The iPad’s extreme portability is simultaneously glaringly obvious and overlooked in favor of its flashier tech wonders. The take-it-anywhere-ness of the iPad is also perhaps its biggest downside: since it’s small enough and shaped just so, it can slip into a briefcase, a drawer, a seat pocket; it can be displayed on a kitchen counter, a lap, on the lawn. We treat our tablets like we would treat the things they replace, the books, magazines and notebooks that can be tossed about without eliciting concern.
But the damn things sure cost more than cheap paperbacks. They’re beautiful, true, truly modern pieces of art, but not at all hardy; Steve Jobs thought brushed metal finishes looked great dented and worn, but he could just pluck a free iWhatever off the showroom floor on a whim. We say it’s a wise choice to wrap your iTool. Here are the 30 best iPad case options — leather, wool, propped, or otherwise — to keep your tablet ticking and looking good.
Not the Harley or the whip kind — the luxe kind
Spigen Leinwand Series Leather iPad Case
Available in tan, reddish brown and black, this analog to Apple’s own Smart Cover auto-sleeps the screen and folds to form an incline while also protecting the back of the iPad.
Urban Cow Handmade Leather iPad Case
Claiming a snug fit and with a useful inside pocket, Urban Cow’s case would look appropriate slung in a saddle bag out on the open range.
Sena Ultraslim Leather Sleeve with SmartCover
They aren’t kidding with the “ultraslim” moniker. This suit is tighter than Halle Berry’s Catwoman costume, but still leaves room for some smart cover spooning. It’s also available in a wide array of colors.
HomemadeLeather Top Grain Leather Multifunctional Portfolio iPad Case
Featuring pockets galore for documents, devices, business cards and writing implements, this portfolio is ready for a classy multitasker who works on the go.
Clare Vivier Leather iPad Sleeve
Leather meets colorful stripes — making your tablet seem fast no matter how many apps are bogging it down.
DODOcase Scholar iPad Case
The pairing of a bamboo tray and leather book-like design create an erudite, library-worthy ensemble.
Lotuff Zipper iPad Pouch
Designed to be carried solo or tucked into a tote, this clutch is zippered for easy access and will hold a few documents — if you’re inclined to go analog.
WOOL & FELT
Show your softer side
HardGraft Tilt iPad Case
As per usual with HardGraft, this cover and stand combo is crafty and strikingly attractive; it’s also somewhat reminiscent of a gentleman’s tent roll.
Mujjo iPad Sleeve
The white or tan vegetable tanned leather on this Dutch-made sleeve stands out from the crowd, and the sustainable materials mean you can leave your guilt at home. (There’s probably an app for that, anyhow.)
Nedrelow iPad SLEEVE
Ultra simple yet endlessly charming, the normal iPad version of this sleeve is just as much of a steal as its smaller, mini relative.
Willow and Company “Baroque” iPad Case
Well-placed leather accents and a snap closure set this iPad case apart. An available carrying strap is a handy boon to anyone whose hands are perpetually full.
Felt and Leather iPad Sleeve by Charbonize
If you’re really into snap closures (and dark minimalism), here’s another handcrafted option.
Because your iPad deserves major props
STM Skinny iPad Case
STM’s Skinny has a highly technical feel — because it’s made of “water resistant micro ripstop polyester” and lined with micro suede. A tab closure does double duty by securing it in a standing position.
Inno Pocket TANK iPad Case
Welterweight durability in the form of aluminum and carbon fiber construction makes it the perfect case for those who enjoy tech in the great outdoors.
Lifeproof Nüüd iPad Case
Watching movies in the tub and emailing on water skis? Done. This case is fully submersible and dirt- and shock-proof as well.
Incipio Slim Kickstand iPad Case
The perfect example of a simple stand case in sharp vegan leather. It props up to rest on itself, showing off a two-tone color scheme.
M Edge Revolve 360° iPad Case
Its durable microfiber leather exterior houses a sci-fi-prop-like snap-on swiveling mount, where your iPad can be held easily in landscape or portrait position.
Hard Candy Convertible iPad Case
Another animal-friendly option, this imitation nubuck case looks like the real stuff and protects just as effectively.
Griffin Survivor Extreme-duty Military iPad Case
Military grade, shatter resistant (actually, most-everything resistant), and with a clip-on stand, this is one tough mother. There’s even a built-in screen protector to ensure your iPad survives any catastrophe. Whether you’ll make it is an entirely different question…
OtterBox Reflex Series Case with Stand
Designed with car crumple zones in mind, this multi-piece affair includes a dual-function cover, which protects the iPad’s screen when not in use and serves as a kickstand for easy upright or reclined display.
OTHER MATERIALS AND STYLES
Spice it up, hotshot
Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case
Using Bluetooth and magnets and wizardry, Belkin’s new slim, lightweight iPad keyboard case turns off when not in use and props up the iPad at several angles when you’re working.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
It’s the perfect aluminum companion to your shiny device and serves as a versatile Bluetooth keyboard that might just cause you to finally leave that laptop at home.
Griffin Outfit Hard Shell
A protective polycarbonate case for the iPad’s backside plays well with the smart covers you might want to use on the front. Plus, it’s cheaper than that sandwich you had for lunch.
Cote & Ciel Neoprene Diver Sleeve
Colorful and conspicuous, these zippered neoprene sleeves will announce your presence just as well as they’ll protect your iPad from accidental bumps and scratches.
The Good Flock iWooly for iPad
Just like a great pair of jeans, this case’s exterior is handcrafted in the USA using Cone Mills denim for a look that will personalize to you over time. On the inside, Pendleton wool lining keeps your iPad scratch-free.
This peel-and-stick protection for the back of the iPad is reusable and made out of Moroccan fabric. The stuff’s as functional as it is intriguing.
Etchwork Bamboo Case
This handcrafted Moso bamboo iPad case with ports for headphones and chargers is a must for the all-natural set. This one will be growing fast… er… going fast.
MonCarbone Classic Smartt Mate
Thinner than a credit card and lighter than 8 sheets of paper, this carbon fiber case will hardly be there — until it saves your tablet from dings and scratches.
Tumi Leather iPad Snap Case
The famed luggage maker already protects the rest of your kit on the road, why not your iPad? This woven-composite, hard plastic and leather case is classy, functional and available in a variety of bright colors to match your personality.
Elite, not very discreet
Santiago Gonzalez Crocodile Case
Proof that if you have enough money you can buy an iPad case made of out blue alligators.
Smythson Cooper Collection Envelope iPad Clutch
If you were going to mail your iPad to a sultan, you’d send it in this envelope-like, goatskin, calf and nubuck clutch.