The iPad Air 2 is no longer the best iPad on the market – that honor goes to the iPad Pro 9.7. But it’s still slim, stylish and powerful.
It’s also very popular, and as it’s been out for a while there is now an almost bewildering selection of iPad Air 2 cases available.
Some are simple yet effective screen covers like Apple’s own Smart Cover, while others will give your iPad the appearance of a mini Apple laptop, with the inclusion of a full QWERTY keyboard.
Before you plump for a new case, think about how you’ll be using the iPad. Is the addition of a physical keyboard really that important to you? Do you need an adjustable kick-stand? Are you planning on taking your iPad with you on an outdoor adventure but fear you might drop it? Would you prefer real leather, plastic, silicone or something altogether more unique?
As it stands, here are our favorite iPad Air 2 cases for a range of budgets, tastes and requirements.
Note: we’ve ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.
1. Thankscase Rotating Leather Smart Cover
A stylish and functional swivelling case
Colors: Gold, Black, Black Quatrefoil, Brown, Mint, Diamond Black, Gold Jade, Gold Quatrefoil, Jade Green, Mint Quatrefoil, Rose Gold, Stone, Teal Blue, Victorian Purple, Coral | Material: PU leather
Stylish embossed finish
Not the most protective
Not genuine leather
Don’t be deceived by the elegant lattice pattern; this folder-style case packs more functionality than most.
An integrated elastic strap inside slips around your hand to support your grip when the iPad is in use, while the inner frame can rotate, allowing the tablet to be angled for portrait or landscape viewing.
If that’s not enough, the case has a discreet inner pocket for storing your documents, and a magnetic strip under the faux leather provides auto wake/sleep functionality of your iPad.
2. Travellor Kids Light Weight Kido Series Case
Because little fingers cause mischief
Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Rose | Material: Polycarbonate and silicone
Combined stand and handle
Minimal screen protection
This case from Travellor is designed to keep your iPad safe when in the hands of kids, combining a 180-degree rotatable handle with a kickstand mechanism for hands-free tabletop viewing.
Don’t be fooled by the soft, squishy exterior though – hidden away inside is double-reinforced, impact-resistant polycarbonate shell.
This protection adds a bit of bulk when carrying the tablet, but the inside sleeve and corners of the case are bolstered with silicone to protect from inevitable drops, and the bezel around the screen is raised for extra protection.
Despite this case’s jumbo dimensions, it’s surprisingly light. It’s also available in seven lovely colors, so all kids should find a favorite.
3. Inateck Felt Sleeve for iPad Air 2
Colors: Gray | Material: Felt
No protection when using iPad
Only comes in gray
Most iPad Air 2 cases are hard, but the Inateck Felt Sleeve is a softer solution, with gray felt and brown leather.
It looks good and stands out from the crowd of hard shells, yet it’s still strong enough to protect your tablet from scratches and absorb shocks. Plus it’s weather-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about light rain soaking through it.
As it’s a sleeve you have to take the iPad out to use it, but once you do the case can be folded into a handy stand, meaning when you’re actually using your iPad Air 2 you can see it in all its glory, rather than have it be obscured at the edges by a case.
4. MOFRED Executive Standby Case
Quality never goes out of fashion
Colors: Gray, Pink, Red, White, Black and Tan, Black-Buckle Suede, Brown, Green, Royal Blue | Material: PU Leather
There’s good reason for this case’s continuing popularity. Faux leather aside, it has everything most folks could possibly want from an iPad cover.
It functions as a great stand in both landscape and portrait, there’s an integrated magnet in the screen cover for auto-sleeping and waking your device, and there’s even a stylus thrown in for more fine inputs than your pudgy finger.
The case looks classy inside and out, thanks to the microfiber inner lining and suede-like stitched finish. It’s generally very well made, and at this lower price we consider it a steal.
5. Pipetto Origami Smart Cover
Beats Apple at its own case
Colors: Various | Material: Polyurethane and suedette
More protective cases exist
Not fully made of premium materials
Pipetto’s Origami case comes in all shapes and sizes, and yet its iPad Air 2 version feels almost bespoke.
It’s available in a variety of stylish colors (the royal blue is a perennial favorite) and all of them have a luxurious tactility, thanks to Pipetto’s use of soft polyurethane for its outer shells, and a furry suedette lining making things snuggly inside.
It might ape Apple’s own Smart Cover (and yes, it does turn the device on and off when opened or closed), but the Origami also has a rear flap that folds into four stand modes, all of which offer an alternative viewing angle depending on your needs (typing, viewing and so on).
6. Anker Folio Keyboard Case
Keyed-up covers needn’t cost the earth
Colors: Black | Material: Plastic, microfiber and rubber
Long battery life
Smart Cover smarts
No keyboard backlight
Key layout inevitably tight
You can often expect to pay upwards of $100/£100/AU$150 for iPad cases with integrated keyboards, which makes this affordable option particularly appealing.
The smart folio case magnetically snaps to an upright angle for typing, and we’re happy to report the keys have very decent travel for such a slim profile.
When you’re not using the Bluetooth keyboard, the case folds flat over the keys for easy touchscreen accessibility.
The case works as a Smart Cover too, so your iPad sleeps and wakes on cue. The battery lasts six months on a single charge, and the keyboard goes into standby after 10 minutes idle – all in all, a strong contender for those that want to be a little more productive.
7. OtterBox Defender
Serious protection for your stylish slate
Colors: Black, Glacier, Crushed Damson | Material: Polycarbonate, foam and polyurethane
Offers lots of protection
Built-in stand and screen protector
OtterBox makes cases for just about every major smartphone and tablet around, and its Defender series is designed to offer superior protection.
It’s a little bit bulky, but that’s because it comes with not one, not two, but three layers of protection.
As such, the OtterBox Defender keeps your iPad Air 2 safe from bangs and falls, and with shock absorption and port covers it does a good job of keeping the internals safe from damage too.
There’s even a stand, which doubles as an extra layer of protection when not in use, and a built-in screen protector ensures the display is kept safe.
The OtterBox Defender isn’t cheap, but it’s a whole lot more affordable than a new iPad Air 2, which could be the alternative if you don’t keep it adequately protected.
8. Gumdrop Hideaway
Grip, protection and a handy stand
Colors: Black, Black/Red, Black/Orange, White/Gray, Light Blue/Royal Blue, Royal Blue/Lime | Material: Polycarbonate and silicone
The accessibly-priced silicone Hideaway from Gumdrop is billed as a ruggedized case that offers maximum protection for an iPad Air 2, while including a ‘hideaway’ stand that offers two different positions for viewing or typing.
As long as you are happy to eschew the stylish looks of Apple’s latest tablet, the Hideaway encases it in a grippy, textured silicone, with a rigid polycarbonate frame inside to absorb the impact of drops and shocks.
It might not be one you use all the time, but it’s a strong choice for those situations where you’re worried your iPad might be a bit more vulnerable to being bashed around.
9. ZAGG Slim Book
More modes than you’ll know what to do with
Colors: Black | Material: Metal
Lots of modes
Only moves 135 degrees
If the idea of a physical keyboard companion appeals, but you aren’t sure that you want it as a permanent addition to your iPad Air 2, then the ZAGG Slim Book tablet keyboard and detachable case might be the right duo for you.
The Slim Book has a backlit Bluetooth keyboard with a moveable hinge that gives you a variety of viewing angles.
It’s comparable to the similarly priced ClamCase Pro, but with movement more restricted at just 135 degrees.
The Slim Book makes up for this limitation with its variety of modes. You can either use it like a laptop in keyboard mode, flip the case sideways into book mode, face the tablet away from the keyboard in video mode, or do away with the keyboard entirely in case mode.
10. Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro
A keyboard case that almost never needs charging
Colors: Black, White | Material: Aluminum
Adds bulk and weight
The QODE Ultimate Pro case from Belkin is an ingenious case for the Apple iPad Air 2, as it combines the smarts of a thin and light Bluetooth keyboard with the convenience of a detachable hard-shell case.
The magnetic hinge is a different design to most other keyboard cases, but holds the iPad securely and means that the tablet can be used in either portrait or landscape modes.
Belkin claims unique features over the rest of the options in this list with its stylish case, such as a full year of battery life from one charge, a backlit keyboard, and the ability to easily switch between two connected devices.