iPads are shaping up to be a popular gift this year (despite the certainty of a sequel just around the corner), but what do you get the spouse or kid that already has one of these machines? I’m glad you asked! Because I just happen to have 10 very eligible iPad cases just waiting for your perusal.
Watch the video above for a rapid-fire (yet still lengthy) tour of all the cases, or just scroll through the brief reviews below.
Is your favorite case not listed? Hey, I can’t do ‘em all! Sound off in the comments with your own links and recommendations.
Quirky Cloak – $50
This is a silicone case with plastic fold-out bits that let you stand it up in portrait or reclining mode. It’ll stand up in regular landscape mode on its own. It’s got a nice grippy finish, but the folding parts feel cheap to me, like they’re going to snap off. It also rattles — not a lot, but I’m not sure I want a case that rattles.
Kensington Key Folio – $100
An expensive little bugger, but after all it does include an actual Bluetooth keyboard. The case itself is very well-made and leathery, with a good amount of padding. The keyboard is a bit small, as you might imagine, and a few of the keys have been relocated in irritating ways. It also takes almost no pressure to hit the keys, which some may like and others hate. It’s easy to set up, though, and more comfortable to write long emails on than the on-screen keyboard.
Case-Mate Venture – $90
The suede-y lining of the Venture lets you prop up the iPad in landscape mode very easily, and has a nice feel. Unfortunately, the outside of the case feels incredibly cheap, and the whole thing feels like it offers very little in the way of protection. Expensive too, for reasons I can’t fathom.
Mophie Workbook Folio – $60
A straightforward book-like case with plenty of padding, a nicely-textured faux-leather outside, and a beefy strap. Inside, the velcro lining and edge of the case make standing the iPad up a breeze. Comes in several tasteful colors, too. Highly recommended.
JavoEdge Axis – $40
The cheapest case in our roundup doesn’t look it or feel it. It’s got a pleasant-feeling fabric cover and an unleather back. Inside, there are little steps for the iPad to lean on at various angles, though it felt a little precarious at some. The device is gripped pretty securely by the plastic tray, which rotates on a hidden bearing. A great deal at this price.
Sena Folio – $100
A top-shelf case made of the finest Napa leather, this thing had a button rip off literally five minutes after I got it from the FedEx guy. I don’t know whether I got a bad unit or what, but it didn’t look like that button was attached very securely in the first place. Other than that it feels nice; good, thick leather, lots of spots for business cards and receipts. And of course if yours ripped in the first five minutes, you could return it for a new one.
M-Edge Trip – $50
This is a lively, strappy little thing with a colorful look and treated canvas cover. It feels feminine to me for some reason, not that it’s a bad thing. The iPad is held on by little thongs, which I guess I would trust, but I’d fear they might stretch. There is an extra strap that lets you slip your hand under as a precaution against dropping it, or for use as a squash paddle. I’d have liked a few pockets in there though, and it’s not very good at standing up.
M-Edge Platform – $60
A more professional-looking entry from M-Edge. This one has a long tail that sticks into a sheath, holding the case closed (or open) very securely. The materials and detailing are very nice, there’s room on the inside for a few documents, and it stands up readily. It’s a little front-heavy when sitting in landscape mode, so be careful. I prefer this over the far more expensive Sena Folio, but I’m still not loving the attachment method.
Booq Folio – $50
If you’re familiar with Booq’s bags, the Folio won’t come as too much of a surprise. It’s all covered in the same kind of nylon weave you find on messenger bags, and has a little (rather useless) pocket on the front. Open it up, and the cover folds back to prop up the iPad in a typing position. A nice traveling case, as it provides a good amount of protection, but it would have been nice if it stood up better. Ah well, you can’t have everything. The grey one at the Booq site looks nice, I wish I could have seen that one too.
Otterbox Defender – $90
This thing is great. It takes forever to successfully get your iPad into, and I nearly broke myself trying to get it out, but it’s solid as hell, has a thick rubberized border covering all the buttons (you can still use them, of course) and ports (you can easily uncover them). It would actually protect your iPad from quite a lot of danger, and the clip-on cover doubles as a stand. What’s not to like? Well, it’s kind of expensive. But it’s worth it.
There you have it. I can’t judge any further than what I’ve put down, because ultimately it’s a matter of taste. Hope this guide has been helpful in narrowing down the options!