Zero Chroma Vario-SC for iPad 2 Review

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I seem to be the go-to gal for iPad accessories.  (Julie knows what I like!)  I have another iPad 2 back cover and stand for you today.  The Vario-SC for iPad 2 from Zero Chroma protects the back of your iPad 2, works with your Smart Cover, and acts as a horizontal, vertical, or typing stand.  That’s a lot of functionality.  Let’s give it a closer look.

The Vario-SC is a back cover for the iPad 2.  It’s made of a flexible, rubbery plastic, and it is easy to put on the iPad 2.  The Vario-SC is available in black or white.  I received the black.  The case is very thin, and it adds only a millimeter or two to the length and width of the iPad 2.  You’ll notice in the picture above, there is a hard plastic assembly in the back of the case.  This is a multi-position, rotating theater stand, and it adds about 1/8″ thickness.  The Vario-SC weighs just over 4 ounces.

The hard plastic portion of the theater stand doesn’t seem to touch the back of the iPad 2.  I haven’t noticed any scratches from rotating the stand while the case is on the iPad 2.

The lip of the case just fits over the front of the iPad 2.  It leaves the camera, ambient light sensor, and home button completely accessible.  You’ll see the bottom edge, as shown in the picture, is left mostly uncovered.  This opening is where the Smart Cover attaches.  I had no problem attaching the Smart Cover to the iPad 2 when it was in the Vario-SC.  The only quibble I have is that the hard plastic bump created by the theater stand prevents the Smart Cover from fitting flush against the back when it’s opened and wrapped to the back.

You’ll see here that the black Vario-SC looks very sharp with my new red leather Smart Cover.  You’ll also see that the headphone jack, microphone, and sleep/wake button are all exposed.  I had no problems using headphones or the sleep/wake button.

The back camera is fully exposed, and I had no problems taking pictures with the iPad 2 in the case.  The mute/lock button and the volume rocker are also easy to use.

The back speaker is covered with a grid of circular holes; I didn’t notice any ill effects from this speaker grill.  I could also charge my iPad 2 with the charging cable without removing the Vario-SC.

The spine of the Smart Cover fit perfectly into the opening.  I found the Smart Cover functioned perfectly with the Vario-SC.  The front lip was thin enough that it didn’t interfere with the fit of the cover, and the sleep/wake function worked well.

Now, let’s talk about the rotating theater stand.  It’s made of a hard plastic, and there’s a stand that folds flat for storage, but pulls open when needed.  There are stops built in to the stand that locks it into eleven different positions as you pull it open.  The stand has an anti-slip rubber tip to keep the iPad 2 from sliding around.

You’ll also notice from the above pictures that the theater stand rotates a full 360 degrees.  There are four stops that lock it at the 12-3-6-9 positions.  Using the 11-position stand and the 360-degree rotation, you can achieve a multitude of angles and positions for your iPad 2.

You can also use the stand as a hand grip.  Simply adjust the stand into the angle you find most comfortable.  It feels a bit like holding a thin microphone, and you can rest the edge of the iPad 2 on your arm for stability.  You might find this less tiring than pinching the edges of the iPad 2 for long periods.

Here’s just one horizontal angle.  I found this was a very stable position.  You’ll have no trouble finding a comfortable viewing angle no matter your height or the table height.

Here’s a vertical orientation.  Again, this was very stable.

Finally, here’s a typing angle.  I thought it would be a bit wobbly as a typing stand, because the rotating theater stand is not centered in the middle of the case.  I found it to be amazingly stable.  It looks a bit tall, but it was actually a comfortable angle for doing the two-fingered pecking I always do with the on-screen keyboard.  I could also see the screen well at this angle.

Zero Chroma also recommends using the Vario-SC in conjunction with the Smart Cover as a lap stand.  You can see in the above photos, the Smart Cover can be used as a platform to support the iPad 2 in either the horizontal or vertical position.  I will admit I didn’t like doing this on my leather cover because I feared it would get scratched.  There were no scratches, but I was very careful doing this.  Finally, the Smart Cover can be used as a typing stand while the iPad 2 is in the Vario-SC cover.  The Smart Cover typing angle is somewhat lower than the Vario-SC typing angle.

The Zero Chroma Vario-SC for iPad 2 is a very versatile back cover and stand.  The case doesn’t change the width and length very much, but it does add some weight and thickness.  However, you’ll get a lot of functionality in return.  You can use the case as a horizontal or vertical stand with a variety of angles and positions.  It’s also a typing stand, a lap stand (with the Smart Cover), and a handle.  The back cover will also protect the aluminum back of the iPad 2 from scratches.  At $50, it seems you get a lot of bang for your buck.


Product Information

Manufacturer:Zero Chroma
  • Protective
  • Works as a horizontal/vertical/typing stand
  • Works with the Smart Cover as a lap stand
  • Can be used as a handle grip
  • The Smart Cover doesn't fold back flush with the iPad 2 when wearing the Vario-SC

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4 thoughts on “Zero Chroma Vario-SC for iPad 2 Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Janet,

    Thanks for another solid iPad review! I had a question. What do you store your earbuds in with your iPad?


  3. @Terry Thanks! It’s probably not what you’re wanting to hear, but I always keep my earbuds in a little zipper pouch with my iPod nano – in my purse. 😉 Sorry about that!

  4. Great review. I have one of these cases on my iPad 3 and it’s so useful I’m just amazed by it. There’s a new version coming out with it’s own screen cover for those who don’t already have a smart cover, and they also make a nifty little iPhone 4/4s case. Not quite as nice as the iPad case but it has the kick stand.

    So after a few months, are you still using it?


  5. Janet Cloninger

    @Mark P Thanks for the kind words. I’ve moved from the iPad 2 to the new iPad. I tend to use the Smart Cover itself as a stand when I need one. I have a clear backcover on my new iPad just for scratch protection.

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