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.
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.
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).
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
I have a IPAD Modle A1403 and a zagg case with a keypad. Love it but the hard shell case is worn realy bad. I want to replace the shell if I can. Is this a option or do I have to get a new cover all together? The key pad works great but the shell wont keep the IPAD or the key pad stable.
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, Zagg would have to replace the entire keyboard case, unless it’s a Slim Book–if it is, they can replace just the detachable case. They will replace a keyboard case for 1 year, for any reason.