Hard Candy iPad Covers Review

When it comes to industrial design, there is “cool” and there is “practical.” When the two meet, it is something special. Like the iPad, for instance. 

But for some iPad accessory creators, well, there is “cool” and there is “practical.” And that’s OK…provided you – the buyer – don’t get rooked into thinking “cool” is anything more than that. 

With that said, I can honestly say the two cases I received from the folks at Hard Candy to review were cool. They had “smart” looks. They were sassy. They had that attitude. They were different from the run-of-the-mill covers we’ve seen. 

Part of Hard Candy’s “White Collection” (I guess these iPad covers repel dirt), we looked at the Bubble Sleeve iPad2 Case and the Street Skin for Pad2. 

The Bubble Sleeve is a zippered case with fitted “shock absorbing” rubber bumpers that grab and hold an iPad2 or first gen iPad in place (Hard Candy claims it will work with either). The black interior is made of a cushy, soft felt-like material. The EVA foam exterior is semi-rigid and seems pretty stout, while the white cloth zipper has two much-too-large pulls; they are easy to find, but could put an eye out. 

So that’s the cool part. 

One thing that many iPad2 sleeves have failed miserably at is their makers failing to recognize Apple’s amazing Smart Cover. Well, Hard Candy actually topped them all….the Bubble Sleeve is entirely compatible with the Smart Cover. Finally! 

After that, though, the Bubble Sleeve has nothing left. The case doesn’t prop up the iPad. The bumpers don’t allow the iPad to rotate. There are no secret pockets. And Hard Candy is charging $49.95 online for the sleeve on its website. 

Now, there is a market out there for looks vs. utility, and Hard Candy is going there. And the Bubble Sleeve is pretty cool. And major kudos for allowing for the Smart Cover! 

Next in the White Collection is the Street Skin, which Hard Candy describes as “high fashion.” Made of TPU rubber (just three millimeters thick), the Street Skin is a skin-tight cover designed only for iPad2. The embossed design reminds of a tire tread (though Hard Candy describes it as “an urban jungle motif). The hinged front cover has no cushy, fluffy, soft material; TPU rubber lays against the glass screen of an iPad. The hinged cover has latches on the top and bottom, which are equally difficult to handle. Still, the cover also includes a Smart Cover-like magnet, so that’s a plus. 

The fit and finish of the cover was great, much better than some other form-fitting covers we have looked at. All of the control and plug holes are where they need to be. The stark white rubber material is supposedly easy to clean, but it is white…. 

Again, it’s a cool cover that offers little in practicality. And, again, for some users that’s just fine. 

What Hard Candy Says: 

Bubble Sleeve 
• Fits the Apple iPad 2 and the Apple iPad 1 

• Sleek, molded exterior that's still soft to the touch 

• Shock absorbing rubber bumpers to stabilize and protect your iPad 

• EVA-molded, rigid case provides more secure protection than a neoprene sleeve 

• Zippered case allows use of your iPad in or out of its sleeve 

• Available Colors: White, White and White 

Street Skin 
• Form-fitting TPU rubber for better protection, less stretching, and easier cleaning than silicone 

• Magnetic integrated screen enclosure that conveniently attaches to the back of your case while not in use 

• Full access to all audio outputs, dock connectors, multi-touch display and controls 

• Specifically designed for the Apple iPad 2 

• Available Colors: White, White and White 


MSRP: 

Bubble Sleeve $49.95 

Street Skin $39.95 


Grades: 
Bubble Sleeve: Coolness A, Practicality C 

Street Skin: Coolness A+, Practicality C-
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