the RED really popped right out of the box. The smooth felt feel of the case was not only fingerprint resistant but withstood our daily usage tests well. No dirt or oils really stuck to the case itself, in a way the felt surface actually cleaned a portion of the iPad screen (during the times when the case cover touched the surface of the iPad itself).
We honestly could have done without the Apple logo on the back of the case, while it did match with the color of the case, we felt that without the logo it would be a much simpler and cleaner look. One element we did notice was the cut out for the new lighting connector on the bottom of the case. It was quite a bit larger than the lighting port. We felt that Apple’s decision to leave the cut out as is was to allow for the iPad Smart Case to be usable for both the current iteration as well as past iterations that used the 30-pin connector.
While this may have saved Apple money in production, it did not make us feel that the case was made for the current generation and, in all honesty, it felt that Apple held cost a priority over user experience. We love to see clean lines and cases which are custom made for the device we test, in this situation it really felt that Apple just believed like they could slide by without updating the iPad Smart Case.
All the other fittings and cut outs matched well with the iPad. No obstructions were seen when we tested out the camera on the iPad 4th Gen and all the keys were easily depressed when needed. We especially like the volume up and down covers which fully protected the volume rocker switch beneath. This was also seen in the standby/wake key as well.
Another downside to the case was the front cover. While it did offer magnetic on/off for the screen, it did not fully cover to the edge of the case. As you can see in the above photo there appears to be a lip that is present along 3 sides of the case. We would have preferred the case cover reach the edge of the case itself.
Even with these shortcomings, the case functioned well in keyboard mode or movie watching mode. Both felt sturdy in their rigidity to withstand even the bumpiest of plane rides.
Overall we feel that the iPad Smart Case cover really lacked in many ways as while it did provide scratch protection and additional benefits, they did not outweigh the fact that the iPad Smart Case for the 4th Gen iPad was really meant as a universal case which could be interchangeable with the previous generation. Combine that with the fact that the iPad Smart Case cover did not even provide a flush front to the case itself, really disappointed. We feel that there are much better alternatives on the market for the iPad 4th Gen (especially at the $49.00 price point) and unless you are just one of those who prefer an Apple branded case, we would suggest you look elsewhere.