Review: Pinlo XyberPro 2 for iPad 2
Yes, Pinlo's XyberPro 2 for iPad 2 ($40) is confusing from the moment you open the packaging -- the two-piece solution is composed of a soft TPU plastic iPad 2 case, plus a hard plastic "X" called the Crystal Plastic Shell. Nowhere on the packaging does Pinlo say exactly how the components are supposed to be put together, and you'll only discover the variety of suggested configurations if you visit Pinlo's website. But when it's assembled properly, XyberPro 2 turns out to be a very protective case; in fact, it's one of the most protective iPad 2 cases we have seen so far.
In order to appreciate what Pinlo has done with XyberPro 2, you need to ignore some of the bizarre suggestions it offers regarding alternative assemblies of the case’s pieces. For instance, Pinlo says that the X-shaped Crystal Plastic Shell can be placed on the iPad 2’s back while the TPU case covers the screen of the iPad 2, or that the X can be used by itself on the iPad 2’s back or front. Our advice would be to ignore both of those options: place the X on the iPad’s back, then put the TPU shell on top of it. Doing this gives you a combination of a hard frame and soft plastic protection—a lot of protection, really, particularly when these parts are used in conjunction with the included screen and Home Button protectors.
The X-shaped Crystal Plastic Shell is pretty basic, but has a few nice touches. It is mostly composed of hard transparent plastic that is frosted along the edges. At the corners where it attaches to the iPad 2, the X has soft silicone that prevents scratching and provides a tight grip. When in place, it holds the iPad 2 securely, covering the aluminum edge of the tablet at all four corners.
Pinlo’s TPU case is certainly the more protective piece of the package. It is mostly transparent and smooth, with a raised section that allows Crystal Plastic Shell to sit beneath it, alongside a honeycomb pattern that’s inside at the corners and center. Installation is quite easy, and once in place, the full XyberPro 2 solution covers almost all of the iPad 2’s body. The only full openings are those for the mic, rear camera, and side switch; there is a unique grate-like opening over the speaker that offers some protection without impairing the sound at all. Both the Sleep/Wake button and volume rocker are covered but remain fully usable, though they’re a little less clicky than before. Flip-open protectors cover the Dock Connector and headphone port. It takes a little bit of playing around to get them to stay in place, and they’re never ideally flush, but some users will find the labor worth it for the extra protection. Taken as a whole, the case feels good in the hand and does not add a lot of bulk, but covers a lot of the iPad 2’s surface area.
While we don’t understand why Pinlo decided to design and package XyberPro 2 in such a confusing manner, taking what could have been a pretty straightforward design into odd territory with nutty suggestions, the case is quite good when assembled in the most straightforward manner possible. Its futuristic looks will appeal more to some users than others, but the fact that this case is so protective and that it also comes with a screen protector makes it a very strong value for the $40 asking price. We recommend it as a good way to keep the iPad 2 safe; it would have rated even higher if some of the little design elements such as port and button covers had been more polished.