Twelve South BookBook for iPad, £60
The BookBook for iPad from Twelve South is a novelty case that provides good protection but isn’t particularly practical. It adds significant weight and takes up more room in your bag since it's a bit bigger than the iPad, but the fun, antique tome appearance adds a quirky style to your tablet.
The distressed look helps disguise bumps and scratches and it certainly feels durable. The zip can be done up from either end and the iPad is held inside the case by two bottom hooks and an elastic strap across the top. The strap can sometimes cover the status bar when using it in portrait mode, covering the time, signal and battery, which is a little annoying.
The BookBook can be used as a stand to hold your iPad in various landscape angles, suitable for typing and FaceTime. The way this works is by folding the front cover back and attaching a cord to it to hold the iPad in position at the angle you want, but it isn't particularly sturdy.
Despite some annoyances and a rather steep price, we like the BookBook for iPad and would recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different to the norm to provide good protection for their tablet.
Buy from: www.amazon.co.uk
Booq Folio, £41
German company Booq's new Folio case fits both the new iPad as well as the iPad 2 and comes in five colours: black, black stone, sand, grey and - for the ladies - pink.
It's a slim, well-made case that's lined with nubuck, a material that's both soft and grippy so it protects your iPad and makes it easier to hold it.
The iPad slides in from the left-hand side and the fit is excellent for the new iPad. There are well-positioned cutouts for the camera and dock connector, but it's slightly tricky to get to the volume rocker, but the all-round protection is welcome.
The front cover has strong magnets which hold it shut and also operate the iPad's sleep/wake function. Two folds in the cover allow it to create a stand for typing or, if you place your iPad upright, for watching videos or using Skype, for example.
It's one of the better folio cases, but the downside is the high price if you buy from Booq's website (over £50). However, search around and you can find it for closer to £40.
Buy from: www.cancomuk.com
M-Edge Incline, £33
M-Edge’s Incline case has a lot of potential, but we found that the unique design was often impractical. It uses the same uView mounting system as the Trench Runner on the previous page.
Installing our iPad was easy thanks to the flexible clips at the corners of the clear plastic uView frame, which is completely detachable from the outer case. The mount has four ‘feet’ to enable it to be used as what M-Edge calls a "convenient low profile snap-on case". We didn't find it was particularly useful to be able to remove the iPad from the case, but some might.
As with the Trench Runner case, the uView mount is extremely difficult to remove to start with, and almost as tricky to replace. That's until you've got the knack.
The ledges on the front of the case can be used to position the iPad in three landscape angles, ideal for typing, FaceTime and watching movies. Removing the uView mount and reattaching it in a portrait orientation gives an additional two standing positions.
The Incline doesn’t have a cut out for the rear camera. Instead, you slide the uView mount up, pushing the camera above the case’s edge. This is a neat idea, but we found it became an irritating extra step.
The case is held closed using microsuction technology, a kind of sticky strip that holds onto the iPad itself, but doesn’t leave any marks behind. We found it worked well during a couple of weeks of testing.
With its faux carbon fibre exterior and microsuede interior, the Incline looks high quality and stylish, and it’s also available in cobalt, black, green, or red.
Unfortunately, the case doesn’t protect the top and bottom edges of the iPad too well. Our tablet got scratched during testing, probably by a key or a pen that managed to slip into the top of the case. If you're careful, you can avoid this, but in our view a case should fully protect your device.
The ability to position the stand in both portrait and landscape orientations, along with good looks, make the incline a good case. However, the Trench Runner is better still for only a few pounds more.
Buy from: www.amazon.co.uk
Proporta Smart Recycled Leather, £40
If you want a real leather case, but don't want to pay a fortune, this recycled version could be ideal. The leather has a matt finish and looks slightly grey rather than black, but looks good. It's similar to Proporta's Leather Style range, which is the same price. However, this one doesn't covert into a stand. It's held shut by a popper and has a hessian lining with a pocket for A5 documents.
Although the camera cutout isn't quite in the right place, there was no vignetting. Strangely, there's no cutout for the top-mounted microphone, but it doesn't noticeably affect the new iPad's dictation function. At the top right corner, a small tie keeps the front and back of the case together while still allowing access to the power and volume controls.
Buy from: www.proporta.com
Griffin Elan Folio, £35
Folio cases are perhaps the most common choice for an iPad, and Griffin's Elan Folio is a stylish choice. It's available in a variety of designs, from colourful notebook-esque styles (the Cabana range, shown below) to those with a more demure, business look.
Built-in magnets wake the iPad when you open it, and put it to sleep when you close it. Inside is a soft lining to protect the screen, and there's an elastic loop for a stylus. The cover can be flipped back to turn it into a stand, either for watching videos in landscape mode, or typing with the rear raised slightly from the desk.
If you decide to buy, make sure you're getting the new model, which has magnets which work with the new iPad. The old model has the same name, but works only with the iPad 2.
Buy from: www.johnlewis.com
Case-mate Tuxedo, £50
Taking inspiration from Apple's Smart Cover, the Tuxedo covers both the front and back of the iPad. It has a large 'MagicTape' pad to which you stick your iPad to attach the case. The tape is extremely strong and there's no chance your iPad will fall out of the case. Case-mate says the tape is reusable, but we wouldn't want to swap cases too often as it takes a minute or two to prise the Tuxedo from the rear of the iPad. Fortunately, no residue is left on the iPad.
Available in black, grey, orange, teal and pink, the front of the Tuxedo mimics the Smart Cover and has magnets which hold it together when folded into a triangle. The same magnets activate the new iPad's wake/sleep function. Occasionally, we found that the magnets inadvertently turned our iPad off when we folded the cover flat against the back of the iPad - not helpful. It's thicker than Apple's Smart Cover and doesn't fold in half and stay that way as Apple's does - a useful position for taking photos without the cover getting in the way.
The Tuxedo admirably protects the back of the iPad, and is a high-quality case, but it doesn't do much to protect the exposed sides of the tablet. There's also the small issue of price: £50 is bit too steep. For that, you could buy real Smart Cover and a separate clip-on rear cover which adds a bit more edge protection and is easier to remove.
Buy from: www.case-mate.co.uk
Scosche FolIO P2, £38
The Scosche FolIO is a slim, stylish and sturdy leather-style iPad case originally designed for the iPad 2, but listed by at least one supplier as compatible with the new iPad.
While that’s broadly accurate, the perfectionists that qualify as true Apple devotees should be warned that the fractionally thicker body of the third-generation model means the new iPad is not the perfect fit for the FolIO’s six reinforced holders. We could get our shiny new iPad to fit inside four of the six holders on the edges of the cover, but not the left-hand pair which are meant to grip the left side of the iPad.
Although a bit of a struggle to force the iPad into the clips, this does mean the case is so tight the iPad is unlikely to slip out, particularly with the cover closed. And just like its predecessor for the original iPad, the Scosche FolIO P2 has several cutouts on the inside to allow various viewing angles. The edges of these quickly wear down, so our iPad was slipping out of the grooves after only four weeks' use. The white finish didn't remain pristine for long, either, but the case is also available in black and a carbon fibre-style finish.
Buy from: www.mobilefun.co.uk
Belkin Storage Folio, £30
One feature missing from most iPad cases is a pocket for stowing accessories. We can understand why though: it can ruin the sleek lines of your stylish tablet.
Belkin's new Storage folio doesn’t worry too much about style, being finished in a similar coarse black nylon to many laptop bags. There's a pocket on the front cover which is held shut by Velcro fasteners. It's big enough for your earphones, charging cable, stylus and a couple of other small accessories. You can even stuff your iPad's wall charger in, although this does make for a lumpy look.
The tri-fold cover turns the case into a typing or viewing stand, and there's a sizeable cutout in the rear for the camera. An elastic strap keeps the case shut - and open when folded flat against the back of the iPad.
The iPad itself is held in place by four rubber hooks at the corners and the screen is protected by a soft felt-like fabric. If black is too boring, there are magenta and red variations.
Buy from: The Accessories Crowd
Cygnett Lavish Earth, £30
Yet another folio-style case, Cygnett's is quite stylish and well-made. As with many cases, it's made from faux-leather with a microsuede lining, and is available in various colours: black, brown and purple. You can also get a Glam version which has the same design but is finished in a glossy red material.
Three strips of the faux-leather material are stitched to the inside of the cover to provide three different viewing angles in landscape mode. They hold the iPad well, and the shallowest angle is good for typing when sitting at a desk.
We're not huge fans of cases which put a frame around the iPad - it's not nearly as flattering as Belkin's Cinema Stripe Folio or Maroo's Nylon range. Although there are magnets to help keep the cover shut, they're not particularly strong and don't activate the sleep/wake function. Our final gripe is that the front cover doesn't fold in half, so it covers the camera when folded backwards, or flaps around loose when you're trying to take a photo.
It's by no means the worst iPad case around, and it's well priced, but there are better choices.
Buy from: The Accessories Crowd