Buying Guide
By Nick Caruso
on 5.15.13
Photo by Eric Yang

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.

MORE GREAT TECH: Best iPad Mini Cases | 5 Best All-In-One Desktops | 5 Best Rugged Hard Drives | 5 Best iPhone 5 Battery Cases

LEATHER

Not the Harley or the whip kind — the luxe kind

Spigen Leinwand Series Leather iPad Case

Spigen-Leinwand-Series-Leather-iPad-Case-Gear-Patrol

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

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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

Sena-Ultra-Slim-Leath-iPad-Case-Gear-Patrol

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

HomemadeLeather-Multifunctional-Leather-Portfolio-iPad-Case-Gear-Patrol

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

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Leather meets colorful stripes — making your tablet seem fast no matter how many apps are bogging it down.

DODOcase Scholar iPad Case

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The pairing of a bamboo tray and leather book-like design create an erudite, library-worthy ensemble.

Lotuff Zipper iPad Pouch

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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

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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

Mujio-Original-iPad-Case-Sleeve-Gear-Patrol

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

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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

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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

Charbonize-Leather-and-Felt-iPad-Case-Gear-Patrol

If you’re really into snap closures (and dark minimalism), here’s another handcrafted option.

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