More than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have deployed or are testing iPad use by employees right now, according to Apple. That means this tablet is the must-have toy for every executive in the land, and if you want to play with the big boys you need to look the part. And so does your iPad 2. That’s why we’ve gone in search of business-friendly cases that will protect your slate and make a good impression.
The $129 iLuv Professional Case is an executive-level keyboard case that looks the part. Secured with Velcro, the faux-leather exterior is augmented by a snappable kickstand for easy typing or movie watching. Inside, the Bluetooth keyboard is surrounded by the same soft black material. When the keyboard case is fully charged via microUSB, you’ll enjoy five days of continuous keyboard use. We like that the Professional can either be Velcroed in place or detached.
Known for good keyboard design, Logitech brings its typing expertise to this business-friendly Keyboard Case for iPad 2 by Zagg ($99.99). A recess just behind the keyboard props up your tablet in either portrait or landscape mode for easy in-meeting note taking when paired via Bluetooth. The keyboard charges via USB and should last for several weeks on a charge. When your meetings are over, turn the screen face down into the shiny, aircraft-grade aluminum shell and the iPad will suction into place. The corners lined with high-density foam padding will protect your tablet from the occasional bump.
For the minimalist who still likes a little pizazz in the boardroom, consider the $29.95 Bracketron Back-iT case. This snap-on back is designed to work with your Smart Cover, and comes in colors to match some of Apple’s own shades, such as blue, gray, green, pink, and orange. The soft-touch, polycarbonate back keeps your tablet free of scratches and fingerprints, while all the ports and buttons remain accessible.
A sleeve such as the black Case Logic iPad Case is the perfect way to protect your iPad 2 when it comes along for the ride inside your briefcase or shoulder bag. The durable nylon exterior protects your tablet from the elements, while the foam padding protects it from bumps and bruises. And because the Case Logic weighs only 3.5 ounces, it won’t cause any back strain when you’re dashing through the airport terminal. For $24.99 you get a solid case backed by a 25-year warranty.
The Griffin IntelliCase ($59.99) maintains your iPad 2’s slim profile while adding protection against scratches and dings. The magnetic cover flap, made of flexible TPU, works exactly like the Apple Smart Cover, putting the iPad to sleep when closed and rolling up to create a stand when raised. The black snap-on rear cover is made of a textured polycarbonate plastic for an easy-grip feel. The notch on the rear even adds more viewing positions than Apple’s flap version.
Fit your whole office into one synthetic leather portfolio with the black M-Edge New Method Portfolio, which is ready to travel wherever your business takes you. The iPad (or another tablet) can be secured with elastic on top or stored inside the snap-on sleeve. Inside the $79.99 micro-suede lined portfolio you’ll find pockets for a smartphone, pens/stylus, files, cords, and business cards. Flip the modular iPad sleeve over to reveal space for a full-sized legal pad. The dual-zipper closure seals it all in.
The black Defender Series from Otterbox ($89.95) separates into four components—a two-piece polycarbonate back lined with foam, a silicone back cover, and a hard plastic shell that doubles as a stand and touchscreen cover. The multi-layered cover can withstand shocks and drops to protect your Apple workhorse, and all your ports are covered. Thanks to the see-through logo circle on the back, you can still show off your iPad when you hit the office
You could go all-black with the $49 Kickstand 2 Cover from Timbuk2, or you could add some color to your iPad and go for the Gunmetal Gray/Revlon Red model or the Nylon Blue/Gunmetal Gray version. This book-style case cocoons your tablet in high-density foam lined with faux fur and wrapped in durable nylon. When you fold open the sides, the top flap Velcroes to the cover to create a stand for viewing or typing. And the hard plastic corner covers will ensure your magical slate survives any in-flight jostling.