Can you believe there are only two weeks left before Christmas? If you haven't finished your shopping, there's still time to get some great gifts for the iPad Air owners in your life. In this review, we take a look at four different iPad Air cases that might be perfect for someone on your list -- and you'll have a chance to win one of the cases we're reviewing.
OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Air
Many people equate OtterBox with smartphone cases, but ignore the fact that the company builds some amazingly tough iPad cases as well. The OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Air (US$89.95) upholds the reputation of the company's rugged cases, using two layers -- hard interior polycarbonate and exterior silicone -- to keep your baby safe from accidents. Literally topping it off is a clear screen protector to keep your touchscreen clean and scratch-free, even in the worst conditions. It's not waterproof or even water-resistant, but if you or the gift recipient use the iPad Air in some tough places, you'll be glad you got this case.
That's not all -- there's a snap on polycarbonate cover that goes over the display. When you pull it off, it can be attached to the back of the case to provide a multi-angle stand for the device. There are small silicone anti-slide bumpers on the bottom of that cover and the back of the case as well, to make sure that your iPad Air stays in one place.
I found the case to be a little difficult to install and remove, but chances are that once you've installed the Defender Series case onto the iPad Air you're not going to want to take it off. On the negative side, it also adds quite a bit of bulk and thickness to your very thin iPad Air, so if you're in love with the thinness of the Air, you might want to look elsewhere for a case. If, on the other hand, you're more worried about the safety of your iPad, you've come to the right place.
Saddleback Leather iPad Air Case
While the Otterbox Defender uses tough manufactured materials to keep your iPad Air from destruction, you or your gift recipient might prefer something more natural like the feel, look and scent of real leather. Saddleback Leather makes a wonderful iPad Air case ($111.00) completely out of leather -- there is no other material (except for the stitching) used to construct the case. This is a brand-new product, so at the time of publication the case was not yet listed on the Saddleback Leather website. The image above is of the iPad 2/3/4 case, which is similar to the iPad Air case.
Two leather buckles fold over onto the cover to keep the iPad Air in place when you're in motion, and it's held into one side with a stitched leather bezel. The leather is thick and stiff enough to protect your iPad Air, but thin enough not to make the case overly thick and heavy.
As with any item made with leather, the finish and look of each case is unique. The Saddleback Leather case will also age nicely with time, and it has a 100-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship if you want to keep it for a long, long time. This is definitely a classy case that would be a highly-prized gift.
Pad & Quill Contega Case for iPad Air
And speaking of classy cases, Pad & Quill has released an iPad Air-specific version of their beautiful and functional Contega Case ($99.99). We've covered Pad & Quill's products enough in the past for just about everyone who reads TUAW to know how well-crafted and well -- beautiful -- they are.
The Contega comes in a choice of two exterior leather cover colors -- black or chocolate -- and with an interior cloth lining in deep sea blue, forest green, onyx black, praline tan, or slate gray. Holding the iPad Air into place is a handcrafted Baltic Birch frame that can "tilt" into one of two positions should use wish to use the Contega as a stand.
Holding it all closed while in transit is a matching elastic band, so it looks just like a really nice Moleskine. This case just oozes style, and you'd have one happy gift recipient on your hands if you gave them a Contega.
Now you have a chance to win one of these three cases for yourself or to give away as a gift. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before 11:59 PM December 14, 2013 Eastern Standard Time.
You may enter only once.
Three winners will be selected. One will receive an OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Air valued at $89.95, one will receive a Saddleback Leather Case for iPad Air valued at $111.00, and one will receive a Pad & Quill Contega Case for iPad Air valued at $99.99.