Best iPad case: 6 top iPad cases to choose from
11th Dec 2013 | 11:15
Protect your iPad with a top quality case
If you're after the best iPad case, we've got you (ahem) covered.
We've even shown you where to buy them, too.
After all, you've spent so much money on your iPad, it makes sense to ensure it's safe and secure…
1. iPad BUKcase Originals
Price: £40 (about $65)
Each BUKcase iPad case is handcrafted in Manchester using locally sourced materials and traditional book binding techniques, apparently. On the outside the BUK looks like a simple black desk diary, and therefore won't attract unwanted attention, but inside you can have a choice of vibrant colours and a wooden frame holds your iPad (2, 3 or 4) securely in place. Thanks to a strap and a clip it can also be used as a stand, but there's not much friction with your desk, so it can slide about when you tap the screen.
2. Booqpad for iPad
Price: £30-£80 / $70
The genuine leather Booqpad (now discontinued, but still on sale) opens to reveal an A5 paper notepad and a holder for your iPad, pen and two credit cards. It's quite soft and chunky too, but that gives your iPad more protection. There's no option to turn it into a stand for movie viewing and some may find the mixing of traditional writing and digital media at odds with the purpose of an iPad, especially when there are plenty of writing apps that work with a stylus.
3. QDOS Executive Folio Croco
Price: £74.99 (about $46)
What do you get the executive who has everything? A QDOS iPad case, of course! With a crocodile-skin-style exterior it's a beast of a case. There's a mesh pocket inside for knickknacks and a removable credit card holder. There's also a sturdy built-in stand, which puts your iPad (original, second generation or latest model) to sleep when you close the case. The exterior looks hard-wearing, but won't appeal to everybody. It's not as stylish as the other business-orientated case on test here - the Booqpad - but it has better features.
4. Snap Case for iPad 2/3/4
Price: $29.95 (about £19)
On the surface it's a fairly simple snap-on moulded case that protects only the back of your iPad, but there's a unique feature that gives the company its name - you scan the QR code on the back of the case with your iPad's camera using the free Findables app and enter your contact details. Your friends or business associates can then scan it to get your contact information, or it might even help get your iPad back if you ever lose it, since anybody can scan the code to find your email address. The case loses points for features, but gains them for sheer ingenuity.
5. Barbour iPad Case - Quilted collection
Price: £79.95 / $99.95
If you like a case that looks like a hunting jacket, or you're simply a fan of the Barbour range of clothing, then you'll love this upper-crust case. The Barbour isn't all about its designer label though - it's packed with useful features, like a stand and smart magnets to sleep or wake your iPad when you open and close it. The magnets also keep the front of the case shut. Whether on not you like the styling will be a personal choice, but we can't fault the quality of this product, and it really feels like your iPad is safe inside the quilted cover.
6. Griffin Intellicase
Price: £20 / $30
The Intellicase features a hard-shell polycarbonate back and flexible TPU cover that wakes or sleeps the iPad when open or shut. There are two standing positions: inclined, which is ideal for typing, and upright for watching movies – although it's very wobbly in its upright position, so there's a real risk that tapping the screen could knock it over. Overall though, it's a decent no-frills iPad case that will protect your iPad from scratches, but the lack of any padding means it doesn't feel very substantial or offer great protection from drops.
7. Venture Case for iPad
Price: £30 / $60
We were a little disappointed with the unnatural feel of the exterior of this case, described as 'premium leather' on the box. In the hand it feels more like a man-made material. The case can be used as a stand, and it wakes your iPad when you open it. There's a popper fastener to ensure the front of the case stays closed when you shut it, too. It doesn't feel as safe for your iPad as other cases here, with your device's corners exposed to the elements.
8. iLuv Great Jeans Case
Price: £29.99 (about $19)
The Great Jeans case for the new iPad looks, but doesn't feel, just like a pair of jeans. In fact, the denim finish on the outside is more water-resistant and protective than real denim would be. Inside, a micro-suede interior protects your iPad, and the case can be turned into a stand with three viewing angles. It's certainly sturdy enough to stand up to finger taps when used as a stand. The Great Jeans is a good case for the money, but it doesn't turn your iPad on and off automatically.
9. Tech21 Impact Base
Price: £39.99 / $63.99
The Impact Base from Tech21 takes the 'If you can't beat them, join them' approach to iPad case design. It's essentially designed to be used in conjunction with Apple's own Smart Cover, providing a protective back for your iPad. It's made of a flexible rubbery material that's integrated with D30 impact material for dissipating shocks away from your iPad (third gen or latest). It's a neat idea, but the whole package is too expensive, since you'll need to buy a Smart Cover too, for full front and back protection.
10. Maroo Saddle Brown Case
Price: £49.99 / $49.95
The genuine leather Saddle Brown from Maroo offers functionality combined with style. Your iPad 2/3/4 fits into four corner bumpers inside the case, which offer it a greater degree of protection. You can fold the case into a stand with ease and it offers two viewing angles once in its stand mode – upright for watching movies or angled for typing. The cover contains smart magnets, so it wakes and sleeps your iPad, but they're not strong enough to make sure the cover always stays shut.
11. Brunswick England Case
Price: £119.95 / $159.95
If you're after the ultimate in luxury iPad 2, 3 or 4 cases then consider the Brunswick. It's made from high-quality leather that feels gorgeous to the touch. Each case is individually quality-checked; you also get a cleaning cloth and instructions on preserving the leather supplied inside. In terms of functionality, it's got a two-position stand option, and smart magnets to wake and sleep the iPad. It's very expensive, but engraving it with a message is free.
12. Knomo Folio
Price: £49.99 / $79.95
The iPad 2, 3 and 4 Folio case from Knomo has a moulded back case combined with a luxurious leather front cover, giving the best of both types of cases. You get the luxury of a leather cover, but also the slimness, portability and lightness that a moulded shell case provides. There's also a stand function giving you two different positions - inclined and upright - and smart magnets keep the front cover in place and wake or sleep your iPad when opened or shut. It's hard to fault this case - it's our pick of the bunch.
13. Belkin Cinema
Price: £29.99 / $39.99
The best thing about the Cinema Stand from Belkin is that it offers the most adjustable viewing angle of all the cases here, so you can angle your iPad just right depending on how you're sitting. We like this flexibility, and the case itself isn't bad either, combining a simple design style with good protection and features. Corner bumpers protect your iPad from impact and there's a magnetic tab that keeps the front cover closed at all times. There's nothing exciting or unusual about it, but it's a solid performer all the same.
14. Quiksilver iPad 3
Price: £14.95 / $19.95
In contrast to the other cases reviewed here the Quiksilver is a simple sleeve case. You just pop your iPad into it, zip it up and you're ready to go. The design is attractive and the sleeve is made out of neoprene, which makes it hardwearing but comfortable to hold. Although its name indicates the iPad 3, it will function fine with all generations of iPad. A good option for people who only need a case when travelling and like handling their iPad 'au naturel' at other times.