The new iPad Air is here, and Apple’s latest iteration of the slimline iPad is so good that, frankly, we’re wondering why anyone would need to pay more for the iPad Pro. With a powerful processor, Apple Pencil support, and an updated bezel-less design, the iPad Air 4 is the tablet to buy if the basic iPad doesn’t have quite enough grunt for your needs. But a powerful workhorse needs similarly powerful protection to keep it safe. While it’s early yet, some great manufacturers are getting some of their best cases on the job. Here are some of the best iPad Air 4 cases available.
Otterbox’s Symmetry case is similar to Apple’s Smart Cover, which is larger and offers more protection. There’s a clasp to keep the cover tightly closed, and when you open the cover, you can fold it back to prop up your iPad. The Symmetry also offers more side protection than simpler covers offer, which helps improve drop protection in case of accidents. Like many good iPad cases, it also includes magnetic attachments to help latch on and activate sleep or wake modes.
Apple’s own Magic Keyboard brings something extra if you are looking for a keyboard accessory that allows you to quickly type up notes, emails, and long content on your iPad Air. This advanced model helps lift the iPad up into a more laptop-friendly positioning and includes a trackpad that’s made to work with the iPadOS’s unique circle-based cursor for faster work.
However, all those keyboard features don’t mean you lose out on a case: The Magic Keyboard folds back to fully protect the front and back of the iPad when not in use. This also makes the entire accessory very easy to transport, even if your tablet pocket has limited room. The downside is the price, which is uncomfortably near the cost of a full iPad by itself.
Pad & Quill’s attention to quality shows clearly in this simple, durable case with a 50-magnet array designed to securely lock in place and (unlike Apple’s smart cover) a solid back to protect the iPad from all angles, with a little lip on the edge to keep fall damage at a minimum. The buckram linen on the cover also will resist damage over time, and you have an option to include a very useful pocket on the inside for storing notes, letters, or something similar. The case also allows for versatile folding back to prop up the iPad for easy viewing while you are working.
UAG, otherwise known as Urban Armor gear, is no stranger to protection, and its cases are some of the most popular — and unique-looking — around. That’s no different where the iPad Air 4 is concerned, and the Metropolis case is a welcome addition to the roster of cases for Apple’s latest tablet. The Metropolis offers some formidable grunt, with drop protection that meets military standards without becoming heavy. The folio cover supports the automatic sleep/wake feature, and there’s an adjustable stand, too. The real draw has to be the great no-slip coating applied to the outside — which is extremely welcome with a device as large as the iPad Air 4. The Metropolis is not yet available to buy, but it’s worth waiting for.
Despite its slim design, this durable case offers drop and shock protection up to 5 feet. The stylus holder is a particularly well-done addition for anyone who prefers using the Apple Pencil with their iPad, and we really like the combination of synthetic leather and microfiber that gives the case an elite look while still offering protection (and air vents for cooling). When placed in the stand position, the case adjusts to many angles, depending on how you prefer to work or play, and comes in several different colors.
The Targus Pro-Tek case is an outstanding choice if versatility and adaptability are at the top of your list of requirements. This option includes a freely rotating case that allows your iPad to sit in either landscape or portrait while still being held by the built-in kickstand. This ability makes it a perfect case if your use is a bit more freestyle than most, or if you don’t want to have your iPad always in the more normal landscape position. Thanks to 4 feet of drop protection, reinforced corners, and a grippy bumper, it’s also protective. The Targus Pro-Tek also has an integrated holder to keep your Apple Pencil safe and sound. It’s not yet available for purchase, but it’s a reliable option that’s worth the wait.
Woolnut’s leather sleeve is ideal for you if you’re looking to keep your iPad secure between appointments, and you don’t want the hassle of a full case for your iPad. It’s made from Scandinavian full-grain leather and is lined with natural wool felt from Germany. The sturdy leather keeps the outside of your iPad from being banged up while you transport it, and the wool lining keeps the screen safe from scratches and cracks. You also can rest your iPad on the sleeve while you’re using it, preventing scratches or dirt from reaching your iPad. Woolnut’s case is an attractive and high-quality product, but it might cost more than what you’d want to spend on a case.
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