If you’re doing some pre planning, a suitable case is always something you need to consider when it comes to getting the most from your tablet. Most people should look at buying a case or cover for their tablet, especially an expensive iPad.
I am a believer that there really isn’t anything in most home that will scratch your screen (sure a diamond ring could or grit could scratch it within your home) but in most every instance it should be safe. A drop onto a hard surface is another matter all together. An iPad being dropped onto concrete or a hard surface could give you a cracked screen. Screens can be replaced, for a price. So let’s say it’s going to cost at least $150 to repair your cracked iPad screen. Consider that a protective case is like an insurance policy.
Let’s be clear about one thing. Official Apple accessories are expensive. Deals? Not a chance, or at least expect to hunt really hard to find those deals. If you buy a previous generation iPad Air for example, yes, in some instances you might be able to find an oddball color Smart Case for sale. Look at retailers like Target, Staples and Walmart. I have seen deals on older generation official Apple accessories like Smart Covers and Smart Cases.
I think if you’re solid in your decision on getting an official case or cover from Apple, then I urge you to get a Smart Case vs. Smart Cover. I’ve owned both so I have a good amount of experience to draw from. I think the biggest reason for choosing the iPad Smart Case vs the iPad Smart Cover is because of the protection from drops. The Smart Case provides a padding around the corners and that is insurance against getting a cracked iPad screen. The Smart Cover leaves it bare, and at a much higher risk. There are variables involved in cracking an iPad screen, such as what it’s dropped on, the height of the fall and the angle/point of impact. Although the iPad Smart Case isn’t a thick bumper, it is still enough of a shock absorber.
Of course the reason for getting an official Apple Smart Case is because of the fit. It’s super tight, lines up perfectly to the camera and ports, and also is feather light. The iPad Air for example is a thin device. Having a different case will be heavier and thicker. You can look around and try other recommended “Smart Case” imitations for less money, but you need to really look at what people say about it and how long it lasts.
If you have the current generation iPad and look at the prices for the official Apple iPad Smart Cases, it’s an added expense to an already expensive tablet. A Smart cover is typically around the $80 price point for an Air model. You might be able to find new, unopened Smart Cases on websites like Kijiji or Craigslist, but be careful for fakes. The best scenario is buying a new, previous generation iPad and then look to Staples, Walmart or Target for discounted Apple Smart Cases. Don’t be picky on color, because if it’s a deal, then just be happy for that. Getting your favorite color plus a deal at the same time? That’s expecting an awful lot considering Apple products rarely see deals.
Another reason for considering an official Apple product like a Smart Case is the quality. You have to figure that your iPad Air for example is going to get heavy use for at least a couple years if not more. If you go cheap on a third party case, will it actually last? It would be nice to buy one case that can last for the couple years or more that the iPad will be used. The official Apple Smart Case has a 1 year warranty which is respectable. If your case breaks after 16 months will they refuse to replace it? Hard to say, but Apple does provide terrific customer service on their products.
If you look on the official Apple website and some of the customer reviews, you may find some 1 star reviews. Then again, a lot of these come from complaints about the Smart Case not being able to hold up the iPad. With respect to these complaints, the iPad 2, 3 and 4 are not light in comparison to the Air series or the mini series. Given a lighter weight, there is less concern about whether this case can prop up your iPad. The lighter the iPad, the more sturdy the case becomes.