Review: Incipio Feather for iPad 2
Incipio has a history of bringing tried and true designs to new devices, so you'll probably recognize Feather for iPad 2 ($35). Just like previous versions, Feather is an extremely thin -- less than one millimeter -- black, pink, white, blue, or red hard plastic shell with soft touch rubber coating, snapping onto the sides of the tablet to cover most of the back and edges. While it fits very well, this new version follows the design of its iPad predecessor by leaving unnecessarily exposed edges.
Given Incipio’s history with Apple cases, it’s no surprise that the fit of this shell is perfect. Feather attaches snugly, just covering the front aluminum where it meets the bezel on the left and right sides. Cutouts for the rear camera, side switch and volume rocker are precisely sized and centered; additionally, given the thinness of the case, control access is not hindered at all. Hold the iPad 2 with Feather attached and you’ll find that the case’s extra volume is almost imperceptible. We also appreciate that Incipio includes its “Vanity Kit,” composed of an applicator card, cleaning cloth, clear screen protector, and anti-glare screen protector—the latter of which we were particularly excited to see because it is rarely included by case manufacturers as a pack-in. The addition of these screen protector films certainly adds to the value of the case, as the glass face would otherwise be unprotected.
Our biggest problem with Feather was Incipio’s decision to leave both the top and bottom edges of the iPad 2 exposed. While this allows full access to the buttons and ports, it also results in less protection than many of the plastic cases we’ve seen so far. While a fully open bottom might have been somewhat justifiable for the original iPad as it might have allowed for docking in Apple’s iPad Dock, the iPad 2 Dock isn’t so accommodating, and third-party accessories don’t require such considerable openings, either. Combine this with the fact that there is no significant button coverage, and Feather almost feels incomplete.
Feather is pretty much what we expected from Incipio given earlier entries in the family: the great fit, thin size, precision openings, and overall appearance are all major plusses. However, the lack of coverage along the top and bottom are a let down; if these portions were covered, along with the side buttons, Feather would be a significantly better option. Thankfully, the addition of the anti-glare screen protector makes Feather a good deal for its $35 asking price, and worthy of our general recommendation overall.