Hands-On Review: Sena Cases' UltraSlim for iPad 2 with Smart Cover

by Bill Fox, MacsOnly.com, March 29, 2011 [Updated May 7 and April 26, 2011]

My new Apple iPad 2 is terrific (see my review). I have a black leather Apple Smart Cover but it does not protect the back of the iPad 2 from scratches and nicks that might occur in a computer bag or briefcase. The Smart Cover is thin and light so I don't want a large cover or case. If possble, I don't want to have to remove the Smart Cover in order put the iPad 2 into a case either.

The idea is to go as light as possible so I scoured the Internet to see what might be available for the iPad 2 or even the original iPad since the manufacturer is likely to produce an iPad 2 version as well. I was looking for something light and classy and had in mind something like a pouch with or without a strap. Sena Cases' UltraSlim for the iPad 2 with Smart Cover caught my eye and it is already shipping so I didn't have to wait for it. One can also pre-order a version of Sena's UltraSlim fitted to the iPad 2 without the Smart Cover.

I ordered a black UltraSlim online from Sena Cases' web site for $59.99 on Wednesday evening. Standard overnight shipping by FedEx was only $9.09, a real bargain, and it arrived Friday morning.

The UltraSlim is made from refined and soft pebbled leather--I can tell it's quality leather by it's wonderfully rich smell and its pliability. The leather is thin and lined with a velvet material. The stitching is excellent and continues along both sides of the opening, hopefully keeping the opening of the pouch from curling too much over time.

The fit of the UltraSlim is nearly perfect, something that pleasantly surprised me because of the shape of the Smart Cover's hinge system. The iPad 2 slides in smoothly but extracting it is just a bit difficult [no more--see updates below], especially if I have pushed the iPad 2 in all the way to the bottom. The iPad 2 doesn't just slide out when held upside down, which is a good thing actually. To get the iPad 2 out, I have to hold the bottom of the UltraSlim and pinch it slightly and then gently pull the iPad 2 out. The sharp edges of the Smart Cover's hinge system create enough friction so as to slightly impede the iPad 2's exit. A small tab on the bottom of the UltraSlim would ease removal of the iPad 2 just enough to make it a perfect cover. The UltraSlim is new so maybe it will loosen up a bit with some use. If not, it's still a keeper but I'll look for a place that can sew a small leather tab or ring of leather on the UltraSlim's bottom.

In addition, the UltraSlim comes with its own cloth cover. So if one wants to protect the UltraSlim's fine leather, one can with this additional cover that has a drawstring to keep it tightly closed.

Except for the slight difficulty [No more-- see updates below] with removing the iPad 2 from the UltraSlim, it is light and classy just like I wanted.

UltraSlim for iPad 2 with Smart Cover, $59.99 from Sena Cases.

Update 5/7/11: Sena has now added a small pull-tab at the bottom of the UltraSlim for iPad 2 with Smart Cover making an outstanding case perfect.

Update 4/26/11: I have now used the Sena UltraSlim for iPad 2 with Smart Cover for nearly a month and on two long trips. It has loosened up slightly, just enough to not have to dig my thumbnail into the UltraSlim to extract the iPad 2 but not enough to allow the iPad 2 to inadvertently drop out. While a small tab would still make extraction easier, it is no longer necessary in my view. It's actually amazing that the fit of the UltraSlim is so accurate.

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Copyright © 1995-2011 by Bill Fox
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