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REVIEW: Bear Motion Leather Back Cover for iPad 2

jsh1120

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I didn't really need a back cover. Already had a clear polycarbonate back cover that I use with the iPad SmartCover. But the Bear Motion back cover was on sale at Amazon for $2.98 (claimed retail $49.95) and since I was buying some other items, I tossed it into the mix. It's now available on Amazon for $20. Note that Bear Motion also sells a folio case for the iPad 2. This is NOT that case. It is a polycarbonate SmartCover compatible case for the back of the iPad covered in leather.

When I received it a few days later, the saga began. Simply stated, it didn't fit. Regardless of what I tried I could not fit the iPad into the case so that all four corners "held" the iPad in place. I immediately reported this to Amazon and requested a return. About an hour later I received an email from Bear Motion inquiring about my problem. They offered to exchange the case free of charge. For $3 it was hardly a big deal but I said, "OK." Sent the case back and received another case a few days later. Same problem.

This time I told Bear Motion that we could just forget the whole thing. But they wouldn't hear of it. They pointed me to a YouTube video review of the case where the difficulty of installing the iPad was noted in the context of an otherwise very positive review. They also offered to send me a third case, this time a case that the support guy promised to pre-install on an iPad 2 just to be sure it could be done.

Received the third case yesterday. And while it was something of a struggle, this one allowed the iPad to be snapped into the cover correctly. (Whether I can ever get it off again is, as yet, untested.)

The point of this overly long story is two fold. First, the incredible customer service Bear Motion provided for a $3 item is noteworthy. Not only did they send me a total of (as I recall) a half dozen emails, they even called me to discuss the problems I was having.

Second, once I was finally able to install the iPad, I'm very impressed with the cover. As might be expected, with the leather covering the case is somewhat thicker than a polycarbonate case alone. The difference is very small but the weight and thickness is noticeable. Whether this is an advantage depends on your point of view. Cutouts for the various iPad functional switches and cameras are well done.

The case itself is likely to be very durable, I think. The only wear points are likely to be on the four corners and even there I doubt a problem will emerge. Like any leather product, the case should probably be treated with a product to prevent drying out. Otherwise, I suspect it's a non-maintenance item.

Mine is black leather. Bear Motion also offers the case in pink, blue, and gray for the same $20 price.

Based on the customer reviews on Amazon, I suspect my problems were rare. Maybe even unique. And there is always the possibility that I'm simply a klutz who took three different cases and much effort to make it work.

In short, if you're looking for a durable leather cover for the back of your iPad 2 that both looks good and provides good protection in the event of scuffs and drops, this is a very good product. I'm not especially enamored of how it looks with my blue SmartCover but that's not the fault of Bear Motion.

P.S. By the way, I'm not going to debate the question of whether the cover is "genuine" leather and what that means. It appears to be high quality leather material. It is clearly not a thick hide type of leather; that would defeat the purpose but it looks very good and does not smell.

Amazon.com: Bear Motion ® 100% Genuine Leather Back Cover (Smart Cover compatible) for iPad 2 - Smart Cover Companion - Real Leather - Black - Extreme Value Buy: Electronics
 

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