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Pat Dryburgh

I love my iPad 2. It’s the first iPad I’ve owned, purchased after a year of struggling to stay away from the Apple store for fear of falling to temptation. Now that I’ve owned it for a couple of months, I can say with certainty that it is everything I hoped for and more.

The Smart Cover, however, is a piece of shit.

When I purchased my iPad, I knew I was going to buy a Smart Cover. I had read article after article about how great it was, how clever Apple was for designing it right alongside the iPad 2, and how it was one of the top selling features of the iPad 2. I had settled on the leather cover simply because the pastel colours of the polyurethane didn’t match my personal taste. Though it was a pretty large investment for a cover, I justified it in my mind with the argument that it would be protecting my new expensive toy.

And, protect it it has. I feel much more comfortable laying my iPad on a table or desk than my naked iPhone. The stand functionality is incredible; I will stand it up next to my computer for Facetime calls, in my bed for watching Netflix, and prop it up to type emails or browse the internet while eating breakfast.

However, having owned the Smart Cover now for only 2 months, I have to say that the build structure is absolutely abysmal. Here is why:

  1. The use of magnets in the Smart Cover is a brilliant design idea. They serve so many great purposes, from turning the iPad on and off when opening the cover, to giving the cover a solid structure to stand the iPad up. However, 90% of the time I hold my iPad with my left hand, which ultimately leaves the cover flopping around behind the iPad. Could they not have used magnets just a bit stronger so it would stick to the back of the iPad? Seems like a very obvious oversight.

  2. The leather feels incredibly cheap. For a cover that costs as much as this one, I expected the leather to feel good in my hands. Instead, the leather is very flimsy. It feels cheap. For a company that prides itself on its build quality, this seems like a huge mistake.

  3. Since the first day I had my iPad, I noticed that around the hinges of the Smart Cover was starting to show signs of wear. Or, that’s what I thought, until I grazed my finger along it and the substance rubbed off. Ever since then, both my iPad and the Smart Cover seem to have this continuous build-up of what I believe to be some oil-based substance. This is probably my number one complaint against the Smart Cover.

  1. Lastly, after less than two months of use, my Smart Cover is already seeing wear and tear. This is shocking to me, given that I maybe use my iPad an hour a day.

I just can’t fathom how Apple could be proud of the Smart Cover. It reminds me of the MobileMe fiasco: a great idea executed very poorly.

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