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Monday, March 14, 2011, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

First Look: Apple's new iPad 2 Smart Cover ships in smart packaging

If you pick out an iPad 2 Smart Cover and decide you don't like the color, it's easy to exchange without destroying the packaging, thanks to a new "frustration free" retail box.

The $39.99 in polyurethane or $69.99 in leather, magnetically retained iPad 2 Smart Covers are presented in a retail package that doesn't require scissors to open. Instead, there's an adhesive-backed tab that holds the cardboard back of the box to its clear plastic front.

Once peeled up, the box opens to reveal a recyclable plastic film that slides out of place to access the Smart Cover itself.

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover


Available in both several colors of polyurethane (blue, green, orange, pink and grey) or "aniline-dyed Italian leather" (cream, tan, black, dark blue and red), the Smart Covers snap in place, then roll up to form a tall stand optimized for FaceTime or watching a movie, or a flatter stand for touch typing on the virtual keyboard or playing games.

iPad 2 Smart Cover


Inside, the Smart Cover has a soft side that helps pick up smudges and dust. And while the new cover fits the previous iPad, it doesn't work with it because that model lacks the magnets that the new cover needs to hold on and snap into place.

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover

iPad 2 Smart Cover