SwitchEasy CoverBuddy for iPad 2
In the burgeoning iPad 2 Smart Cover-compatible case market, SwitchEasy has made a decisive statement with CoverBuddy for iPad 2 ($25). While we have already seen a pretty good option in Simplism's Smart Back Cover, SwitchEasy's model is a more protective option for the same price. Once again, you get a hard plastic shell with an opening along the left edge that allows you to connect Apple's lid-like Smart Cover. SwitchEasy offers rubberized matte black, gray, blue, and pink finishes, as well as a glossy clear option.
If you’ve seen a shell for the iPad 2 before, you know what this one is about. It’s made from hard plastic and snaps right on to the back and around the sides of the tablet. Unlike most of the shells we’ve seen for the iPad 2, CoverBuddy extends all the way to both the top and bottom edges of the tablet, with strategic cutouts for all of the openings and buttons. Many of the other shells simply have one large opening along either edge. The cutouts are just large enough to leave everything usable, but not so big that there is unnecessarily exposed metal.
Ten pill shaped openings provide access to the speaker, rather than just one big hole. Most of the left side is left open so that you can attach Apple’s Smart Cover, which fits perfectly in place and remains fully functional. CoverBuddy and Smart Cover meet right at their edges, leaving very little of the iPad 2 exposed. It’s worth noting that unlike most of SwitchEasy’s products, CoverBuddy does not come with all sorts of extra pack-ins; all that is in the box is the shell itself. We wish that the company had included frills such as port covers or anti-glare screen film to complete the package.
While we still wouldn’t recommend spending $40 to $70 on a Smart Cover and then $25 on top of that to complete the protection at this point, many people have already incurred the sunk cost of purchasing Smart Covers. For those folks, the added investment here is worthwhile to provide very good coverage for the iPad 2’s metal body without adding much bulk. There will definitely be other options in the months to come, but CoverBuddy is thus far the best shell made to complement Apple’s iPad 2 front flap.