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We take a closer look at the Smart Cover for the iPad 2

Update: Official Malaysian pricing and comparison of Smart Cover prices from around the world here.

When it is officially launched in Malaysia this Friday, the Smart Cover is expected to cost RM250 for the leather version and RM150 for the polyurethane version.

The thing with the Smart Cover is that its just a cover. The Smart Cover is not a casing and so it doesn’t protect the back portion of the iPad 2 which is also very prone to scratches.

Fact of the matter is, you can get a lot of pretty good cases that fully cover the iPad 2 for RM250. So what is the point of this Smart Cover then? Does the cost justify the utility of the Smart Cover?

Actually not really. As a protective shield for your iPad 2, the Smart Cover is really good at being virtually useless. Even the microfibre inner lining doesn’t keep the screen clean like Apple claim it would. In fact the inner lining is actually a dust trap. Prolonged use of the Smart Cover actually accumulates dust, fingerprint and greasy gunk on the iPad 2 screen. On the other hand, the Smart Cover does protect the screen of the device but that’s pretty much it.

As a stand the Smart Cover is probably one of the best out there but it’s not the only good stand in the market. We know of other pretty good iPad 2 cases+stands in the market that offer much better protection at the same price or even less.

So what do we like about the Smart Cover? We like that it doesn’t add any bulk to the thin and sleek iPad 2. We like that it makes the iPad 2 a joy to hold and we like that the magnets are strong enough for us to stick the iPad 2 to a fridge door, but should you get one?

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Well it depends. Are you a sucker for minimalist design? If you are, then there is no other casing out there that is as minimalist as the Smart Cover but if you’re looking for a casing that can protect your precious iPad 2 and keep it in mint condition for as long as possible, then the Smart Cover is not a wise choice.