Review: Griffin IntelliCase for iPad 2 provides smart cover and back protection

The Apple Smart Cover is a nice solution for the front of your iPad, but what about protecting the back? The Griffin IntelliCase solves that with a full protective back cover and front flip cover with magnets.

Apple released their Smart Cover cases when the iPad 2 was released and I bought an orange one for my iPad 2. I like the Smart Cover and like the way it works on the iPad, but I don't like to leave the back exposed to scratching and possible damage as I try to keep my devices in near mint condition. Griffin Technology is a leader in Apple accessories and I have been using their IntelliCase for the iPad 2 for the last week and think it is one of the best slim and functional cases available.

The new IntelliCase has a front cover similar to the Smart Cover, but also a full protective plastic back to provide protection and a method for propping your iPad 2 up for viewing purposes. Check out a few product images in my iPad 2 IntelliCase image gallery.

Image Gallery: Check out the Griffin IntelliCase for the Apple iPad 2.
Image Gallery: IntelliCase retail package
Image Gallery: Back of the IntelliCase

Initial impressions

The Griffin IntelliCase arrived in a slim retail package showing the case on the front with a flap that lifts up to show the case behind plastic. On the back of the package you can see three images showing the case wrapped around your iPad 2. There are no directions needed or included since the back of the package shows all that you need to know. The front cover part is thinner material than the Smart Cover and doesn't have that same nice rubberized feel.

Design and functionality

The IntelliCase is designed with a cover much like the Smart Cover, but with three panels rather than four and a bit thinner material. Unlike the Smart Covers, it only comes in black so you have no other color choices to customize the look. The hinges to the back piece are material and not metal like the Smart Cover either.

However, unlike the Smart Cover, the Griffin IntelliCase has a full hard plastic back so your iPad 2 snaps in place and is fully protected. There are openings in the back of the case for the speaker, bottom port, back camera, volume buttons, lock switch, power button, and headphone jack. There is a protrusion and opening on the back so that you can wrap the front around and slide it up under the opening for both high and low position viewing of your Apple iPad 2.

The front cover has magnets in it, like the Smart Cover, so that opening and closing it turns your display on and off.

Daily use and availability

The Griffin IntelliCase combines characteristics of the Apple Smart Cover with a durable plastic back shell so you get a case that does it all with very little added weight or size. It feels great to carry my iPad 2 around in the case since I can rest easy knowing the back is fully protected while the front cover is functional at optimizing the iPad experience.

Griffin sells the IntelliCase for iPad 2 for $59.99. The polyurethane Smart Covers are $39 and the leather ones are $69, so getting a case that has a similar cover with a full protective back looks to be a decent deal for $59.99. I would love to see some color options for the front or a way to swap out the front cover with different colors, but appreciate the protective nature of the case.