Apple’s 9th-generation, entry-level iPad — targeted to the consumer market — hasn’t changed much over the last few years. It’s still rocking the good old home button, and it’s now the only tablet in Apple’s lineup that uses a Lightning connector instead of USB-C. The new display features True Tone and supports more accessories, including the Apple Pencil and Apple’s Smart Keyboard.
Apple’s basic tablet has been a great favorite for several years, but like all other mobile devices, it’s worth protecting your electronic buddy with the best cases and covers available. While Apple has been known to tweak its hardware ever so slightly for upgrades, it’s fortunate that the cases for the 2019 and 2020 10.2-inch iPad are compatible with the 2021 model. Here are some of our recommendations for your 10.2-inch iPad.
Apple Smart Cover
- Made specifically for the iPad by Apple
- Complete coverage for the front glass
- Built-in folding stand
- No protection for the tablet back
This cover is an easy bet because with Apple, you can always go straight to the source. The Smart Cover for iPad (9th generation) is an all-time flexible favorite for most iPad owners, made of colorful polyurethane and topped with a magnetic connection. You can easily use its tri-fold seams to fashion different positions and create the ultimate stand for reading, viewing, typing, or video chatting. The cover is thin and light, and its protection concentrates on the iPad’s glass front — there is no coverage for the back of the tablet. Its automatic wake/sleep function saves energy. In addition to black, it comes in lavender, navy blue, orange, white, and two shades of green.
Fintie Folio Case
- Thick protective cover
- Room for the Apple Pencil or other pen-type input
- Comes in a variety of beautiful patterns
- May be too bulky for some iPad stands
Fintie is famous for sturdy case coverage from top to bottom and front to back with a vast variety of colors and patterns. Made of a premium synthetic leather exterior and soft microfiber interior, the cover features a flip capability that transforms the case into a horizontal viewing stand, while a built-in magnetic strip provides sleep/wake functionality. The cover adds corner protection to shield the back, edges, and corners of the tablet from scratches and impact. An interior pocket opens for easy insertion of your device and includes a fastener flap to secure it. A built-in stylus loop works with the first-generation Apple Pencil or other stylus pens.
Urban Armor Gear Metropolis
- All-around rugged protection
- Allows for hands-free viewing
- Adheres to military drop standards
- Front and back cover connection can be unstable
Famous for its protective mobile cases, the UAG Metropolis model offers 360-degree protection with an auto sleep/wake folio cover and an adjustable, detachable stand for hands-free viewing. Featherweight composite construction combines with an impact-resistant soft core and a water-resistant non-slip tactical grip exterior to protect your delicate tablet from everyday bumps and scrapes. It meets military drop-test standards (MIL-STD 810G 516.6) and is Smart Keyboard compatible with a built-in Apple Pencil holder. It also comes in numerous colors.
Urban Armor Gear Metropolis
ESR Matte Case
- Slim and light
- Compatible with an Apple Pro keyboard
- Clear design
- Matte finish is not as attractive as a clear case
The ESR Matte Case is a slim, light enclosure that provides enhanced protection for your iPad against accidental hits, collisions, bumps, and drops while keeping it portable and adding a grippy surface. Its shock-absorbing polymer design leaves space around the Smart Connector to stay compatible with an Apple Smart Keyboard, if necessary. Precise cutouts and easy-press buttons offer easy access to your charging port and speakers and give you full control over your iPad.
Zagg Rugged Messenger
- Allows for multi-device pairing
- Rugged backlit keyboard
- Long battery life
- Keyboard connecting and charging issues reported
If you’re planning to take your iPad on the road, don’t leave the Zagg Rugged Messenger behind. This combo backlit case and Bluetooth keyboard let you connect via your iPad in multiple ways. Multi-device pairing lets you connect to two devices simultaneously — like your phone or tablet — and switch back and forth between them. A built-in adjustable magnetic kickstand secures your device at multiple viewing angles. The Rugged Messenger’s responsive keys, backlit in seven colors, let you easily type with speed. The company promises two-year battery life: The sleep/wake function helps preserve battery life when your keyboard is not in use.
TomToc Portfolio Case
- Adheres to military rugged standards
- Large-capacity case can pack accessories
- Flexible fit for several iPad models
- Case is not large enough for all iPad extras
The TomToc Portfolio is a complete enclosure for when you seek a safe travel case for your iPad. This portable case passed the Military Standard Professional Test (MIL-STD 810H) and features soft fabric where the iPad sits to protect the display and a secure strap to hold it in place. These combined features are designed to protect from accidental drops and bumps. The large-capacity case keeps essentials safe and organized with elasticized segments and extra mesh to store cables, an iPad Pencil, adapters, cards, pens, and notebooks, while the tablet compartment can hold your iPad with Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio. Tote this smart number around with a comfortable handle and ergonomic groove patent design. It has broad compatibility with a range of iPad models, including other 9.7-inch to 10.5-inch iPads and more.