iPad Smart Cover: Best tablet accessory ever made

Summary:A week without an iPad has driven home how insanely great the Smart Cover is for everyday use.

I'm not the only one who ordered a new iPad last week, and like many others I sold my iPad 2 to make room for the new one. I shipped the iPad 2 to the new owner a couple of days ago, and have spent the week iPad-free.

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Don't feel bad for me, the other six tablets around here are more than enough to meet my tablet needs. Using them has been just fine, although it has driven home just how insanely great an accessory the iPad Smart Cover is.

When Apple introduced the Smart Cover with the iPad 2, the innovative use of magnets embedded in the tablet bezel to power the device on and off was cool. The thin build of the cover made it a good protector for the iPad screen without adding any detectable bulk to the sleek tablet. It didn't take long to realize how game-changing the magnets were in everyday use of the iPad.

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Having used other tablets this week, it has been driven home to me how simple yet profound the magnetic Smart Cover affects using the iPad. Now I have to find a little power button to turn tablets on and off, and I realize how much better it is with the iPad to just open the cover and have it turn on by itself. The same is true when closing the cover.

Don't get me started on how useful it is to roll the Smart Cover up to prop up the iPad in a comfortable typing/ reading angle. I am constantly looking for something small but stable enough to prop other tablets up the same way. They keep sliding off most everything, though.

This sounds like nothing special but it is wonderful in everyday operation of the iPad, and I miss it a lot this week. My favorite keyboard case for the iPad uses the magnets too, so even when the Smart Cover is not being used (rarely) the technology is used nicely the same way.

In addition to automatically turning the iPad on and off, and keeping the tablet as thin as possible, the Smart Cover also provides a nice grippy feel to the back of the iPad when used in the hand. There is no down side to using the iPad in the Smart Cover, the mark of a good accessory.

I would love to see a similar cover made for other tablets, but I doubt that will happen. Apple is quick to file suit against copycats, and a similar use of magnets in a cover would be easy to spot.

I'm glad the new iPad is compatible with the Smart Cover, and am anxious for it to arrive. The first thing I'll do with the new iPad, Retina Display and all, is pop the Smart Cover on it. It has become an integral part of my iPad, and that won't change with the new one. Of course the second thing I will do with the new iPad is get March Madness installed. Got to have March Madness, and the iPad is the only way.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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