iPads are increasingly prevalent in high traffic areas where they’re at risk of being stolen — as menus, cash registers, and for dozens of other uses. Kensington’s latest iPad 2 case is called SecureBack Security Case with 2-Way Stand ($60), and in a truly distinctive design addresses the risk of theft with only modest compromises to iPad 2 use. While it can function as a standalone case, it’s set apart by a locking mechanism that optimizes it for being tethered to one location without fear of theft.
At first glance, SecureBack resembles many other iPad plastic shells, but upon further inspection there are significant differences. The case is actually composed of two pieces, divided by a removable grey beam that holds them together; this is how you insert and remove the tablet. While the hard white plastic doesn’t feel like it would offer fantastic anti-shock protection in the event of a drop, the level of coverage is pretty good, and the material is enough to prevent scratches. We were happy with the case’s impressively well-tailored holes for the buttons and ports along the edge of the iPad 2. Those around the microphone, Sleep/Wake button, rear camera, side switch and volume rocker, and speaker are tight, while the Dock Connector and headphone ports both have enough room for oversized plugs. SecureBack’s plastic extends over the bezel just a bit to create a nice protective lip for the screen.
On the top of the grey beam is a metal nub, made to connect to one of the company’s ClickSafe locks—available separately or in a $90 package deal with the case. Since the case is built to accommodate it, the lock simply clicks into place. If you already have a traditional-style laptop lock, or simply prefer one, SecureBack also has a standard Kensington Security Slot on the back. Once attached, both types of locks work the same way: they attach the sliding bar to the plastic case, preventing it from being removed. Either method is very secure.
The stands suggested by the case’s name are located on the back, one on top of the other. They both fold down against the back, rising at a slight angle above the bulge created by the security bar. The shorter of the two is just an over an inch long and brings the tablet to a typing angle. There is some give, but it can withstand a fair amount of force during use. For landscape viewing, the longer stand folds out and is reinforced by a thin metal rail between the stand and the case. Both make good use of the raised area that the security system added to the iPad 2’s otherwise slender back. A version of SecureBack without the stands is available for $50—or $80 with the lock— for those who don’t need them.
SecureBack certainly isn’t a case for everyone, but those who are in the market targeted by Kensington will truly appreciate it. As a standalone case, it has pretty good coverage and nicely implemented stands. Both locking mechanisms also work well, and we appreciate the flexibility to use the kind of lock that you want. Our only concern is the price, which does seem a bit high given the need for the “optional” lock; it helps a little that Kensington’s street prices tend to be lower than its MSRPs. And since there are few competitors in the secure iPad case space right now, the value may very well be there for those who need it. Overall, SecureBack merits a strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad 2