The iPad Air received an internal refresh in March 2022 at Apple's Peek Performance Event. The update brings it on par with the 2021 iPad Pro lineup in more than one way, reducing the number of differences between the two devices to only a couple that could make you realize that the 11-inch iPad Pro and 10.9-inch iPad Air are separate devices.
iPad Air 5th Gen brings with it the highly rated M1 processor, 5G connectivity (for cellular models), Center Stage capability, and all-new colors, in case you didn't know what was different with this generation. It still starts at $599 for the 64GB WiFi-only SKU, with an upgrade to 256GB available.
Now, if you're reading this article, it's likely that you've already picked up an iPad Air and need a case to go along with it, as you use the device daily. But the iPad is such a device that the case you use with it not only brings protection but can also introduce additional functionality. Thus, in this article, we have listed some of the best options you can pair with your iPad Air.
iPad Air (5th Generation)
iPad Air 5th Gen brings the highly rated M1 processor, 5G connectivity (for cellular models), Center Stage capability, and all-new colors. It starts at $599 for the 64GB WiFi-only model, with an upgrade to 256GB of internal storage available.
Official Apple Cases for iPad Air 5
The Magic Keyboard received a lot of flake for its price tag when it came to market in 2020. But for $299 (and sometimes lower), the accessory provides a seamless experience for those who want to make the most out of their iPad experience, even going far enough to replace their laptop for some usage scenarios.
The case/keyboard brings more function than protection, though it does ensure your iPad is covered — if and when placed on a surface. The keys present here includes a number row and are backlit. Apple also uses a set of scissors switches, similar to those on its laptops. And there is a trackpad, with a physical click, along the bottom.
In addition, there is a USB C port built into the hinge portion of the keyboard for charging; this leaves the primary USB C slot on the iPad free for data transfer and other accessories — like a USB C hub — giving you more freedom to get work done.
Apple Magic Keyboard
The Apple Magic Keyboard is the go-to accessory for users who wish to use their iPad for more than media consumption and note-taking. It brings a host of capabilities with the integration iPadOS provides for keyboards and tracking devices.
Also read: Best Keyboard Cases for iPad Air 5 in 2022
Apple Smart Folio
In comparison to the Magic Keyboard, which introduces a new way to use iPad Air, the Smart Folio is a simple accessory whose intention is to keep your iPad covered when not in use or provide the ability to prop up the tablet when required. We see the Smart Folio as the go-to accessory for people who enjoy consuming content while in bed or tend to use their iPad as a source for recipes in the kitchen.
In the way of protection, the Smart Folio will help keep the back of your iPad free from any case marks (due to its magnetic attachment mechanism), and the front will remain safe from any dust that might settle.
All in all. The origami-like structure formation has been an iPad staple for many years now, and if you want a high-quality accessory, the Smart Folio is an easy pick.
Apple Smart Folio Case
Apple Smart Folio Case provides basic protection for iPad Air and the ability to prop up the tablet at various angles. It is perfect for households where an iPad works as a media or gaming device and a cooking assist.
Best Rugged Case for iPad Air 5: SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro
SUPCASE is a brand long-known for the high degree of protection its accessories provide for various consumer devices. And the Unicorn Beetle Pro is at the top of its offerings with features like a built-in screen protector, pop-out kickstand, and raised bezels that protect the camera lens and display.
The Unicorn Beetle Pro for iPad Air 5 will bring drop protection to your tablet's frame. While the tempered glass screen protector will keep the display glass free from any scratches, saving the device from any amount of roughhousing. SUPCASE also ensures that port and button access is unhindered with its precise design.
SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro
Unicorn Beetle Pro for iPad Air (5th generation) brings class-leading drop protection without compromising on any of the tablet's capabilities. It provides precise cutouts that don't hamper the Touch ID sensor or the Apple Pencil's magnetic attachment mechanism. UB Pro is available in seven different colors for iPad Air.
Also read: Best Rugged Cases for iPad Air 5
Best Protective and Functional Case for iPad Air 5: Logitech Combo Touch
The Logitech Combo Touch is another keyboard case for iPad Air, which, unlike the Magic Keyboard, adds a lot more to the tablet in the name of protection. Combo Touch uses a two-part design. Part one is the casing that houses your iPad, and part two is the detachable component that houses the keyboard and trackpad.
The housing even has a Microsoft Surface-like kickstand with which you can angle your iPad for comfortable viewing. It offers a lot more freedom than the Magic Keyboard, but soft or uneven surfaces can be hard to work with — a non-issue for Apple's iPad-specific Magic Keyboard.
The keyboard here is similar to the first-party alternative, but we feel it has an advantage due to its inclusion of function keys. These buttons can help control media and volume levels, quickly access Spotlight Search, plus go back to Home Screen, to name a few (and yes, the keys are backlit, and the included trackpad also has a click-anywhere nature).
For $199, it is a much cheaper accessory than the Magic Keyboard — you might even find it on discount at times — and worth considering if the extra USB C port and Apple's over-engineered designs are not high on your list of wants.
Logitech Combo Touch
Logitech Combo Touch is a two-party keyboard and case accessory for iPad Air. It features a click-anywhere trackpad and a backlit keyboard with a dedicated row of function keys. For $199, it is a great alternative to Apple's expensive Magic Keyboard.
Best Premium Case for iPad Air 5: NOMAD Modern Leather Folio
Next on this list is a case made with premium materials that will make your iPad feel special every time you pick it up to get some work done. The NOMAD Modern Leather Folio brings a great combination of protection to iPad Air with a polycarbonate case body, paired with a TPE bumper and a leather front flap and back.
Once your iPad is into the bumper case, the device will have protection at every edge, with fall damage becoming highly limited. The magnetic closure system will keep the front flap in place while allowing Apple's smart wake and sleep function to work flawlessly.
Speaking of the leather used here, NOMAD mentions that it wraps the folio in Horween Leather. A patina is said to form as you use the device, giving it a look that is unique to you.
NOMAD Modern Leather Folio
NOMAD Modern Leather Folio uses Horween Leather, wrapped around an accessory with a protective TPE bumper and polycarbonate housing. The folio will keep your iPad safe from falls while allowing you to use its various kickstand modes for easy typing and media consumption.
If you need a case without the front flap, you can also consider picking up the simple NOMAD Leather Case.
Simple & Protective Case for iPad Air 5: ESR Clear Case
Last on this list is a simple, cheap, yet effective accessory from ESR. The ESR Clear Case has a retail price of $13 and will wrap around your iPad Air, protecting it from any impact with surfaces. Its key selling point is its slim nature that barely adds any heft to iPad Air. Apart from that, the OEM also maintains a high degree of precision with port and button cutouts, which is essential if you wish to use USB C accessories with your iPad.
It is available in three finishes, Clear, Frosted Black, and Frosted White, and is the option to pick if you want the case buying experience to be one without any hassle.
ESR Clear Case
ESR Clear Case for iPad Air (5th Generation) adds protection to the tablet without bringing additional bulk into the equation. If you need a cheap accessory that does a good job, this case is the one to pick!