If you just acquired up a new iPad Air or an iPad Mini, or if you're shopping for someone who has, you'll want a case for it to make sure it's safe and protected. You have options whether it's a rugged case you require, a soft case with pockets, or a keyboard case. Here are five of the best, based on your nominations.
Title photo by Tatsuo Yamashita
Cases by DODOcase aren't cheap, but they're some of the best handmade cases you can put your iPad into. Prices vary depending on the design and materials you want used to make the body of the case, but almost all of DODOcase's offerings provide full folio-style protection with a wooden body that your iPad rests comfortably into and a firm board cover that flips over the screen to keep it safe when it's not in use. The cases are also flexible enough to be used in portrait or landscape mode, both standing up or resting on their back. This is the type of case that makes your iPad look like a book and easy to slide in and out of a bag or briefcase without damaging the tablet itself. You can check out all of the DODOcase iPad Air cases here here, and all of the iPad Mini cases here.
Apple's own iPad Smart Case was a popular choice, largely because you can buy it at the same time as your iPad, and because you're guaranteed a solid fit and a full-body case. The iPad Smart Case is a full-body case with a polycarbonate backing to protect the sides and back of your device, and a Smart Cover-style flap that protects the screen when not in use, folds up to be an impromptu stand, and will wake your iPad from sleep or put it to sleep when the cover is opened or closed.
The iPad Air versions of the Smart Case come in a variety of colours but will set you back $99. You can check out all of the colour options here. The iPad Mini version is $89, and they're available here. If you're not interested in spending that much and just want the cover, Apple's Smart Cover only protects the screen. It's $48 for the iPad Air version and and the same price for the iPad Mini version.
The Griffin Intellicase offers full-body protection for the back and sides of your iPad and a magnetic screen cover that will wake or sleep your device when the cover is opened or shut. The back is polycarbonate, and the flip cover is polyurethane. The flip cover folds up nicely to be an impromptu stand, and the Intellicase comes in a variety of colours. The only downside is that the Intellicase isn't currently available for the iPad Air, the latest full-sized iPad model on store shelves. However, if you're getting any iPad older than that, it's a solid choice.
If you have a lot to carry around in addition to your tablet, the Snugg Executive Case Cover and Flip Stand may be your best cjoice. It's definitely a bulkier case, but it adds both protection and storage space for credit cards, business cards, documents, pens, a notepad and a stylus. It's a full-body folio-style case, so you get polyurethane and leather around the body of your case and as a screen cover that's flexible enough to fold over itself and into a slot on the back of the case so your iPad stands up -- ideal for watching video, reading, or typing with both hands. The slot on the back is even large enough to get your hand through, so you can hold it with one hand securely and use it with the other. The Executive Case Cover is available in a number of colours, and it's available for all models of iPad (including the iPad Mini) except the iPad Air.
Logitech offers both folio-style cases for transport and keyboard folios for when you want to type on the go. Logitech's keyboard folios are well regarded as some of the thinnest and longest-lasting on the market, and they don't add a lot of width or bulk to your tablet at the same time. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover earned a lot of praise when it was launched, but most nominations covered the Folio for iPad Air, the Folio for iPad Mini and original Folio for iPad. All of Logitech's keyboard models are Bluetooth-powered, and feature long-lasting batteries that can be recharged while still in use if you're close to an outlet. Logitech's Keyboard Folio is the only case with a keyboard in this roundup, but we did an entire roundup of iPad keyboard cases not too long ago if you want more options.
The honourable mention this week goes out to Pad and Quill Cases, a line of hand-crafted high-end cases for iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Macbooks and Macbook Airs that are all bound in wood and leather. If you're looking for a high-quality case and you're also willing to pay a premium for it, check them out.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to argue for your personal favourite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Make your case (sorry!) in the comments.