The smart case is the evolution of Apple's iPad smart cover.
If you're not familiar with the smart cover here's a quick introduction, My review on the smart case is below. The smart cover a fabric or leather cover with a strong magnetic holder on one side and a weaker magnetic panel on the other, allowing the user to wake or put the device to sleep simply by opening and closing it.
The inside of the cover is a soft cloth-like fabric, ideal for wiping away fingerprints.
The real functionality is how the cover can be folded to provide a stand for the iPad, allowing it to face you at 15 or 75 degree angle.
Many have said that the biggest flaw was it not being able to cover the back of the iPad, exposing it to scratches and bumps.
The Smart case is Apple's solution to this problem. It still does everything the cover did but now covers the entire back of your iPad.
Using a firm, rubbery plastic to encase your iPad, the case feels very snug and there are holes available for all the ports and camera. The volume and sleep buttons are covered but can still be pressed through the plastic.
Opening the smart case, and this is my biggest issue with the case, is a real pain. The smart cover fits the iPad perfectly and pulling up on the cover lightly would open it. On the case however, the lid is slightly shorter than the case meaning you have to use your fingernails to get under the lid and left it up and this hurts my fingers sometimes as I keep my nails short.
Another opening method is to tilt it like opening a large book at its ending pages but this means I have to lift the device when I'd rather leave it on the table.
The case lid doesn't fold as well as the cover did and can be fiddly to get the iPad to stand up correctly and in a stable way when upright.
Other negative aspects include not getting that satisfying snap sound when the magnet attaches, the slight but noticeable bulk around the edges of the iPad and the feeling of the case cutting into my palms if I hold it tightly while trying to play a game for example.
In terms of protection, it does feel like the iPad is much safer from scuffs and. bumps and the bulk around the edge will protect it from some small drops, while still providing easy access to the screen which many protection-focused covers miss out on.
Overall, the case is a very slight improvement on the smart cover but I recommend you think hard on whether it's offering you more value or just different problems. I certainly won't be recommending it as replacement for our existing Otterbox covers here at InnoOmnia.