What are the best cases for Apple's 2017 entry-level 9.7-inch iPad?
Updated April 2017: The 2017 iPad is in its infancy and case makers are playing catching up. These are still our picks for the best iPad cases so far.
The 2017 9.7-inch iPad is the same height and width as its predecessor, the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2, as well its current high-end cousin, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Unfortunately, it's a tad thicker than either, coming in at 7.5mm to the others' 6.1mm. That means that if you have older iPad cases, they won't fit this new iPad. (The 2017 iPad is the same size and shape as the original iPad Air, but you may run into rear camera cutout issues if you try and fit an old Air case on a new iPad.)
Many manufacturers are still spinning up production on cases for the new 9.7-inch iPad, but we do know of a few companies working on new cases: Here's what's available so far (and what will soon be available)!
It's important to note that we aren't recommending cases for older iPads (like the iPad Air) that might fit under certain circumstances. This list is for cases specifically designed for the 2017 iPad.
iPad Smart Cover
The sole available case for the new iPad on Apple's website, the Smart Cover protects your iPad's screen when you're not using it (and acts as a foldable kickstand when you are). It's available in a variety of colors (including Product RED), and — unlike many of the other options on this list — you can buy it right now.
Pad and Quill Walden Case
If you're looking for a book-like option to protect your iPad, Pad and Quill has updated its entire line of moleskine-style cases for the iPad, including the $49.99 Walden Case. The lightweight book cover attaches to the rear of your iPad with strong 3M adhesive, protecting the front with a smooth interior and leather exterior.
Twelve South BookBook
Twelve South's BookBook case for the iPad Air also fits perfectly on the new 9.7-inch base model iPad: It wraps your tablet inside two hard leather covers, masking it as a vintage book. The BookBook provides a zippered closure, so that you can keep your iPad safe from the elements; when opened, you can also use the built-in support frame to prop up your tablet and use it at a variety of angles.
Logitech Rugged Combo
Designed for the classroom, Logitech's Rugged Combo keyboard case offers a secure shell for the 9.7-inch iPad that wards off dents and wayward bumps. It also comes with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard if you're looking for a solid keyboard case to help you get work done. Bonus: For those who love old Mac laptops, it has a distinctly PowerBook-era look.
Right now, the Ruggest Combo is just available in 10-unit packages — as I said above, designed for schools — but Logitech may release a single-unit version in the future.
Speck Balance Folio
Speck is in the midst of updating its popular multicolored foldable case and stand for the 9.7-inch iPad, available in one of six colors. Currently, the company is allowing potential buyers to sign up for an email list so that they can get first dibs when the cases are available.
Any others you've spotted?
Found an awesome case for the new 2017 iPad recently? Let us know below.