Now that you’ve got that beautiful, sleek, cool aluminum iPad in your sweaty, trembling hands, you really ought to protect it, right? And a thing of beauty like an iPad deserves to be embraced in the loving, protective arms of a well-designed case. But where to find one? Let Macgasm help! Here’s a roundup of some of the cases and sleeves that can safeguard that precious bundle of electronic goodness.
The cases and sleeves are listed alphabetically under the following categories: those that are available right now, those that can be pre-ordered, and those that are coming soon. Prices shown do not include shipping.
Apple Case: ($39.00). Apple’s own case is a simple book-style cover graced with the company’s famous logo. The case can be set up as a
stand for video viewing or the angle can be reconfigured for more comfortable typing on the iPad. The cover is made of plastic with a micro-fiber interior and comes only in black.
Booq Boa Skin: ($29.95). The Boa Skin case is a soft neoprene slip-on case that comes in several colors (black, sand, violet, yellow). The base is made of “twylon” which offers impact resistance for the screen. The case is intended to protect the iPad in a backpack, bag or purse. In addition to the Boa Skin, Booq offers the Taipan Sneak XS ($24.95), a zippered neoprene bag (black only) and several rugged messenger bags not specifically made for the iPad but suitable, nonetheless.
Etsy: If you want a case with a homemade look and feel, Etsy sellers offer all sorts of options. Just type “ipad” into the search window and scroll through the listings. Two of my favorite sellers are Janine King Designs, who offers iPad Sleeves for $39.99 and Blythe King, who makes homemade cases from vintage materials ($65.00 and up).
Hard Candy: Hard Candy offers four iPad cases. The iPad Sleek Skin ($39.95), is a silicone rubber case with a plastic, see-through, detachable cover. The case allows access to all the controls and connectors and comes in clear, orange, pink, green, and blue. The iPad Street Skin ($39.95) features 3mm thick silicone rubber, providing rugged protection for the iPad while still allowing access to all controls and connectors. It comes with a detachable see-through cover and is available in clear, black, and pink. The iPad Bubble Sleeve ($49.95) is a zippered, rigid EVA-molded iPad case which features rubber “bumpers” on the inside for extra protection. It comes in black, pink, or gold-green. Finally, Hard Candy offers the iPad Hard Sleeve ($39.95), which is constructed like the Bubble Sleeve but has a smooth exterior and is available only in black.
iLuv: i-Luv offers six different cases in a variety of colors and materials. The Silicon Case ($24.99) is a simple, no-frills, silicon cover and comes in black, blue, green, orange, pink, red, and white. The Flexi Clear Case ($29.99) is another plastic case with a dot-wave pattern that comes in clear, black, blue, and pink. The Ultra Thin Clear Case ($29.99) offers super-thin, form-fitting protection and comes with a stand for your iPad. And, if you want some snazzy graphics adorning your iPad, you can choose the Ultra Thin with Tatz Graphics, also with an iPad stand ($34.99). The Casual Fabric Case ($39.99) comes in black, pink, and off-white. Unfortunately, the case is marred by a hideous band clip that apparently secures the iPad inside. Finally, iLuv offers a Leather Cover in pink or black ($39.99) that looks remarkably similar to Apple’s own case. Like Apple’s, iLuv’s leather cover can be used as a stand.
RadTech: RadTech offers several netbook bags that will accommodate the iPad, but the only dedicated iPad case is the RadTech Sleeve ($24.95). The sleeve is made of form-fitting microfiber and offers minimal protection as it has no padding whatsoever. But if you’re wanting something to protect your iPad from scratches and plan to carry it in a more substantial bag, the RadTech Sleeve offers steam-lined protection. The sleeve also doubles as a microfiber cleaning cloth. It comes in gray, fuchsia, indigo, green, grape, and black.
SF Bags: Waterfield produces incredibly well-made cases for all sorts of devices, and the offerings for iPad are no exception. You can choose from four products. The Ultimate SleeveCase is a black, neoprene and ballistic nylon case that comes in two different trims: lead indium ($55.00) or leather ($59.00). The case has ample padding so it can be used alone, but, it is also thin enough that you can insert it into a bigger bag if you like. You can further customize the case by configuring it horizontally or vertically, adding a shoulder strap, or adding a pouch for peripherals. The iPad Smart Case ($59.00), is a simple, but substantial, padded slip cover, offering rigid outer protection and soft, microfiber inner protection. The case includes an outer pocket, but it looks like it might be a tight fit for a charging cord. The Smart Case comes in six colors: black, copper, flame, green, pearl, and pine. The iPad Slip Case ($29.00) is a padded pouch that slips on to your iPad. The exterior is made of plastic and comes in six colors. Finally, the iPad Suede Jacket ($19.00 [without pocket]; $25.00 [with pocket]) is a stretchy, ultra-suede thin cover. It won’t offer any padding and should be used in conjunction with another bag.
Skooba: The Skooba Neo-Sleeve ($19.95) is a neoprene, padded sleeve for the iPad that offers a sporty look. The sleeve includes an outer pocket for the charging cord, a detachable shoulder strap, and comes in charcoal/black; charcoal/white; charcoal/blue; and charcoal/red.
Speck: Speck offers two iPad cases, the PixelSleeve Plus and the PixelShield. The PixelSleeve Plus ($39.95) is a padded, reinforced, neoprene bag with a padded zipper. It is carried just like a laptop bag and is available only in black/grey. The PixelShield ($39.95) is a simple sleeve case with an integrated handle, a reinforced panel to protect the iPad’s screen, and a soft micro-fleece interior. It comes in black and red.
Vaja Cases: Vaja creates stunningly beautiful cases for all sorts of electronic products, and their initial
offerings for the iPad do not disappoint. Currently three products are available (with more on the way): the Ivolution Top SP, the Ivolution Top, and the Retro Slim Jacket (all cases can be viewed through the main site link). All are over $100, so these cases are not for the frugal consumer. But they are beautiful and they will outlast the device, to be sure. The Ivolution SP ($170.00) and Ivolution ($150.00) are sleek, form-fitting, hard leather cases that are designed to be left on the iPad. Both have a cover for your iPad’s precious glass screen, and the covers detach and reattach to the back of the iPad so they are out of the way. Both the Ivolution SP and Ivolution are customizable and Vaja offers a large number of color combination choices. But be prepared to wait awhile to get your case in the mail. These custom cases require a minimum of 35 days to craft. The Retro Slim Jacket ($120.00) is a pouch with magnetic snap closures. You can customize the colors for your Jacket or you can get a black and lime green Retro Slim which is available for immediate shipment.
Available for Pre-Order:
Orbino: The most expensive case on this list is the Padova iPad case ($209.00), and once you take a look at the pictures (try not to drool), you’ll understand why. This is a gorgeous case with soft-as-butter leather and immaculate construction and design. The case allows access to all the control buttons and connectors, and the iPad is dockable while still in the case. In addition, the case can be folded back and used as both a horizontal or vertical stand. One last elegant detail is the push-through, brushed metal home button. The Padova iPad case comes in four colors of Italian leather (black, brown, pecan, and red), or, if money is really no object, you can order cases in various colors of ostrich leather ($569) or brown crocodile skin ($689).
Sena Cases: Since 1999, Sena Cases has been in the business of making high-quality leather cases for all sorts of electronic devices. They’ve announced three iPad cases available now for pre-order, and, should you do so, you get a $20.00 discount off the regular price. All three cases come in black, brown, or red. The Folio Case (pre-order $79.99; regular price $99.99) is a book-style folding case with a unique collapsible stand that is stored in the case itself. The inside front cover includes several pockets for credit cards, a checkbook, etc., and the outer cover has a snap closure. The Executive Sleeve (pre-order $79.99; regular price $99.99) is a velvet-lined pouch with a snap closure. The Zipbook (pre-order $79.99; regular price $99.99) is a clamshell-style, zippered case with flexible straps that hold the iPad in place. Like the Folio Case, the Zipbook has a recessed, collapsible stand for viewing video.
Tom Bihn: If you want a truly rugged, messenger-style bag for your iPad, look no further than the Tom Bihn Ristretto ($110.00 free standard shipping). The bag has a special padded compartment designed specifically for an iPad or netbook. In addition to this inner compartment, the bag boasts numerous pockets for holding all your other gear. There’s even a front pocket with spaces for your phone, pens, and other odds and ends. The Ristretto comes in a variety of colors including plum, olive, black, and cocoa.
Coming Soon: Not Yet Available for Order:
Belkin: Belkin will be offering three zippered sleeves in plum or black at $39.99 each.
Cocoon: Cocoon has produced a nylon messenger-style sling called the Gramercy for $29.95. The bag comes in black, gray, or red and sports a viewable outer pocket for your iPhone in addition to the main compartment for the iPad.
Griffin: Griffin is advertising four bags for iPad that will be available “soon.” The Elan Passport is a folio-style cover; the Elan Sleeve is a slipcover; the Flexi-Grip is a silicone cover, and the Jumper is a neoprene sleeve. No prices or colors were available at the time this article was written.
Happy Owl Studio: A start-up called Happy Owl Studio is offering some beautiful and unique cases for the iPad. Unfortunately, the site does not list prices for the cases or a specific date for availability.
M-Edge Designs: M-Edge Designs, maker of cases for Kindle, Nook, Sony, IRex, lists thirteen (!) different cases for the iPad. The cases run the gamut from leather folio to neoprene sleeve to full-fledged bag and are offered in wide variety of colors. No prices or date of availability are listed on the site.