Slightly modifying one of its original iPad designs, Hard Candy Cases has released StreetSkin for iPad 2 ($40). Composed of a TPU shell and hinged screen cover, both portions are molded into a tread pattern in black, white, or translucent pink. Unlike the previous iteration of this case, the screen cover is not removable: nubs on the right corners of the shell and corresponding latches on the cover are used for holding the front flap in place both while it is protecting the screen and when it is folded under, making this one of the most protective shells we have seen so far for the iPad 2.
Getting the tablet into StreetSkin takes a little bit of maneuvering—less than with the original version—but once the iPad 2 is situated inside, it fits very well. Judged without the lid, the iPad 2-holding shell would be good enough to compete with most of the standalone options we have seen. When closed, the flap sits perfectly flush with the frame, and the entire iPad 2 is protected with the exception of the headphone port, mic, Sleep/Wake button, rear camera, side switch, volume rocker, speaker, and Dock Connector. These components are accessible through openings that are cut pretty accurately, but just a hint off center. We would have liked to see Hard Candy Cases cover the Sleep/Wake button and volume rocker—something that would have been more easily accomplished with this material than most others—but the implementation here is otherwise good. With the flap open, the dips in the frame for the front camera and Home button are also just a hair off, but both can still be used.
We liked the feel of the rubber, and the tread pattern provided a nice grip. At first the hinges were a bit sticky, but worked fine once broken in. The nubs used to hold the cover shut were a nice choice as well; they’re unobtrusive, easy to use, and work with the cover in both positions. We did notice a few white imperfections in the rubber of the translucent pink model we tested, possibly a quality control issue. Another oddity we noticed was that the polyurethane cover still allows a finger to interact with the iPad’s screen through the thinner areas of the tread. This means that the screen can still be manipulated along the lower areas of the cover; we were able to unlock the iPad 2 through the cover when it was in landscape orientation. In most real life circumstances, this won’t cause a problem, but it is worth noting.
Overall, StreetSkin is a very good option in the rubber shell category. Many shells lack for screen protection, so we really liked the integrated cover, and generally appreciated how Hard Candy Cases addressed the issue of holding the lid in place using the hook system. StreetSkin’s only major issues are the fact that the lid can’t be used for anything else, like a stand, and its comparative lack of button coverage. None of the smaller quality control issues are deal breakers, but we’d still like to see Hard Candy work to bring this product and its sequels closer to perfection. That having been said, we recommend this case to those who like plastic cases and prefer lids to screen film, as this design is substantially protective and a good deal at the $40 asking price.
Company and Price
Company: Hard Candy Cases
Compatible: iPad 2