Gadling gear review: Sofshell case for iPad

If Santa left an iPad under you tree this holiday season, you’ve probably spent the last few days getting to know your new toy and discovering all of the fun things it can do. You’ve probably also admired how sleek and thin the device is, which is great when slipping it into a bag for travel, but can make it a bit precarious to hold on to at times. That’s where the Sofshell case from Sofproducts comes in handy. The very thin and tough plastic case, fits on the back of your iPad, delivering extra protection and a tighter grip at the same time.

The Sofshell case is made out of anti-slip, lightweight plastic materials that are just as useful when you are holding the iPad as they are when it is is resting on a slick surface. The manufacturer claims that with the Sofshell in place, the device will stay put, even when resting on a surface with a 70° angle, and from my own testing I’d say that is fairly accurate. Once I had the Sofshell installed on my iPad, no matter where I set it, it stayed in place. This provided a nice sense of security that my expensive tablet wasn’t going to slide off to its doom on the hard floor below.

Even with a case like this one, accidents can still happen of course, and gravity will take its natural course, sending your iPad tumbling to the ground. Fortunately, the Sofshell also provides some protection from those accidental drops as well, reducing the shock from a fall by as much as 43%. That can be the difference between a functioning device and an electronic tragedy, and once again it is nice to have that sense of security, particularly when traveling.
The Sofshell case is very easy to install on your iPad, but even better than that, it is also easy to take off. Similar cases can be a real challenge to remove from the tablet once they are in place, which can make them nearly impossible to keep clean over time. That isn’t an issue here however, and I appreciated the fact that this particular case came off the back of my iPad almost as easily as it went on. When it is in place, the Sofshell fits like a glove without adding much bulk, which is greatly appreciated by those of us who enjoy the thin, sleek industrial design that Apple is so well known for.

The Sofshell is designed to work with the iPad 2 and is fully compatible with Apple’s Smart Covers as well. Unfortunately, owners of the first iPad are out of luck, as the difference in design from the first to second generation devices were significant enough to keep this case from working on both tablets.

If you do own an iPad 2 however, you’ll find that this case is a great addition to your device, particularly if you find it a challenge to hold on to. The Sofshell does indeed make it easier to grip, particularly over extended periods of use. I also appreciated the extra protection the Sofshell brings to the iPad, especially considering that I take my device with me nearly everywhere. Frequent travelers will no doubt appreciate that protection as well, although the case is still a good investment, even if your iPad rarely leaves home.

The Sofshell case is available for $49.95 and can be ordered directly from the manufacturers website.