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Thursday April 22, 2010 2:00 pm

Sprint 4G Case for iPad review

Sprint 4G Case labeling

Update: Check out our Sprint 4G Case video review as well!

A few days ago, we applauded for the way they were promoting their service in conjunction with the launch of the iPad with their Sprint 4G Case. Obviously marketed towards the iPad buyers to get them to choose using a Sprint Overdrive 4G device rather than AT&T’s 3G plan, Sprint teamed up with Best Buy to give these cases away for free to anyone who’d purchase an Overdrive mobile hotspot at a participating Best Buy location.

Since we are in a 4G-enabled area, we figured we’d head on over to Best Buy to see if we couldn’t finagle one of the Sprint 4G Cases from the store. We weren’t going to be buying an Overdrive hotspot (we already have one,) but we were willing to just pay for one if that’s what needed to happen. The first surprise came when Best Buy told us that we certainly could just buy one outright, and that it would cost us a full $0.01. A penny. For an iPad case! We gladly paid for it, and were on our way.

Now, I didn’t recall exactly what the case that was advertised from Sprint looked like, but we did immediately think “Huh, this feels kinda cheap - I thought it would be better than this.” When I got back, I took a look at the Sprint 4G Case promo again, and it was obvious - the case that Sprint is promoting on the site is not the same case that you will actually receive at Best Buy.

Update: Looks like a couple of people have tracked down the folio version of the case. We did some more calling around this morning to a total of 6 participating Best Buy locations, and none of them had a clue about the folio—however, they’re out there somewhere. We recommend calling up your local Best Buy before heading over, to make sure they’ve got the one you want in stock!

Sprint 4G Case advertised

There is no elastic. There is no fold-over flap. The case doesn’t even have the little bit of extra room that the one that Sprint is promoting seems to have, that would allow you to fit some papers in there along with your iPad. Instead, it’s just a simple zip-up case that resembles a poor man’s clutch purse (yes, poor men love them some clutch purses,) with a Sprint logo on the side. Rather than an elastic-fitted Overdrive pocket, you get a deeper pocket that closes with velcro.

Now, we aren’t sure why exactly Sprint would be promoting what is obviously a much nicer looking case on their official promotion site, only to bait-and-switch customers at the point of purchase with something far less appealing, but we are going to do some digging. However, the Overdrive is still a great alternative to buying a 3G iPad, especially if you have multiple mobile devices that you want to have connected to the web, since it supports up to five devices at once for $60 a month. The iPad unlimited plan is $30 a month, and only supports the iPad, naturally.

At the end of the day, we can’t complain too much—the Sprint 4G Case cost less than pretty much anything we have ever purchased. We just wish that we got what was advertised. You can check out our Sprint 4G Case gallery to get a good look at what this thing looks like.

Gallery: Sprint 4G Case for iPad review

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