The new iPad Air launched today and with it came a few accessories like the iPad Air Smart Cover. It looks a lot like the earlier models and the design mimics the iPad mini smart cover exactly, with a larger size to fit the bigger iPad Air.
We opened the light blue iPad Air Smart Cover and put it on the new iPad Air. It fits perfectly and looks decent for a polyurethane cover. Apple sells a leather version that protects the back and costs about $40 more than the $39 iPad Air Smart Cover.
Read: Best iPad Air Cases
Even though the Smart Cover feels like a cheap and flimsy cover at first glance, there are few other cases or covers that protect the iPad screen, hold to the iPad and work with the magnetic wake feature of the iPad at the same level as Apple’s official iPad Air case.
The inside of the iPad Smart Cover protects the screen with a layer of felt material. The top polyurethane material feels soft and has a pastel look. The iPad Air Smart cover comes in six colors, but we like the black, red and blue the best.
The cover folds back and the magnets built into the cover hold it in a triangular shape. It keeps the iPad Air upright and makes it useful for typing with an external keyboard or viewing content on the screen.
In the more horizontal mode, it works great for typing onscreen or looking at content from the top. There is no portrait mode so users will need to plan on making FaceTime calls and editing documents in one of the two modes shown. When you want to hold the iPad for long periods of reading or browsing the cover folds back, or you can completely remove it. Thanks to magnets it is easier to put on and take off than many other iPad cases.
The first iPad Smart Cover we bought for the iPad 2 still works. With regular cleaning it also looks good, so we believe this new model will hold up well over the years.
Here’s tip for using the inside of the cover to clean the iPad Air screen. Take the cover off the iPad Air and fold it so the inside lining is on the outside. Press on the screen with the triangle and buff the screen to remove fingerprints. Most fingerprints will disappear with a little pressure.
We recommend the Apple iPad Smart Cover to early adopters. Those willing to wait should look at the Moshi VersaCover Origami, which will ship soon for the iPad Air. It protects the back, offers more stand angles and doesn’t add any more thickness than the iPad Smart Cover.
The iPad Air Smart cover is available at Apple Stores and at retailers selling the iPad Air, though color choice may be limited at some third-party retailers.