How to Protect Your New iPad

Unlike laptops, iPads don’t have a ready-made hard case that keep it protected naturally. Laptops close up to make the screen inaccessible to being scratched or broken, and to keep the contents on the hard drive safe. While iPads can do many of the same things as a laptop and can be easier to work with because of size and the ease of using the iOS, they don’t have that same natural protection.

This means that your first expense after buying an iPad should be some protection for it. To keep the screen safe from scratches and cracks, and to keep the contents safe. To go along with the success of the iPad are several third party vendors marketing a variety of different products to help ensure your iPad’s safety.

Screen Protectors


After upgrading to the new iPad just for the retina display, you want to keep it in tip-top shape. Screen protectors will keep your iPad from getting minor scratches, whether it’s in use or put away. I also find that they make iPads slightly easier to keep clean. They can be found fairly cheap, and it’s a product where design and brand really doesn’t matter too much. The absolute only downside is that they can be a pain to put on without bubbles or dirt trapped underneath. However, the irritation of going through that process is worth it to have the piece of mind of a screen that will be kept in pristine condition. Had I had one on my very first iPad, it wouldn’t have gotten a scratch.


Now that you have your screen safe from scratches, you’ll want to keep it from other possible damage. There are different covers out there with the explicit goal to keep them safe.

The cover that Apple promotes is the SmartCover. It’s offered in many different colors. It snaps on magnetically, and covers the face, but leaves the back of the iPad free. Additionally, the bottom part of the cover can flip up to peak at what’s on the display. When not being used as a cover, it also folds into a triangular sphere to be used as a stand in a few different positions.

You don’t have to use the heavily-promoted SmartCover, though. They have hard cases, gel cases, leather cases, and vinyl cases as well. They even have cases that zip around the entire device and have a handle on the top to make it a convenient carrying case. I find that unnecessary, though, as iPads are so small, they really don’t need a case with a handle. Investigate these covers and find out which one suits your needs.

Cases with Extra Function


Cases do more than just cover and act as a stand, though. As long as you want to keep it covered, why not get some additional function out of the case as well? I like the keyboard cases. I’m a very quick touch typist, and the iPad keyboard just doesn’t do it for me. For that reason, I use a keyboard case. It’s a hard case that covers the front of it, and in a demo I saw of it before I even had my own iPad, it was dropped on the floor and didn’t break. The iPad sits inside it like a stand and has a full QWERTY keyboard on the base. I use the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG, because the keys aren’t moved around to fit more nicely. It really is a QWERTY keyboard.

Also offered are hybrid cases. These feature a high-quality polycarbonate plastic exterior embedded in a shock absorbing silicone core. This goes around the sides and the back. This is great for protection and just might provide enough coverage all around. These cases also feature a little kickstand in the back to hold the iPad in an easel position. Some cases just function as a cover, then fold back to be used as a kickstand.

Dry Electronics Cloths


I mentioned earlier that had I been using a screen protector on my first iPad, I wouldn’t have gotten a scratch on it. Ironically, I was cleaning it at the time. I was using a dry electronics cloth, and I was out of them, so used one that had already been used previously. It must have gotten a piece of dirt on it or something, as it ended up scratching the screen. Nevertheless, because iPads use a touchscreen, they have to be cleaned often. I make sure┬ánow that I always have plenty of them around so that I don’t scratch my new iPad with a dirty cloth. I use the Windex brand of cloths, as they’re fairly inexpensive and easy to find in stores in the cleaning product aisle.

Protecting your new iPad should be something you consider before you even bring it home. Accidents can happen at any point. If you purchase a screen protector and/or some type of case, you won’t be taking unnecessary risks with the screen and the tablet itself. You want to make sure that it lasts at least a year until the next edition of the iPad is released.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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