The newest iPad model, introduced in March 2018, is aimed at educational institutions and individual students.
The biggest benefit of the 9.7-inch iPad 2018 is the support for Apple Pencil – an advanced digital stylus available so far only for premium Apple tablets from iPad Pro series.
The newest iPad costs the same as the previous-generation model ($329 for the version with 32 GB and Wi-Fi), but schools and colleges can but it with a $30 discount, that makes the entry-level version available for $299.
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The new iPad sports a faster chip (A10 Fusion chip with desktop-class 64-bit architecture), what results in a 40-50% better performance.
From the point of view of price optimization, a huge benefit of the new iPad is the fact that it has exactly the same dimensions as the earlier model. The position of ports, speakers, and buttons is also the same.
iPad dimensions ( height × width × depth )
|iPad 2018 / 9.7-inch||9.40 × 6.60 × 0.29||240 × 169.5 × 7.5|
|iPad 2017 / 9.7-inch||9.40 × 6.60 × 0.29||240 × 169.5 × 7.5|
|iPad Air 1 / 9.7-inch||9.40 × 6.60 × 0.29||240 × 169.5 × 7.5|
|iPad Air 2 / 9.7-inch||9.40 × 6.60 × 0.24||240 × 169.5 × 6.1|
Thanks to the same dimensions, most of cases and accessories available since last year for iPad 9.7 2017 are also perfect for the 2018 model. As a result, you don’t need to wait for the arrival of third-party accessories that would be perfect for the new iPad.
An even bigger benefit is the fact that as there is no need to design new accessory from scratch, most third-party cases for iPad 2018 should be kept at the already low level reached during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017.
In the list below, we’ve gone through the best cases and accessories for iPad 2017/2018 and picked up the ones that would be most wanted by students: cases with Apple Pencil holders, standalone Apple Pencil cases, keyboard cases or standalone Bluetooth keyboards, advanced digital pens, or affordable Smart Cover alternatives.
Take a look at the list, and if you’d like to add anything, make sure to start the conversation in social media, and we will follow your recommendations.
Best Apple iPad 9.7 (2018) covers, keyboards, and accessories
iPad 9.7 (2018) cases and keyboard cases
1. ESR Smart Cover Alternative
You can protect the new iPad without paying too much for the cover. Instead of getting Apple’s original Smart Cover, you can pick up an alternative from a third-party producer, that offers similar features but costs half a price.
Take a look at the lightweight tri-fold case from ESR. It has everything you need: a folding cover that can be transformed into a stand, a durable transparent back case that gives access to all ports and buttons, and support for auto wake/sleep function.
This case looks fantastic, and is available in eleven colors, including Champagne Gold, Silver Gray (shown above), Black, Pink, and Marble.
2. Tomtoc Multifunctional Sleeve Case
When it comes to iPad sleeves, Tomtoc is a clear winner. It’s the functional and stylish sleeve getting on average as much as 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The sleeve is available in two sizes. Besides the larger one, perfect for the 9.7-inch iPad 2018, you can also get the smaller version, which is designed for 7-8 inch tablets.
Take a closer look. The sleeve features two extra pockets on the front, for cables, documents, and other accessories. Shock-absorbing padding with soft fleece material provides silk feel and one more layer of protection against bumps and scratches.
Available in five colors, including a colorful Dazzling Blue, and Baby Pink (shown above).
3. Kvago Bluetooth Slim Fit Keyboard Case
Being an Amazon Choice product for several months, this slim and lightweight keyboard case will turn the 2018 iPad model into a powerful laptop any time you’d want it.
The case offers multiple viewing angles up to 135 degrees. It supports auto sleep/wake function and enables to access all ports and buttons easily.
Most importantly, the case offered by Kvago features a real keyboard experience, with silent keystroke performance typical for laptop computers. The keyboard is backlit, with three levels of brightness, and seven backlight colors to choose from.
This keyboard case is both functional and stylish. It looks as premium as the iPad itself and is available in four matching colors: Black, Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold.
4. MoKo Smart-shell Case
If you are looking for a slim and lightweight case, you should check out the Smart-shell range from the trusted case producer MoKo. The case has everything you need: auto wake/sleep support, tri-fold front cover to transform the case into the stand (horizontal or vertical), full access to all ports and buttons, and transparent back shell.
You can pick up Champagne Gold, Mint Green, or Blue and Peach Blossom (featured above).
5. ProCase Folio Stand Case
One of the biggest benefits of the new iPad aimed at schools is the support for Apple Pencil. Many institutions and students would decide to buy Apple’s original digital stylus, and the need that would come next is a place to store it.
Why not get an iPad case that has a built-in stylus holder? The one from ProCase also features a built-in stand that will enable you to draw, doodle, write, or read conveniently. It supports auto sleep/wake, featured magnetic closure mechanism, and comes with a large outside pocket for documents and cables.
There are several colors to choose from, including Gold, Gray, Red, Navy, and Teal.
6. ESR Illustrator Artist Series Cover
The case combines the functionality of the folio design with the unique style of the illustrations used.
The folio construction lets position the iPad in two positions optimized for watching movies or pictures. The inside is lined with a soft material to protect the iPad’s screen from scratches. The case’s outer dimensions exceed the inner shell by 1 mm. It is done on purpose: to better protect the device from accidental drops.
The case is available in six colorful designs, including Fascinating Paris, Miss Alice Bunny, and Lovely Owl (shown above).
7. Poetic Lumos Ultra-thin Transparent Flexible Case
The case fits both the 9.7-inch Apple iPad released in 2018 and 2017. It’s the simplest possible and most affordable way to protect the iPad without adding too much bulk.
The cases from Lumos series by Poetic are made of flexible and transparent polyurethane. Thanks to that, the iPad’s beauty will be visible all the time. The raised bezel will prevent the iPad’s screen from coming in contact with any surface.
Take a closer look at the cover’s surface. You will see micro grips pattern. It’s designed to prevent the iPad from sliding out of hand.
8. ToGeeKa Lightweight Canvas Stand Case
Many users favor a book-style folio case that combines the classic look of a paper book and functionality of the multiple-angle stand.
There are many folio cases for the 2018/2017 Apple iPad on the web, but the one from ToGeeKa stands out when it comes to style. Each variant is a combination of two matching faux leather surfaces; each one features a different color and pattern.
Besides that, the ToGeeKa case has a foldable front which can transform into a vertical or horizontal stand, perfect for reading, watching, writing, or note-taking.
Available in five color combinations: Black, Brown, Red, Blue, and Gray.
9. ProCase Convertible 360 Degree Keyboard Case
This case from ProCase will turn the new iPad into a convertible laptop, offering benefits similar to Chromebooks.
The biggest benefit is the ability to rotate the case holding the iPad 350 degrees against the keyboard. Thanks to that, you can freely adjust the position of the screen to fully support what you are doing, no matter whether it is studying, reading, writing an essay, or making annotations.
The premium-quality real laptop keyboard connects to the iPad automatically via the Bluetooth module. The case supports auto wake/sleep function.
The ProCase keyboard case looks like a perfect solution for a student or teacher. So far, it’s available in Black.
10. Poetic Slimline Trifold Case Cover
Poetic has added something stylish to the standard tri-fold cover. It’s the shell that’s made from transparent plastic, enabling all-around protection while showing you’re using the iPad.
A part of the front cover is folded behind the back. It creates an interesting duo-tone being a result of choosing the color of the iPad itself and the front cover of the case. How many colors are at hand? For the time being, it’s four: Black, Navy Blue, Pink, and Purple (shown above).
11. DTTO Flexible Back Slim Case
Here is another interesting design that brings the functionality of the tri-fold stand case to a higher level. The case features a back shell that is made of soft and flexible thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
One benefit is obvious. It will let you remove the case much easier than the ones with a hard plastic shell. But there is something more important. On the inside of the TPU back, there is a honeycomb grid, which helps release 80% of the heat produced by the iPad.
Supports wake-sleep feature. Available in five colors, including Red, shown above.
12. MoKo Heavy-duty Shockproof Rugged Stand Case
This military-grade protector case is perfect for active users. It will help withstand heavy use, drops, bumps, shock, and random accidents of all kinds.
The case is made of high-quality materials and features two layers of advanced protection: polycarbonate hard shell and flexible TPU. Plus, it comes equipped with a solid anti-scratch screen protector.
MoKo Heavy-duty Rugged Case is designed to give easy access to all ports and buttons. An extra feature, but very helpful, is the built-in stand that enables the user to watch videos hands-free.
13. Spigen Tough Armor Case with Air Cushion
Who said heavy-duty cases have to look like being taken from a military base?
The case from Spigen offers ultimate durability and shock-absorbency yet still looks like fashionable! It features dual-layer protection combining flexible frame and a rigid outer shell. Its surface is raised strategically to keep screen and camera contact-free.
The case is tested to meet military standard 810G-516.6, with enhanced corner protection guaranteed by Air Cushion technology. Available in three colors: Black, Gunmetal, and Rose Gold (shown above).
14. Herschel Supply Co. Anchor Sleeve
The sleeve will fit not only the 9.7-inch iPad but also iPad Pro 10.5 or most other 10-inch tablets available on the market.
This sleeve features padded and fleece-lined interior to increase the level of protection for the iPad. A zipper comes with a pebbled leather pull. Most importantly, there is a stylishly designed classic Herschel Supply Co. on the front side.
The sleeve is available in seven trendy colors and patterns, including Black Mini Floral, University Windsor Wine, Brindle Parlour.
Latest Apple iPad models
Together with links to tech specs and best case covers.
Apple iPad mini 7.9 (2019)
The world’s favorite compact tablet now comes with Apple Pencil 1 support and A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. Prices start from $399.
Apple iPad 9.7 (2018)
2048 × 1536 px Retina display, Apple Pencil support, Touch ID, A10 Fusion chip with M10 coprocessor. Prices start from $299 for education institutions.
Apple iPad Air 10.5 (2019)
An ultra-thin design with the A12 Bionic chip and advanced Retina display with True Tone. Supports Apple Pencil 1 and the smart Keyboard. Prices start from $499.
Apple iPad Pro 11 (2018)
11-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion technology, Apple Pencil 2 support, Face ID, A12X Bionic chip and Neural Engine, high-speed high-speed USB-C connector. Prices start from $799.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
12.9-inch Liquid Retina 2732 × 2048 px LED-backlit Multi‑Touch display with ProMotion technology, Apple Pencil 2 support, Face ID, A12X Bionic chip and Neural Engine, high-speed USB-C connector. Prices start from $999.
15. PopSmart Sleeve with Apple Pencil Holder
As the newest 9.7-inch iPad comes with Apple Pencil support, it’s actually a clever idea to “borrow” a leather sleeve from iPad Pro 10.5, as these two devices have similar dimensions.
And why would you need to buy the Apple leather sleeve if you can have a similar design from a third-party producer? The one from PopSmart offers two benefits. First, it’s cheaper. Secondly, it’s made of faux leather (thermoplastic polyurethane with a surface resembling a real leather), not the genuine one.
PopSmart Faux Leather iPad Sleeve is available in five desaturated colors: Black, Blue, Gold, Gray, and Pink.
16. CaseCrown Power Sleeve with Apple Pencil Holder
Some users need a sleeve to give extra protection to the iPad which already has the case put on.
For instance, the original Apple Leather Sleeve designed for iPad 10.5 should easily fit the 9.7-inch iPad with a smart cover.
Another idea is to get a sleeve that’s more functional than that. Such as the one from CaseCrown. It’s made of neoprene (interior) and canvas material (exterior) and closes from the top with a Velcro fastener. On the inside of the wing, there is a loop for Apple Pencil or any other stylus.
The most interesting feature is an MFI-certified USB to Lightning cable. It’s internally routed and angled so that you can charge the iPad without the need to pull it out of the sleeve. There is also a small zipper pocket to store the cable when not in use.
CaseCrown iPad 9.7 Power Sleeve comes in three colors: Black Canvas, Charcoal Gray, and Dark Denim.
17. Bagsmart Water Repellent Organizer Bag
A case for the iPad is a must but what to do with the cables, earphone, or the powerpack?
This versatile bag Bagsmart can solve the accessory problem. Its main compartment is designed to fit and protect the iPad perfectly. However, the bag has more pockets and compartments, so that you can take all the cables and connectors with you.
The bag is made of water-repellent nylon with padded semi-flexible covers. Multiple mesh pockets and elasticized segments will give you the most flexibility for organizing accessories.
Apple iPad 9.7 (2018) accessories
18. FRTMA Apple Pencil Magnetic Holder
Anyone who considers getting the Apple Pencil sooner or later realizes one more thing is needed: a holder. While there are several iPad Pro cases with built-in Apple Pencil holder, many users prefer a solution that gives more freedom.
Take a look at the little smart accessory from FRTMA. It’s a silicone sleeve that you put on the Apple Pencil. It gives two benefits: improves the grip and enables to attach the pencil to any iPad case with the magnetic cover, which means any case that supports automatic sleep/wake feature.
You can choose from five colors; each one goes very well with white. Besides Red, seen above, you can pick up Lavender or Ice Sea Blue.
19. Zugu Apple Pencil Holder Sticker
From Zugu Case comes another Apple Pencil holder. It can also be attached to a surface of almost any iPad case, with just one exception: covers made of silicone. In fact, you can stick it to almost any surface, what will give you unlimited flexibility in where you want the Apple Pencil to be when the next great idea comes to your mind.
As the holder is made of stretchable material, it will hold tightly not only the Apple Pencil but also many other digital pens, even the larger ones.
Zugu Apple Pencil Holder Sticker is available in two colors: Black and Navy Blue.
20. Stylus Sling Apple Pencil Holder with USB Adapter
If all you need is a functional pen holder designed specifically to match Apple Pencil, you should check out the design from Stylus Sling.
The holder can be put on the front cover of iPad Pro 10.5 or iPad 9.7 2018/2017. The pocket is sized to enable you to grab the stylus – not just the cap – when removing.
Under the Stylus Sling logo, there is a small compartment to hold the USB charging accessory for Apple Pencil. It’s sized for minimal impact on the overall profile but keeps adapter available when needed.
21. Anker Premium Tempered-Glass Screen Protector
Do you need a screen protector to be sure nothing will happen to your new iPad’s display? Screen protectors from Anker are among the most popular choices.
This particular tempered glass protector provides industry-high 9H hardness rating, while being only 0.3 mm thick and guarantees 96% transparency. Oleophobic coating preserves your iPad’s HD viewing experience and high touch sensitivity.
22. Ipevo PadPillow Stand
This iPad accessory comes extremely handy when you decided to buy a separate Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad.
This pillow stand from Ipevo is clever. You can fold it out to get some space for a keyboard. Therefore, you’ll be able to use it with your iPad while lying on a sofa or in a bed.
Ipevo pillow is sturdy enough to keep the iPad always at the right angle, but on the other side, it’s comfortable like a pillow. It’s made of 100% cotton and is ultra-soft. When you fold it out, you’ll see space for a wireless keyboard, complete with ample wrist support.
Available in four fashionable colors: Lemongrass (shown above), Blue Denim, Light Khaki, and Charcoal Gray. Compatible with iPad models no larger than 10-inch.
23. Usee 4-port charging station
You need this clever, good-looking charging station from Usee if you are an Apple addict.
The station offers three USB ports so that your entire family could charge their iPads and iPhones simultaneously. Plus, there is one inside USB port for charging Apple Watch, which you can place on the top shelf. You can also put here other little accessories, such as pen drives, microSD cards, or iPhone/iPad adapters.
The station features a built-in smart chip so that each port can automatically detect your device and adjust charging speed accordingly.
24. Pack & Smooch TabStrap with Apple Pencil holder
From Pack & Smooch comes a new highly creative and functional accessory that will fit not only the 2018 Apple iPad.
Called TabStrap, it cleverly combines three features offered by advanced iPad cases: a hand holder, a stand, and a stylus holder. It’s hand-crafted of premium-quality 100% Merino wool felt and pure vegetable tanned leather – a trademark of Pack & Smooch.
What other products don’t have is the ability to rotate the hand holder easily. You can hold the iPad horizontally, vertically, or upside down.
The holder is being attached to the iPad by a leather-covered back sticker which can be removed without leaving any residue.
25. iPens X1 Rechargeable Stylus Pen
iPens is a brand of a China-based producer of tablet and smartphone accessories. The X1 pen is using advanced technologies to make the user feel like using the traditional pen.
A special structure decreases impact stress when the tip touches the screen. The surface combines two materials: aluminum and baby-skin plastic. Charge adapter is located in the pen’s button, and connect with micro USB cable via built-in magnet.
iPens X1 is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and most Android-powered devices. It’s offered on Amazon by a few third-party sellers. We’ve picked up the one offering the most affordable price.
26. Meko 2nd-generation Disc Stylus 2-pack
It’s one of the best-rated tablet pens on Amazon. The stylus from Meko will work great on all capacitive touchscreens, not only your iPad. It’s made of aluminum, has a steel clip, and comes with an ergonomic non-slip rubber grip.
The stylus has two kinds of tips. On one end there is a disc tip, on the other – fiber tip. The 2nd-generation precision tip is thin and transparent, enabling you to see through.
The pack includes two styluses, four replacement disc tips, and two replacement fiber tips. You can pick up one of the color combinations, where is stylus is black and the other one in a different color, for instance, Rose Gold or Red.
27. Omoton Ultra-slim Bluetooth Keyboard
Of several types of accessories, it’s easiest to be discouraged by the keyboard. The keyboard has just too many important factors: Bluetooth (setup and connection), keys (size, stroke, feel, hotkeys), battery, to name a few.
That’s why iPad keyboard and keyboard cases usually get the average rating on Amazon around 4. One of the exceptions is a solid but lightweight Bluetooth-enabled keyboard from Omoton.
It offers a reasonable key combination, with QWERTY layout and hotkeys that you can customize for your iPad. With 2 AAA batteries and automatic sleep mode, you can use it continuously for up to 30 days.
The keyboard has a perfect size. It’s big enough for your fingers to type conveniently and small enough to be put inside a bag without taking too much space. The keyboard bears Amazon’s Choice label.
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Where can I buy iPad cases and covers?
Check out our recommendations for online stores where you’ll find more iPad cases to consider.
Amazon – the best site to find the alternatives for the original iPad case. There are currently almost 9 million results to a search phrase “iPad case.” It’s a good destination if you are looking for a more affordable smart cover – in a lot more color and design variations.
eBay – when you’ll go through the branded cases on Amazon, you’ll find out that many covers have a quite similar construction, and differ only in colors. On eBay, you can find the similar cases. Most of them are unbranded, and that means you’ll be able to buy them for a lower – sometimes much lower – price.
Etsy – this is our favorite marketplace for hand-crafted items. You’ll find here tons of beautiful iPad sleeves and covers. Many of these cases can be customized to your needs. If you want to get a unique, insanely cute sleeve – look no further than Etsy.
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iPad 9.7 (2018), Apple Pencil ready
Like a computer. Unlike any computer
If the computer were invented today, what would it look like? It would be powerful enough for any task. So mobile you could take it everywhere. And so intuitive you could use it any way you wanted — with touch, a keyboard, or even a pencil. In other words, it wouldn’t really be a “computer.” It would be the new iPad.
Apple Pencil. Dream it up. Jot it down
iPad has always been a great way to get what’s in your mind down on the page. And now you have a new way to do it. Write notes, paint a watercolor, or sign a lease. With Apple Pencil, you’ll do it all with pixel-perfect precision and responsiveness. Use it as naturally as you would a pencil, while doing a whole lot more than you would with one.
A10 Fusion chip. Engineered for performance
64-bit architecture. Four-core design. Over 3.3 billion transistors. Translation: iPad is incredibly fast. Which comes in handy when you want to edit a 4K video, play graphics-intensive games, or experience the latest augmented reality apps.
It multitasks easily. So you can, too
iPad packs enough power to use multiple apps all at once. Work on your business plan while doing research on the web while making a FaceTime call to a colleague at the same time. It’s even easier than it sounds.
The most immersive way to experience augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a new technology that brings virtual objects into the real world. And every aspect of iPad — from the display to the processing power to the cameras to the motion sensors — is designed to make AR apps more magical than ever before.
Two great cameras that do more than take great photos
Built-in front and back cameras allow you to shoot gorgeous photos and cinematic videos, scan documents, make FaceTime calls, or even create a floor plan using augmented reality.
Connect and compose with any Bluetooth keyboard
Need to sit down and hammer out a research paper, email, or your blockbuster screenplay? iPad has an intuitive onscreen keyboard, but it’s also compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth keyboards.
Loaded with powerful built-in apps
Cut a track with GarageBand, make a compelling presentation with Keynote, or shoot and edit a short film with iMovie. iPad comes with a collection of apps from Apple so you can start creating right out of the box.
Top iPad cases and accessories to get in 2019
Based on recommendations from top tech sites and best customer reviews.
Zugu Muse Case for iPad Pro 11 (2018)
Magnet-secured case with 8 stand angles. Wireless Apple Pencil charging support, 5ft drop protection, car industry materials. Also for iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad 9.7.
Average rating: 4.7/5
Anker Tempered Glass Screen Protector for iPad 9.7
Premium tempered glass with 9H hardness rating. Retina clarity with 96% transparency, 0.3 mm thickness, and oleophobic coating. Also for iPad Pro models.
Average rating: 4.4/5
Tomtoc Shoulder Bag for iPad 9.7 and iPad Pro 11
Shockproof, padded urban iPad sleeve that’s both slim and lightweight. Main compartment for iPad, external pocket with a pen holder. Comes with an extra shoulder strap.
Average rating: 4.8/5
• • •
Interested in the iPad and iPhone? Here are the latest news, tips, and lists:
- This sleek iPad Pro stand is fully rotatable and costs only $29
- Twelve South’s BookBook Vol. 2 iPad Pro case is already available on Amazon
- Which iPad is the best for reading?
- 15 best tech and digital gifts to give book lovers in 2019
- Best iPad case brands on Amazon, based on reviews, designs, and customer service