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(Pocket-lint) - If you're looking to protect your fourth-gen or fifth-gen iPad Air, there are plenty of great cases to choose between.

Whether you use the mid-range Apple tablet as a full-time laptop alternative or just for occasional browsing, it's paramount you pick something up that can keep it protected. Neither the 2020 model nor the 2022 device is cheap to replace, after all.

That's where this guide comes in. We've used plenty of dedicated iPad Air cases and covers, since it was redesigned and have featured the very best in our picks below.


Best Apple iPad Air Cases

  1. Apple Smart Folio
  2. Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
  3. Logitech Folio Touch
  4. Apple Magic Keyboard
  5. OtterBox Symmetry Series 360

Our Top Pick: iPad Air Cases

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Apple Smart Folio

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For

  • Great colours
  • Superb folding design
  • Handy for viewing angles

Against

  • Pricey

Apple's folding case for its iPads has become entirely iconic, and immediately synonymous with the iPad since so many people rock them when they pick up a new iPad. 

That's with good reason, too - they're superb cases that give you a good degree of protection while remaining sleek and classy, while that folding cover both protects your screen and lets you prop the tablet up for better viewing angles. 

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Apple Smart Keyboard Folio

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For

  • Great keyboard
  • Useful angles
  • So well-made

Against

  • Expensive

If you want a similar folio-style case for your iPad Air, but want to take advantage of its power by getting some work done on it, you might want one that packs in a keyboard, like this more expensive upgrade from Apple.

It's got that same Apple style and panache and keeps things really minimalist and swish, while still giving you a satisfying keyboard for word processing, and those all-important viewing angles for watching TV or movies. 

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Logitech Folio Touch

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For

  • More affordable keyboard and mouse
  • Nicely made
  • Turns tablet into a laptop

Against

  • Still not cheap

The real power of Apple's newer iPads, including the Air, is unlocked by the addition of trackpad support, though, which means you might want a case that has a trackpad, turning your iPad into basically a 2-in-1.

This case from Logitech is perfect, really well made, and with a great keyboard and trackpad on board, plus an adjustable kickstand that makes it super useful. Once you get used to working this way, you'll wonder why everyone isn't doing it. It's fairly pricey, but still undercuts Apple's own effort nicely. 

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Apple Magic Keyboard

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For

  • Unparalleled design
  • Great keyboard, top trackpad
  • Feels perfect

Against

  • So, so expensive

If you want the absolute best experience as far as a typing and trackpad combination go for your iPad Air, the standout winner is Apple's Magic Keyboard, a masterpiece of design. It floats your iPad up in the air and gives great angles as you work with the solid keys and exemplary trackpad.

Of course, it's also hugely expensive, at more than twice the price of Logitech's alternative, so it's likely to be well out of most people's reach. Still, if you can stretch to it, things don't get better than this. 

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OtterBox Symmetry Series 360

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For

  • Great protection
  • Spot for your Apple Pencil

Against

  • Moderately expensive
  • A little ugly

Otterbox has a storied name in protection for mobile and tablet devices, and it's brought that expertise to bear on the new iPad Air in the form of this nifty folio case. 

It's a bit chunkier than the others we've featured, perfect if you're going to be taking the tablet out in more challenging situations, with bumpers for drop protection and a clasp to keep things closed in your bag or when stored. 

How to choose an iPad Air case

Buying a case for your iPad Air can be a big difference-maker in terms of how you actually use the tablet, so make sure you get the right one! Here are some useful questions to ask yourself as you think about which one would be right for you.

Do iPad Air 4 cases fit iPad Air 5?

Yes, cases designed for iPad Air 4 should fit iPad Air 5, since the two Apple tablets feature the same dimensions and design. The camera, volume buttons, lock button, microphones and speakers are also in the same place for both generations.

How much protection do you want?

The big variable between different cases and sorts of cases is often how much protection they actually offer from drops. Some are more like covers, including Apple's superb Smart Folio, and leave the metal back of the tablet exposed when they're closed. Others are more like a clamshell to offer total protection, and you might want to work out how paranoid you are about damage, before deciding which is best.

Are you looking for a keyboard?

Some of the cases we've featured have an obvious added feature in the form of a keyboard to let you type up things manually rather than using an on-screen keyboard, which unlocks a vast amount of productivity potential in the iPad Air. If you're looking to get a keyboard for your tablet, having one built into your case could be a great solution.

Do you want a trackpad?

Similarly, now that the iPad has support for trackpads, getting a case that also boasts a trackpad is a great way to make your tablet feel like a two-in-one machine that's almost all the way to being a laptop if you need it to be.

More about this story

Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.

Buying a case for your iPad Air can be a big investment, so we've used all the options on this list extensively to see how they hold up in the real world. We've tested how they feel to use, how much durability they offer and what sort of designs they offer up, as well.

Of course, pricing is a big factor, as is build quality and reliability, while the degree to which a case impacts the iPad Air's portability matters to us as well.

As with any roundup, it's not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team - as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above - in order to do our best in this regard.

What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each case is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity. Rest assured all the things on this list have been fully tested.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.