Best Cases for the 9.7 iPad Pro (2016)

Whether you're a current 9.7-inch iPad Pro owner or you've picked up a discounted or refurbished model, you don't have to fret about lack of accessories just because the model is discontinued: There are still plenty of great cases, stands, and the like for the 2016 iPad Pro.

And that's great, because let's be real: Protecting it is something of a necessity given its hefty replacement price tag and easily-breakable glass screen. A great case can do just that — and give you some added functionality, too.

Whether you're looking to simply protect your iPad, add storage space for your Pencil, or add a hardware keyboard to the mix, here are our favorite cases for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Note: We haven't included sleeves or bags in this roundup, but we'll have a different article for those.

Apple Silicone Case and Smart Keyboard

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iPad Pro 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard

While it seems to me like Apple almost always gets first round draft pick in these best roundups, it's for a good reason: The company knows the iPad Pro better than any third-party accessory manufacturer, and if you want the nicest fit and smoothest keyboard experience, it's hard to go wrong with the Silicone Case and Smart Keyboard combination. (And Apple still manufactures these cases even if the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is no longer made, so take advantage of this while you can.)

The cases come in a variety of color-matched hues to protect the rear of your device, while the Smart Connector-enabled Smart Keyboard protects your glass screen in its closed state; unfurl it, and you'll get a one-angle view stand with a full-featured hardware keyboard. Typing on fabric-based keys does take some getting used to — especially if your fingertips are extra-sensitive about those sorts of things — but the keyboard's overall experience more than makes up for the initial adjustment period.

One note for artists: Apple currently doesn't include an Apple Pencil loop on its Silicone Case, so you'll need to accessorize your Pencil if you want to keep it with this case combination.

The Silicone case retails for $69, while the Smart Keyboard case is $149.

Poetic iPad Pro case

If you're just looking for a simple silicone case to protect your iPad and give you a place to store your Apple Pencil, Poetic's 9.7-inch case offers great corner protection along with a double silicone loop to store your stylus. It also leaves the Smart Connector exposed so that you can combine this case with Apple's Smart Keyboard whenever you have need for it. While not the most stylish case around, it still offers several different colors to spice up your iPad's look — though you won't find any color-matched "rose gold" option for this case.

Grab it on Amazon for around $10.

See at Amazon

Pad and Quill's Oxford Leather iPad Pro Case

Want to protect your iPad Pro with shades of the "college professor" look? Pad and Quill's Oxford case clothes your iPad in a Whiskey or Chesnut-colored leather book, bound with a moleskins-style elastic loop. Unlike some of P&Q's other offerings, there's no tray here — just high-strength 3M adhesive (removable, of course).

Because no self-respecting professor would be caught without a writing implement, the Oxford case offers both a leather loop for the Apple Pencil stylus and full compatibility with Apple's Smart Keyboard. There's also a small interior pocket on the inside of the case, which you can use to store important documents or a cord, or slip your hand in it for easy balancing while using it out and about.

This case is available at Pad & Quill for around $120.

See at Pad and Quill

Dodocase iPad Pro Two-Tone Case

If Pad and Quill's bookish offerings aren't to your taste, rival bindery company Dodocase has a beautiful two-tone book-bound case for your iPad's protective needs. Unlike Dodocase's past bamboo-built offerings, the Two-Tone case uses a black plastic polymer enclosure to firmly secure your iPad inside its bookish shell, and built-in magnets along the front cover to trigger the iPad's sleep/wake.

If you draw, the Dodocase also offers an elastic loop for your Apple Pencil, though keyboard aficionados will have to pop the iPad out of the case if they plan to use a Smart Keyboard or other Smart Connector accessory.

If price is no option, you can grab the Dodocase for around $65.

See at Dodocase

Logitech Create Keyboard Case

If you're looking for the ultimate Smart Connector keyboard case and Apple Pencil storage solution, Logitech Create's case provides a rugged yet compact option for 9.7-inch iPad Pro users. The case has been redesigned from its 12.9-inch shell to provide the iPad with a lighter back cover, a hidden elastic loop along its interior spine to store the Apple Pencil, and an angled drawing surface when the screen is placed on top of the keyboard.

While heavier than some of the other options, it's been my favorite keyboard and case combination for the iPad Pro since its release; if you need an all-in-one solution, this is the case you want. Available for around $130.

See at Amazon

Lifeproof Nüüd Waterproof Case

If you need waterproofing protection for your iPad Pro, Otterbox subsidiary Lifeproof has the case to do it: The company's Nüüd waterproof shell is submersible up to 6 feet for around an hour and also claims resistance to dirt, snow, and unavoidable drops. Like the Otterbox case, Nüüd offers heavy-duty protection on the iPad Pro's corners and sides, with full port protection.

The major difference comes in the design of the device's screen and rear coverings: The case provides a super-thin transparent covering for both the rear backing and screen, allowing you to see your iPad's original coloration and use the Apple Pencil and touch gestures without compromising your device to water, dirt, or snow.

Check it out at Lifeproof for around $130.

See at Lifeproof

Speck iGuy iPad Pro Case

Need a goofy-but-rugged case for kids or a classroom setting? Speck's iGuy case encloses your iPad Pro in a Teletubbies-style body with squishy-but-firm foam arms and feet. If you care about such things, there's no place to store an Apple Pencil or use the iPad's Smart Connector, nor is the device completely dust or waterproof; still, it can serve as a great protective option for slightly older kids who have no death wish for their electronics (or Teletubby-style cases).

The best part is that it's only $20.

See at Amazon

Your favorite iPad Pro case?

Using a case you love that I haven't highlighted here? We want to hear about it in the comments and the forums! Drop me a note below.

Discuss 9.7-inch iPad Pro cases in the forums

Updated July 10 2017: Removed discontinued cases and updated our latest picks.

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.