Marware MicroShell iPad 2 Case: This Is The One!

If there’s one thing Apple has tried to teach the computer industry, and any company that endeavors to create a consumer product, is that, as a rule, simple is best.

Muck up your product with useless features and you alienate customers.

That’s not to say that features are a bad thing. On the contrary, a feature-rich product attracts people like moths to a flame. The trick is to simplify the complexity while not “dumbing” it down. It’s not always possible to achieve, but when it is done correctly, the most complex, feature rich system can seemingly disappear and the user is able to accomplish tasks without giving a second thought as to how all the magic is done.

This has been an Apple mantra since it first offered up the single button mouse. That’s still true today, and keeping it simple (stupid!) is how the company has been able to carve out a niche in a Windows ruled PC world. It is how the iPod led, and continues to lead the once burgeoning music player market. And it is how Apple, with its “closed” system is able to become one of the top smartphone makers in the world.

With the iPad, Apple seems to have focused its obsession with simplicity. Why include a physical keyboard when a virtual one will be adequate for a vast majority of users? Don’t bother with a stylus, they can be frustrating when one isn’t handy, and they get between the device and the user. Keep the screen relatively large and make the device far more useable and useful, but make it small enough so that people will want to carry it around. Of course, all of these and other features are not meant for everyone or for every situation, but the iPad is an adaptable, easy to carry device that can really enhance your life. Is it magical? Not quite, but it sure gets pretty close.

My iPad 2 is slim, fast, and lightweight, and I use it daily. I got a slick black leather Smart Cover to protect the touch screen. Its back, however, was bare-ass naked because I didn’t want to add bulk or ruin an exquisitely engineered profile. So, my iPad’s curvaceous aluminum rear was left to fend for itself. And mine isn’t the only one.

This, of course, has provided an opportunity for device case makers, who have answered the call to cover the rump of millions of iPads with a surprising variety back covers that work with, or instead of Apple’s Smart Covers. One such case creator is Marware, who makes the MicroShell iPad 2 Case. It is, in my opinion, the case Apple should have offered along with Smart Covers.

Marware MicrrShell Case

Marware MicroShell iPad 2 Case

One would think that designing something to cover the backend of a device is easy. While it may not be rocket science, creating a cover that adds minimally to the iPad’s runway model thin profile while providing protection from the rigors of a mobile lifestyle, and look good doing it, is not easy. I’ve looked at several other cases and while each offered something worth considering, none proffered all of the features I wanted, or to the level of quality I was looking for. None except for the MicroShell.

Here’s a polycarbonate case that covers all corners and the right and top edges of the iPad while leaving space for buttons, switches and sensors. The left side of the case allows a Smart Cover to attach, and with the cover closed, the case and the cover mesh so well they seemed to have been designed by the same team. The bottom of the case, where the dock port on the iPad is, has a wide opening as well.

Marware MicroShell Case

Like a hand in a fine Polycarbonate glove

The case clamps onto your iPad without much ceremony. It attaches firmly and provides no gaps or ill-fitting corners. So good do the two items fit that you’d have a hard time sliding a piece of paper between the case and the iPad.

Marware MicroShell Case

Excellent fit. Stellar Finish

The back of the case is rubberized so the iPad will always feel secure when handled. In fact, a naked iPad 2 is so thin and light that adding the MicroShell case actually makes the device feel more substantial. That’s a good thing. This is done without adding appreciably to the iPad 2’s profile or weight.

The MicroShell is available in five colors. Mine is black and, again, the case and cover combo look as if they were not just made for each other, but made by the same people.

After about 2 months of using the MicroShell case the highest praise I can give it is that I hardly know it’s there. I don’t think twice about tossing my incased iPad into my messenger bag along with my keys or other scratch inducing items. I’ve travelled with my iPad and it remains as convenient to use, if not more so because it now feel far less fragile, and that means I’m far more willing to take it into questionable environs where surfaces could easily leave marks on aluminum.

If I had a quibble about the MicroShell case it would be the price. The list price of forty bucks is a bit steep for a piece of plastic, no matter how well designed it is. But I believe you get what you pay for, and this particular piece of pricey plastic is worth it. But no one pays list price for anything these days, and the same is true for the MicroShell case, which can be had from Amazon for a far more reasonable twenty dollars.

Bottom Line
The MicroShell is not designed to protect against spills, rain, dust, and other hazards, it is made to keep your iPad’s rear clear of scratches, and that it does very well. If you want more protection then consider another type of case. If, however, you are looking for something that is excellently designed for the task of scratch protection, is simple to attach, seems to disappear in use, works seamlessly with a Smart Cover, and actually enhances the look and feel of your iPad 2, then the Marware MicroShell Case for iPad 2 is the case you want. I suggest that you Get It Now*!

Review ItemMicroShell iPad 2 Case

List Price

Street Price


US$20.33 (Amazon)

Minimum Requirements

Any iPad 2

* Note: My rating system goes like this;

  • Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
  • Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
  • Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
  • So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
  • Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.