iPad Smart Cover: Best tablet accessory ever made

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

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  • What???

    Not even close!!!

    Blackberry cases used the magnets to power the decice long before that cover ever hit...

    As for best accessory ever, I wouldn't even put that in the top 10.

    Sony Dock
    Sony PS3 Controller
    HTC Stylus
    The original iPad Case
    MHL to HDMI adapter

    these are just a few, there are a ton more but the cover isn't even close to the best.
    • It's my opinion

      And that opinion is the best for the reasons stated. YMMV.
      • And I fully understand that.

        To me though, any cover that doesn't actually protect the device completely is a waste. My wife had one of these covers and it kept falling off, my brother as well... both reasoned it was worthless.
    • You do realize you can't argue personal opinion right!?!

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Hmm

        If somebody states that something is the best, you most certainly can challenge that assertion while allowing them to still speak their opinion.
    • Reading comprehension is key.

      "...best [b]tablet[/b] accessory..."
      • Time to open your eyes...

        Those items I listed are tablet accessories! Maybe if you stepped out from inside the walled garden you would know that!
    • Sorry.

      Blackberry tablets used magnets before the iPad?

      I didn't realize the Sony PS3 was a tablet, and I haven't found a "Sony Dock" that was for tablets.

      At that point, I didn't try checking your opinion any further.
      • Blackberry phones

        Blackberry phones go into low power mode when you put them in their holster *and close the magnetic retention strap*.

        The blog states "the innovative use of magnets embedded in the tablet bezel to power the device on and off was cool".

        As much as I hate to say it, Blackberry innovated this feature into their devices long before the iPad was introduced, let alone the iPad2 (smart cover compatible). Peter is right on that one. As for the rest of his list ... he's as entitled to his opinions as we are.
      • Wow, talk about Reading Comprehension Problems...

        Like others had noted, the Blackberry phones have done the whole magnet, shutoff thing for more than 6 years now!

        Sony Tablet S Features a Dock and, allows the PS3 controller to be connexcted via bluetooth and games to be played with it.

        Like I said, if you ventured beyond the walled garden you would realize, the iPad 3 represents the most powerful GPU in the game and yet it is also severly lacking on features that other tablets like the Tablet S have natively.
  • Oh my goodness

    I envy you so much, James. You have a Smart Cover to fall in love with, and I've never had one.
    • Love is a strong word. How about this? Of all the

      accessories he's tested/used for the iPad he finds he likes the smart cover best? It's basically a personal opinion piece. Nothing wrong with that. he did not claim it "WAS" and or "IS" the best for everyone under the sun after all.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Well I'm sorry. The heading said "Mobile News".

        And, it was kind of funny to read this type of eulogy to a cover, of all things. I couldn't resist. It must be because I'm almost 100% Android. No feelings, you know. )
      • I was thinking you might be:)

        arsenm@... In terms of emotions a lot of people have accused me of being very Android like and or a sociopath. That said in logical terms an accessory made specifically for a mobile device would have to go under "Mobile News" if they don't have a Accessory News column.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • @arsenm...

        "it was kind of funny to read this type of eulogy to a cover"
        It's called attention to detail. If you don't get it then you won't get it.
      • @john@...

        "It's called attention to detail. If you don't get it then you won't get it."
        I guess I don't and I'm afraid I won't.
        But could I call it "obsession with detail"?
        It's a *cover*. I don't even use them, because they detract from the beauty of the product and serve no purpose.
      • Serve no purpose?


        Um, they protect the screen.
      • Not expected.

        It's Ok arsenm, no one expected you to get it. Nor do we expect the other Android OEMs who's concern with specs only, nothing else. Not the overal experience. And even there they are losing. The smart cover is one of those accessories that drives home the fact that nothing else comes close to the iPad market.
    • meh

      "It's a *cover*. I don't even use them, because they detract from the beauty of the product and serve no purpose."

      I think my case rests.

      The fact it actually works as an on off switch for the device and a stand and a cleaning tool is obviously beyond your ken.
  • You're in luck...