The new iPad Air (the fifth iPad) is seriously skinny. We’re talking about 7.5mm, which makes it easy to handle for such a big tablet, but you have to worry about durability. You can add a flourish of personal style to Apple’s minimalist design, you can choose functional elements to enhance your daily use, and you can make sure it’s safe when you sling it in your bag; all it takes is the right case. We’ve been perusing your choices and these are the best iPad Air cases so far.
Don’t forget to check out our iPad Mini cases roundup, too.
The understated Concerti case from Moshi combines a range of useful features to provide the complete package. The folio design is slim with a tough synthetic leather exterior, a soft and protective microfiber lining, and a silicone inner case. It folds into a variety of standing positions and you can swivel your iPad Air into portrait or landscape modes. Built-in magnets automatically wake the tablet when you open the case and there’s an elastic strap to keep it securely closed.
Grove Wood Smart Case ($100)
We love the look of Grove’s bamboo iPad Air case. It’s a clever design with a rolling bamboo cover which can fold back to create the angle you want, and a tough maple wood interior that can stand up to knocks and bumps. There’s an ultrasuede lining to prevent scratches and your iPad Air is held in place by rare-earth magnets. Lovingly hand-crafted in Portland, Oregon, using natural materials throughout, this is a case you can feel good about buying.
iPad Air Smart Case ($80)
Apple’s own range of cases match its usual minimalist design aesthetic, though they do offer a splash of pastel color in blue, red, yellow, brown, beige, or black. The case is aniline-dyed leather with a soft microfiber lining. It is svelte and fitted perfectly. Bend it back and you can choose from two landscape stand positions for watching movies or for working on the keyboard. It also supports the automatic sleep/wake function.
Want to convert your iPad into a Microsoft Surface? No, of course you don’t, but this keyboard cover could definitely be handy. It’s a folio style case that opens to reveal a super slim Bluetooth keyboard to help speed up your typing. The fabric also offers some protection and the exterior will repel liquids to make your iPad splash-proof. It uses magnets to hold your tablet in place in a choice of two positions for comfortable typing. It comes in four bold colors with silly names, our favorite is Mystic Blue.
Here’s another keyboard case for typists, this time from Belkin. It’s a lightweight aluminum design and it’s fairly slim, although the well-spaced keys do have a bit of depth for a good responsive feel. The wonder of magnets holds your iPad Air in a choice of three positions, and it turns itself off automatically to preserve power. No frivolous colors for Belkin, this case comes in a serious choice of black or white.
If you intend on taking your iPad Air into combat, mountain climbing, or possibly street racing then you absolutely, positively, have got to get some solid protection and it does not come much more solid than this. The Survivor meets military standards for protection from extreme conditions and that includes temperature fluctuations, mud, dust, sand, rain, shocks, and vibrations (good or bad). On the downside it means encasing your elegant tablet in a big chunky block of polycarbonate and silicone.
Speck iGuy for iPad Air ($40)
Fun, different, and great for the kids – the iGuy case is made of squishy foam and it has wee arms and legs. It’s lightweight, and the flexible foam makes it really comfortable to hold. It gives your iPad Air a little personality and works as the ideal stand for cartoon viewing. We’d understand if you didn’t want to let your kids anywhere near your new iPad, but if you do then the iGuy is a great way to protect it.
We’re not sure what the paradox is, but this textured case has a nice, grippable finish that’s supposed to resemble granite. The cover can be folded to act as a secure stand, offering a choice of angles. There’s a magnetic closure to stop it from swinging open. The case fully covers your iPad Air, so it should protect against scratches and any minor knocks, but it’s not particularly rugged. You can get it in blue or charcoal, but if you opt for a smooth rubber finish you’ll find another four colors to choose from.
Proporta iPad Air Cover ($50)
This is a smart, faux-leather case that’s durable and business-like. You can use it as a stand, it supports the sleep/wake function, and it comes in red or black. You don’t need to remove your iPad Air in order to use it. It’s pretty tough and you can definitely expect it to last, in fact there’s a lifetime warranty.
Gumdrop Bounce iPad Air ($35)
We wouldn’t recommend that you put the name to the test with your iPad Air inside, but this silicone case does contain air bubbles or “air chamber protection” to ensure your tablet can take a spill and keep right on ticking. It’s a snug fit that leaves controls fully accessible and the rugged tire track finish provides serious grip. Take your pick of nine colors, from crystal clear to bubblegum pink.
That’s it for our iPad Air cases roundup, but check back as we’ll update this list with new entries. If you want to recommend a good case or cover please hit the comments before you leave.
Next page: iPad 1, iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad 4 cases