Updated May 2024 -

Every 18 months or so Apple releases new tablet computers. Sometimes the iPad folios for the previous generation models are compatible, sometimes they're not.

It's been many years since Apple has made a substantial upgrade to it's tablet lineup. This is exactly what the world got on May 7th, 2024. With a further expansion of the it's tablet line up, Apple has sliced and diced their iPad offerings to try an appeal to people who want the latest and greatest in portable computing.

Along with these new models comes the need for quality protection. This can take the shape of a 13 iPad Pro case, 13 iPad Air case, a 5th generation 11 iPad Pro case or the new 11 iPad Air case.

We've created a list of what to look for when seeking out the best made-made and leather iPad Folio cases to protect your Apple portable and to meet your needs too. 

What is the Purpose of an iPad Case?

The purpose of an iPad case is to safeguard your Apple tablet against physical damage, dust, and scratches. iPad Pro cases are tailored to fit specific iPad models, offering precise protection without obstructing ports or buttons.

Their purpose extends beyond aesthetics. Many consider them a vital accessory that they would not dream of being without. They come in various designs, from minimalist to rugged, allowing users to choose based on their lifestyle and preferences.

Most iPad cases start with a data set typically stolen from Apple's supplier and they create their sample cases off this data. The problem with the majority of these products is that they are engineered in the abstract but you use them in the concrete, in reality. 

They're great when they first arrive but quickly deteriorate to the point where they are cracking, the fabric covers peel off and you are left with something headed for a landfill or your local recycling center. 

Once you install them on your iPad, the plastic is stressed with some areas under compression while other areas are under tension. This never lets up as long as the cover is on your tablet. Over time the material gives way and the plastic begins to crack and fall apart.

Needless to say, these are some of the worst quality iPad cases out there and amazon sells a lot of them. For some reason, people buy these types of covers because they have been brainwashed into thinking that putting the cheapest folio you can find on the most expensive tablet computer made is a good idea. It's not. It's a bad one. 

protective ipad case

What is the Best Material for an iPad Case?

The best material for an iPad case is the one that best suits your individual needs. For a professional meeting with clients, leather might be the best material. For a construction worker, high-impact plastic might be the best.

Let's take a closer look.

Leather iPad cases are beloved for their timeless elegance and luxurious feel. They are perfect for those who value style and craftsmanship. However, within the realm of leather cases, there are differences in quality.

If you're a connoisseur of fine materials, opt for top-quality leather which will be full or top grain. It's soft, supple, and develops a rich patina over time, adding character to your case. These cases often come from reputable brands known for their leather craftsmanship.

Beware of the "genuine leather" claim as most genuine leather is really what is called "bonded leather". It's a mix of scrap leather, scrap plastic, fillers and bonding agents.

Hard plastic iPad cases are known for their durability and impact resistance. If you're often on the move or work in demanding environments, rugged hard plastic cases are your best bet. They are engineered to withstand drops, shocks, and harsh conditions. Look for ones with reinforced corners and shock-absorbing features.

For users who want protection without adding bulk, sleek hard plastic cases provide a sleek and slim profile. They shield your iPad from scratches and minor impacts without sacrificing aesthetics.

Soft plastic iPad cases are often budget-friendly options. They are lightweight, flexible, and easy to install. These cases cater to users who prioritize affordability but still want decent protection.

leather ipad case

How Do I Choose the Best iPad Case?

The first way to ensure you're choosing a high quality iPad folio is not to choose a bad one. Buying a quality case will ensure your investment in your Apple tablet will be protected.

For an authoritative view on this subject, we asked Michael Santoro, the founder and Chief Creative Officer of MacCase, for a few questions those shopping for a quality iPad case should consider. This is what he has to say:

"When reviewing your options in iPad cases, think about the following: 

• How will I be using my Apple tablet?

• What environments will it be needing protection from?

• Who is making this case?

• How long have they been around?

• What are the reviews for the model I'm interested in? 

• What materials represent quality to me?

• How is the iPad held in the folio?

• How do I interact with it?

• What are my "must-have" features?

• What can I live without?

• Do I need a secure place for the Apple Pencil?

Think about the features you'd like and how well they are integrated into the design of the case you are considering. Just because a design claims to have a "pencil holder" doesn't necessarily mean it's well designed or integrated into the design with any real thought."

Ultimately, the best quality iPad case depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider your usage patterns, style, and budget when making your decision.

If you value style and craftsmanship go for top-quality leather for a timeless and luxurious feel. If you prioritize ruggedness, opt for rugged hard plastic for maximum durability and impact resistance.

If you seek a balance between protection and style, choose sleek hard plastic for a slim profile with decent protection. If you're on a budget a basic soft plastic cases provide affordability without compromising on basic protection.

Remember that the ideal iPad case material should cater to your unique lifestyle and tastes, ensuring that your iPad remains both protected and an extension of your personal style.

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment and let us know. Thanks!

rugged, protective ipad case

Jody K. Deane
by Jody K. Deane September 11, 2023
Tags: ipad case


Mary Libertin

Mary Libertin said:

I have a new MacBook Air … I would like a cover. What do you recommend?



Jody said:

Mary -

Our sleeves have protected MacBooks of all generations since MacBooks were introduced.

Most damage to laptops occurs during transport, not during use. Protection that stays on the laptop while you’re using it is less important than the protection used when transporting it.

I would not recommend a clip on or snap-on cover. They add weight and bulk and can trap dirt and heat. They can also abraid the silver finish of your MacBook where the plastic contacts the surface.

Check our Shop By Size link at the top of this page. Find your size and review the design options. All the choices will protect your investment for the long term.

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