Protect and Show Off Your iPad with a Good Case
Your iPad is a fragile piece of equipment that needs to be protected. First and foremost, choose an iPad case that offers ample protection for the device's screen, as well as if you accidentally drop the unit. As you'll discover, cases for your iPad come in a wide range of styles; depending on the source material, they cost from around $30 to $150 (or more).
Determining how you want to carry your iPad will help you to choose an appropriate case style or design. The following list describes some of the popular iPad case styles:
- Hard plastic shell that encases the entire unit. These cases increase the size of the iPad and add thickness, but offer hard-shell protection against dirt and damage while the tablet is being used or when it's being transported. Some of these cases protect just the back and sides of the iPad, while others offer screen coverage and protection as well.
- Soft, padded slipcover. This type of case is ideal for transporting the iPad within a briefcase, messenger bag, backpack or large purse, for example, or even by itself. However, to use the iPad, you'll first need to remove it from this type of case.
- Folio case that doubles a stand. Designed to look like a portfolio that opens to make your iPad accessible, folio cases are made from many types of materials, including leather. Some can be opened and positioned like an easel, which can be placed on your lap, on a desk, or on the seatback tray of an airplane seat while the iPad is in use.
Apple Stores (and the Apple website), consumer electronics retailers (such as Best Buy), and AT&T Wireless stores all carry iPad cases, but you'll find the biggest selection by shopping on the Web. Simply enter the search phrase iPad case into your favorite search engine.
You can start your search for the perfect iPad case by visiting any of these case manufacturer's websites:
- Trident Case. Available in five colors, the Kraken iPad case ($39.95) offered by this company features a polycarbonate shell combined with a softer silicone ring that surrounds the tablet. The screen-cover part of this case provides anti-glare as well as anti-scratch protection.
- Brookstone. Brookstone stores and the company's website offer a variety of iPad cases and accessories. The most impressive is the $99.95 Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio, which holds and protects the iPad while it's being transported, but unfolds to serve as an easel-like stand with a durable Bluetooth keyboard built into the case itself.
- iSkin. This collection of cases for the iPad range in price from $50 to $120, including the Aura portfolio case, the Vu impact-absorbing case (which wraps around the entire iPad), and the Duo (which offers a thin but protective silicone membrane that goes around the body of the iPad). All come in a variety of colors.
- Newer Technology. Priced under $20, these polycarbonate, hard-shell protective iPad cases fit snugly around the tablet and offer protection against dirt and scratches, without adding much additional bulk to the unit. These cases snap onto the iPad and offer full access to all of its buttons and ports, so the case doesn't have to be removed when the iPad is in use or while syncing or charging the device. These cases protect the back and sides of the iPad, but leave the screen exposed.
- Saddleback Leather Company. This small online company handcrafts extremely high-quality leather bags as well as standalone iPad sleeves and cases. Many of the company's stylish briefcases, backpacks, and overnight bags have special compartments designed to fit the iPad perfectly. The company also offers a gorgeous handcrafted leather easel-like folio case ($104) that comes in a variety of colors. The cases and bags from Saddleback Leather Company are pricey, but worth every penny in terms of quality, craftsmanship, uniqueness, and elegant appearance. The basic leather sleeve is priced at $55.
- Sena Cases. Made from genuine leather, which offers a sophisticated look that's ideal for business executives, Sena offers a folio case, a zippered "zipbook" case, a leather skin, and a leather (padded) sleeve, as well as several other case and cover designs for the iPad. The Keyboard Folio includes a fashionable leather folio case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard. Prices range from $50 to $150.
- Waterfield Designs. Made in San Francisco from high-quality ballistic nylon and neoprene, the iPad Ultimate Sleeve Case ($55 to $60) is fully padded and offers excellent protection while the iPad is being transported. Users can customize the case when ordering it from the company's website; for example, with leather trim, an external pouch, and a shoulder strap. In terms of quality and durability, this is one of the best slipcases you'll find for protecting your iPad while on the go.