Here it is: after a first attempt with Cover for iPad 2, Miniot has made some refinements and come out with what can only be described as an enhanced wooden version of Apple’s Smart Cover. Available in a variety of woods and sporting compatibility with both the iPad 2 and the third-generation iPad, Cover Mk2 (€69/$91+) builds upon the same basic articulating lid concept. The result is certainly superior to its predecessor, although it comes at a higher cost. Once again, text and image engraving are available options; text is free, and pictures cost a few dollars more than the standard price.
In discussing Miniot’s new lid, it’s important to focus on the main fault of the first edition, which continues with Cover Mk2: just as with Apple’s Smart Cover, it lacks any sort of body protection for the iPad. Cases keep the tablet from getting bumped, scratched, or otherwise marred, and Cover Mk2 simply does not provide that kind of defense. As such, if you’re looking to protect your iPad, you’ll need some sort of coverage for the rear of the tablet—and that will only add to this accessory’s already high cost. Smart Cover-compatible shells do fit, and start at around $25.
One of two big problems specific to the original Cover was how it attached to the face of the iPad: Miniot originally included magnets that held onto the glass display, rather than a hinge that curled around the left edge like the Smart Cover. This meant that when you lifted the lid, it had to be removed. Cover Mk2 addresses this with the addition of a spine that latches around the contoured edge. Thanks to this improvement, Cover acts almost identically to Apple’s Smart Cover, and the solution is executed as elegantly as the rest of the lid. This includes automatically locking and unlocking the display when it’s lifted or laid down, with enough magnetic stability to avoid accidental activation of the screen.
We also found Cover Mk2’s stand mechanism to be an improvement over its predecessor. The cover is still segmented into 11 strips, but we found rolling it into a stand to be easier than before, and the magnets holding the shape are quite strong. Because it stays attached to the iPad’s body, there’s no need for a slot within the wood to hold the iPad upright. Instead, the tablet simply rests against the stand, like the Smart Cover. Cover Mk2’s viewing angle is almost identical to the Smart Cover’s, although the typing angle is higher, which doesn’t negatively impact use of the on-screen keyboard.
Overall, Cover Mk2 is definitely an improvement over the first Cover, and we preferred both the materials and design to Smart Cover, as well—it’s both handsome and functional. That said, this accessory remains very limited in its protective capabilities, and is easily eclipsed by $40-$50 cases with stands that we’ve tested. If you really love the way wood looks, you may be willing to foot the higher price for Cover Mk2; if you do, you’ll be very satisfied by the design and quality, though you’ll also pay more for it than its predecessor. The improvements are substantial enough to earn it a limited recommendation despite the price tag.
Company and Price
Model: Cover Mk2
Compatible: iPad 2/iPad (3rd-Gen)