The Best iPad Pro Cases

ESR Rebound Slim Smart case is the best affordable case

Photo by Michael Murtaugh

Budget selection

ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case For iPad Pro 11-Inch (1st and Second Generation)

Best cheap case

The ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case provides more protection than any other case and does not compromise your ability to use the Apple Pencil.

Also available on these iPads:

  • ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case For iPad Pro 12.9-Inch (5th Generation)
  • ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case For iPad Air (4th Generation)

Why it is great:The ESR Rebound slim smart case for iPad Pro offers full edge protection and enough space to charge and sync your Apple Pencil. Although it is not the most exciting case out there, it is the best-priced option among all the available options.Photo by Michael Murtaugh

The ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case is made of a TPU (a flexible polyurethane) shell and a trifold cover. It stands out among the other cheaper cases we tested in several ways. This case is slightly more flexible than the rigid plastic used by the company for its other cases, which can crack or chip. The Rebound Slim Smart Case features integrated buttons covers, which provide a pleasant clicking experience. It is the only case we found that allowed full charging and sync for the Apple Pencil. It has cutouts for each speaker hole, instead of long strips of aluminum exposed like other cases. The iPad Air case has the required opening for Touch ID to be used in the power button.

Some flaws, but not a dealbreaker: The ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case seems like it costs $15. Although it doesn’t look like they will break easily, the materials are lighter and thinner than those of higher-end cases. The cover is not as close to faux leather as it could be and is instead made of a synthetic rubbery material. Although the ESR Rebound Slim Smart Case will not make heads turn, it will do the job. The case’s camera opening for 2018 iPad Pro will be slightly larger than normal, but it won’t affect performance.

  • Zugu Case The Alpha Case For 12.9-Inch iPad Pro (5th Generation)
  • Zugu Case The Alpha Case For 10.9-inch iPad Air (4th Generation)

Why it is great:Zugu Case’s The Alpha Case provides more viewing angles than any other iPad Pro cases we’ve seen and is just as functional. It is extremely protective and holds the Apple Pencil, which can be synced and charged. Its buttons are extremely clicky which makes them easy to use. Although the case’s design may be utilitarian, its features are unparalleled.

The Alpha Case is a slim, standard folio-style case with a faux leather exterior. It also has a rubber bumper around its outside edges. The unique feature of this case is its eight and ten recessed ridges along the front covers. The ridges and a fold-out stand at the back can be used to hold the iPad Pro at various angles. They can be used for viewing movies or typing. The feet fit into the ridges, and the magnets in the back ensure that each angle is strong.The Alpha Case allows you to use your iPad in more angles than any other case. It also holds the Apple Pencil and does not expose the aluminum edge. Photo by Michael Murtaugh

The case allows the Apple Pencil magnetically to stick to the iPad Pro’s sides. The unique feature of the Alpha Case is that it doesn’t leave any metal edges exposed. Instead, it uses thin rubber so the wireless connection isn’t blocked. This allows you to sync and charge your iPad Pro without worrying about damaging the aluminum. The Pencil is held securely in the Alpha Case by an elastic pocket at the back. It works well but is not very elegant.

We also liked the way the cover fits into the lip of the tablet’s screen and stays put thanks to magnets. The lid will stay in place if there is a small tab just above the right speaker.

There are flaws, but not major problems with The Alpha Case. You may not like the look of The Alpha Case. There’s more to this case than the flat, clean surfaces that we are used to seeing on most cases. The functional features are not hidden, from the ridges to pockets to the fold out stand to the pockets. You won’t mind if you care more about the usefulness of your product than you do about displaying simplicity. If aesthetics are your priority, you might not care.

What about the Apple Smart Folio,

The Apple Smart Folio (top), and ESR’s Yippee Magnetic Smart Case. Photo: Sarah Kobos

The only cases Apple offers for the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pros, as well as the iPad Air, are the Smart Folio, Smart Folio, Smart Folio, and Smart Folio 4th generation. However, “case” is too broad. The Smart Folio, which encases the tablet between two thin pieces polyurethane and attaches to the back with magnets, leaves the top, bottom, right edges, and sides exposed. This case’s cost is outrageous considering the protection it provides: Apple charged $80 for the smaller model and $100 for the larger one at the time.

We recommend that you save money by choosing ESR’s Rebound Magnetic Smart Case, iPad Pro 11-inch or iPad Pro 12.9 inch, if you love the Apple Smart Folio design. The Rebound Magnetic Smart Case, which is almost identical to the original model, costs half the price and has the same functionality. It even comes with a magnetic flap that keeps the case closed. Although we don’t recommend obvious knockoffs, this time it seems to be justified given Apple’s price.

How we selected and tested

We tried 18 iPad Pro cases using the same criteria as other iPad cases models. We ultimately found two designs that we liked.

We looked at these features when choosing a case for the iPad Pro:

  • Protection: Protect the iPad’s corners, protect the edges from scrapes and shine metallic bits that can be scratched by abrasive surfaces.
  • Front cover The cover must trigger the iPad’s magnetic wake/sleep feature every time you open it or close it. It should also be stable and not shift when closed. When you aren’t using your tablet, the cover must be kept closed.
  • Stand: A case must have a stable base that allows for both upright viewing and lower-angle typing.
  • Support for the Apple Pencil: The second-generation Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro’s right side; this is how it charges and syncs. Any cases that did not allow this connection were ruled out.
  • Size The case should not be bulky and make it difficult to grip the tablet with one hand while you swipe and tap.
  • Coverage of the side buttons: We prefer cases that protect the tablet’s sides buttons. This feature is not very common so we don’t consider this a requirement. The lack of complete button coverage in a case is not a problem as buttons are often recessed from the exterior surface.

After narrowing down the list of potential competitors, we tested each one using both iPad Pro sizes. We checked for fit and function.

The competition

OtterBox has redesigned the Symmetry Series 360 Case, our favorite, for the 2021 11-inch iPad Pro models. The iPad Air (4th Generation) remains unchanged. The case no longer has a flap that holds the Apple Pencil. Instead, it uses a slide-out mechanism. This is conceptually very cool but introduces an unnecessarily fragile element.

Tomtoc’s Vertical Case is for the 12.9 inch iPad Pro (3rd and fourth generation), 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation), and iPad Air. It supports portrait orientation for some applications. It was a bit thicker than we would have liked and the cover was a bit cumbersome. It’s a good choice for those who want to enjoy the many functions this case has.

Pitaka’s MagEZ Case works in conjunction with the Magic Keyboard and provides the keyboard accessory with the same protection. This mostly plastic case does not have a cover, unlike our picks. It snaps onto your tablet and leaves the screen and left edge exposed, while covering the buttons and other edges. An inlaid panel made of aramid is found across the back. This same fiber was used to make Kevlar. The panel’s rear panel has three metal contacts that match the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro, which connects to the Magic Keyboard. The extra coverage is great for when you use the iPad Pro’s keyboard, or when you remove it from the case. The MagEZ Case’s high price makes us appreciate it more than the actual product.

We mentioned above that Apple’s Smart Folio 11-inch iPad Pro and Smart Folio 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd Gen) do not offer sufficient edge protection and are ridiculously expensive.

Each Speck Presidio Pro Folio 11 inch iPad Pro Case and Presidio Pro Folio 12 x 12.9-inch iPad Pro Case have a Pencil holder at the right edge. They won’t allow you to sync or charge your stylus without taking the case off, but it’s a nice-looking and pleasant-feeling design.

Speck’s Balance Folio Clear and Balance Folio Clear are only available in 11-inch sizes. Neither case allows for charge or sync access for the Pencil.

The MoKo Case Fit iPad Pro 11’’ 2018 and MoKo Case Fit iPad Pro 11’’ 2018 designs are very similar to our budget pick from ESR. The Moko does not offer button protection. Instead of providing precise-cut holes for each speaker opening it leaves long strips exposed.

The Clarity Case for the iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch 3rd generation iPad Pros don’t come with a front cover. Their Pencil cutouts aren’t big enough to allow for charging and syncing. The same problems can be found in the company’s Back Cover and Pencil Holder, available in 11-inch and 12.9 inch 3rd-generation models.

The Yippee Premium Trifold Case by ESR has a small Pencil opening that leaves large areas of the top and bottom exposed. It is only available in an 11-inch version. Although they offer greater protection, the Intelligent Premium Business Case and Urban Premium Folio Case from ESR (in Knight, Brown and Twilight) have similar faults.

ESR’s iPad Pro 11 Yippee Premium Trifold Case and iPad Pro 12.9 2018 Yippee Trifold Smart Case are very similar to our budget pick, with an admittedly more-pleasant-feeling soft-touch finish and a cover that doesn’t pretend to be leather. They leave the iPad’s bottom and top edges exposed which makes tablets more susceptible to being dropped.

ESR’s Urban Premium Folio Cases for the iPad Pro (12.9-inch) and 11-inch (3rd generation) feature a beautiful fabric exterior. This makes them some of the most attractive and affordable cases we have seen. They have full edge protection with the exception of a Pencil cutout. They lack any type of angle and aren’t very sturdy.

Conceptually, the Moshi VersaCover is for the iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch (12.9 and 4th Generation) and is similar to the OtterBox Symmetry Series 360 Case. The case features a transparent plastic back and rubber around the edges. There is also room for the Apple Pencil and to charge. The folding lid, which looks like an origami, allows for portrait viewing in addition to standard landscape typing and viewing angles. However, we noticed that the corners of the case were a bit too far away from the tablet when it was being used. This is quite annoying. Although we doubt the case will fall off, it is better to have one that stays put.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.