The ZeroChroma Vario-SC case can be used in conjunction with a Smart Cover, whilst also offering many additional stand positions from its retractable rear theatre stand.
The ZeroChroma comes in just two colours, white and black. We feel these two colours do not really suit many of the Apple Smart Cover colours. For instance, we used an orange Smart Cover with the black Vario-SC case and it looks a little strange. We don't think white would suit orange any better though.
Overlooking the colours, the materials ZeroChroma decided to use to construct this case are very durable and rugged. Thick polycarbonate holds the iPad while the middle of the case (the stand) is made out of very strong plastic. It's not a thick case, it cleverly avoids bulking the iPad's original thin and tapered design, but can definitely provide solid protection. It will protect your iPad against small and mild drops, bumps and scrapes. It's also easy to wipe away marks and general soiling because the exterior is so rubbery. If the Smart Cover is used in conjunction, both the front and back will be protected, making the iPad more suitable to carry around in a bag.
Getting the iPad into the case is easy and so is removing it. The left side of the case doesn't cover the iPad, allowing for the magnetic Smart Cover bar to be attached. Using the case with the Smart Cover attached wasn't at all a hindrance, it's nice to be able to transform the case from being a skin shell, to a folio. Holding and operating the iPad when within the case was mostly comfortable and the case has a substantially firm grip. The bezel of the Vario-SC is thin, so there's no awkward interactions with the iPad's screen along the sides.
The audio jack, sleep & wake button, microphone, rear camera, volume rockers, mute switch and 30 pin dock connector are all cut out precisely, and because the case isn't overly thick they're all very quick and easily accessible. The rear speaker is covered with a mesh layer for added protection, however the sound quality is unchanged because of this.
The unique and stand-out feature the ZeroChroma Vario-SC sports is the Theatre Stand 360. This stand flips out of the case and twists a full 360 degrees, offering eleven possible angles. It's effortless to operate, and also allows a great deal of preciseness and quickly lets you create an angle suitable for what you're doing. We came to find this addition more useful than we first thought; when watching a YouTube video or typing up a review, the Vario-SC will adjust for the purpose in either portrait or landscape view in a flash.
When using the iPad setup at any angle, it stays stable and rigid. As shown in the photos, the stand can be placed either way when holding the iPad. Of course, if you use the Smart Cover in addition, you'll have even greater angles to choose from. What's very important about this Theatre Stand feature is the lack of footprint it leaves on the overall case, this is because it folds away and leaves a design that hardly differs from other skin-type iPad cases that don't incorporate stands.
Other than the lack of colour variety there isn't much to fault about the ZeroChroma Vario-SC case for the iPad 2, 3 & 4. Its slim design offers plenty of different viewing angles via its original theatre stand, and also turns into a folio case from its compatibility with the Apple Smart Cover. It's available to buy on Amazon for $49.99/ £39.95, which seems like a fair deal.