iPad iPad Air - Light(est) case

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by andrejkw, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. andrejkw macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Hello. I just bought an iPad Air. It has not arrived yet, but I do want to have a case (or some form of) on it from Day 1.

    I'm looking for the absolute lightest (affordable) solution. Either a case with a front cover or combination of Apple Smart Cover with a back cover.

    So far, I've taken a look at the following options:

    Apple Smart Case ($79) - At 145g it is the lightest case with a front cover I've been able to find, but it is also the most expensive. There are reports of the front cover not laying flat against the front glass. Also, the front cover does not latch onto the back of the case.

    Moshi iGlaze VersaCover ($43.80 on Amazon) - This case weights approximately 172g. It has a rear magnet to keep the front cover in place when flipped back. There are a few reports of the plastic casing developing cracks. I'm leaning towards this option, but the weight is a bit of a disappointment.

    LUVVIT SILVERBACK Protective Back Skin ($19.95 on Amazon) - This adds almost no additional weight to the device, but also provides the least amount of protection. It would have to be combined with an Apple Smart Cover, which can be removed at any time to reduce the overall weight. I do not like that the corners and top edges would be fully exposed.

    Any Body Protective Skin (Skinomi, ArmorSuit, ...) ($4.90 - $20) - Just like the option above, this adds almost no weight to the device but would have to be combined with a removable Apple Smart Cover. Many people swear by this form of protection. The installation is semi-difficult with special liquid solution which needs to be applied to the device. Corners appear to be the most problematic.

    Are there any other options I've missed? I'd like to know what everyone else is using to protect their investment.
  2. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Zagg Invisible Shield. It's not a case but its the lightest.
  3. Taylor814ce macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    I appreciate this thread as I am looking for the same. However are you sure Apple Smartcase for Air is only 145 grams??? That comes out to 5.1 oz only. I had few light cases for Mini and they were in the 6 oz range. If indeed the Apple Smart Case (not smart cover) is only 5 oz, I might just spend that $80.
    Please let me know where you got the weight spec for apple case.

    Thank you
  4. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I looked at a bunch of cases and the Apple SmartCase was the lightest, thinest and best fitting IMO.
  5. quamsi, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

    quamsi macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    I could have written this post. I have been obsessively searching for a thin, light-weight case. I've been kicking the idea around of a skin and smart cover, a combo case like the smart case, or a plastic back shell and a smart cover. The skin and smart cover obviously is the lightest and most appealing to me, but I worry about the what-if's. I can say I'm not clumsy, but what-if? It would be just my luck to have only a skin on it and drop it somehow. So today I got a fintie smartshell in the mail. The one I got has the frosted plastic back. I believe it's slightly lighter than the variety with solid color and microfiber lining. Using my food scale it's 5.6 oz or 158 grams. I don't have my Air yet to put in it, but I am thinking of keeping it. It's very thin, not near as bulky as a leather case or folio. And the little bit of drop protection may just be worth it. I do kind of wish I could remove the smart cover front, making me think I should have maybe gotten a back shell and a smart cover. But that combo would be close to $50 where this case was only $19 shipped.
  6. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Dont use a case, use skins. If you use a case, might as well buy an ipad 2 to put in there cause cases totally defeat the purpose.

    I laugh when i see people buying these honkin luggage like cases.
  7. quamsi, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

    quamsi macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    You've been going back and forth on this topic for days, littering the forum with posts about various sizes of cases vs no cases vs smart cover vs smart case, etc etc etc. You weren't laughing then. Some of us don't have the money to replace our tablets when they shatter so adding minimal bulk is worth it. Speaking of defeating the purpose: The purpose of the Ipad is to have a tablet to enjoy for your purposes. You won't be enjoying your shattered Air once you accidentally drop it the wrong way- unless you want an expensive pretty paperweight.

    Also, you posted about using a skin and a smart cover. The smart cover itself on the Air adds an extra 100g, making that combo only 32g less than a naked Ipad 2.
  8. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Ive never dropped any of my electronics that Ive owned in my life, whether its an ipad or phone, or tv. Dont be a clutz and you wont ever have to worry about huge cases.
  9. quamsi macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Hope you have some wood to knock.
  10. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    My wife will tell you that I have experimented with almost every type of iPad case under the sun.....very sad state of affairs. It's an ongoing joke in our house.

    For what it's worth, this is what I have learned:

    Weight is only really important when you are using the tablet. In transit, you will probably not notice the difference when the ipad is in your backpack or brief case.

    The extra wieght of a case can be somewhat offset by the ability to prop the iPad in various positions on your lap because you no longer have to hold it. For my ipad 3, I really liked the incase book jacket select for this purpose. They currently do not make this case for the Air.

    Case selection is a matter of personal preference, and you might end up with more than one case for various use scenarios....which can be expensive....I know.

    For my iPad Air, I am currently using the Smart Cover only, with a neoprene sleeve whilst in transit. I figure the ipad is most vulnerable and needs the greatest protection during transport. I know there is a fair chance the back of the iPad will get scratched when in use, but I am just living with that possibility.

    Good luck with your case selection!
  11. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I am with you just a smart cover and a herscel bag when i go out. I stick my iPad between the seat and console.
    Tried the Apple smart case not worth $99 AUD, there is and will be nicer leather cases.
  12. andrejkw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Using a skin would be the lightest option but also the most vulnerable. I've also looked at a few TPU back cases (to use with a Smart Cover). Most of them come in at under 50g.

    However, they all get in the way of the Smart Cover (even the ones marketed as Smart Cover-compatible). The sides of a TPU case wrap over the front edges of the iPad. This causes a gap between the Smart Cover and screen.
  13. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    The brand name ones will be ok when they come out, belkin, incipio etc
  14. walmartmartyr macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2012
  15. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    Wonder what a Smart Cover plus Incipio Smart Feather combo would weigh?
  16. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    At home I use a cheap TPU back cover only. When I go out, I switch to my Speck StyleFolio which can not be considered light but it offers great protection. I especially love the latch on it because it's easy to carry and I don't have to worry about the cover flopping around. I also purchased a cheap but light Poetic case that weighs in at 6 oz. from Amazon. As far as lightness and thinness goes it's fantastic too. I'll have to test outside the house to see how well it works for me.
  17. jjp007 macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2009
    I just got the Kavaj Berlin and I love it. For high quality leather it's very lightweight. Just what I was looking for a I was still using the very first iPad case on my iPad 3. This is as close as it gets.
  18. meistervu, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013

    meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    About the weight

    I have a SmartCase, and the 145g is so light that I bet most people would find it insignificant if they have a chance to test it in person.

    That argument about a case negating the light weight advantage of the Air doesn't make much sense to me. A case adds comfort and some level of protection to the Air, both of which out weight the additional insignificant weight it adds if you choose a light case like the SmartCase.

    I ride a really light road bike. At one point I was searching for the lightest inner tube. It turned out that the difference between a light tube and a heavy one is the weight of a small rubber band: 5 grams. It's ridiculous what one goes through to worry about things that is so insignificant.

    On the other hand, while trying to avoid 145g, a user has to put up with that cold aluminum with sharp edges that is the naked Air.

    So my advice is to do yourself a favor and don't worry to much about the weight of a case unless it is over 200g.
  19. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    I've tried several cases and the smart case is by far the lightest of the bunch.
    I tried going with the luvitt back skin on my ipad 3- it was great until I reached for the iPad one night- off the coffee table and onto the hard floor. Crushed a corner of the iPad.

    I hate that the cover on the smart case will not cling to the back flat when open.(It does lay flat on the front when closed).
    I wish it was a removable cover/ back case combo vs all in one.
  20. monoskier macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2011
    I picked this one up from Amazon. $9.95 weighs in at 4 oz. I'm using it with a Smart Cover and so far so good. There are a few exposed areas but nothing that I'm concerned about.
  21. susa macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2009
    Lol. Statistically near half of Americans are obese, and here are obsessing over carrying extra ounces and grams. I know, I know. I'm up much too late looking for some sort of cover I like too. It just isn't out there. A compromise will have to be made.
  22. macidiot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002
    I found a light case...

    The case is the Ozaki O!Coat slim. Not the Y, which is an origami style case.

    Apparently it is a folio style case that only weighs 150g.


    Its not a bad price, at ~$37 but they charge $20 shipping to the US.

    Anyway, I ended up going with the versacover from Moshi. Just got it. Seems nice so far, but a little heavier than I expected. But that just might be from getting used to using a naked iPad air while I was waiting for the case to arrive.

    Still, comparing it to my old iPad 2, it is still lighter overall. I am comparing the iPad Air with versacover to an iPad 2 with an STM Skinny case (which at the time was a very light case).

    Honestly I am not sure that there is a case that is much more minimal than the versacover that still offers some protection and a stand. The versacover seems to add minimal bulk.
  23. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    Thanks for the post. I found the Ozaki on Amazon for $29.99 + $4.99 shipping. I had used the STM Grip on my iPad 2 and 3 and loved it but the Grip 2 is heavier and doesn't fit as well. And I don't like the Apple-like folding covers. I just ordered the Ozaki and will get it next week. Hopefully it will be better.

    Again, thanks for the pointer.
  24. Calvinator666 macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2011

    Currently using the Ozaki O!coat-Slim-Y case. Very good quality product and extremely light as well. The origami folding stand is just stellar.

    Attached Files:

  25. itsjustmeee macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2008
    Looks like the clear isn't available anymore. I was just about to order this and it doesn't give me that option. Other colors yes, but no clear.

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