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View Full Version : [iPad] Getting the iPad 4 for Xmas, do I want a Smart Cover or something else?




Tydog07
Dec 15, 2012, 11:43 PM
I'm getting an iPad 4 for Christmas and I want to get a cover or case for it. I see the used smart covers go pretty cheap on eBay but I also see that monoprice makes some nice and simple covers too. I don't want to spend more than $30 or so on a case or cover so if you know of any standout recommendations, please pass them along. I don't want something too crazy looking and I don't need a hand strap on it, it also doesn't need to serve any other function except for protecting the iPad, or it's screen if I get a Smart Cover. Thoughts?



kodeman53
Dec 16, 2012, 04:31 AM
My thoughts are, read some the existing threads to learn what's available or search on Amazon for iPad cover, then read the reviews of the cheap ones.

Tydog07
Dec 16, 2012, 09:27 AM
Are all Apple smart covers the same? I see that there are a couple listings for the same smart cover on Amazon. See attached photo, as there are 2 black leather listings.

Tazzydnc
Dec 16, 2012, 12:14 PM
Are all Apple smart covers the same? I see that there are a couple listings for the same smart cover on Amazon. See attached photo, as there are 2 black leather listings.

from the reviews I've read, no. Most of the cheaper ones have weaker magnets, so they don't stay attached to the ipad as well, and don't hold the flap against the ipad as securely.

I'm a big fan of keyboard cases, especially the ones by Zagg. It instantly turned my iPad into a de-facto netbook.

If you're really set on the Smart Cover route, I recommend you get a back snap shell as well. I recommend this one: http://goincase.com/products/detail/magnetic-snap-case-cl60137

It allows you to position the ipad at a variety of angles when using a Smart Cover.

Fattytail
Dec 16, 2012, 01:52 PM
from the reviews I've read, no. Most of the cheaper ones have weaker magnets, so they don't stay attached to the ipad as well, and don't hold the flap against the ipad as securely.

I'm a big fan of keyboard cases, especially the ones by Zagg. It instantly turned my iPad into a de-facto netbook.

If you're really set on the Smart Cover route, I recommend you get a back snap shell as well. I recommend this one: http://goincase.com/products/detail/magnetic-snap-case-cl60137

It allows you to position the ipad at a variety of angles when using a Smart Cover.

Agreed on the snap on back shell. I've got the Smart Cover, which I love, and a Caudabe Shell for the back.
http://www.caudabe.com/collections/ipad-accessories/products/ipad-back-cover-shell-frost

LeeM
Dec 16, 2012, 02:14 PM
since the day i got my ipad 2 my recommendation has always been a combination of smart cover and zum sc ultimate. adds no bulk or weight, and offers decent protection.

Tydog07
Dec 16, 2012, 07:50 PM
I agree with you guys, I want to get a Smart Cover and just a shell for the back, maybe even just a skin. If you look at my photo, it appears there are two listings for the same apple made Smart Cover in black leather, can someone exam this?

Also, I thought about a keyboard case and if I needed to use it for real work, I would, but I have a MacBook Pro for that.

boshii
Dec 16, 2012, 07:53 PM
I agree with you guys, I want to get a Smart Cover and just a shell for the back, maybe even just a skin. If you look at my photo, it appears there are two listings for the same apple made Smart Cover in black leather, can someone exam this?

They're the same smart cover, just different sellers.

Tydog07
Dec 17, 2012, 09:52 AM
I'm thinking about getting an apple bluetooth keyboard, so for those of you who use a keyboard case or a smaller/thinner keyboard or an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, which do you prefer and why?

CDutch
Dec 17, 2012, 09:48 PM
I'm thinking about getting an apple bluetooth keyboard, so for those of you who use a keyboard case or a smaller/thinner keyboard or an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, which do you prefer and why?

I'm curious as well.

Infinitewisdom
Dec 18, 2012, 04:00 PM
I think the smart cover is a great product and I'd totally recommend it. Whether or not you want the back protected is up to you. If you do, I'd go with something like the Caudabe Shell, Incipio Smart Feather or some other hard shell. For back skins, try bestskinsever or sticker boy.

Tazzydnc
Dec 19, 2012, 01:54 AM
I'm thinking about getting an apple bluetooth keyboard, so for those of you who use a keyboard case or a smaller/thinner keyboard or an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, which do you prefer and why?

I prefer the keyboard case, specifically the zagg pro(plus). In terms of typing ergonomics, I'm not a huge fan of apple's BT keyboard, though I do like the design and how light it is. I feel just as comfortable typing on the zagg pro keyboard case as I do on a "full sized" laptop keyboard, however my hands are far from large.

I did a few quick online typing tests and it doesn't look like there's a significant difference in my typing speed or accuracy between the two.

Also, from what I've heard the Apple BT chews through alkaline batteries like termites through particle board, whereas the keyboard case is rechargeable and (supposedly) lasts for months. After a few good weeks of use, mine hasn't dropped in charge level at all.

since we're talking iPad accessories, obviously the keyboard cases have an advantage in that they are cases that protect your iPad and in turn take up less space. $$$ aside, it's a no brainer if you ask me.

Tydog07
Dec 19, 2012, 05:05 PM
I prefer the keyboard case, specifically the zagg pro(plus). In terms of typing ergonomics, I'm not a huge fan of apple's BT keyboard, though I do like the design and how light it is. I feel just as comfortable typing on the zagg pro keyboard case as I do on a "full sized" laptop keyboard, however my hands are far from large.

I did a few quick online typing tests and it doesn't look like there's a significant difference in my typing speed or accuracy between the two.

Also, from what I've heard the Apple BT chews through alkaline batteries like termites through particle board, whereas the keyboard case is rechargeable and (supposedly) lasts for months. After a few good weeks of use, mine hasn't dropped in charge level at all.

since we're talking iPad accessories, obviously the keyboard cases have an advantage in that they are cases that protect your iPad and in turn take up less space. $$$ aside, it's a no brainer if you ask me.

Thanks for the input, Monoprice has a few cheap options for keyboard cases so perhaps I'll start there.

Though I'm glad I have a leather smart cover coming, got a new genuine apple black leather for $17 shipped via ebay.




Can't tell if I want a skin or back case yet, any input on that?

rabidz7
Dec 19, 2012, 05:12 PM
You will need lots of chargers. Make sure they are iPad not iPhone chargers.

Tydog07
Dec 19, 2012, 08:47 PM
You will need lots of chargers. Make sure they are iPad not iPhone chargers.

Pardon?

Also,

apparently a lot of people like the ZUM SC Ultimate Back Case for the Ipad: http://www.amazon.com/ZUM-SCU-3-S-Ultimate-Smart-compatible/dp/B007PRCYRS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355971699&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=zum+sc+ultimate+for+ipad+4



I'd like to spend a little less than $20 for my back case. Anything similar to that, but less expensive?


What do people think of the Incipio Feather Case?

http://www.amazon.com/Incipio-IPAD-255-Smart-Feather-Ultralight/dp/B007JGBF2K/ref=sr_1_28?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355971911&sr=1-28&keywords=ipad+4+case

D.T.
Dec 19, 2012, 08:52 PM
Pardon?

Hahaha, exactly.

I toss my iPad4thG on the supplied charger (the OEM 4th gen comes with a 12W charger) about every 3rd or 4th day, in the evening when I'm shutting down, and it's ready the next morning for another 3 or days of use (I don't use it continuously, probably 3-4 hours a day).

Hooterville
Dec 20, 2012, 10:39 PM
Just get the Apple Smart cover and not some cheap crap from eBay.

SnowLeopard OSX
Dec 20, 2012, 10:43 PM
Just get the Apple Smart cover and not some cheap crap from eBay.

He's looking for a back case -- the smart cover won't do him any good :p

Here's what I use, it's a personal favorite and keeps your iPad secure -- I haven't taken my iPad out of it since I got it last month, nor do I plan on doing so!

http://goincase.com/products/images/CL60131/detail/ipad3bookjacketrevolutionblack07.jpg

http://goincase.com/products/detail/book-jacket-revolution-cl60131

thelookingglass
Dec 21, 2012, 02:20 AM
Agreed on the snap on back shell. I've got the Smart Cover, which I love, and a Caudabe Shell for the back.
http://www.caudabe.com/collections/ipad-accessories/products/ipad-back-cover-shell-frost

Just got the Caudabe for my dad on Amazon. A buck cheaper than on the Caudabe website. Even less if you're a Prime member and get free shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Caudabe-Shell-Frost-Premium-compatible/dp/B009RN10KK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356077981&sr=1-1&keywords=Caudabe+shell

Hooterville
Dec 21, 2012, 10:15 AM
He's looking for a back case -- the smart cover won't do him any good :p

Here's what I use, it's a personal favorite and keeps your iPad secure -- I haven't taken my iPad out of it since I got it last month, nor do I plan on doing so!

Image (http://goincase.com/products/images/CL60131/detail/ipad3bookjacketrevolutionblack07.jpg)

http://goincase.com/products/detail/book-jacket-revolution-cl60131

I meant to say Smart Case by Apple. :rolleyes:

Tydog07
Dec 23, 2012, 07:27 AM
He's looking for a back case -- the smart cover won't do him any good :p

Here's what I use, it's a personal favorite and keeps your iPad secure -- I haven't taken my iPad out of it since I got it last month, nor do I plan on doing so!

Image (http://goincase.com/products/images/CL60131/detail/ipad3bookjacketrevolutionblack07.jpg)

http://goincase.com/products/detail/book-jacket-revolution-cl60131

I appreciate the suggestion, but I already got a black/leather smart cover from Apple.

Just got the Caudabe for my dad on Amazon. A buck cheaper than on the Caudabe website. Even less if you're a Prime member and get free shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Caudabe-Shell-Frost-Premium-compatible/dp/B009RN10KK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356077981&sr=1-1&keywords=Caudabe+shell

It seems that the Caudabe, Incipio Feather and ZUM SC Ultimate all run very similar to each other, anyone care to comment on the differences in quality/features?

Also, I want to get a black or smoke case and not a clear one, I've seen clear cases on things such as Macbook's and I just don't like it as much as something with at least a tint on it like smoke or straight black.

Links for the products I'm considering are below:

Zum SC Ultimate $20: http://www.amazon.com/ZUM-SCU-3-S-Ultimate-Smart-compatible/dp/B007PRCYRS/ref=pd_sim_pc_1

Incipio Feather $19: http://www.amazon.com/Incipio-IPAD-255-Smart-Feather-Ultralight/dp/B007JGBF2K/ref=sr_1_28?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355971911&sr=1-28&keywords=ipad+4+case

Caudabe ~$22: http://www.caudabe.com/collections/ipad-accessories/products/ipad-backcover-shell-pianoblack


Though, I think we can all agree these are pretty damn similar.

----------

Is the ZUM SC Ultimate the only offering that has a smart cover lock? This feature seems pretty desirable.

thelookingglass
Dec 23, 2012, 11:13 AM
I appreciate the suggestion, but I already got a black/leather smart cover from Apple.



It seems that the Caudabe, Incipio Feather and ZUM SC Ultimate all run very similar to each other, anyone care to comment on the differences in quality/features?

Also, I want to get a black or smoke case and not a clear one, I've seen clear cases on things such as Macbook's and I just don't like it as much as something with at least a tint on it like smoke or straight black.

Links for the products I'm considering are below:

Zum SC Ultimate $20: http://www.amazon.com/ZUM-SCU-3-S-Ultimate-Smart-compatible/dp/B007PRCYRS/ref=pd_sim_pc_1

Incipio Feather $19: http://www.amazon.com/Incipio-IPAD-255-Smart-Feather-Ultralight/dp/B007JGBF2K/ref=sr_1_28?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355971911&sr=1-28&keywords=ipad+4+case

Caudabe ~$22: http://www.caudabe.com/collections/ipad-accessories/products/ipad-backcover-shell-pianoblack


Though, I think we can all agree these are pretty damn similar.

----------

Is the ZUM SC Ultimate the only offering that has a smart cover lock? This feature seems pretty desirable.

I think the Incipio Smart Feather (as opposed to just feather) has the same locking mechanism as the Zum. I personally don't like that. There are times when I want to just take off my Smart Cover, and that's a hassle if you have it locked in. Plus, because of the added bulk of that locking mechanism, I find the Smart Cover doesn't sit flat when it's folded around. Just my two cents.

eatmyjustice
Dec 26, 2012, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the input everyone... I received an iPad as a gift and I'm also considering cases. So far, I like the combination of a smart cover and a shell for the back. Does the smart cover come off so easily that it's worth getting the Zum shell that locks the smart cover into place?

Infinitewisdom
Dec 26, 2012, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the input everyone... I received an iPad as a gift and I'm also considering cases. So far, I like the combination of a smart cover and a shell for the back. Does the smart cover come off so easily that it's worth getting the Zum shell that locks the smart cover into place?

Depends on how you use it. But it hasn't come off inadvertently at all in my experience and I like the flexibility of being able to detach it from time to time.

boshii
Dec 26, 2012, 10:59 PM
Does the smart cover come off so easily that it's worth getting the Zum shell that locks the smart cover into place?

The Smart Cover doesn't come off easily at all. It may slide around a but without detaching but I have a skin on mine and haven't found that to be a problem. I like to remove mine while in use then attach it when I'm done.

All I use is a back skin and the Smart Cover. The mini is way too thin and lightweight for me to weight it down with anything else.

Tydog07
Dec 27, 2012, 06:54 PM
Thanks for the input everyone... I received an iPad as a gift and I'm also considering cases. So far, I like the combination of a smart cover and a shell for the back. Does the smart cover come off so easily that it's worth getting the Zum shell that locks the smart cover into place?

Have you made a decision yet? I still haven't but plan to in the next couple days.

Meanwhile, I've used my MacBook Pro only once since I've gotten my iPad for Xmas, and that was for putting folders/files into my Dropbox folder so I can access them from my iPad. :D.

Though we'll see how useful it is once winter term starts in Ann Arbor.

eatmyjustice
Dec 28, 2012, 09:16 AM
Have you made a decision yet? I still haven't but plan to in the next couple days.

Meanwhile, I've used my MacBook Pro only once since I've gotten my iPad for Xmas, and that was for putting folders/files into my Dropbox folder so I can access them from my iPad. :D.

Though we'll see how useful it is once winter term starts in Ann Arbor.

Yes, I picked up a smart cover and the belkin snapshield(because it was in stock at best buy). They add a bit more weight than I like so I may try using just the smart cover. The smart cover hasn't accidentally come off so I don't think I need rear shell that locks down the smart cover.


Also, I read some reviews on amazon that the belkin snap shield has some durability issues, so I'll probably return it and look at another brand. Over all, I like the smart cover/rear shell combination.

Tydog07
Dec 29, 2012, 08:43 AM
I purchased the Incipio Smart Feather off of Amazon today because a like new used model was available for half price ($10) and I cannot pass up that type of savings. So in theory, I didn't choose it because it was superior to the others, but because of the price available to me.

It's shipping prime, though I'll get it Wednesday due to the new year.

Just for fun, I've been using my iPad with and without the Smart Cover attached. Both practices have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think they're pretty similar so the Smart Cover lock became less important to me.

Lastly, does anyone use a stylus? I'm like SJ in the way that it would just add another layer of complexity and something else I would need to remember, but for those that have tried them, what do you think?

Any other accessories I should look into besides styluses and keyboards?

Tydog07
Jan 1, 2013, 11:55 AM
I purchased the Incipio Smart Feather off of Amazon today because a like new used model was available for half price ($10) and I cannot pass up that type of savings. So in theory, I didn't choose it because it was superior to the others, but because of the price available to me.

It's shipping prime, though I'll get it Wednesday due to the new year.

Just for fun, I've been using my iPad with and without the Smart Cover attached. Both practices have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think they're pretty similar so the Smart Cover lock became less important to me.

Lastly, does anyone use a stylus? I'm like SJ in the way that it would just add another layer of complexity and something else I would need to remember, but for those that have tried them, what do you think?

Any other accessories I should look into besides styluses and keyboards?


Got the Incipio Smart Feather Back Case yesterday and I love it! Don't think I could've spent $20 on this piece of plastic, but it does come with a microfiber cloth, screen protector and smoothie card for free. I think this case is well made, has good cut-outs and protects the iPad well.

It has that soft feeling to it, I don't know if that is what TPU is, but I like it.

SYale
Jan 1, 2013, 12:12 PM
For my iPad 3rd generation, which I had since launch, I had the Incipio smart feather and smart cover as well. It works great, for some reason, I even feel the "locking" mechanism helps protect the black scuffs that can form from the smart covers onto the iPad's aluminum, based on one of my friend's having scuffs and having a back cover without a locking mechanism (coincidence, maybe).

I'm a student, and I almost use it like a laptop, so I have a setup with a Wacom Bamboo stylus, which works great, but buy some tips as well. I also carry in my backpack an Apple bluetooth keyboard with a Incase Origami keyboard case which folds for a stand for my iPad! Highly recommended!

kaylerrific
Jan 1, 2013, 12:59 PM
I just got my ipad for Christmas (yay me! :)). It also came with a smart cover (thank you, hubby) and I bought a Caudabe Shell on Amazon after seeing a lot of people on here talking about it. The combination works really great. I LOVE the smart cover and I like the Shell because it doesn't weigh very much and is semi transparent so you can still see the apple logo.

Tydog07
Jan 17, 2013, 09:42 PM
Hi guys,

Just wanted to update y'all about the combination of a smart cover and a thin back shell/case like the Incipio smart feather that I've been using.

So far, I'm loving the minimalist approach I've taken, it really doesn't weigh down the iPad that much and protects it from bumps and scratches. It remains super thin too, which allows me to carry it in my backpack easily when I don't want to lug my 15" MBP. I use it a good amount. Like others have said, it's not really a creation device, but rather a consumption device. Though, with using my email and Dropbox, I can do almost any of my school work on it.

Don't think I'll be changing my setup anytime soon. :apple: