8 best tablet cases for protecting your Amazon Fire, iPad pro and more

The Independent
The Independent

Whether your tablet is an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy tab , a Microsoft surface or an Amazon Fire , a case is a wise investment. A covering protects the display and saves the back from scratches. But some cases go further, building a keyboard into the back that effectively turns the tablet into a laptop alternative.

Tablet cases can also offer more colour: choose one in a subdued hue like black or silver so you have something business-like and understated, or brighten it up with a case that’s orange or a jaunty blue, perhaps.

There are lighter, more affordable covers that simply save the screen from damage, or ones that have pockets and spaces for other items such as cables, pens or even passports.

As well as the keyboard, there are extra features with some models, such as covers that automatically turn off the screen to save power when you close them, or which can be set to hold the display up so you can watch a video easily.

How we tested

We tested for snugness of fit, the hardiness of materials, the elegance of design and simplicity of use (do you need to take the case off to charge the tablet, for instance?) as well as the longevity of the case.

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The best tablet cases for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Apple magic keyboard for iPad pro: £329,
  • Best for versatility – Pipetto iPad air origami shield case: £49.95,
  • Best Amazon tablet case – Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet case: £19.99,
  • Best Apple cover – Apple smart folio for iPad mini: £59,
  • Best multi-purpose case – Knomo Thames knomad organiser 10.5in: £24.50,
  • Best iPad case for children – OtterBox kids grip case for iPad: £49.95,
  • Best Amazon case for children – Amazon kid-proof case for Fire HD8 tablet: £29.99,
  • Best budget case – Universal 9/1in striped PVC tablet case: £12.99,

Apple magic keyboard for iPad pro

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

  • Designed for: iPad pro 11in, iPad pro 12.9in 3rd generation or later, iPad air 4th generation
  • Protection for: Front and back
  • Keyboard? Yes

This case is expensive, but it’s fantastic. It wraps around to protect every part of the tablet and has a keyboard in the front which is better than those by rivals. There’s plenty of travel in the keys, so they are very comfortable to use – comparable to those on a MacBook pro, for instance. They even have an adjustable backlight so you can use them in a dimly lit room. It also has a trackpad on the case. When using the tablet in laptop orientation, the display can be angled precisely. Carefully placed magnets mean that when you close the cover, it turns off the screen automatically. There’s also a pass-through USB-C socket so you can charge the iPad, meaning that the port on the tablet itself is free for other duties. It’s also available in black or white finishes.

Buy now £329.00,

Pipetto iPad air origami shield case

Best: For versatility

Rating: 8/10

  • Designed for: iPad air
  • Protection for: Front and back
  • Keyboard? No

This one is called origami because it folds cleverly in multiple ways, so you can prop the display up in a portrait or landscape orientation. Even better, the folding system means it stands securely even if the surface it’s on isn’t stable – like your bed, for instance. There are also positions that work well for typing on the screen. It has clever design features which mean the Touch ID sensor in the power button still works and the Apple Pencil can attach and charge. Choose from red, dark blue and black finishes.

Buy now £49.95,

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet case

Best: Amazon tablet case

Rating: 7/10

  • Designed for: Amazon Fire HD 10
  • Protection for: Front and back
  • Keyboard? No

Amazon’s tablets are highly affordable, but they still benefit from protection. This case cover folds diagonally to hold the screen either horizontally for watching video, say, or vertically for reading a book (handy if it’s a recipe book, for instance). The cloth finish feels good to the touch and microfibre inside protects the tablet. A magnet holds the cover closed. Choose from “charcoal black”, “plum”, “sage”, “sandstone white” and “twilight blue”. Some colours are currently half price (they were originally £39.99).

Buy now £19.99,

Apple smart folio for iPad mini

Best: Apple cover

Rating: 8/10

  • Designed for: iPad mini, also available for iPad pro and iPad air
  • Protection for: Front and back
  • Keyboard? No

The smart folio protects the back and front of the iPad air, pro and mini – every model except the entry-level iPad, which has a smart cover for the front of the tablet instead because it has a different design. All earn the word smart, it seems, because of cunningly placed magnets to turn off the display when the cover closes, and all fold in two places to allow the tablet to stand up in a landscape orientation. Colours include “English lavender”, which complements the purple iPad mini, “dark cherry”, black, white and, best of all, “electric orange”.

Buy now £59.00,

Knomo Thames knomad 0rganiser 10.5in

Best: Multi-purpose case

Rating: 9/10

  • Designed for: Tablets with up to 10.5in display
  • Protection for: Entire tablet
  • Keyboard? No

Knomo’s brilliant luggage case includes a highly useful set of organisers. It’s well made but the true brilliance is in the range of pockets and holders for credit cards, phones, a pen, cables and stationery. Oh, and a tablet, of course. It’s rain-proof and one of the pockets is RFID protected. There’s also an external zip for extra storage. This works as a highly efficient, lightweight organiser for everything you need while on the go.

Buy now £24.50,

OtterBox kids grip case for iPad

Best: iPad case for children

Rating: 7/10

  • Designed for: iPad – 7th, 8th and 9th generation
  • Protection for: Front and back
  • Keyboard? No

You just can’t miss this protective case from OtterBox, whether you choose the bright pink, deep blue or peppy green version. Each has colour-contrasting elements for the camera cover, for instance. There is plenty of shock absorption to keep the iPad safe, and the thickness of the sides also makes the tablet easier for smaller hands to grip. There’s a versatile stand attached to the back, working as a carry handle and to secure the iPad so it’s viewable in a car, say. Remove this handle and there’s still a useful handgrip on the back.

Buy now £49.95,

Amazon kid-proof case for Fire HD 8 tablet

Best: Amazon case for children

Rating: 8/10

  • Designed for: Fire HD 8, 2020 release
  • Protection for: Front and back
  • Keyboard? No

This is an amazingly protective case. It’s solid and thick enough to protect against bumps or being dropped, and the big lip on the front means it can usually fall face down with no bad result. A panel folds out at the back so it can stand up for video playback or neatly angled for hands-on use, depending on which way up you have it. It doesn’t work with the Fire HD 8 plus, however, as that tablet has wireless charging capabilities, and this case is way too thick for that. It’s pleasingly tactile and is available in blue, pink or purple.

Buy now £29.99,

Argos universal 9/10in striped PVC tablet case

Best: Budget case

Rating: 6/10

  • Designed for: Tablets with 9in and 10in screens
  • Protection for: Back and front
  • Keyboard? No

This basic case does its job well, and is flexible enough to deal with most tablets with 9in or 10in screens. It achieves this compatibility thanks to a simple but effective design which uses an elastic strap, at each of the corners, to hold the tablet in place. Plus, the back folds out so that you can watch videos easily.

There are three different looks available: a purple and white polka dot finish, a bright red and a demure black.

Buy now £12.99,

The verdict: Tablet cases

The Apple iPad range probably has the greatest variety of cases available, and this includes our top pick: the brilliant but pricey Apple magic keyboard . There’s also a highly versatile series of cases from Pipetto, such as the Pipetto iPad air origami shield case . For children, the best protection for Amazon Fire tablets comes from the Amazon kid-proof case for the Fire HD 8 tablet.

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