Sure, there's a new iPad this holiday season -- the iPad Air 2 -- and you can still opt for either a Smart Cover or Smart Case to go with it. But before you plop down your money on one of Apple’s accessories, consider some of the other options that are out there to protect your new tablet. We’ve rounded up our favorites, both for the iPad Air 2 and the still-available original iPad Air, to give you some idea of the incredible variety.
Take your organizational skills and fashion sense up a notch with the leather Knomo Tech Knomad Air. Inside, your iPad Air will sit snugly in its own microfiber-lined pocket, but you'll also find spaces for a stylus, credit cards, a phone, a portable battery and power cords. Plus, if you register your bag's unique My Knomo ID, the company can help reunite owners and bags if you become separated.
It's simple, thin and colorful. The Case Logic SnapView 2.0 case takes its name from the button locking system that secures the tablet in place. It comes in (remove extra "in" here) black, green, gray, pink, purple and tan. The suedelike interior of the flap protects against scratches. The molded polycarbonate shell won't add a lot of bulk to your sexy tablet, either.
Incipio'sTuxencomprises a faux-leather top and a rigid, plastic shell on the back to protect your iPad. Like the X-Doria SmartJacket, it has a magnetic cover to keep the cover firmly closed, and triggers the Sleep/Wake function on your Air 2 when you open or close the flap. Available in black, charcoal, ocean (blue) and pink, the Tuxen also folds into a stand for viewing media or typing on your tablet.
The iPad Air is pretty light. Belkin says it’s managed to make a keyboard case that’s even lighter. The QODE Ultimate Keyboard case uses an aluminum alloy to protect your tablet. It’s also flexible enough to provide multiple viewing angles, along with a keyboard that boasts special shortcuts for adding tracks to your iTunes wishlist and pairing Bluetooth devices that could come in handy. Available in white and black.
As much as you may love your iPad Air 2, you may not want to constantly grip it in your hands. iLuv offers two more options with its dual-layer Layup case. A detachable hand strap lets you keep a hold on the iPad in any one of four positions. When it’s time to sit back and watch a movie, pull out the built-in kickstand. Available in black.
Sure, the new iPad might as well be lighter than air, but sometimes you just want to prop your tablet up for easy viewing. TheX-Doria SmartJacketcan be folded so you can lean your iPad at different levels of elevation. The magnets built into the cover let you put the tablet to sleep or wake the device. The slim jacket also offers protection from bumps and scratches, while its 3D-patterned back adds a distinctive look to your slate.
Who better than Apple to make a cover for the iPad? The company's lightweightSmart Coverhas a hinge that magnetically connects to the tablet. Since it's just a front cover (no back), you won't have to worry about adding extra bulk to your slate. Available in seven colors (black, white, pink, yellow, green, blue and (Product)RED).