Yesterday Apple announced a follow-up to their successful iPad tablet, the iPad 2. Along with the tablet, they spent a ridiculous amount of time showing off what they call the “Smart Cover.” It’s basically a polyurethane (or leather) sheet that lays over the iPad 2′s screen protecting it from scratches and such. What separates this cover from the case they released for the original iPad is, well, the fact that this one is smart — sort of.
The Smart Cover doesn’t wrap around or snugly fit together with the iPad 2 like the previous case did. Instead, it uses an aluminum hinge with magnets inside to stick to the side of the tablet. They made sure everyone saw this at their press event — over and over and over again. Aside from the disappointment that was the original iPad case, Apple has always done a good job designing accessories for their products, and this Smart Case is no different. When you fold it closed it will automatically put the iPad 2 to sleep, when you open it the iPad 2 wakes up, simple as that. Another great feature is the predetermined folds. These folds let you set the iPad 2 up at a couple different angles. One for watching videos and video-chatting via FaceTime, the other for typing and playing games.
The covers — don’t call them cases, they’re covers! — look like they’ll be great for your screen but, there’s no drop protection whatsoever and the aluminum back will no doubt get scratched if you plan on using one. (Maybe “Smart Cover” wasn’t the best name choice) They will come in a variety of colors and we can choose between a classy leather cover or a fun happy colored polyurethane version. They’ve got a microfiber lining on the screen side that Apple claims will keep your screen clean (I doubt it will be that easy) and both versions will be available at launch, March 11th. Just like all of Apple’s other accessories, don’t expect to pick one of these up on the cheap. The polyurethane versions will cost about $40 while the leather one will set you back about $70.