Looking for a new case or cover for the third-generation iPad? Here are CNET's top picks.
Acme Made Infinite Angle
The Acme Made Infinite Angle case is ultrathin and allows you to prop up your iPad at any angle (at least in landscape mode). It has the auto awake feature built into the case like Apple's Smart Cover. It's really a nice, lightweight case that's also fairly affordable.
Note: This case was originally designed for the iPad 2. Acme Made says it's compatible with the third-generation iPad. However, the company wants you to know that Apple implemented changes to the sleep/wake function requirements in the iPad, "specifically magnet strength and polarity." Since this was not a requirement for the iPad 2, Acme Made says the Infinite Angle's auto-wake feature may not work for some iPad 3 users (the feature worked with my new iPad, but proceed at your own risk).
Acme Made says its slim Orikata case, available in "vegan-friendly" faux leather, "leverages complete docking and play-through functionality within its unique case design. Taking cues from the Japanese art of origami, the Orikata's folding elements reconfigure in a snap, providing a remarkably stable stand for cinema viewing or keyboard mode at optimal ergonomic angles."
I like both of the Acme Made Infinite Angle and Orikata because they're lightweight, offer good flexibility for propping up your iPad, and offer good protection. Oh, and this one's well priced, too (it originally cost $49 but is now $25).
Note: This model was originally designed for the iPad 2 but does not offer the auto on/off feature so you don't have to worry about the feature not working.
Belkin makes a few versions of the Cinema Folio, including a more expensive model that comes in leather for $54.99. Available in multiple colors, this is an attractive folio case that allows you to prop your iPad up at various angles and has the instant on/off feature built into the case like Apple's Smart Cover. Belkin calls the feature "AutoWake Magnets" (alas, they are missing from the leather version). A magnetic clasp keeps the cover closed.
Boxwave, which makes several different iPad cases, has one of the lighter, thinner keyboard cases out there. While it does leave your iPad a bit more exposed (less protected) than some of the other keyboard cases, it's an interesting design and is pretty affordable.
Camalen is a new high-end case company that features some pretty interesting iPad 2 and 3 case designs in very high-quality leather. We like the $115 Hexa, which is a swiveling case that allows you to prop up your iPod in portrait or landscape mode. But our pick for this list is the Vision, which includes a special strap that allows you to attach you iPad to the back of headrest for in-car viewing. Comes in multiple colors and different textures of leather.
CaseCrown's Bold Standby, which can be had for around $22 on Amazon (it qualifies for free shipping if you're a Prime member), is one of the best values in iPad cases. No, it's not real leather but it does have the magnetic auto wake feature.
Case-mate makes a couple of snazzy, high-end Slim Stands, including the Signature model you see here and the Stingray that's more female oriented. They both feature high-quality leather, the magnetic on/off feature, and two viewing angles, plus typing position.
Dodocase has updated its popular journal-style cases with new, much stronger milled bamboo interior tray. The company says the tray is 230 percent stronger than the previous version and about 2x the strength of competing products they've tested (for the record, I'm not saying that, Dodocase is). The company has expanded its line, and now has three new models to choose from.
For an extra fee ($9.95), you can also personalize your case with an inscription. And adding a hole for the iPad's back camera will set you back another $4.95.
We've been fans of previous models of this case and should note that while it doesn't fold into a stand like some folio-style cases, you can fold the cover back and put the case in "easel mode" to prop up your iPad for video watching. To keep the case standing in easel mode on super slick surfaces, a Dodocase rep gave us a little tip: "Stand the back edge of the cover on the elastic ribbon by extending underneath the cover." Good to know.
These cases come in a variety of exterior and interior colors and Dodocase takes pride in the fact that they're all made in America (San Francisco).
iFrogz's Summit Portfolio case has been updated for the new iPad. It's a nice, well-designed folio-style case that converts into a stand and has a small pocket on the inside cover for business cards as well as a loop on the back for storing a stylus.
With some of these folio-style cases, the back of the case can be a little floppy (part of it isn't attached to the iPad), but I liked how the Summit incorporates a strip of Velcro to keep the back of the cover securely in place until you need to put it into stand mode.
We like these oragami-style case that have covers that fold into stands (yes, it has the magnetic auto wake feature). This one started out at $89.99, but can now be had for around $35, which is clearly a more fair price.
The Incipio's Lgnd is my favorite Incipio iPad case. It's a slim, origami-inspired case with a front cover that folds up (and back) and converts into a stand.
The magnets in the front flap serve two purposes: they hold the flap together as a stand when it's folded back and they also enable the iPad's automatic sleep/wake feature. This one's available in multiple colors.
Incipio's Kickstand is a nylon case with that allows you to prop up your iPad at multiple angles. The kicker here is that this one comes with an Incipio Inscribe Stylus. This one will be available in multiple colors, but at launch Incipio appears to be only selling the black version.
The stylish and well-designed iSkin Aura 2 is one of the nicer folio cases available. It allows you to prop up your iPad at a few different angles (it also has the wake/sleep feature) and is available in multiple colors.
iSkin is tweaking the design of its Solo Smart case to fit the new iPad. This one is available in multiple colors and is designed to work with Apple's Smart Cover. No, the Smart Cover (in picture) is not included. This is a back-only case.
Kensington's Folio is your basic Folio case, but it's nicely designed and is selling for an affordable $24.99 on Amazon.
While the case isn't made out of real leather, the faux leather exterior looks pretty luxurious (the case comes in brown or black). The case folds back into a stand that gives you two angles to chose from: typing or video watching.
If you're looking for a case with an integrated keyboard, Kensington offers one of the better values with its Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Case. The version with the "fixed" keyboard is going for $49.99 on Amazon (it lists for $99.99) and the model with the removable keyboard is selling for $62.99.
Like a lot of these keyboard cases, this one's on the bulkier side, but it does have a couple of nice features. First, you get hard keys on the keyboard (some keyboards have soft rubberized keys) that are more tactile. Secondly, the swiveling hinge integrated into the case allows you to prop up your iPad in a horizontal or vertical position.
Logitech's Solar Keyboard Folio adds a clever twist to the crowded iPad keyboard case market by introducing a solar charger. Better yet, standard room lights charge the case; sunlight isn't required.
The flexible folio-style case orients to two different angles: one for typing, and one for media viewing at an angle, which covers up all keys except for a row of media-oriented controls on the bottom. The case also has the automatic wake/sleep feature.
I personally like this case a little better than Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover because it protects your whole iPad, front and back. That said, it is a little floppy and I wish the inner portion of the case -- the part that holds your iPad -- was detachable. That missing feature would make it much easier to hold your iPad in one hand when you didn't need the keyboard.
Even with those small gripes this is one of the top keyboard covers out there (it also works with the iPad 2). Logitech claims that, on a full charge, the Solar Keyboard Folio's Bluetooth keyboard will last an astonishing two years when typing 2 hours a day.
The Solar Keyboard Folio is currently available for preorder and costs $129.99.
The Mapi Orion is an interesting case that also happens to be rather expensive, costing a whopping $160. What makes it worth $160? Well, I'm not sure it is, but it is pretty unique and is hand-crafted from very high-quality leather, with a "creased" (and hinged) cover design that enables you to prop your iPad up in both a vertical or horizontal position. It's also pretty light, which is nice.
With most covers you open the case as if you're opening a book. But what makes the Orion unique is that the cover fits on the case vertically -- it's like you're folding back a page on a legal notepad or reporter's notebook when you open it. Some may find that weird at first but you do get used to it over time.
The case is certainly eye-catching -- and I liked the design -- but, as I said, the price tag's a little steep, so hopefully this one will go on sale. It's available in black, brown, red, tan, and white.
This attractive faux leather case has a slim design and an affordable $17.95 price tag on Amazon (the price fluctuates a bit up and down). If you're looking for a modestly priced case, this is definitely worth checking out. It does have the built-in magnet for the automatic sleep/wake feature.
Monoprice's products come from the same factories that produce cases from so-called name-brand accessory makers -- only Monoprice's products are usually much cheaper.
It has a growing selection of cases, and most of them are under $20 and many under $15.
Though it isn't cheap, the iGlaze VersaCover Origami Case is one of the more stylish, slim origami-style cases, which has a nicely textured front cover and an attractive back cover. This one allows you to prop up your iPad at multiple angles by folding the cover into various shapes (magnets are built into the cover). It's available in a few different color options and is one of my favorite cases.
Otterbox has made some small tweaks to the design of its Otterbox Defender Series tough case. The new case fits both the iPad 2 and iPad third-generation and is slightly slimmer though still bulky. You get three layers of protection, including a screen cover, and the Defender's outer "shield stand" supports both landscape and portrait viewing and also tilts into a typing position.
Pad & Quill cases share some distinct similarities with Dodocase notebook-style cases and we've always been fans of them (editor Dan Ackerman uses a Pad & Quill case with his iPhone 4S).
The $59.99 Graduate pictured here is the least expensive of the bunch and features the magnetic on/off feature as well as a cutout camera hole. The $89.99 Contega is a Folio version of the Graduate and converts into a stand. And finally, the $109.99 Octavo is the high-end model and is bound in premium leather. All the cases are handmade in Minnesota.
Speck had a solid lineup of iPad 2 cases and has made some small tweaks to that line to make the cases fit the new iPad.
After some delay, the company has new versions of the PixelSkin HD Wrap, MagFolio, and WanderFolio. Some new colors are on tap, including Grape and Pomodoro for the PixelSkin HD, Mulberry for the MagFolio, and Black Peacock for the WanderFolio.
We're fans of the MagFolio, which comes in a leather Luxe version for $99.99 and a non-leather version for $59.99. This one has the awake/sleep function, and is relatively thin and lightweight.
It's a nice case--one of the best folios out there.
Another one of our Speck favorites is the PixelSkin HD Wrap. You can get it in a more mundane color like black, but it also comes in more vibrant colors, including the new Grape (purple) and Pomodoro (red).
Sena, known for its elegant Italian leather cases, is offering up a number of iPad 3 cases. One of its slimmest models is the Florence, which features high-quality leather (we're showing it in dark brown but it also comes in black, tan, and red). It has a unique tuck-in corner that keeps the cover closed and is targeted at executive types.
The Folio Classic is another sleek case from Sena. It's more like your standard folio-style case, but it's made out of high-quality leather and is simply more luxurious. It, too, is available in multiple colors.
Spigen/SGP had some cases in our iPad 2 cases roundup and is gearing up to release some new products for the iPad 3.
The Folio comes in a faux leather model (available in black or dark green) for $67.99, while the swankier leather version, the Folio.S, goes for $91.99 (yes, those are weird price points). The higher-end case is available in brown and tan, but not black.
Price: $91.99 (or 67.99 for faux leather version)
If I had to narrow down this list down to a top 10, the Grip from Australian company STM would definitely be in there. This is more of a hard-shell-style case that's got a soft-to-the-touch exterior. It's slim, feels nice in your hand, and its ribbed design makes it easy to "grip." It has the automatic wake feature, but the real extra is the integrated kickstand on the back that allows you to prop you iPad up in typing or video watching positions.
The only question is how the case will look and hold up over time. This type of material doesn't always wear well, but it sure looks good new. It's also worth mentioning that the case, depending on the color, may show some fingerprints (or really the oil from your skin). The smudges are easy enough to wipe off, but I just thought it's worth noting.
The Grip is available in black, blue, red, and tangerine (I used the black model).
STM's new Skinny case is one of the lightest cases out there. It has fabric-covered polycarbonate rear shell, microsuede on the inside, and integrated magnetic sleep/wake front cover that's also covered in fabric.
The clasp keeps the cover closed and also helps convert the case into a stable two-position stand. This is another good one from STM that's available in several colors.
Note: This case isn't quite shipping yet, but I did test out early samples of the product.
This is similar in style to Targus' Slim Case, with a nylon/canvas exterior, but it's a beefier case with pockets on the inside that hold business cards, a notepad (one's included) and slot for storing a stylus (you also get a little cleaning pad). This one has the magnetic on/off feature and a flexible strap keeps the case securely closed.
This simple and attractive lightweight case converts into a stand with two viewing angles (one's a typing position as well). Available in multiple colors (we tried the dark indigo version and it looked really nice), the Slim has the magnetic on/off feature and a stylus holder on back of the case.
Xhibt is a new company out of Santa Cruz, Calif., that's making "handmade" book-bound style cases with a wooden tray to hold your iPad. Apparently, the wood craftspeople who make them have a background in making surfboards, which is always good to have on your resume.
Xhibt offers a couple of different models, including the Inspiria Metallic. As you can see from the picture, it comes in multiple colors and has a bit of a shimmer to it. For an extra $7.95, you can have your case monogrammed.