iPad cases

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A talk: Isaiah Coberly of Flipsteady Handmade Cases for iPad, Cintiq, more

A Conversation with Isaiah Coberly of FlipSteady Handmade Cases for iPad, iPad Pro, and Cintiq Companions

Looking for a handmade iPad case? Now you can have one that’s not only handmade, but opens like a Transformer, folds and unfolds like origami, and has an adjustable stand that can rest on a tabletop, lap, or knee.

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If you’d like to hear our recorded interview with FlipSteady inventor Isaiah Coberly in which he talks about his ideas and and the meaning of being a small, independent designer and inventor in a world of mass production, click the button above for the audio.

These unique, artisanal cases are available for iPads, iPad Pro, and Cintiq Companions. The FlipSteady is the brainchild of Isaiah Coberly, whose home and workshop are in Tacoma, Washington. His company is called New Pencil.

 

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FlipSteady with iPad mini

You can get a FlipSteady case for:

iPad
iPad Pro
iPad mini 4
iPad Air
iPad Air 2
Cintiq Companion 1
Cintiq Companion 2
Cintiq Companion Hybrid
Coming soon: Surface Pro 3 and 4
In the works: FlipSteady for a paper pad

 

vegan leather ipad case

Cintiq Companion case on knee

Stand

The cases stands up on many surfaces, including your lap. You can work on a plane, on a park bench, on the sofa, or in bed. Just open the cover and set it down. You can stand it up in portrait or landscape. You can rest it on your knee as an elevated desk with a rotating stand.

Materials

The cases are made of fine-hand Majilite synthetic leather and synthetic Toray suede, the same materials found in yachts and high-end car interiors. The stand is made of 50/51 aluminum, which is thin and pliable, yet rigid. The glue is a non-toxic, water-based glue that’s a recent innovation from 3M. Isaiah was familiar with these materials from years of working with his friends at the upholstery department of Belina Yacht Interiors. Belina spares no expense when it comes to quality, and Isaiah shares the same ideal.

FlipSteady cases are vegan-friendly, including the glue.

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Cintiq Companion case

FlipSteadies are for sale only at flipsteady.com. Use the tabletsforartists during checkout for $5.00 off.

 

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The story of FlipSteady

Isaiah is not new to tech. His background is in CAD and CADCAM software for architectural and industrial design. In the 1990s, his inventor’s mind saw a relationship between those 3D design programs, mostly used by architects and industrial designers, and art programs such as Alias Wavefront’s Maya and Pixologic’s ZBrush.

He realized a way to use these art programs to fabricate actual sculptural carvings. Word got out, and furniture and interior designers of custom high-end carved interiors began calling. They flew Isaiah back and forth to California where he programmed automated wood-cutting machinery to carve sculptural moldings 20 to 30 feet long, installing these in ritzy homes and casino interiors.

But he grew dissatisfied. These beautiful interiors were not shared with the public. He wanted to do work that made a difference. 

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Custom-carved moldings

Around that time, he also worked alongside artist Ulrich (Rich) Pakker to create several monumental sculptures. These metal and glass structures could withstand absurd amounts of wind, some standing as high as 25 feet in the air. The sculptures still live in public places around the continent.

Working with Rich was pretty satisfying, but the work became less frequent. I didn’t want to go back to doing custom interiors so I kept kicking around ideas to make my own things. I kinda always new that I would eventually invent something. I don’t even really know that the FlipSteady is that thing,” says Coberly.

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He started FlipSteady with a successful Kickstarter campaign in late August, 2012, raising nearly $30,000. He shipped backers their first-generation cases within a week of the scheduled delivery time, unusual for this type of project, which often runs late.

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Isaiah Coberly working on a FlipSteady case.

Moment of Discovery

In the spring of 2011, when the iPad came out, Isaiah excitedly got one. Examining the Smart Cover available for it, he noticed some shortcomings: you needed two hands to hold it, and they only had two positions, both landscape.

He thought, “there has to be a better way.” As he was walking from his car to his home, the idea hit that a case could be made with a different cut pattern that would make a better stand. He went home, grabbed a shoebox, cut it up, and using duct tape, assembled a case. The first FlipSteady prototype was born. Here’s a video of Isaiah with the prototype.

By 2012, he had learned all about the materials and automated machinery needed, and started a beta production process. Belina Yacht offered him floor space on weekends. Recruiting his friends to the shop, they turned out 300 or so FlipSteadies in two weekends. These were shipped all over the world.

Since then, it has been a process of refinement. Coberly is constantly investigating and experimenting with ways of improving the cases.

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Cintiq Companion in FlipSteady case, portrait mode

Being in the arts, he decided to only make cases for artists, so besides the iPad cases, he chose art tablets that lacked case solutions, such as the Cintiq and Cintiq Companion, which only had sleeves available. He also made a case for the Samsung Ativ 700t, a 2-in-1 Windows art tablet.

Once the FlipSteady came out, artists came out of the woodwork. FlipSteadies are used by many well-known digital illustrators, fine artists, designers, animators, CG artists, and even tattoo artists.
Coberly even did a line of Lenovo Helix cases for corporate clients that supply employees with the hybrid laptop, which detaches from its keyboard to become a tablet with a Wacom digitizer.

DIY kits to help others help themselves

Coberly has a vision of using his cases to help others by creating do-it-yourself computer and paper-tablet cases that people such as artists, those with disabilities, and pregnant women can put together and sell. The case is a totally new way to express his invention using bamboo ply, suede hinges, and recycled rubber components. He’s designing the kit so that it can be made by any able-bodied person with a bottle of super glue and a razor blade. He explains in more detail in the recorded interview.

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DIY FlipSteady kit

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The DIY case

While he gets asked about cases for the Surface Book, he feels that particular case is too identified with the keyboard. But he is at work making cases for the Surface Pro 3 and 4.

Recently, he was contacted by a rep from Apple Business Development, a concierge for local Tacoma businesses that use Apple products for work. The rep strongly believes in the cases and wants to use his connections at Apple and hopes to get the FlipSteady into Apple retail stores everywhere, right alongside Apple’s own cases.

Shark Tank… almost

Isaiah is used to enthusiastic reactions. “I love to give demonstrations of my invention in bars, cafes, and wherever I go…. It never mattered whether I was showing a cardboard-and-duct-tape prototype, or a carefully finished product. I flip the invention out onto a bar and I’m guaranteed to see jaws dropping like dominoes in a row. From my end of the bar, it always looks to me as if everyone has just seen a glimpse of the future and is now in a state of shock. “You’re going to be rich!” “You should go on Shark Tank.”

He DID almost go on Shark Tank, the famed reality show where  small businesses vie for seed money from a panel of wealthy investors. He was approached by the show and got the 29-page application packet, but he had doubts. It didn’t represent what he believed in. Listening to his inner guidance, he decided against it.

“I personally feel humbled to be a maker of things”

Isaiah encourages others to follow their dreams.  “I believe that it’s my job to encourage these shy ghosts of ideas to materialize themselves and take their place under the spotlight….

“I think hands are doomed to be underutilized in a time when people make less of their own things. There seems to be a common belief that creating things is reserved for rare talent, those trying to be famous, or the less educated. On the contrary, I personally feel humbled to be a maker of things and remain dedicated to the mastery of my craft.”

Besides showing people the FlipSteady in “bars and cafes,” he gives talks to schoolchildren to inspire them. He says, “I tell my kids all the time, you will eventually master whatever you practice enough at, and I hope they practice good things.”

So if you’re looking for a unique and versatile handmade case for your iPad, iPad Pro, or Cintiq (complete list above), check out FlipSteady, where you can purchase the cases. Use the code tabletsforartists to get $5 off.

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Isaiah in his studio, a line of FlipSteadies behind him

There’s lots more videos at the  FlipSteady YouTube channel and more photos and info at the FlipSteady Facebook page.

Here again is the audio link.

designeripadcases

 

And here again is the FlipSteady site where the cases are for sale. Use code tabletsforartists at checkout to get $5 off.

 

 

 

See our iPad Pro review
See our Surface Book review
Read iPad drawing stylus reviews

 

 

 

 

 

iPad cases

Best rugged iPad case: Five tough choices

Best Rugged iPad Case: Five strong contenders

The best rugged iPad case should be something you only need to buy once. These types of cases are the most protective. Some are military grade. Some are waterproof. Some have keyboards. Some seal the tablet in a hard, tank-like shell, while others buffer it with bouncy material. Most are drop-proof to a certain height. Some come with screen protectors that keep liquids from seeping in. A durable iPad case is a good choice for families with kids, or any active adult.

These are five of the top rugged iPad cases out there, selected for their high quality, features, and user praise.

For pointers on what to look for in a rugged case, please read our article.

 

Griffin GB35108 Survivor Extreme-duty Military Case for iPad 2, 3, 4 (4 is also called 3S)

Griffin GB35108 Survivor ipad case

This military-grade Griffin Survivor iPad 1,2, and 3 case might be the best rugged iPad case for you if you work out in the field, on a dusty construction or sports site, take photos out out in the elements, or have kiddies who spill milk onto the screen. It’s waterproof and dustproof.

The Griffin’s hard polycarbonate frame is surrounded by robust, soft silicone, protecting it from shocks and vibrations. The silicone’s inside has a relief waffle pattern that adds air cushioning, and the back has a tread design that provides additional padding against drops. A built-in screen protector protects the screen from dust, wind, and rain.

Raised silicone edges provide a buffer if you drop the tablet directly onto its screen, but the screen could still be damaged depending on the fall. A sleeve would provide additional protection.

The included small workstand clips cleverly onto the case. You can take off the stand and unfold it so that it will hold the iPad in different positions (only in landscape mode).

The silicone surroundings have hinged plugs that cover the iPad’s ports, connector, and lens.  A clever indentation in the silicone lets you keep the rear-facing camera port open as long as you wish by “buttoning” it down.

This durable, rugged, waterproof case adds almost a pound to your iPad.

Comes in 5 colors

Weight: 15.2 oz.

See more reviews and info

 

 

Lifeproof Fre for iPad mini 1, 2, 3

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A popular choice for the best rugged iPad mini case is the Lifeproof Fre. It protects against dirt, snow, water, and drops. It’s waterproof for an hour up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) and drop-proof for up to 4 feet, by military standards.

The Fre’s transparent back shows off the Apple logo. The rubber around the case makes it grippable and provides padding for the edges and a little buffer in case the iPad falls on its screen. It it does not provide thorough screen protection, so as with any case that leaves the screen exposed or with just a thin screen protector, you might want to get a sleeve as well. The Fre comes with a super thin, clear screen protector as well as a removable shoulder strap.

All the ports, controls, and buttons are accessible. Its sound-enhancing features make the iPad even more enjoyable for listening to music. The case has an anti-reflective optical glass lens for the camera, so it won’t distort or blur your photos and videos.

The description on Amazon is vague about which models this case is for, so we checked with Lifeproof and it is for the iPad 1, 2, and 3. It plays well with retina and the iPad mini 3 touch ID.

Lifeproof’s customer service is prompt and replaces cases if anything goes wrong.

Weightwise, the case is barely there–just 130 grams. If you want something non-bulky, this might be the best rugged iPad case for the way you roll.

Colors: Black, White/Gray

Weight: about 4.6 oz. (130 g)

More reviews and info

 

The Fintie Casebot Tuatera Series Uni-body Hybrid Case for iPad Air 2 (iPad6)

 

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Made of hard polycarbonate plastic, the affordable Tuatara protects the iPad3 on all sides, encasing it in a reptile-like hard shell. It has a built-in screen protector with good sensitivity. Under the polycarbonate is a layer of TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane. TPU is like a soft plastic. It’s far less flexible than silicone, but it doesn’t pick up dirt, lint, and oils the way silicone can, and it’s easy to clean.

This case is easy to put the iPad into. It is shock-resistant (but not military-grade), and its internal grooves and “air padding” help regulate heat and moisture. It is  light and not bulky. It will not interfere with the iPad Air 2’s ambient light sensor or Touch ID. The camera and port cutouts line up well. The screen protector will protect somewhat from liquids and dusts, but not from drops

This is inexpensive, so we’ve picked it as an best rugged iPad case that’s competitive with more expensive cases, and a good choice for families with kids.

Comes in 6 solid colors.

Weight: 10.4 oz.

Read more reviews and info

 

Gumdrop Drop Series – Military Edition, for iPad5 (iPad Air)

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Gumdrop Drop Series Military Edition iPad 5 has more protection for the iPad5 (also known as iPad Air, the first model) than the regular Gumdrop cases, which are also rugged, but this one is even more so. This one is made of silicone and hard polycarbonate, with the soft silicone on the outside. The corner bumpers are reinforced. There is a protective ring around the iPad camera. The screen protector is removable in this military edition.

The case is not waterproof. It does not come with a stand, making it lighter than the Griffin models that have stands. All ports and buttons are covered. This case has had oil hand-applied to the silicone outer layer to make it repel dust.

Comes in 9 colors

Weight 12.8 oz

See more reviews and info

Gumdrop Hideaway with Stand for iPad Air2

Gumdrop cases command loyal fans. Some just love the look and feel of them.  Gumdrop’s siliconized rubber bumper surrounds the whole iPad and raises a bit more cushion for direct screen drops than some other rugged cases (still, try not to drop the iPad onto its screen).

The rubber covers the whole back and protects all the ports, but they are still easily accessible. A hard internal plate protects the iPad from drops up to 6 feet. The attractive, sporty, tire-like tread texture makes the case fun to hold and gives it a no-slip grip. The rubber does produce a bit of static that picks up dust.

The Gumdrop is pretty easy to install–you have to push down on the rubber all around the iPad, rather than just snapping the Ipad into the case, but it’s simple. A Gumdrop may be one of the best rugged iPad cases if you have kids.

If you want a durable, but not military-grade, iPad with a stand, try the Gumdrop Custom Hideaway with Stand. This is a good case for kids and has a “fun” look and feel. It’s not quite as protected as the military one, but it’s still very durable and has most of the features.

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Unfortunately, the iPad Air2’s light sensor is covered by this case, so auto-dimming will not work.

7  bright colors. Weight 1 lb.

See more reviews and info

ZAGG Rugged Folio Case: best rugged iPad case with a keyboard

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If you’re looking for a really durable iPad case with a keyboard, this might be the ticket.

Like some other rugged cases, the Zagg Rugged Folio is made from layers of polycarbonate and soft silicone that will protect your iPad Air from drops. But the Zagg also features a stainless steel plate under the keyboard for more drop protection as well as a stable surface to type on.

Rubber runs around the edges when the case is closed, to keep out dirt and dust. The island/Chiclet-style keyboard attaches and detaches via strong magnetic hinge. It’s easy to detach the keyboard if you choose.

Some cases require a bit of gymnastics to take the iPad out and put it in, but this case is easy to install.  The case is durable and protects from dust and dirt when closed, but if you’re in a windstorm while the case is open, dust could get into the keyboard. For most uses it’s fine.

It’s NOT waterproof; the iPad ports and buttons are not sealed inside the case.  The case does not come with a screen protector, but you can add one.

My favorite part is the keyboard with its choice of dimness and lighting colors, making typing relaxing or stimulating as you wish.

The case takes four forms: Keyboard Mode, Case Mode, Video Mode, and Book Mode. In Keyboard Mode, your iPad becomes like a Mac laptop. You can open or close the cover to any angle for comfortable typing and viewing. In Case Mode, you can detach the keyboard and just use the case.

In Book and Video Modes, you can turn the screen on the hinge, so in Book Mode you have a slate, so you can read. You can re-attach the keyboard to the back while in Book Mode. In Video Mode, you look at the screen while the keyboard faces away from you (watch the video below to see all the modes).

The lithium polymer battery keeps the keyboard going for up to two years! There’s a battery monitor that lets you see the power left (1-4 lights go on). The keyboard charges via mini USB, but you can wait two years between charges.

The case is quite heavy at about a pound and a half, so with the iPad Air, about two and a half pounds, heavier than some laptops. It’s also not waterproof. But it’s very solid and makes your Air into a well-functioning laptop-tablet hybrid.

Despite it’s not being waterproof, this is very useful and versatile, and could just be the best rugged iPad case for the mini.

 

See more reviews and info for the Zagg Rugged Folio

 

Browse all rugged iPad cases on Amazon.

 

Here’s how to tell what model iPad you have:

from http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201471
iPad Air 2. Year: Late 2014. Model nos. A1566, A1567

iPad Air. Year: Late 2013. Model nos. A1474, A1475, A1476

iPad mini 3. Year: late 2014. A1599, A1600

iPad mini 2. Year: late 2013. Model nos. A1489, A1490, A1491

iPad mini. Year: late 2012. Model nos. A1432, A1454, A1455

iPad (4th generation). Year: Late 2012. Model nos. A1458, A1459, A1460

iPad (3rd generation). Year: early 2012. Model nos. A1416, A1430, A1403
iPad 2. Year: 2011. A1395, A1396, A1397
iPad. Year: 2010. Model numbers A1219, A1337

end of The Best Rugged iPad Case: Five to Consider

iPad cases

Finding the Best iPad Case Part 2: What to Look for in a Rugged Case

Finding the Best iPad Case, Part 2: What to Look for in a Rugged Case

by Tablets for Artists

best ipad case

“Let’s switch to FaceTime!”

IPads are used in the military for everything from logistics to chatting with family back home. IPads get knocked about in deserts, jungles, and Jeeps, in extreme dust, in freezing and hot temperatures, and they see action like few back home ever see. Many iPad cases for sale are made to military-grade standards.

But civilians have bumpy lives too. They travel. Their kids treat iPads like bouncing balls. And face it, everyone is a klutz at least some of the time. A military-grade case can be the best iPad casefor active people.

Companies have responded to the challenges the active lives of iPad owners by making tank-like containers that seal in the device so it’s snug as a bug. Some of these are waterproof or water-resistant, dust-proof and drop-proof to a certain height, and some have hand or shoulder straps. Not all rugged cases have everything. Try to think of features you can and can’t live without.

Before purchasing a rugged iPad case, consider:

Weight. How much weight does it add?

Screen clarity. Does it come with a screen protector that lets you use the screen? Does the screen protector protect from spills? Is it removable? Is it sensitive to your touch, or do you have to press hard to get it to work? Try pressing the buttons. Try it with a stylus.

Is it waterproof? Water-resistant?

Does it have a wake/sleep mechanism? Most covers have magnets that do this.

Holding it. Does it have handy features such as a belt that you could attach to a hand, arm, or leg? Not everyone would use this, but if you’re out in the field, or a teacher giving a talk who uses the iPad to refer to notes, this feature can be useful. Or maybe it has a shoulder strap?

Grip. Does the grip slip?

Stand. Does it have a stand? Does it work in several positions and the two modes, portrait and landccape? Many stands are landscape-only.

If it has a built-in screen protector, can you still use your own, at the same time? Or as a replacement?

Protection. How is the padding, screen protection, corner protection?

Cutouts. all ports, plugs, and cameras accessible? Does the case protect the ports?

Mic. Is the mic blocked?

Appropriateness for your iPad. Is the ambient light sensor and retina functions working with the case, if they are supposed to?

Materials.  Most cases are made from materials such as silicone, hard polycarbonate,  or TPU (a soft plastic), rubber, or siliconized rubber. Some say silicone, though more flexible, can attract dust because it picks up electrical charges. TPU is harder but easier to clean. Pure rubber is natural. None of these are better in quality than the others, it’s just personal preference. Many durable, rugged cases combine hard and soft materials.

Fit. Is it easy to install and remove the iPad?

Features. Is there something you really need–a keyboard? Would it need to be built-in, or could you use a separate one? If you’re an artist, maybe the best iPad case for you has a notepad and pen loop.

Safety and wear and tear. Does it have little pieces that could break off? This is particularly important if you have children, as it could be a safety issue.

Price. Some are fairly expensive, but there are some affordable ones that work almost as well. The best iPad case for your lifestyle isn’t always the most costly one. A lot goes into these cases and getting the details right. Sometimes some batches will not fit iPads as well as others. In that case, using a company with good customer service will matter, in the event of a problem.

Customer Service: Is the manufacturer reputable and responsive?

Remember:

Check to make sure which iPad model you have and that your case is right for this model. There can be subtle differences in iPads even if they almost the same.

CLEAN your iPad screen before putting it into a screen protector.

By considering all these points, whether you decide you need a rugged case or not, you can find the perfect iPad case for your life.

Read our reviews of five of the best rugged cases.

Browse rugged iPad cases on Amazon.

end of Finding the Best iPad Case, Part 2: What to Look for in a Rugged Case

 

iPad cases

An iPad case with notepad is a draw for artists

Artists take note: an iPad case with notepad and pen holder is a big draw

by Tablets for Artists

Nothing’s worse than forgetting a great idea, and sometimes the iPad isn’t charged. Worse yet, you’re digging in your bag for your stylus. Now there’s reason for hope. There are high-quality and affordable iPad cases with notepads, pen holders, or both.

First of all, make sure the case will fit your iPad.

Here’s how to check your iPad model number: Look at the very small type on the back of your iPad  for these numbers.

iPad 1: A1219 or A1337; iPad 2: A1395, A1396, or A1397; iPad 3: A1416, A1430, or A1403; iPad 4: A1458, A1459, or A1460; iPad Mini: A1432, A1454, or A1455; iPad Mini with Retina: A1490; iPad Air: A1474 or A1475

While most pen loops will fit most styluses, some of the thicker styluses may be too large.

 

iPad cases with notepad and pen holder:

 

Grifiti Dootle iPad Air Folio Case for Ipad Air

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This is an attractive and versatile iPad case with notepad and pen holder being the main draws, so to speak. We also like that the iPad bezel is exposed; it just looks nicer. The corners and sides are protected by an imitation-leather cover. The case is reversible and ambidextrous; you can set it up for right-handed or left-handed use by switching the positions of the iPad and Dootle Pad (as the notepad is called). It’s compatible with the Apple Smart Cover.

 

grifitioutsideIt comes with a 6 x 9″ combo ruled and grid Dootle Pad notepad that’s basically graph paper. Your stylus or pen (would be nice to have two loops, huh) will perched in a pen loop on the outside of the case. The sturdy back cover is form-fitting and cutouts allow access to all ports as well as the camera. The case also has a cover pocket for business cards, cash, or notes. The iPad secures to the case via good old Velcro. You can put your Apple Smart Cover inside this case if you wish.

It has a large outer slip pocket on the back into which you can put the doodles you’ve drawn on the Dootle pad, or anything else you want to put there. Since it’s on the outside, it’s not meant for things like cash or credit cards, though.

Cons–a little heavy and bulky, which makes sense as it has a notepad.

Here’s the version for the iPad mini 1, 2, and 3. Like the larger version, it’s also Apple Smart Cover Compatible.

See it on Amazon.

 

 

Booqpad for iPad Mini

booqpad for ipad mini

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Booqpad for iPad mini is similar to the iPad Air, but comes with both a stylus holder and notepad, making this a great choice for those who scrawl in multimedia (digital and paper).  The cover also has clever pockets for business cards, tickets, cash, what have you–you can hide them away. Like its larger cousin, it’s ambidextrous. The notepad is made with 30% soy ink. The paper notepad is  4-1/8th x 7-1/4th inches. You can find paper refills here on the Booqpad site–the notepad that says mini.

Cons: no wake/sleep; cover does not fold into a stand; no camera hole; pen loop caused problems for some, loosening the back flap when it had the pen in it and some didn’t like the way the pens fit. Seems this case is nice-looking, and most users loved it but some had some issues with it.

See it on Amazon.

 

 

Solo Vintage Collection Colombian Leather Padfolio for iPad 1, 2, 3, 4

 

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solo padfolio ipad case with notepad

This Colombian leather, high-end folio case fits iPads 1-4. It has an unusual ziparound (zipper) closure. It’s sleek and luxurious, but ready for business. Inside it (there’s only a small photo) are a 5 x 8″ paper notepad, and pockets for business cards and other items–a mini-organizer.  The gold stitching forms a nice contrast with the case’s warm espresso color. There’s also a pen holder on the inside. This case isn’t form- fitting, so can hold iPads 1-4.

Cons: Lacks a back camera hole.

A little bulky to put in a handbag, but great to carry the iPad around by itself.

See it on Amazon.

 

 

iPad case with Bluetooth keyboard and space for notepad and pen

 

Kensington KeyFolio Executive Zipper Folio Case with Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad 4 Retina, iPad 3,  iPad 2

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You might not think of yourself as an executive, but artists are the CEO of their own businesses and lives. This case has it all–space for a notepad and stylus (you’ll have to supply your own) as well as a Bluetooth keyboard, all neatly zipped up. Accepts notepads up to 7.5″ x 9″. Cover folds into a stand with viewing angles from 20 to 70 degrees. You can access all ports and cameras with this cool case. I could see Don Draper with one of these, if he’s still in the biz.

See it on Amazon.

Browse Kensington iPad cases.

 

iPad case with notepad, no pen holder:

 

Booqpad for iPad Air

booqpad for ipad air2

 

 

 

The stylish, versatile Booqpad iPad case with notepad combines an inner, hard, magnetically attached polycarbonate shell with an outer, suedelike folio. It works for both left- and right-handed users (you’re going to have to turn the magnetic case upside-down to switch the notepad to the right side). Ports and cameras remain accessible at all times. The 50-page notebook is included, as are a screen film and cleaning cloth. Unlike the mini version, this has no pen loop. When closed, the notepad gives the iPad added protection. The cover folds to offer two viewing angles and a typing angle. The case can take standard 6 x 9″ refill pads, though the notepad it comes with is slightly smaller. You can find notepad refills here on the Booqpad site.

See this case on Amazon.

 

 

 

iPad cases with a pen holder but no notepad:

 

Don’t need a notepad with your iPad case, but want to carry your stylus with you? Here are some top choices:

iPad Air 2 Case Cover by FYY

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Constructed with PU synthetic leather and featuring a handy exterior pen loop to hold a stylus, this handsome case folds into a stand with slots that give three viewing angles, all landscape orientation. Most of the iPad’s bezel is covered. Anti-skid interior doesn’t slip. It sports pockets for credit or business cards, a smaller pocket for a storage card, a longer pocket for cash or travelers cheques, and a handy hand strap to hold it sturdy. Features a sleep/wake function. All ports and cameras are accessible via carefully aligned cutouts. Shuts with Velcro. Comes in 8 bright colors.

Cons: a little bulky, weighs more than some cases; PU leather doesn’t always stand up to a lot of wear and tear over long periods.

See it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Snugg Leather iPad Air Case

snuggipadaircasepenholder

 

Lifetime guarantee! This folio-style smart cover from Snugg comes in many colors and two patterns, Blue Denim and Digital Camo. It covers the iPad’s bezel but allows access to all ports and cameras. It’s made of Nubuck, which is real leather that has been buffed to resemble suede, but it’s more costly than suede. The workmanship and materials on this are high end. The cover opens into a kickstand that gives you a couple of viewing angles, both landscape.

The hand strap is ideal for using your iPad while standing, whether reading, writing/drawing, or giving a presentation.

The pen loop will keep that stylus from getting lost. Sleep/wake function keeps your iPad well rested.

Cons: Taking photos requires holding the cover flap up because there’s no cutout for the camera on the back.

See it on Amazon.

 

 

 

Fintie iPad mini 1/2/3 Case

fintie ipad mini case with pen loop

 

 

 

This cute folio-style iPad mini case comes in 20 groovy, bright colors and patterns with appeal for teens, tweens, and anyone who  would love an iPad case with animal print. It has a neat pen loop for a stylus. The case is vegan (all the non-leather ones are) with a sleep-wake function. The cover folds back into a stand in landscape orientation. The inside has soft microfiber lining that won’t scratch your iPad. The sides get protected and the bezel mostly covered. It’s easy to put the iPad into this Fintie case; simply insert it and close the Velcro flap. Though the back is not a polycarbonate shell, it’s quite sturdy and protective.

Cons: a few people had problems with the sleep/wake, but the vast majority did not.

See it on Amazon.

 

 

KAVAJ iPad Air 2 “London” cognac brown leather case cover

kavaj ipad air case with pen loop

 

 

 

 

This luxurious case of of London Cognac brown leather lined with soft flannel has a sleep/wake feature and a fancy pen holder. The cover folds out into a stand that offers two landscape viewing positions, one of them quite upright. Best of all, it comes with a Kavaj ink pen that doubles as a stylus. There is a hidden Velcro strap that secures the iPad. A wide interior pocket allows you to stash things made of paper. The case allows some of the iPad bezel to be exposed, which is a nice design feature.

See it on Amazon.

 

end of Artists take note: an iPad case with notepad and pen holder is a big draw

Check out our iPad case buying guide.

Read our post on best iPad styluses for art.

Looking for a handmade iPad case? Check out this interview with the artist who makes them, including a link to where you can get one.

 

iPad cases

Find the best iPad case, part 1: a buying guide

Looking for the best iPad case?

 

Find the best iPad case: A buying guide

by Tablets for Artists

There are many iPad cases, most made by companies other than Apple. Ipad cases can be broken down into different types with different features for the varying lives led by iPad users. The types of cases are available for all
models of iPad, including the iPad Air and iPad mini.

If you specifically want one with a notepad and/or pen holder, see our post here.

climber with tablet cartoon illustration

This extreme multitasker would need a drop-proof case.

Things to Consider

When deciding on the best iPad case for your needs, consider how you use the iPad.
Do you use it a lot? If you do, consider higher quality materials that will last.
Do you need a keyboard?
Do you tend to drop things? In that case you would want good impact resistance, especially if you have uncarpeted floors.
Do you use your iPad near food or drink?
Do you want to stand the iPad up? Would you like the angles of the stand to be flexible? Would you want the stand to be only horizontal, or allow rotation to portrait mode as well?
Do you want a carrying strap or handle? Some carrying straps can securely attach to your hand, arm, or even leg.
Do you want to carry your stylus?
Do you want a place to carry the charging cord and other accessories?
Do you have  or work with young children who drop-kick your iPad?
Or do your children have iPads that they use regularly?
Do you use it over carpeting?
Do you use it out in the field?
Would you want to use it underwater, for instance, to take photographs?
How much of an issue is the weight of your Ipad case?
What type of bag do you carry it in?

Do you travel a lot? Would you pack your Ipad into luggage or perhaps into a bag or briefcase that contains other
things as well?

 

If you vary in your activities, you might find that one type of case is not enough. The good news is, there are
now a lot of good, relatively cheap iPad cases. The more you know what features you want, the easier it is to
narrow down the best iPad case for you.

Which model iPad do you have?

First of all, determine which iPad you have. While it might seem that most people would know, perhaps you got it as a gift, or have forgotten. Figure out which Ipad you have by squinting very hard at the tiny print on the lower back of your iPad. This chart will take us on a trip down Memory Lane through iPad history. Notice most iPads have a few different model numbers; this is because models with wifi and 3G, or GSM/CDMA/LTE models get different numbers.

When choosing an iPad case, be sure it’s right for your model number. Cases have customized cutouts to fit particular models, so be very sure–check your iPad model number, or ask the store where you purchase it for help.
Though iPads can appear similar in size and design, subtle differences can make cases incompatible. For instance, models after the iPad 3rd generation have lightning connectors, not 30-pin ones. And, the micro-SIM tray is on the right side in the GSM model of the iPad2.

LINK: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201471
iPad Air 2. Year: Late 2014. Model nos. A1566, A1567

iPad Air. Year: Late 2013. Model nos. A1474, A1475, A1476

iPad mini 3. Year: late 2014. A1599, A1600

iPad mini 2. Year: late 2013. Model nos. A1489, A1490, A1491

iPad mini. Year: late 2012. Model nos. A1432, A1454, A1455

iPad (4th generation). Year: Late 2012. Model nos. A1458, A1459, A1460

iPad (3rd generation). Year: early 2012. Model nos. A1416, A1430, A1403
iPad 2. Year: 2011. A1395, A1396, A1397
iPad. Year: 2010. Model numbers A1219, A1337

 

 

Choosing and using an iPad case

Some cases say they are “one size fits all” for similar sizes of iPads and other brands of tablet. Unless these are pouches or bags, a one-size-fits-all solution is not the best case for your iPad. You want a snug, protective haven, and you want to be able to access the controls, speaker, dock connector, and cameras, which means having cutouts that fit perfectly and a form-fitting surrounding. If your case has cutouts, make sure the cutouts are cut so that those show through. Some cutout cases have flaps that can cover the cutouts for further protection. Many cases are lined with soft microfiber to keep the screen and body cozy and unscratched.

Also, when using a case, be sure your iPad is facing the right way and the cutouts are lining up. You’d be
surprised at how easy it is to get it wrong with some cases.

Most of all, choose one that fits your lifestyle. A business user might want a sleek folio, and a hiker who likes to dive into a pond with an iPad to snap pictures don’t have the same needs. Often we wear many hats, and there are some combination cases that could both look stylish and give heavy protection. Tradeoffs might include weight or difficulty taking the iPad out of the case or putting it in (with these you can usually just leave the iPad in).

 

kid in glasses looking at mini tablet pc screen sitting at table

working on ipad that’s in a case that folds back to create a stand.

Types of iPad cases

There are many types of coverings: cover, folio, skin or shell, rugged and waterproof, sleeve, bag, carrier, and body and screen film. Choosing the best iPad case depends on your usage (see Things to Consider, above). You can have keyboard covers and combination covers. These types of cases exist for all models of iPad as well as Android tablets.

If you use the iPad out in the field, or you tend to drop things or have small children who like to use your
fragile, expensive device as a football, you probably want a rugged iPad case. These are the most durable,
protective cases, some of them waterproof or water-resistant.

A cover, such as the Apple iPad Smart Cover, attaches via magnet and covers only the screen. They are usually made of metal or polycarbonate, which is a hard, impact-resistant plastic. Some of these include keyboards.

Folio cases cover the whole iPad and open like books to show the screen. Often the covers fold to create a stand. Folios are often very stylish. They are often made of synthetic leather, real leather, or fabric. Sometimes they are hard polycarbonate. Some lack a cutout for the rear camera. Browse folio cases

Skins and shells usually cover just the back and sides while leaving the screen open. Usually shells are made of polycarbonate or thick plastic, and skins of silicone. Sometimes a shell also refers to a tanklike case that covers the whole iPad.

Combination covers can be both a shell and a folio, and a keyboard as well. Combo covers often combine metal and plastics so that the case is impact resistant where it needs to be but doesn’t scratch the iPad.

Keyboard covers can be folio or clamshell covers. They basically turn your iPad into a small laptop or netbook.

Rugged iPad covers are tanklike creations that cover the entire iPad, keeping it safe from drops, spills, dust, kids, and weather. These are good if you are out in the field. Often the cutouts have flaps that go over them. Some are waterproof or water-resistant. The Otterbox defender is considered one of the best iPad cases in the rugged category, though there’s plenty of competition. Some rugged cases are water-resistant or waterproof. Browse rugged cases

Waterproof cases sometimes are skins or shells that cover the back and leave the front open with a screen protector.

Sleeves are soft pouches that you simply put the iPad into. They envelope and protect the iPad, and you take the iPad out to use it. They are sometimes only large enough for the iPad, or sometimes are carrying packs that let you tote gear such as Bluetooth keyboard. Often you can use the sleeve for other tablets as well. Sleeves can be made of fabric, foam, leather, faux leather, or other materials. If you like to use the iPad without any added weight while you are using it, or you want a versatile case, a sleeve may be your best choice of iPad case. Browse sleeve cases

Bag cases are bags where you can carry the Ipad and other gear. They have pockets for the iPad and accessories, and are cushioned. You can often use these for other types of tablets too, or for general gear when not carrying the iPad.

Screen films are thin plastic screen protectors. They can be difficult to put on without leaving air bubbles. Some cases come with them as part of their structure. browse screen film

Body films are very thin, clear coatings cover the back and sides of your iPad. They sometimes come with screen films.

Kids’ iPad cases tend to be of bulky plastic and have bright colors and kiddie style. browse kids’ cases

If you just want to browse all iPad cases on Amazon, click here.

Below are our picks, just a sampling of the smorgasbord of quality, eye-pleasing, functional iPad cases.


Figure out which features combine into the best iPad case for you

As you can see, when it comes to iPad cases, just about everything under the sun exists. Many of these also exist in combination. When choosing the best iPad case, most shoot for a middle ground with a protective case that’s not necessarily military-grade protective, because that adds weight. Though some do need those extremely rugged cases. If looks are important, folio cases can provide protection and come in various materials.

Our reviews of the best iPad cases will always tell you their weight. Some iPad cases weigh more than the iPad itself. The iPad air, being thinnner lighter, has also allowed case designs to slim down.

Try to come up with a list of features you want. As an artist, you might want a hard shell to protect the iPad. You might want a removable screen protector as you might sometimes want to use the iPad without it to get full sensitivity (some screen films do affect visuals or sensitivity in small ways). You probably also want an inner or outer loop for your stylus or styluses.

If you narrow it down, it shouldn’t be overwhelming to find the best iPad case you could possibly want. Remember, if you’re like most people, you’re not going to “trade up” to a new iPad every year, so pick something that will last and that fits.
end of The Best iPad Case, Part 1