Customer Reviews: Speck Products SmartShell Ultra Thin Case for iPad 3 and iPad 4 - Clear SPKA1203
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on November 21, 2012
I have this cover in both clear (for myself) and black (for husband). I'm partial to the Apple smart covers which I have in black and red. I have paired these hard shell backs with the smart covers for both of our iPad 4s. Although I highly recommend these, if you are looking for drop protection I would recommend a fully enclosed folio type case. This back could probably offer good protection but not the Smart Cover but a person should know that before ordering a Smart Cover.

The magnet on the back is a great feature and holds the cover when folded to the back of the iPad. How useful is that? No annoying cover hanging down. This is my favorite feature, hard to get along without it once you have it. I've had no issues with splitting or cracking and the iPad 4 seats tightly in the case. It's a favored hard shell back case. The clear allows my "engraving" to be seen though the case.

UPDATE: 9/13/13 - I am knocking my rating back because both back cases have cracked all around the magnet and mine had a piece crack completely off at the edge by the lightning port. Both of our iPads are used only in the home and are well taken care of. Obviously, Speck has an issue with its quality assurance in regards to this back cover. At $35 a pop, PLEASE fix the problem and sell a product worthy of the price you charge for it. This could be the best magnetized back cover on the market but sadly it is flawed.

I love this back case because it's thin, the iPad 4 seats snugly and the magnate is the best. Even though both have cracking issues, I ordered myself a new one as mine was cracked the worse. I'm hoping this one will hold up longer than nine months.
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on November 19, 2012
I bought this SmartShell for the sleek design and mostly because it was the only higher quality CRYSTAL CLEAR back case I could find. I ordered it from Amazon about 2 weeks ago. The day I got it, I noticed a few things wrong with this thing.. The cut out piece for the smart cover was warped pretty badly. It left a gap big enough to fit a small child's finger which means dirt and other particles can easily get in there and scratch up your iPad. It was also a very loose case from the start. I contacted Amazon and they immediately replaced it for me free of charge.

I just received the new one in the mail and the case seems to be fitting perfectly for now.. It is very snug, unlike the last one which was all wobbly. It is incredibly hard to take out which sucks but I can live with that. Everyone says that the case scratches really easily. That is true. After having it for one day, you'll end up with like 100 scratches on the case, not the iPad. I don't really see why there's a problem with that though. Because the case is crystal clear, you won't even be able to tell that there are scratches until you actually take off the case and look at it without the iPad. When it's on the iPad, I can't even tell that there are scratches.

There are also a few pluses I would like to add. I bought a crystal clear case off of here for about 5 bucks. It felt cheap and was super thin but looked really nice. After about 3 weeks, the corners started cracking. One piece of a corner eventually chipped at about week 5 and I ended up with a dent where the piece chipped. I hated that it dented my iPad but I still loved the crystal clear cases so I kept searching until I found this Speck one.

The Speck SmartShell doesn't look like it will chip anytime soon. The corners of this back case are a lot thicker than the rest of the case giving it a higher quality look and feel. The corners and sides also overlap the iPad and hugs the bezel so that it won't fall off so easily. It does makes it a pain to take off though. Because it overlaps the iPad's screen, if the iPad were to fall on its face, the SmartShell would most likely protect the screen to a certain

Update 2/6/13: i went ahead and ordered another one of these as a gift. The one i received had the exact same problem as the first one. It was warped where the gap made for the smart cover is making it easy for particles to get through. I notified amazon like i Did last time and they sent me a new one right away. We just put the new one on and it has the same exact problem. I guess if you're lucky, you'll get a smartshell with a snug fit. We're keeping the replacement we were sent because it's not really worth the hassle of returning again.
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on November 4, 2014
Nice look, like having a magnet on the back, but.... Cracking is a serious problem, oddly, around the magnet. That leads to cracks at the side opening, which results in chips coming off.

I'm one of those über-careful iPad users (who doesn't drop, bang, slap, shove, or otherwise manhandle my mobile devices), so heaven only knows how these would survive "normal" wear and tear.
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VINE VOICEon August 2, 2012
I like this product quite a bit. The Speck SmartShell fits my iPad 3 snugly, does not add too much bulk to the product, allows use of the Apple-brand Smart Cover and has a surface which provides some texture - it is not slick plastic. As well, the magnet on the back works well in holding the Smart Cover in place when accessing the iPad screen.

I have read other reviews on other sites that criticize the fit of the Speck SmartShell, but the product I received fits my iPad 3 perfectly. I have also not seen any indication that layers of the plastic are peeling as complained of in another review here.

My only criticism is that the edge of the case that runs along the top of the iPad could be a bit wider, lower and/or smoother. As it is designed, it creates a bit of a ridge that you can sometimes feel against the pad of your hand when holding the iPad in certain positions. The narrow width of the lip my be dictated by the necessity of having a lip thin enough to enable the shell to slide over the edge of the iPad, but it still could perhaps still be rounded better to minimize its prominence.

New cases for iPads seem to be coming out regularly from numerous manufacturers, but in the meantime, I like this product and will continue to use it - at least unless or until I discover something along this line that is better.
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on October 9, 2012
I purchased this case to protect my iPad from scratches, but being able to use the smart cover with it was a big selling point. So far it has exceeded my expectation by protecting it from a 3 foot fall onto concrete. The case even survived the fall intact. The magnet to hold the smart cover open has come in handier then I thought while using it. The case does scuff up easily which doesn't bother me the scuff are hard to see unless you look at it less then a foot away.
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on January 21, 2013
At first I really liked it.. It fit well, looked smooth, and functioned with the smart cover. However, there is a major design flaw in that the metal magnet and the plastic surrounding it handle temperatures differently (That is the only explanation I can come up with for the cracking).

I live in southern California, so it's not exactly a cold environment, and yet somehow cracks formed around the magnet, which is either due to a faulty product or the metal shrinking/expanding. I rated it 3 stars because I DID like it, so I don't want to say that I did not like it.... I was just disappointed in spending over 30 dollars and having it crack in under two weeks.

Although I like how the smart cover sticks to the back with the magnet, if it's just going to crack I think I will just get a cheaper one without it.
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on April 26, 2013
this fits much better and actually stays on compared to the belkin i had that would fall off and had broken pieces in the corners which were obviously the weak spots. the addition of the magnet on the back is nice for my smartcover and it is completely clear, unlike the belkin which is frosted. would definitely recommend this case. very thin yet does a great job in protecting against minor dings and scratches.
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on January 22, 2013
Love the Smart Cover I got with my iPad3, but wanted something to protect the back without going to a bulky full coverage unit. Now Apple has an accessory that does the same thing, but it is much more expensive and I can still use the original top cover that I already own.

This unit works perfectly. Several "bad" reviews about the quality, but I don't see that. Have used it daily for over two months and would recommend it to any friend.
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on November 11, 2014
I bought this case to protect my iPad without adding too much bulk. This case will keep your iPad safe from scratches and it has a nice rubberized textures to keep the iPad from slipping in your hands. The downside is that it is too thin and brittle and can crack when you remove the case. So, I would not depend on this case to protect your iPad from any damage if you or anyone else drops it.
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on October 27, 2014
This shell starts off very nicely; nice feel, good protection and nice looking. However, I'm on my second one now after a year and a half. Multiple cracks around the magnet and totally unusable. And not covered under warranty after 90 days. I'll think twice about buying this type of item again.
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