Mobility Digest Review: Griffin IntelliCase for iPad 2
The frenzy was intense when the “magical” iPad 2 came out. Steve came on stage, talked it up, and laid some golden accessories on us what would be available at launch. Yeah, I stood in line, so what. And yeah I bought the accessories, so what. And yeah, the smart cover that came out with the iPad 2, well, not so much. As a matter of fact, I still have it and never used it. It was awful, I hated it. Don’t believe me? Check it here and here. Where I applauded the innovation, the Smartcover by Apple simply fell short of the mark in many ways. First, there was no side or rear protection. I haven’t used it since.
After the launch of the iPad 2, as you might have expected, the floodgates opened and the cases poured through the pearly gates to the retail heaven that is Apple consumers. OtterBox finally released the Defender series and life is good. Well, or so I thought. It is a huge case and it is pretty heavy. There as got to be something that takes the innovativeness of the Apple Smartcover and the strength of the OtterBox polycarbonate shell. Well, there actually is.
Griffin Technologies has a massive assortment of mobile accessories and the stuff is pretty good quality to boot. As it happens to be, they also have a case for the iPad 2 that takes the shortcomings of the Apple Smartcover and gives it a healthy shot of Device OCD Prozac which is a polycarbonate back cover. Cleverly attaching them both together, the Griffin IntelliCase offers incredibly thin and lightweight full protection for you iPad 2. Let’s check it out!
What comes in the box?
No assembly required, the Griffin IntelliCase only needs to have protect film of plastic that is for some reason on the inside of the polycarbonate back cover.From the retail friendly front and rear side of the box that is peg hook-able for all you mobile gadget and accessory entrepreneurs.
The Front Cover
Not unlike the Apple Smartcover, the Griffin IntelliCase also has the same magnets to wake and put the device to sleep when you open and close the lid. Unlike the Apple Smartcover, the IntelliCase does not feel like the same quality and has a more plastic feel to it and the feeling that it will inevitably start to wear prematurely. The IntelliCase front cover does look like the Smartcover and bends in much the same way. However the one thing it does not do is fold up to display the iPad 2 in landscape standing up. There is another way to do this that I will show you later in the review. All in all, the front cover did put the iPad 2 to sleep and wake it every time I used it. It does suffer from the problem of coming open unwantedly which could lead to some battery drain.
The Back Cover
The back cover is almost perfect in my review having only a small area of coverage that exposes the iPad 2 to scratches and potential damage. Not really sure why they did not complete or add more material here. But the good news is the back cover fits like a glove. So thin that you could swear that it is not even there! The polycarbonate shell, while not the same gauge or thickness of the OtterBox Defender, seems to be the same quality of plastic and has an excellent feel to it.
The Griffin IntelliCase does an excellent job displaying your device in variety angles. The first and most popular for view content would be landscape orientation. As I mentioned above, the IntelliCase does things a little different than the Smartcover by Apple. Instead of folding the front cover into a triangle pattern to display the iPad 2 in landscape, you actually have to fold the front cover around and hug the back side of the case and insert it into the slotted area. Shown here:
This is the same design that is used for typing on the iPad 2. Simply rotate the device around and the screen will re-orientate itself to that angle and allow you a very nice angle and staple platform to do your typing. I found that it worked well and had no issues.
I really like this case and thought Griffin did a really nice job taking successful elements from other cases and incorporating them into their IntelliCase. There are a few problems that I would have liked to have seen done a little different. One is the cheaper feel to the front cover. This thinner cheaper material stops the IntelliCase from being able to bend like the Smartcover and display the iPad 2 in landscape mode. the second issue is the openness in some areas of the back cover. I felt that they could have been minimized a little more to add more protective covering and avoid scratching. The last issue I had with the Griffin IntelliCase is the price. At $59.99 advertised on their website I think is too high for the design and material content. At the end of the day, there is nothing new here that we have not seen in other cases, but it is the fact that they brought then together that makes the case unique. So the good news?
The IntelliCase fits and works great. I really liked this case and felt my device was well protected from accidental damage and scratches. The IntelliCase displayed the iPad 2 in excellent angles that made watching video content wonderful. Typing on the IntelliCase was stable and very solid feeling. I even have some more good news that was actually a complaint from above. Some quick shopping in the internet turned up several $29.99 price tags on sites like Amazon where quantities were very good. At $30 dollars the IntelliCase by Griffin is an excellent value and a product I can easily recommend for all iPad 2 owners.