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Apple's iPad 2 Smart Covers and Other Alternatives

Beyond just protecting the iPad 2's screen and casing while it's in use, there are a handful of protective covers that double as tablet stands. Apple recently expanded its selection of polyurethane and leather Smart Covers ($39.00 and $69.00, respectively) to include a few new fashionable colors.

When placed over the iPad 2's screen, an Apple Smart Cover (http://www.apple.com/ipad/accessories) places the tablet into Sleep Mode, and wakes up the device when the cover is removed. A Smart Cover also doubles as a tabletop stand for your iPad 2—it can hold the iPad 2 in two different positions while it's in use.

Several companies offer Smart Cover alternatives to what's offered by Apple. One of the more unique offerings is the Miniot Cover for iPad 2 ($205.00, http://www.miniot.com), which is made in Holland from premium wood. It offers an ultra-contemporarily and artistic design, but also the protection and functionality of a Smart Cover.

Another extremely durable yet professional-looking alternative to an iPad 2 Smart Cover is the Carbon Fiber iPad 2 Smart Cover from DRO Concepts ($89.99, http://droconcepts.com/iPad2/carbon-fiber-ipad-2-case-cover.html). This handcrafted cover offers a strong outside to protect the iPad 2's screen from damage during transport and has a soft, microfiber lining that faces the screen. This Smart Cover also doubles as a stand while the tablet is in use.

From Incase, the Origami Workstation ($29.95, http://goincase.com/products/detail/origami-workstation-cl57934) is actually a case for Apple's wireless keyboard that converts into a holder for the iPad 2, enabling you to create the perfect workstation while on the go. For this setup to work, you'll also need to invest in Apple's wireless keyboard ($69.00, http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC184).

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