Best iPad case: 38 iPad 1 and iPad 2 cases rated

9th Sep 2011 | 10:15

Best iPad case: 38 iPad 1 and iPad 2 cases rated

Protect your iPad with a top quality case

iPad 1 back covers and folio cases

Whatever you're after, we've picked a selection of the best iPad and iPad 2 cases, sorted them by type and tested until we found the best out there.

We've tested each iPad case and scored them out of five so you can see at a glance which ones we recommend.

We kick off with back covers for you iPad, so make sure you've got your iPad's back with one of these stylish shields.

Whether you're after the best iPad case or the best iPad 2 case, we've got you (ahem) covered.

Back covers ipad 1

01. Cygnett Prism Soundscoop
Price: £11
URL:cygnett.com
Colours: Blue/Red/White

Unlike many other gel covers, this is tight around the edges and on the back, plus it aims the sound at you better and looks great to boot.

Verdict: 5/5

02. Otterbox Commuter Series
Price: £24
URL:otterbox.com
Colour: Black

It's a bit of a faff to get on and off, but the plastic back shell gives your iPad some added protection against bumps and knocks.

Verdict: 3/5

03. Incipio 1337
Price: £25
URL:myincipio.com
Colours: Blue/Red/Yellow

Designed for gamers, the pads on the back make your iPad comfier to grip for long periods, but it really needs more padding on the corners to stop them digging into your hands.

Verdict: 3/5

04. Ozaki iCoat Bubble
Price: £35
URL:ozaki.us/en
Colour: White

Protect your iPad without hiding its sleek lines from view. It hugs your tablet nice and tight, but it's pretty expensive compared to many of its competitors on test here.

Verdict: 3/5

05. Proporta Mizu Shell
Price: From £5
URL:proporta.com
Colours: Red/Black/Pink

A great-value translucent gel cover that fits snugly, let down slightly by the fact that the longer edges are a tad on the loose side.

Verdict: 4/5

06. Griffin Airstrap
Price: £15
URL:griffintechnology.com
Colour: Black

Why tire your hand out gripping your iPad when it can grip you? The elasticated strap on the back of this admittedly bulky case feels a bit tight after a while, but what a great idea!

Verdict: 3/5

Want a case that's going to protect your iPad and doubles as a stand? Look no further…

Folio ipad 1

01. Orbyx Leather Folder Case Green
Price: £27
URL:orbyx.com
Colours: Black/Black and Green/Brown and Pink

Great build quality, relatively slim and can sit at a perfect angle for typing. It'll also stand for watching movies, though isn't that stable.

Verdict: 5/5

02. Tuff-Luv Bi-Axis Saddleback
Price: £36
URL:tuff-luv.com
Colours: Black/Pink/Red/Brown/Beige

This well-padded leather case is the only one here that'll stand your iPad in both portrait and landscape, but setting up the stand's a faff.

Verdict: 3/5

03. Mophie Workbook
Price: £36
URL:mophie.com
Colours: Various

It's a bit on the fat side, but it'll stand your iPad at just about any landscape angle for viewing, thanks to its easy-to-use velcro system. Not so great for typing, though.

Verdict: 4/5

04. Incipio Premium Kickstand
Price: £25
URL:myincipio.com
Colours: Black/Grey

If leather's not your thing, this case-cum-stand is made of nylon instead. Brilliant for watching video or giving presentations, but high for typing.

Verdict: 4/5

05. Scosche FoldIO
Price: £25
URL:scosche.com
Colours: Black/Black and Grey

Beautifully slimline and it grips your iPad like a vice. The foldIO comes in leather- or carbon fibre-texture finishes and will prop your tablet at three landscape viewing angles.

Verdict: 4/5

06. Proporta Recycled Leather Case
Price: £35
URL:proporta.com
Colour: Black/Beige

Where some cases leave the edges of your iPad a bit exposed, this gives great all-round protection, but the one-angle stand is nothing special.

Verdict: 3/5

iPad 2 back covers and Smart Cover add-ons

Keep your iPad 2 looking pristine without compromising on looks

Back covers ipad 2

01. iLuv Flex-Gel Case
Price: £11
URL:i-luv-uk.co.uk
Colours: Black/Blue/Grey/Pink/White

Take your pick from the five colours that this beautifully tight-fitting gel case comes in. Its matte finish means you have a nice amount of grip when you're holding your iPad 2.

Verdict: 5/5

02. Cygnett SecondSkin Ink
Price: £19
URL:cygnett.com
Colour: Black

This dark gel case looks great on the black iPad and we like the design on the back. Our only criticism is that the surface is a little bit slippery.

Verdict: 4/5

03. Case-Mate Pop!
Price: £25
URL:case-mate.com
Colours: Black and Grey/Pink and Grey/White and Grey

A smart gel case reinforced by a plastic shell. There's also a one-angle stand that feels reasonably firm. Like many gel cases, the design means the edges are little on the loose side.

Verdict: 3/5

04. Proporta Mizu Shell
Price: £25
URL: proporta.com
Colours: Grey/Red/White

We really like how the translucent material lets you see the Apple logo through the case, leaving your iPad to shine. Bit loose on the edges, mind.

Verdict: 4/5

05. Incipio Hive
Price: £21
URL:myincipio.com
Colours: Black/Grey/Red

While the Hive adds a fair bit of thickness to your slimline iPad, the hexagonal pattern gives plenty of protection. A shame the sides around the screen are so loose.

Verdict: 3/5

We've got the Smart Cover, an alternative, plus a range of back covers to use with the Smart Cover

Smart covers

01. Apple Smart Cover
Price: £35/£59
URL:apple.com/uk
Colours: Various

Revolutionary on so many levels: the way it always snaps on perfectly, the automatic sleep/wake thing, the double-stand. But it is ridiculously costly, especially in leather.

Verdict: 4/5

02. Speck Pixelskin HD Wrap
Price: £32
URL:speckproducts.com
Colours: Black/Pink/Blue

A Smart Cover-like front and gel back. Best of both worlds, right? Wrong. The back bit's fine, but the front cover and stand are poor.

Verdict: 2/5

03. iLuv Smart Back Cover
Price: £25
URL:i-luv-uk.co.uk
Colours: Various

If you want the ultimate protection for the back and sides of your iPad against scrapes, look no further. It's slim and nicely finished, too.

Verdict: 4/5

04. Incipio Smart Feather
Price: £30
URL: myincipio.com
Colours: Various

Used with the Smart Cover, this ultra-slim and light back protector clips over the hinge, so you can't take the Smart Cover off that easily.

Verdict: 4/5

05. SGP Griff For iPad 2
Price: £40
URL:sgpstore.com
Colours: Various

It's stylish leather, but the red one here doesn't match the colour of the Smart Cover it's meant to work with, nor does it allow the left corners to sit snug to your tablet's screen.

Verdict: 3/5

06. Proporta Hard Shell Back Cover
Price: £20
URL:proporta.com
Colours: Black/White

Very thin and with a classy, slightly rubberised finish, Proporta's rear protector doesn't protect the top edge as well as the iLuv.

Verdict: 4/5

iPad 2 folio cases

Folio ipad 2

01. Belkin Verve Folio Stand
Price: £30
URL:belkin.com
Colour: Black

It's stylish, folds into a stable stand that's perfect for watching movies, and it even automatically wakes up your iPad when you open the cover!

Verdict: 5/5

02. Booq BooqPad
Price: £49
URL:booqbags.com
Colours: Various

Expensive and chunky, yes, but it oozes quality from every pore of its leather finish. The built-in notebook makes it perfect for anyone who uses their iPad for work or study.

Verdict: 4/5

03. Pro/Tex Executive 03 iPad 2 Case
Price: £25
URL:kondor.co.uk
Colour: Black

Okay, so it can stand your iPad up in portrait as well as landscape. But it looks horribly cheap and constantly falls down. Don't waste your money.

Verdict: 1/5

04. Tuff-Luv Tri-Axis Stasis Series
Price: From £32
URL:tuff-luv.com
Colours: Various

This comes in several finishes – some leather. The stand's a faff to set up, but very stable in landscape, and it auto-wakes your iPad.

Verdict: 3/5

05. Cygnett Lavish Earth
Price: £31
URL:cygnett.com
Colours: Beige/Pink

A classy offering that auto-wakes the iPad and has an excellent stand. For other colours, check out the Lavish and Glam on Cygnett's site.

Verdict: 4/5

06. Speck Fitfolio
Price: £30
URL:speckproducts.com
Colours: Black/Red

This is both slimline and gorgeous, with the red version injecting some much-needed verve into a case genre that's dominated by dark colours. No auto on/off, though.

Verdict: 4/5

07. Cygnett Rotating Armour
Price: £37
URL:cygnett.com
Colours: Black and Grey/Black and Orange

Like the Pro/Tec, you can stand your iPad up and rotate it between portrait or landscape. But it's ridiculously unstable. Not good.

Verdict: 2/5

iPad 1 and 2 rugged cases and sleeves

For the times a regular case just won't be be enough, you need a rugged case

Rugged cases

01. Incipio Destroyer
Price: £30
URL:myincipio.com
Colour: Black
Works with: iPad 1

Cases don't come much more solid than this: the sides actually bolt on! Okay, so it's weighty and the dock connector's not easy to get at, but if you need protection, get the best.

Verdict: 5/5

02. Gumdrop Drop Series For iPad 2
Price: £37
URL:gumdropcases.com
Colours: Various
Works with: iPad 2

A simple but effective design that incorporates covers for all the ports and switches to prevent unwanted debris getting in. Simple to fit, too.

Verdict: 4/5

03. Otterbox Defender For iPad
Price: £31
URL:otterbox.com
Colours: Various
Works with: iPad 1

Not as robust as the Incipio Destroyer, but provides reasonable bump protection nonetheless, and isn't bad in the looks department.

Verdict: 3/5

04. Otterbox Defender For iPad 2
Price: £42
URL:otterbox.com
Colour: Black
Works with: iPad 2

By no means the sturdiest here, and we've yet to come across a case that's as much faff to fit. A no-brainer to go for the cheaper Gumdrop Drop.

Verdict: 2/5

Sometimes, the simple things in life are best. Here's our pick of iPad sleeves

Sleeves

01. BE.EZ La Robe Club Edition
Price: £25
URL:be-ez.com
Colour: Black/Yellow
Works with: iPad 1, iPad 2

The Club's tough memory foam tightly hugs your iPad (and Smart Cover and back shell too, if you wish). Lovely looks and solid build.

Verdict: 4/5

02. Twelve South Bookbook
Price: £60
URL:twelvesouth.com
Colours: Beige and brown/Black and Red
Works with: iPad 1, iPad 2

Forget the price for a moment and just look at the sheer beauty of this leather iPad case-cum-stand that convincingly looks like a classic tome!

Verdict: 3/5

03. SGP Illuzion
Price: £45
URL:sgpstore.com
Colours: Various
Works with: iPad 1, iPad 2

A stylish leather glove for your iPad and Smart Cover. Nice and simple, even though the green one here isn't the same colour as the Smart Cover.

Verdict: 4/5

04. Knomo Leather Slim
Price: £13
URL:knomobags.com
Colour: Brown
Works with: iPad 1, iPad 2

An absolute bargain and it's made of real leather too! The fit's snug and you can register it with Knomo so that if someone finds it, you may get it back. But chunky as sleeves go.

Verdict: 3/5

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First published in Tap! Issue 07

Liked this? Then check out our Best iPad stylus: 5 reviewed and rated

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