MyCase 'Don't Panic' Folio Case

Emblazoned with the helpful phrase "Don't Panic" in large, friendly letters, this is definitely the iPad case of choice for geeks of certain vintage (at least until someone comes up with a Tardis case).

For the uninitiated, the same phrase is printed on the cover of the fictional "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (not to be confused with the novels, radio serials, and films of the same name). It makes sense, as the Guide was a kind of proto-iPad in the first place: a tablet-size informational tool (although it's always been portrayed as having a physical, almost Kindle-like keyboard).

As an actual iPad case, it works reasonably well. The faux leather material looks decent, and the lid closes with magnetic snaps, which beats straps and buttons, hands down. There's a tiny kickstand on the rear panel, which may seem confusing at first. It allows the front flap to fold over and lock into place at a typing-friendly angle only slightly higher than the official iPad case.

Price: $28.95

(http://www.mycaseconcepts.com)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

MyCase 'Don't Panic' Folio Case

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Mophie Workbook

Mophie is best-known for its Juice Pack battery-extending iPhone cases, and this is the company's first entry into the tablet world. It's available in black, orange, or white, and it's lightweight, but thick (and thickly padded).

At nearly $60, the case is expensive for faux leather, but the Workbook has one killer feature that video viewers will find very useful, and which Mophie calls "infinite viewing angles."

There's a tiny Velcro strip on the left edge of the iPad compartment, and the interior front flap is made of a Velcro-gripping material. The back panel is hinged, so that one can set the screen at nearly any viewing angle, and it will hold securely. It's great for tabletop or airline viewing.

It's a very smart feature, but we're less fond of the elastic strap that holds the case closed; it's a hassle to snap on and off.

Price: $59.95

(http://www.mophie.com/)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Mophie Workbook

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

The Case, Vol. 2

This is the second version of this unique iPad case from the company Pen and Quill. Like the original, it is designed to look like a cross between a bound book and a Moleskin notebook. Inside is a carefully machined piece of plywood (and the stripes on the edges of the wood even evoke the look of pages of a book).

This new version is a little bit thinner and lighter than the original, but this is still a big, hefty case that may take up too much room in your bag.

The case's best feature remains that the entire iPad screen is uncovered, with no straps or sleeve edges touching the glass. But, once your iPad is snugly inserted, it can be hard to remove.

That said, this case is built like a tank, and offers some serious protection along with its good looks.

Price: $59.99

(http://www.padandquill.com)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

The Case, Vol. 2

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Cyber Acoustics iCover

For all its ugliness, the utilitarian cross-purpose design of Apple's own iPad case is hard to beat. To its credit, the Cyber Acoustics iCover didn't try to reinvent the wheel, it just encased the wheel in leather. The iCover's leather folio is bare-bones, but packs flat and can bend into either picture-frame or keyboard-riser modes. Elastic loops hold the case shut when closed or open, and a hand strap on the inner lid helps get extra grip on the iPad for one-handed reading.

Though an iPad looks almost precariously fastened to the inside of the iCover because of the minimalist design of the four translucent plastic corner-grips, the case held our iPad well when we used it and felt very reliable. It's affordable at less than $40, and it looks considerably more attractive than Apple's case.

Price: $39.99

(http://www.cyberacoustics.com/)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Cyber Acoustics iCover

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Booq Boa Folio

For sheer padded protection, Booq's leather and twylon Folio case is hard to beat. Unfortunately, the case is so large that it more than doubles the thickness of the iPad, but rugged rubberized edges and thick materials make this case feel the most drop-proof of all the one's we've seen. The Folio's expensive, but a more affordable nylon version is also available for $49.95.

The front pocket is large enough to fit an iPhone, and an inner sleeve is narrow but could hold a few important papers. The Folio also bends back to transform into a picture-frame or keyboard-riser design, but this case is really best as a heavy-duty travel sleeve for the iPad user on the go.

Price: $89.99

(http://www.booqbags.com)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Booq Boa Folio

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

iSkin Vu

Some people prefer a way to skin the iPad rather than sheathe it in a book-like case. The highly grippy-yet-rigid iSkin Vu comes in a variety of bright candy colors, and its combination of soft and hard plastic forms a very tight fit while offering a little more protection.

It's a lot to pay for a skin, but if you're looking for an iPhone-like way to color up your iPad, this is it.

Price: $64.99

(http://www.iskin.com)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

iSkin Vu

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Kensington KeyFolio Bluetooth keyboard case

Yes, the iPad is pretty good for writing using the on-screen virtual keyboard, but a physical keyboard clears up screen space and just feels better. Rather than lug a Bluetooth keyboard in your bag, there are cases like the Kensington KeyFolio that integrate one right into the inner lid. The keyboard's soft keys take some getting used to, but it's definitely convenient, and pairs relatively easily with the iPad. The keyboard charges via USB.

While the KeyFolio beefs up the size of the case nearly to the dimensions of a laptop, at least you're much less likely to need a laptop if you're traveling with one of these. And at $99, it's also less expensive than the combined costs of most separate keyboards and cases.

Price: $99

(http://us.kensington.com)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Kensington KeyFolio Bluetooth keyboard case

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

M-Edge Executive Jacket

This thickly padded leather folio quickly became one of our favorites. The leather has a very attractive marbled look to it, and the interior has a decent microfiber layer with a few pockets (that you'll probably never use). There's a stiff board inside the front and back panels, which makes it feel very sturdy, and the corner loops that attach the actual iPad leave almost the entire screen uncovered, but still feel reliably sturdy.

Our one issue is the long (seriously, it's almost 8 inches) leather tongue that slides into a slot on the front face to close the case. It's unwieldy, and when the case is open, it has no where to go, so it just sort of flops around.

Price: $59

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

M-Edge Executive Jacket

This thickly padded leather folio quickly became one of our favorites. The leather has a very attractive marbled look to it, the interior has a decent microfiber layer with a few pockets (that you'll probably never use). There's a stiff board inside the front and back panels, which makes it feel very sturdy, and the corner loops that attach the actual iPad leave almost the entire screen uncovered, but still feel reliably sturdy.

Our one issue is the long (seriously, it's almost 8 inches) leather tongue that slides into a slot on the front face to close the case. It's unwieldy, and when the case it open, has no where to go, so it just sort of flops around.

Price: $59

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Tuff-Luv Napa case

Another folio-style case, again made of padded leather. We were originally turned off to the design because the case have several confusing-looking leather flaps and snaps, making it look more like a bondage device than an iPad case.

One we figured out the right way to set up the Napa, we liked its adjustable kickstand-style riser, which lets you set up five different viewing angles.

Price: $49

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Tuff-Luv Napa case

Another folio-style case, again made of padded leather. While we were originally turned off to the design, because the case have several confusing-looking leather flaps and snaps, making it look more like a bondage device than an iPad case.

One we figured out the right way to set up the Napa, we liked its adjustable kickstand-style riser, which lets you set up five different viewing angles.

Price: $49

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

STM iPad jacket

STM makes great cases for laptops and Netbooks, and this generously padded iPad-size sleeve looks like a shrunken-down version of the company's larger bags. It's got several exterior pockets, a top carrying handle, and a removable strap that turns the entire thing into a tiny messenger bag, although that configuration is a little too man-purse-looking for us.

Price: $24

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

STM iPad jacket

STM makes great cases for laptops and Netbooks, and this generously padded iPad-size sleeve looks like a shrunken-down version of the company's larger bags. It's got several exterior pockets, a top carrying handle, and a removable strap that turns the entire thing into a tiny messenger bag -- although that configuration is a little too man-purse-looking for us.

Price: $24

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Tuff-Luv Veggie case

If you like the look of leather, but hate carrying around a dead animal skin, this is a faux-leather sleeve that certainly looks and feels like the real thing.

As an iPad sleeve, it doesn't provide much in the way of padding or pockets, so we don't see much in the way of practical application, but it does have one killer feature that helps it stand out. A pull-tab on the top of the sleeve easily extracts your iPad when tugged on, which is actually a better way to remove potentially delicate electronics from form-fitting cases than digging at them with your fingers.

Price: $30

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Tuff-Luv Veggie case

If you like the look of leather, but carrying around a dead animal skin, this is a faux leather sleeve that certainly looks and feels like the real thing.

As an iPad sleeve, it doesn't provide much in the way of padding or pockets, so we don't see much in the way practical application, but it does have one killer feature that halps it stand out. A pull-tab on the top of the sleeve easily extracts your iPad when tugged on, which is actually a better way to remove potentially delicate electronics from form-fitting cases than digging at them with your fingers.

Price: $30

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Belkin Vue Sleeve

This is a fairly generic padded iPad sleeve from the popular accessory maker Belkin. Though it certainly fits the bill as a transportable tablet sleeve, there's little about the design that stands out--except for the small zippered window on the front face. Too small for much in the way of actual gadgets or power cables, it proved to be the perfect size for sliding a microfiber cleaning cloth in--which every iPad owner knows is practically a must-carry accessory for the iPad's fingerprint-prone screen.

Price: $39

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Belkin Vue Sleeve

A fairly generic padded iPad sleeve from the popular accessory maker Belkin. While it certainly fills the bill as a transportable tablet sleeve, there's little about the design that stands out -- except for the small zippered window on the front face. Too small for much in the way of actual gadgets or power cables, it proved to be the perfect size for sliding a microfiber cleaning cloth in -- which ever iPad owner knows is practically a must-carry accessory for the iPad's fingerprint-prone screen.

Price: $39

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Case-Mate Venture iPad Stand Case

The Moleskin-type look and clean, folio-like lines of the Case-Mate Venture might be some of the best iPad case design touches we've seen so far, and apart from Apple's own case it's one of the thinnest of the bunch. At $89, it's also one of the most expensive. Opening up like a book, it turns the iPad into more of an e-reader in feel and function.

Button snaps in the back undo and transform the Venture into a one-angle stand for landscape viewing of videos and light-touch computing. We wish it had more elevation angles and used something other than snap buttons, but we can't complain about the build quality other than a slightly floppy front-cover hinge and the fact that it exposes the iPad's side edges. One odd note: for unexplained reasons, the Venture has a small hole cut above the screen for where the iPad's phantom camera was supposed to be. Hmm...

Price: $89

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Case-Mate Venture iPad Stand Case

The Moleskin-type look and clean, folio-like lines of the Case-Mate Venture might be some of the best iPad case design touches we've seen so far, and apart from Apple's own case it's one of the thinnest of the bunch. At $89, it's also one of the most expensive. Opening up like a book, it turns the iPad into more of an e-reader in feel and function.

Button-snaps in the back undo and transform the Venture into a one-angle stand for landscape viewing of videos and light touch computing. We wish it had more elevation angles and used something other than snap buttons, but we can't complain about the build quality other than a slightly floppy front cover-hinge and the fact that it exposes the iPad's side edges. One odd note: for unexplained reasons, the Venture has a small hole cut above the screen for where the iPad's phantom camera was supposed to be. Hmm...

Price: $89
(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Booq Boa Skin

We've recently come to love several bags made by Booq, and were naturally curious about the company's iPad sleeve. The good news is that the shape and size perfectly fit the iPad's form, with a hard-backed side to protect the screen and a smooth padded elastic that stretches to cradle the iPad's aluminum back. The bad news is that you have to remove the iPad from the sleeve in order to use it, and some might not prefer the way the iPad's top edge is exposed. The colors, design, and minimalist fit, as well as build quality, are very good, though.

Price: $29

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,
We've recently come to love several bags made by Booq, and were naturally curious about the company's iPad sleeve. The good news is that the shape and size perfectly fits the iPad's form, with a hard-backed side to protect the screen and a smooth padded elastic that stretches to cradle the iPad's aluminum back. The bad news is that you have to remove the iPad from the sleeve in order to use it, and some might not prefer the way the iPad's top edge is exposed. The colors, design and minimalist fit, as well as build quality, are very good, though.

Price: $29
(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Flexi-Clear Case by iLuv

Those who like their iPads naked but still slightly scratch-protected might find themselves gravitating to iLuv's nearly invisible Flexi-Clear case. It's barely more than a skin, but it completely covers all metal edges and gives the iPad a grippy feel that makes it seem a lot less drop-prone. The charging port can be accessed through the bottom, but keeping the high-traction iLuv skin on will likely prevent the iPad from fitting easily in other bags and docks.

Price: $29

(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Flexi-Clear Case by iLuv

Those who like their iPads naked but still slightly scratch-protected might find themselves gravitating to iLuv's nearly invisible Flexi-Clear case. It's barely more than a skin, but it completely covers all metal edges and gives the iPad a grippy feel that makes it seem a lot less drop-prone. The charging port can be accessed through the bottom, but keeping the high-traction iLuv skin on will likely prevent the iPad from fitting easily in other bags and docks.

Price: $29
(More info here)

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,
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