For the iPad mini and iPad Air, you can buy a single Smart Case that covers the front and back of your iPad. Not so for the iPad Pro. You can get the same coverage, but you need to buy the Smart Cover and Silicone Case separately. There are advantages to having them as two separate pieces, but it does make full coverage a lot more expensive. You can get front and back coverage in a Smart Case for iPad Air 2 for just $79 while getting the same coverage with a Smart Cover and Silicone Case for the 7.9-inch iPad Pro adds up to $118. So are the Smart Cover and Silicone Case worth their prices? Let’s take a look.
What I liked
I purchased a Lilac Smart Cover and matching Silicone Case to protect my new 9.7-inch iPad Pro. As you would expect from Apple products, both the Smart Cover and Silicone Case are a pleasure to behold. The silicone material is soft and smooth to the touch. The microfiber material lining both items is luxurious. The iPad slides right into the case and the fit is perfect. Every port, button, and switch are expertly accommodated. The Smart Cover activates the Sleep/Wake function, and it overlaps the case just enough to make it easy to open.
The Smart Cover snaps onto the iPad magnetically. It folds back, origami-style, to be used as a stand at two different angles; high for viewing and low for typing. The magnetic connection is strong.
Using the two together feels natural. Though the Smart Cover and Silicone Case do not attach to each other in any way, they are both securely bonded to the iPad, so it works out. This setup is different from previous models: no Smart Case combines these two parts into one product. You must buy them separately
There are several advantages to having two separate products. First of all, you can just buy one and not the other. Secondly, it allows you to mix and match colors if so inclined. Thirdly, the Silicone Case works just as beautifully with the Smart Keyboard as it does with the Smart Cover. The case plus the keyboard gives you not only protection but added functionality.
The fit and finish of both pieces is flawless, and they work together to form a fantastic case.
What I didn't like
There is the only thing I didn’t like about this combination: price. The Smart Case for iPad Air 2, which essentially combines the Smart Cover and Silicone Case into one piece costs just $79. But there is no such product for the iPad Pro; the two pieces separately for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro add up to $118. It would be nice if Apple offered the option of buying them separately or together. Or if they’re not going to provide a single piece option, couldn’t they at least get the prices closer? I think that $39 is a pretty steep premium to pay for the flexibility of having two pieces. And let’s not forget, we’re talking about two well-formed pieces of silicone and microfiber fabric here, not full grain leather and cashmere.
Apple’s Silicone Case and Smart Cover for 9.7-inch iPad Pro will protect your iPad effectively and beautifully. There is no denying the luxury of owning an original Apple case worthy of that charming slice of technology known as the iPad. These products do not disappoint. They’re just a little bit more expensive than one would hope, given that you can buy the same lavish protection in a single-piece for other iPad models for a third less money. The Silicon Case for 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in 12 colors and costs $69 on Apple’s website. The Smart Cover for 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in 12 colors and costs $49.
As you can see from my own photos, Lilac is a difficult color to capture, but in real life it looks very much like it does on Apple's website. There are 11 other colors from which to choose.Credit: Apple