Speck HandyShell iPad case: Review

Protecting your beloved tablet usually comes with its downfalls. Either a case is so thin and unobtrusive that it provides no protective qualities, or it’s so large it ruins the portable nature of the device.

The Speck HandyShell, whilst far from the smallest iPad case around, seeks to tie in protection and usability in one reasonably priced package. Speck are generally considered a major player in the mobile case market, but how does their latest addition fare?



The HandyShell is constructed from a thick, durable polycarbonate. In our tests, it seems to resist scratching to some degree, although leaving your iPad in the cutlery drawer might present some issues. The case has all the usual port cut-outs that you’d expect, one for the 30-pin dock connector (or Lightning connector, as the case supports iPad generations as early as iPad 2), the microphone, headphone jack and speaker. The volume and power buttons are covered, although raised buttons from the case itself ensure turning your device on and adjusting the volume are as normal.

Despite its size, it doesn’t seem to add a great amount of weight to the iPad, which is quite a heavy device anyway. With the HandyShell, you won’t find lugging your metal iPad around is any more tiresome.


The main feature of the case though, is naturally the kickstand. More common iPad cases such as Apple’s own ‘Smart Case’ offer a stand that rolls back to form the screen protector. Whilst the HandyShell doesn’t give your tablet any display protection, it props it up far more efficiently than many cases we’ve seen. When Apple’s own case causes the iPad to tip over with the slightest pressure, the HandyShell needs a good whack to get it out of its stable position.

The support works in both portrait and landscape orientations, again a feature not present on Apple’s own offering. The simple, almost childish design of the case may put some buyers off,

however, but if you’re looking for a case that stands your iPad up in different orientations and positions, you’re likely to look past the aesthetics. The kickstand also doubles as a hook when extended all the way back, making for a handy kitchen accessory.



The Speck HandyShell will run you between £40 and £50 depending on where you pick it up from. If you’re looking for a case that does what it says and the tin and you’re not too worried about how much you pay for it, the HandyShell’s for you. If you’re on a tighter budget, there are alternatives, but few offer the sturdiness of Speck’s offering.

For those who shiver at the sight of purple, the HandyShell also comes in a few other colours.

Thanks to Speck for sending the HandyShell out for review!


Ben Buffone

I'm a web designer, journalist and student in my last year of A-Levels. Joined Geekily in February 2013.

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