There are plenty of ways to protect your iPad 2, but there are few great ways to safeguard your favorite iDevice… enter the Shell ($29.95, link). Created by Bluelounge, an award-winning design studio, the Shell is a hard snap-on cover for the iPad 2. With well-trimmed edges and a satin-like finish, the Shell will comfortably protect while showing off a little creativity.
Function and Design
When first clicking the Shell into place on my iPad 2, I immediately noticed the precision cut access to the necessary ports. Having tested many cases and covers for iDevices, there is nothing more frustrating than an improperly cut port opening. The case also perfectly fits the Apple Smart Cover and freely allows the cover to be adjusted over or behind the iPad. If you prefer to roll the Smart Cover up as a stand, the Shell provides ample room for complete functionality. In addition, the Shell fit my iPad, which also has a Zagg Invisible Shield on the front and back. Other cases that snap onto the glass edge of the iPad do not make this accommodation, but the Shell rests snugly on the aluminum edge of the device allowing for screen protectors.
Interestingly, the sleep/wake button is covered instead of left exposed; however, this offers a certain protect for the tactile button while maintaining consistent aesthetics. The cover is somewhat rigid, which requires a firm and accurate press to ensure the button is depressed, but this does not detract from the overall function of the case.
If using the iPad without a case, or with one that is simply untreated plastic, it is easy for the device to slip in one’s hand. The soft-touch finish on the Shell is a welcome changed to the cheap feel of similar cases. In coordination with a soft, dimpled back, the finish provides a non-slip surface, ideal for using your iPad on the go.
Conclusion [rating: 4.5/5]
The Shell ($29.95, link) is a great combination of form and function, which is a quality you will find in most all Bluelounge products, of which we have reviewed several (MiniDock, Kicks). The Shell is well-designed, even down to the speaker holes and the camera port. While the price is just over my preference, I am quick on brand loyalty and highly recommend this case. When ordering from Bluelounge, there is no doubt you will be receiving a quality product that you will enjoy for a long time. What’s more, Bluelounge offers three different design options in either white or black (image gallery). The Shell fits the bill for a low profile, quality, and precision cut iPad 2 case with a little bit of flair.
- Leaves room for front and back iPad skins!
- Precision cut
- Works with Smart Cover
- Speaker grill
- Covered sleep/wake button
- Sleep/wake button difficult to depress
I recommend keeping an eye on Bluelounge as they have a complete lineup of excellent and well designed products. To monitor and interact, follow @bluelounge on Twitter.