There are a lot of benefits from picking up one of Apple's Smart Covers for your 9.7-inch iPad. It helps protect your screen from scratches and scuff when you're lugging it around, and the magnetic cover will also save you battery life by automatically turning off the display when you close it. On top of all that, the Smart Cover also doubles as a stand, which makes typing and hands-free viewing a piece of cake. There is one big drawback of the Apple's Smart Cover; the price.
Apple's Smart Cover is $39 and rarely ever goes on sale. No one could blame you for wanting a cheaper option, and luckily for you, there are several third-party options that will save you money. If you love the look, style, and functionality of the Apple Smart Cover, but would like to spend a little less moolah, take a look at these great third-party solutions.
MoKo Smart Shell
The Moko Smart Shell looks eerily similar to Apple Smart Cover and provides all the same benefits for only $12!
The magnetic front flap is coated with a microfiber cloth interior, keeping your display clean and free of scratches. The same auto wake/sleep feature will keep your display from staying on when the cover is closed, and it can even act as a stand for when you're typing on-the-go.
One more thing, the Moko Smart Shell comes in a wide variety of colors and even neat designs to help you iPad stand out from the rest.
ESR Trifold Smart Case
ESR's Trifold Smart Case case sports a very similar design to Apple's original Smart Cover and has the same functionality.
The magnetic front cover will turn the display on and off automatically when closing or opening, and the case can also keep your iPad upright in landscape mode, perfect for watching Netflix.
The biggest difference with ESR's case is that it does cover the back of the iPad as well covering up the Apple logo. It comes in a wider variety of colors allowing you to find the perfect hue and it only costs about $13.
ESR Slim Leather Folio Case
If you find the look of Apple's Smart Cover to be a little drab, but still want to enjoy all the perks, ESR Slim Leather Folio Case is a stylish option.
With several different designs and color to choose from, your iPad won't look like any other. The leather front cover is both magnetic — to ensure the auto wake/sleep functions work — and laced with a microfiber cloth interior. Now scratches, scuffs, or dirt will be getting on your iPad screen.
Made from genuine leather, ESR Slim Leather Folio Case is a little more expensive than the other options listed above; it typically sells for about $28.
What's your favorite Smart Cover alternative?
Let us know in the comments below!
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.