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K-12 Workflow Management Blog

15 Best iPad Cases for Students in 2023

Illustration of a performance meter ranging from red (poor) to green (good), and students holding devices.

So you’re considering implementing a 1:1 initiative in your school—or you already have—and you’re thinking ahead to the challenges of giving students their own device. That’s smart.

There’s definitely lots to consider when handing out student devices—topmost of which would be how to keep those devices safe. When it comes to iPad disbursement, may we recommend assigning an iPad case along with the device itself?

The reason being, as you know, drops happen all the time with kids (and, hey, adults too!). It could be a pencil, a book, or a priceless china figurine from their mom’s curio cabinet—but regardless of what, and how valuable it is, we know that kids constantly drop, crack, and break things beyond repair.

So—if you’re looking for a case that will keep your school assets safe from clumsy kids, read on. We’re here to provide our top picks for best cases across multiple categories spanning cost, protection, keyboards, sleeves, Apple Pencil, and more.

Best Overall iPad Cases

The best iPad cases overall have strong ratings across a wide range of applications and features. The following iPad cases are highly rated to survive hard drops, scratches from keys or other items stored in a bookbag, preventing against water or spill damage, and more.

Otterbox Kids EasyGrip

The Otterbox Kids EasyGrip has everything a student needs to protect their iPad, including a padded exterior, hard interior, stand, and handle. The controls are easy for small fingers to manipulate, with plenty of room to plug and unplug charging cables. This iPad case performed exceptionally well in durability tests, which left it undamaged after multiple drops from different angles. It’s also easy to clean.

Price is the biggest drawback for the Otterbox Kids at about $60, more than twice the cost of other iPad cases for kids. This model also has no integrated screen protector, and the optional screen protector will add another $40.

Cantis iPad Case

Cantis is one of the top iPad cases based on usability, with prices ranging between $10 and $25. Its sleek design and accessible buttons make it comfortable to hold and easy to use. Although it has no integrated screen protector, they’re fairly affordable to add on with prices ranging from $16 to $27. Another great feature is the fold-away flaps, which keep dirt and dust out of ports.

This case has two pieces, a hard plastic shell and a shock-absorbing rubber cover that wraps around the hard shell. This two-part system makes removing the case slightly more difficult than other other iPad cases, which may discourage case removal in students. This model also includes a kickstand to keep the iPad open at a comfortable angle in both orientations.

Otterbox iPad Symmetry Series

The Otterbox Symmetry series of iPad cases have a sleek, unobtrusive design that makes them easy to hold with one or both hands. The case is also easy to put on, remove, and clean. This series is natively compatible with Apple products like Smart Cover and Apple Smart Keyboard. Additional compatibility features include a built-in holder for an Apple Pencil.

Otterbox iPad Symmetry Series cases are more costly than many iPad case competitors, with a range from about $45 to $80 each, but the trust in the brand name and ability to retain device usability after hard falls may be worth it. Another downside for students is that the volume and power buttons are difficult to operate, especially when using only one hand.

Best Low-Cost iPad Case

Cost is often a main factor when selecting iPad cases for K-12 student use. The following cases provide a good level of protection in comparison with their low price points.

SIWENGDE iPad Case

The SIWENGDE iPad Case is made of TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), features faux leather, and is designed for iPads made since 2018. It has a translucent iPad screen protector available in multiple hues. The most distinctive feature of this iPad case is that it can be shaped into a tri-fold stand. The cost is about $10 for the entry model in this product line, but most other models are just under $20.

MoKo iPad Case

The Moko iPad case provides essential protection with a transparent frosted back and colorful tri-fold front. MoKo cases are frequently sized to fit 10.2” and 10.9” iPads. Pricing ranges by product size and color chosen, with models ranging between $10 and $20.

ESR Rebound Soft Shell iPad Case

The ESR Rebound Soft Shell Case for the iPad Pro has a lightweight TPU back cover, a streamlined design with a large cutout that enables a smart connector, and an Apple pencil holder. It does not include an iPad stand. This particular model costs about $20, but other models in ESR’s extensive line of iPad cases cost more than $40.

Best Protective/Folio Cases

Protection is frequently the main consideration when selecting iPad cases for students. Cases designed for drop protection are thoughtfully made with multiple layers of protection—including water resistance—built in. Unfortunately, this manufacturing process tends to increase overall cost. The best protective iPad Cases include Otterbox Defender, Apple Smart Folio, and the Casemade Leather Case.

Otterbox Defender

Otterbox Defenders are available for most versions of the Apple iPad, including 5th generation models, iPad pro 11-inch, and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. The primary materials of these cases include polycarbonate and synthetic rubber, which are highly resistant to both impact and water. Its distinctive features include three-layer protection, port covers, and a built-in screen protector.

The Otter Defender is one of the top choices for offering extra protection, and are a good fit for students who are prone to dropping their devices, who spend a lot of time outdoors, or who habitually eat or drink nearby their iPads. The price range for these cases varies considerably, from $25 to $60.

Apple Smart Folio

The Apple Smart Folio is consistently ranked as a top choice for protective cases in the iPad Air series. Made of polyurethane, it weighs just 180 grams, making it ultra slim and lightweight. Powerful magnets keep this case in place, and its design allows students to easily prop up their iPad on their desks without a kickstand. The Apple Smart Folio is a particularly good fit for the older iPad Air 4 and 5, but models are also available for the new iPad Pro 12.9.

The Smart Folio’s biggest disadvantages include a lack of edge protection and a higher cost than other models with a price ranging from $50 to $100.

Casemade Leather Case

The Casemade Leather Case, meanwhile, is one of the best protective choices for the iPad Pro. Its comfortable, secure fit and premium Italian leather construction are the biggest reasons to buy it. This case allows the user easy access to all the iPad’s external features with cutouts for a camera and microphone. It also provides a sleep/wake function when opening and closing the flap over the front cover. In addition, the Casemade case doubles as a stand when typing and watching videos.

Disadvantages of the Casemade Leather Case include the thinness of the leather, which users frequently expect to be thicker. The price range for these models varies between $60 and $75.

Best iPad Keyboard Cases

In addition to preventing damage to the device, keyboard cases are a favorite due to the built-in keyboard, allowing students to use their iPads just like they would use a laptop. Based on our research of user ratings, the best iPad cases with keyboards include the GreenLaw Keyboard Case, CHESONA H3 Keyboard Case, and the Apple Magic Keyboard.

GreenLaw Keyboard Case

The GreenLaw iPad Pro 11 is made of plastic and includes a holder for a magnetic charging pencil. It’s distinctive features include a smart trackpad, backlit keys with changeable colors, and the keyboard’s ability to rotate 360 degrees and flip 180 degrees, making it highly adjustable. In addition, this keyboard case also features auto wake and sleep functions. The price range for this series of iPad keyboard case ranges between $60 and $70.

Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard Case

The Logitech Combo Touch keyboard case effectively turns student iPads into slim laptops. The back of the case snaps onto the iPad, providing front, back, and corner protection, and offering an adjustable easel stand for multi-angle viewing. The magnetic snap-on keyboard can be removed and replaced at leisure, is powered directly via the iPad itself, and provides backlit keys and a trackpad. All of these benefits come at a cost, though, which ranges between $200 and $230 when purchased directly from Logitech.

Apple Magic Keyboard

The Apple Magic Keyboard is one of highest quality, if not most expensive, iPad keyboard cases on the market. It’s made of plastic and faux leather, offering a holder for a magnetic charging pencil, a built-in trackpad, and a floating cantilever design that allows the user to easily modify the iPad position. While the Magic Keyboard is certainly attractive and a natural fit with iPads as part of the Apple ecosystem, it’s price range may not be affordable for widespread use with student devices. If the Magic Keyboard is something your budget can consider, expect to see individual keyboard costs between $100 and $350, depending on the model and purchasing outlet.

Best iPad Cases for Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil is a line of wireless stylus pens exclusively made for use with Apple iPads. Students who are issued an Apple Pencil with their iPads would benefit from using an iPad case that keeps their Apple Pencil safe and nearby. The following are our picks for best iPad case with Apple Pencil or other stylus holder.

ZryXal Premium

The ZryXal Premium iPad case has a soft TPU exterior to hold the iPad, along with a microfiber tri-fold front flap to protect your iPad’s screen. The hard shell case includes a built-in pencil holder which provides wireless charging to the Apple Pencil when stored. Additional features of this product line are auto wake and sleep features, and a choice of viewing angles. The average price range for the ZryXal is between $15 and $30.

ZUGU CASE Alpha

This case has a slip-in pencil holder and is made of vegan leather, microfiber, and fiberglass. It includes an auto wake and sleep feature, and provides multiple viewing options. The ZUGU CASE Alpha has been drop-tested onto concrete at a maximum height of five feet, so school-issued iPad devices are protected against more grievous of accidents. The price range for this product line is between $40 and $70.

Moshi VersaCover

The Moshi VersaCover iPad case comes in a variety of sizes to fit iPad Minis all the way to iPad Pros. While this case does hold your students’ Apple Pencils, there is no built-in holder. Instead, students place their Apple Pencil on the magnetic side of the iPad, then wrap the Moshi VersaCover iPad case around it to secure the pencil in place.

The Moshi VersaCover iPad case offers a magnetic flap to keep the front cover held securely in place, which is uniquely designed with origami-style folding capability that allows for three viewing options. Like other cases, it offers auto wake and sleep functions. The price range of the Moshi VersaCover is between $50 and $90.

Final Thoughts

Protection is an essential consideration in asset management when buying iPads and similar devices for students—that’s why many schools that assign iPads, tablets, or laptops to their students often provide protective gear as well.

Without a protective case, student devices are damaged much more easily and much more frequently. Students and teachers end up spending time filing in help desk tickets; IT teams get overloaded; and learning is put on hold all the while… not to mention the financial burden of replacing devices, and the added stress of inventory auditing and inventory management overall.

While we don’t want this to happen to you, we do have a solution in case it does. Incident IQ’s K-12 asset management and help desk ticketing software can help districts meet these challenges. Our software allows you to create barcode labels for new devices, manage your assignments, and perform mid-year inventory checks to ensure student devices remain in good working order.

Want to see what Incident IQ can do for your asset management and help desk needs? Schedule a demo at your convenience and we’ll happily walk you through our platform!