iPad 2 Case Review: Case-Mate Barely There Case Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 3.5
What's Hot: Very slim and light, prevent slipping, all ports are open.
What's Not: No protection for the screen, shows fingerprints, doesn't accommodate Smart Cover.
The first time you handle an iPad 2 you will notice how slippery the tablet really is and realize how important to get a case that prevents it from slipping out of your hands. The Case-Mate Barely There Case for the iPad 2 does exactly that. With a hard plastic shell that has a non-slippery surface, the Barely There case does justice to the name. The ultra slim and light case covers the back of the iPad 2 as well as corners but leave the screen and all ports and buttons open.
Case-Mate?s Barely There series cases have been selling well for mobile phones, like the iPhone 4 case. Users who buy this case aren?t taking their device to hike the Half Dome or go jet skiing. They usually just need something that will protect the iPad 2 from scratches and small bumps when they carry it in a bag or purse. The iPad 2 Barely There Case is made from specially engineered plastic shell that feels sturdy yet has some flexibility. The case wrap around the iPad 2?s back like a glove, and the flexibility of the material lets you put the case on and pop it off without too much hassle. The flexibility also helps absorb some impact force should you bang your tablet or give it a short drop. One thing we noticed though, at least with the black version, the Barely There Case for iPad 2 shows fingerprint and hand grease. You can clean it with a damp tower and it does clean up nicely.
Since the Barely There Case only covers the back half of the iPad 2, it leaves out all the top and bottom ports for easy access. The case actually stops before it reaches either end of the tablet, so your power button, audio jack, speak grill, etc. are completely exposed. Two additional cutouts leave out the side buttons and the camera on the back. As the case is form fitting, it doesn?t have a configuration that can accommodate Apple?s Smart Cover. It?s too bad though, because the combination of the two cases can provide the complete protection some users might desire and still keep the device slim and light.
Style wise, the Barely There Case gives the iPad 2 a cool look as it contours the back of the tablet and doesn?t add much weight as it?s only 2.2 oz. The soft touch surface on both inside and outside will ensure the case doesn?t scratch your iPad 2 and feels nice in hand. Though the front glass isn?t protected, the case wraps around the corners to where the LCD ends, which gives the tablet more structural protection. The Case-mate iPad 2 Barely There Case comes in two colors: black and pink.
For those who want to put a non-slippery surface on the iPad 2?s slippery back, the Barely There Case is an ideal candidate. It?s super light and slim and owns up to its name. The case has soft and non-slippery surface inside and out, just don?t use it while eating chicken wings because it shows grease and fingerprints. All ports are easily accessible. While users who are looking for this type of cases don?t necessarily want front glass protection, it would have been nice to see the Barely There Case had a configuration that supported the Smart Cover.
I have to say for sheltered home use, this is my favorite case. It weighs nothing and doesn't change the iPad 2's thin feel and attractive look. It's a solution to my main gripe with the iPad 2: the naked tablet is way too slippery and thin to hold onto with confidence.
Now I wouldn't use this case to carry the iPad 2 in a bag, nor would it be my first choice if I had inquisitive little ones in the house .
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview