There is no shortage of tablet choices on the market. There is also no debate as to which tablet is the most popular. You guessed it – I’m referring to Apple’s iPad. I should say that I wasn’t one of the several million who jumped on the bandwagon and bought the first generation iPad. There was a part of me that really wanted to buy one but frankly I couldn’t figure out what I would use it for. Then just before the release of the iPad 2, we decided to develop a CANADA HiFi iPad/iPhone app which would allow our readers to access the digital edition of the magazine on their tablets and phones. Hence, I ended up buying the iPad 2 for the purpose of testing the app. Today, the iPad 2 sits on the coffee table in my living room and gets daily use. Frankly I can’t imagine what life would be like without it. Who would have thought?

Much like any smart phone, the iPad is a delicate electronic device which should be handled with care and most users will want to protect it with some sort of a case. The case under review here is the Seidio Active case for the iPad 2, priced at $69.95 US. Our review sample had a black finish, although the case is also available in Amethyst and Sapphire Blue. The Seidio Active takes a dual-layer approach to protecting the iPad: it offers a flexible polymer skin for shock absorption and a hard exterior skeleton designed to provide extra protection to the device’s sides and corners. Getting the iPad into the case is a simple two step process. First stretch the flexible skin on the iPad and then snap the hard skeleton into it. The two pieces of the case fit perfectly and snuggly into place. There is no question that if the unfortunate happened and the iPad feel out of your hands, this case would very likely save its life. Both the soft and hard parts of the case extend slightly over the edges of the front of the iPad, hence providing some protection even if the device was dropped with the screen down.

As you might expect the case does add some bulkiness and weight to the iPad. The Seidio Active is not the slimmest, nor is it the bulkiest case available for the iPad 2. To me, it appears to fit somewhere in the middle, offering a good balance between bulkiness/weight and protection. It took a few minutes getting used to having it on my iPad but eventually became familiar and comfortable to use. The non-slip feel of the case in fact made it more comfortable to use the device in some sense. I should mention that with the case on the device, all of its buttons, access ports, the speaker and the camera are easily accessible and fully functional thanks to dedicated cutouts in the case. A circular cutout in the middle of the case even exposes the Apple logo (protected by a clear plastic cover), if there’s any doubt that this is an iPad! Overall, the case feels like it is constructed out of high quality materials.

But there is one more piece to the puzzle. The Seidio Active also comes with a dual function screen cover. The screen cover is designed to protect the screen when the iPad is in not in use or during transportation. Made out of a hard, but slightly flexible polycarbonate plastic, the cover will provide superior protection to the iPad 2 but does add quite a bit of bulk. When not used to protect the screen, the cover can be used as a stand for the iPad, thanks to a small, adjustable support piece which pops out from the middle of the cover. The support piece can be adjusted to 15 different angles and allows the iPad to be used in both horizontal and vertical positions. This is a welcome feature which will definitely get its use by most iPad owners.

At $69.95 US, the Seidio Active is not the cheapest iPad 2 case on the market however it is definitely one of the better ones I’ve come across. If you’re looking for a sleek case that offers superior protection and the flexibility of an adjustable stand for your iPad 2, you should definitely give the Seidio Active a try.

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