Incipio Silicrylic for iPad 2
Incipio has a history of revising its products with each new Apple device release, and the results are almost always for the better. Although it bears the same name as earlier versions for the original iPad and other iPods and iPhones, Silicrylic for iPad 2 ($50) is a marked evolution in the line. While the basic concept is still the same -- it's a combination of a silicone rubber shell underneath a hard plastic frame -- the execution is certainly improved. The case is available in black on black, white on gray, and magenta on gray combinations, and each comes with an anti-glare film, a clear one, an applicator card, and a cleaning cloth. It's worth noting that the black version tends to show fingerprints, and additional color options would be even better.
The rubber shell sits directly on the body of the iPad 2, curling around the edges to somewhat cover the bezel. Lining the inside of the case is a honeycomb pattern that is rather similar to the one seen on Hive; the texture adds some shock protection. Because of the pliability of the material, installation is very easy. As the case is designed to work in tandem with the plastic frame the rubber is thicker at some areas than others, particularly around the edges. The Sleep/Wake button and volume rocker are both covered but still click without any added pressure. There are narrow but deep and acceptably-sized openings in the rubber for the headphone port, microphone, rear camera, side switch, and Dock Connector port; the speaker is also fully exposed.
Where we see the biggest improvement over prior iterations of Silicrylic is in the plastic frame. Rather than maintaining a symmetrical but not fully protective shape, this version covers as much of the back as possible and leaves gaps only where they are necessary around openings. The corresponding shapes allow the plastic and rubber components to sit flush with one another, though it does take just a bit of pushing and maneuvering to get everything to fit perfectly into place. Unlike other soft play-through cases that may easily pull away from the edges, Silicrylic hugs the border tightly because of this reinforcement.
Completely new this year is a fold-out stand that lies completely flush with the case when not in use. While it only works in one landscape orientation, it’s at a very good angle for video viewing and FaceTime calls—better than that of the similarly featured Macally Dualstand 2. We really appreciate this addition, especially since it is such a clean implementation and adds no bulk.
This version of Silicrylic is certainly the best that Incipio has released: the combination of plastic and rubber layers provides significant protection, yet the smart use of alternating thicknesses between the materials keeps the case thin. Button coverage and access to openings are both as they should be, and the inclusion of the integrated stand and two different kinds of screen protectors adds significant value. We highly recommend Silicrylic as a great option in both form and functionality; it’s a little expensive by rubber case standards, but a complete end-to-end solution for protection and video stand purposes.