Take iFrogz’ rear shell BackBone, add a faux leather folio cover with some magnets, improve the iPad 2’s rear edge protection, and the result is Summit for iPad 2 ($60). The hard plastic shell holds the tablet in place, while the cover protects the glass touchscreen and serves as a stand. It is a nice looking case, and practical, besides. While the shells are available in black, blue, green, pink, and white, every model has a black lid.
The shell used in Summit is one of the better versions we’ve seen. Unlike some that leave the top and bottom edges of the iPad 2 exposed, Summit runs all the way to all four edges, providing very good coverage for the rear and sides of the iPad 2. As with BackBone, all of the openings are precisely cut and just shy of perfectly centered. We like that the speaker is somewhat covered with a 3 x 3 grid of oval holes; it’s effectively protected but not blocked.
Firmly attached to the left side of the shell is half of the rear faux leather cover; the rest is held in place with a long piece of Velcro that runs along the other edge. iFrogz has designed the pieces to hold pretty tightly together, but allows them to be separated easily whenever that’s needed. Doing this allows the user to turn Summit into a video viewing stand. A foot on the edge of the shell fits into one of three ridges on the inside of the front cover, depending on the angle that is desired. On the other hand, there’s no keyboard stand feature in Summit, which some users will mind more than others.
The front cover also has magnets built in wake the iPad 2 and put it to sleep; this works consistently. Unfortunately, the magnet isn’t strong enough to hold the case shut, and there’s no elastic band or other mechanism to do so. If the cover were to open inside a bag or purse, it may turn the screen on and unintentionally drain the battery. We would advise purse or bag users to disable the screen auto-lock feature in the settings menu—this is a disappointing omission of the design.
BackBone is a case that we’d call solid rather than great—it’s worthy of a general recommendation, but could have easily scored higher with very small tweaks. While the rear shell is among the better designs we have seen and we like the incorporation of magnets into the front lid, the omission of some sort of closure mechanism and the lack of a keyboard typing stand detract from the overall experience somewhat. The price is roughly in line with similar folio-style cases though, and it does look pretty nice. If you’re not super-concerned about the auto-lock issues in a bag, or typing on your iPad 2 with a stand, it’s definitely worth considering.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad 2