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Updated August 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best tablet cases

If you've recently purchased a tablet or e-reader, it's only natural to want to protect your investment, and a tablet case is just the accessory for the job. These cases come in a vast array of styles ranging from sleek folios that provide protection to the screen, sides, and back to rugged, shock-absorbing covers.

When shopping for a case, you'll come across an assortment of sizes, so remember to keep your tablet's dimensions in mind while you browse. While many of these cases are designed for specific devices, some have a universal fit that accommodates a range of brands.

With so many options available, finding the best tablet case for your device can be tough. Familiarizing yourself with the different types, sizes, and features is an excellent place to start. Once you have a grasp of the basics, you can move on to the fun part: selecting a style. Whether you're looking to showcase your personality or prefer something sleek and simple, you have plenty of options to choose from.

tablet case
When purchasing a tablet case for a child, you want something that's both highly protective and easy to grip. Rugged cases with shockproof construction offer just that and tend to be the most reliable option for kids.

How to buy the best tablet case

Types of tablet cases

The very first step to finding a case that you'll love is to identify which type suits your needs best.

Hard: These cases are usually made of hard plastic and sometimes feature a leather or faux leather back. If you're looking for a tablet case to protect the back and sides of your device without adding too much bulk, a hard case could be a good fit.

Soft: Also known as gel cases, soft tablet cases closely resemble hard cases, though they tend to be a bit more popular. These are generally slim with a snug fit that hugs the sides of the tablet. Gel cases offer excellent protection against bumps and scratches along the back and sides of the tablet, but they don't protect the screen.

Folio: Most of these tablet cases are crafted from leather or faux leather and are perhaps the single most popular option due to the fact that they also provide screen protection. Rather than simply covering the sides and back of your tablet, a folio case has a front flap that flips open to provide access to the screen. Some of these cases also wake up your device automatically when you open them, while others come with a built-in stand for easier viewing or typing.

Rugged: If you live an active lifestyle or need a protective case for a child’s tablet, a rugged case is an option well worth considering. These cases can be somewhat bulky, especially around the corners and sides, because they provide extra protection from drops and bumps. Many are made of shockproof ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and have a rubberlike feel.

Keyboard: These tablet cases have a flip-open design that's similar to that of folio cases. What sets them apart, however, is the fact that they come with a built-in keyboard, and many also come with USB ports. This design conveniently negates the need to purchase a separate keyboard for your tablet. If you intend to use your tablet for work or school, a keyboard case can help improve productivity. Keep in mind that the keyboard itself also requires recharging.

Device compatibility

Finding a case that's compatible with popular devices and brands is relatively straightforward. However, it's still a good idea to double-check your tablet's particular model and release date before purchasing a brand- or model-specific case.

A universal tablet cover is another option and tends to be a bit more affordable than a model-specific case. Universal covers are usually designed to fit certain sizes, such as 10-inch tablets. These covers also specify exactly which brands and models they're designed for, making it easier for you to tell whether or not it's a good fit.

Size

Size seems like it would be a straightforward consideration. All you need to do is find a tablet case that matches the size of your device, right? Not exactly. Although most cases specify a size, such as 10 inches, some devices have a 10-inch screen but a wider frame. Always remember to measure the total dimensions of your tablet before choosing a cover.

Protection

Different tablet cases offer varying levels of protection.

While both hard and soft cases can help protect the back, corners, and sides of your device, they don't really safeguard much else.

Folio cases protect the back, corners, sides, and screen, making these some of the most protective options available.

If you require extra protection from drops or bumps, rugged tablet cases are an excellent choice. These often have a chunky frame that extends beyond the screen, so even if you drop your tablet face down, it shouldn't be a problem. Most are also made of shock-resistant materials that can help prevent damage caused by more serious falls.

If you like the idea of a tablet case that shows off your personality, keep an eye out for models that feature prints, patterns, or characters.

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Features to look for in tablet cases

Shock absorption

As mentioned earlier, some of these cases are made of shock-absorbing materials that help minimize the impact on your device when it falls. A shock-absorbing tablet case can be ideal if you live an active lifestyle and take your tablet on the go with you. It’s also by far the best option for children, particularly younger kids, who tend to be less careful with their devices.

Stand

Some of these cases come with a built-in stand that allows you to angle your tablet on a flat surface for hands-free use. While a stand is most commonly found in folio cases, it's possible to find other types with a flip-open stand as well.

Design

Tablet cases come in a mind-boggling array of designs, colors, and graphics. From branded cases that proudly display their logos to those that have superhero or other popular culture images, there's something out there to match practically every taste and preference.

Materials

When it comes to tablet cases, plastic, silicone, rubber, and both real and faux leather are all popular choices. Keep in mind that hard plastic cases are much more likely to crack or shatter upon impact, so if durability or extra protection is a priority, you might want to opt for a case made of another material.

tablet case
DID YOU KNOW?
Some light-colored hard and soft tablet cases are prone to discoloration, so keep this in mind when selecting a color.
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Accessories for tablet cases

Keyboard

If you do a lot of typing and your chosen case doesn't come with a keyboard, purchasing a Bluetooth tablet keyboard separately is always an option.

Screen protector

Not all tablet cases offer screen protection, but you can still keep your device’s screen free of scratches by investing in a screen protector.

How much do tablet cases cost?

Inexpensive

Basic generic hard and soft tablet cases, as well as smaller rugged cases for kids’ devices, tend to be the least expensive, with prices typically ranging from $10 to $15.

Mid-range

For between $15 and $25, you can find a wide variety of generic tablet cases ranging from simple folios to rugged cases and everything in between.

Expensive

Branded cases, keyboard cases, genuine leather folios, and tablet cases that offer a lot of special features cost anywhere from $25 to $70 and more.

Some folio tablet cases have a magnetic function that automatically wakes up your device when they’re opened and puts it in sleep mode when closed.

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Tips

  • Look for a brand- or model-specific case. Choosing a branded case for your particular tablet model has a couple of perks: a tailored and precise fit and (more often than not) superior overall quality.
  • Double-check the size of your device. Remember, a 10-inch screen doesn't always mean your whole tablet measures exactly 10 inches, so measure your device to be sure.
  • Don't rely entirely on the case to protect your device. While a case can certainly help protect your tablet, no case is infallible. Handling your device with care is always wise regardless of the type of case you're using.
  • Remove the tablet case occasionally. Dust, lint, and debris can work their way into the case after a while, especially if you often carry your tablet in a bag. Don't forget to take the cover off every once in a while to give it a good cleaning.
tablet case
If you've already tried using tablet cases and find them too bulky and unwieldy, a tablet skin is an option worth looking into. Just know that skins typically only help improve grip and protect against light scratches.

FAQ

Q. What's the difference between a tablet case and a tablet sleeve?

A. While a case is designed to remain on your tablet all the time, a sleeve generally needs to be removed before you use your tablet. Sleeves are best reserved for storage purposes only.

Q. What's the best type of tablet case for school or work?

A. Whether you use your tablet at work, school, or simply like taking it wherever you go, you’ll need something that protects both the back and front of your device. For this reason, a folio case is hands-down the best choice for anyone who regularly carries their tablet in a bag.

Q. Can a tablet case cause my device to overheat?

A. Although overheating can be a sign of other issues, such as your tablet being overworked or battery problems, the case can be the culprit as well. This is especially true of thick plastic tablet cases. If you notice that your device overheats while in its case, try removing it and allowing it to cool off before replacing it. You might also want to use your device without the case for a while to discern whether the problem is the case or your tablet.

 

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