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The best cases for the 10.2-inch iPad (2021)

Apple announced its 9th-generation, entry-level iPad alongside the iPhone 13 and a refresh of its diminutive sibling, the iPad Mini. The design of this iPad model — targeted at the consumer market — hasn’t changed much over the last couple of years. It’s still rocking the good old Home button, and it’s now the only tablet in Apple’s lineup that uses a Lightning connector instead of USB-C. The new display now has True Tone and supports more accessories, including the Apple Pencil and Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

Apple’s basic tablet has been a great favorite for several years, but like all other mobile devices, it’s worth protecting your electronic buddy with the best cases and covers available. While Apple has been known to tweak its hardware ever so slightly for upgrades, it’s fortunate that the cases for the 2019 and 2020 10.2-inch iPad are compatible with this new 2021 model. Here are some of our recommendations for your new iPad.

Smart Cover for iPad (9th generation)

The official Apple Smart Cover for the iPad (2021).

This one is an easy bet, because with Apple, you can always go straight to the source. The Smart Cover for iPad (9th generation) is an all-time flexible favorite for most iPad owners, made of colorful polyurethane and topped with a magnetic connection. You can easily use its tri-fold seams to fashion different positions and create the ultimate stand for reading, viewing, typing, or video chatting. The cover is thin and light, and its protection concentrates on the iPad’s glass front — there is no coverage for the back of the tablet at all. Its automatic wake/sleep function saves energy. In addition to black, it comes in lavender, navy blue, orange, white, and two shades of green.

Fintie Folio Case

Fintie Folio Case.

Fintie is famous for sturdy case coverage from top to bottom and front to back with a vast variety of colors and patterns that adorn and augment tablets and other mobile devices. Made of a premium synthetic leather exterior and soft microfiber interior, the cover features a flip capability that transforms the case into a horizontal viewing stand, while a built-in magnetic strip provides sleep/wake functionality. The cover adds in corner protection to shield the back, edges, and corners of the tablet from scratches and impact. An interior pocket opens for easy insertion of your device and includes a fastener flap to secure it. A built-in stylus loop works with the first-generation Apple Pencil or other stylus pens.

Urban Armor Gear Metropolis

UAG Metropolis iPad case.

Famous for its protective mobile cases, the UAG Metropolis model offers 360-degree protection with an auto sleep/wake folio cover and an adjustable, detachable stand for hands-free viewing. Featherweight composite construction combines with an impact-resistant soft core and a water-resistant non-slip tactical grip exterior to protect your delicate tablet from everyday bumps and scrapes.  It meets military drop-test standards (MIL-STD 810G 516.6) and is Smart Keyboard compatible with a built-in Apple Pencil holder.  It comes in numerous colors.

ESR Matte Case for iPad

ESR Matte Case for iPad.

The ESR Matte Case is a slim, light enclosure that provides enhanced protection for your iPad against accidental hits, collisions, bumps, and drops while keeping it portable and adding a grippy surface. Its shock-absorbing polymer design leaves space around the Smart Connector to stay compatible with an Apple Smart Keyboard, if necessary. Precise cutouts and easy-press buttons offer easy access to your charging port and speakers, and give you full control over your iPad.

Zagg Rugged Messenger

The Zagg Ruggd Messenger Folio case for the iPad (2021).

If you’re planning to take your iPad on the road, don’t leave the Zagg Rugged Messenger behind. This combo backlit case and Bluetooth keyboard let you connect via your iPad in multiple ways. Multi-device pairing lets you connect to two devices simultaneously — like your phone or tablet — and switch back and forth between them. A built-in adjustable magnetic kickstand with secures your device at multiple viewing angles. The Rugged Messenger’s responsive keys, backlit in seven colors, let you easily type with speed. The company promises two-year battery life: The rechargeable battery keeps you typing for up to two years between charges, and the sleep/wake function helps preserve battery life when your keyboard is not in use.

TomToc Portfolio Case

TomToc Portfolio case.

The TomToc Portfolio is a complete enclosure for when you seek a safe travel case for your iPad. This portable case passed the Military Standard Professional Test (MIL-STD 810H) and features soft fabric where the iPad sits to protect the display, and a secure strap to hold it in place. These combined features are designed to protect from accidental drops and bumps. The large-capacity case keeps essentials safe and organized with elasticized segments and extra mesh to store cables, iPad Pencil, adapters, cards, pens, notebooks, while the tablet compartment can hold your iPad with Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio. Tote this smart number around with a comfortable handle and ergonomic groove patent design. It has broad compatibility with a range of iPad models, including other 9.7 to 10.5-inch iPads and more.

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