The iPad Air just got a reboot, now with added Apple Pencil (£89/$99) support – we expected Apple would call the third-generation iPad Air the Air 3, but it's just called the iPad Air, with prices starting at £479/US$499.
You can't garb it with a case for the now discontinued Air 2 however, since the measurements for the new iPad Air are slightly different. The new 10.5in iPad Air (2019) has a width of 174.1mm, height of 250.6mm and a thickness of 6.1mm, making it taller, wider and thinner than its 2nd-gen predecessor.
Instead, cases that would be compatible are ones for the 10.5in iPad Pro, which the new iPad Air 3 has replaced. While the 10.5in Pro and the new 10.5in Air (3) are fairly identical, the latter offers stereo speakers instead of the Pro's quad speakers. This means recycling a case for the iPad Pro 10.5 will only provide additional cutouts for speakers, which shouldn't be an issue. See our separate round up of the best iPad Pro 10.5in cases.
That said, here are some of the cases we've found made specifically for the new iPad Air 10.5 or Air 3 (if you prefer calling it what it should be called) from brands we trust. We've included sleeves, hard cases, rugged and keyboard options.
See our full review of the iPad Air.
1. Apple Smart Cover for iPad Air 10.5in (2019)
Apple is perhaps the best place to start if you want a case that's guaranteed to fit. The Smart Cover case is deemed 'smart' because it can wake up your iPad Air (2019) and put it to sleep upon closing. The cover also folds into a stand for hands-free viewing.
Keep in mind, as a cover, it literally only covers the front of the iPad Air and not the back.
Of course, now there are loads of competing products that offer the same auto-sleep/wake functions at a cheaper price, so we'd recommend checking out some alternatives below. If you're an Apple purist though, you can pick up the Smart Cover for £55/$49 directly from Apple or from Amazon.
2. OtterBox Symmetry 360 Case
Otterbox's Symmetry (£59.95/US$69.95) case is an Apple exclusive, so it can't be found even on its own website.
It's clear why Apple wanted to keep this one all to themselves, with a sleek design both protecting and showing off the iPad Pro in equal measure.
The case acts as a stand like many folio cases, and features a strong and satisfiying magnet which secures it in place.
The Otterbox Symmetry remains lightweight and adds little bulk, yet now you'd have no concerns throwing it in a bag or using it out and about.
3. ESR Urban Premium Folio Case
This premium case from ESR is reminiscient of a book cover, with a lightweight fabric design and Apple Pencil holder.
The indents on the case allow for the iPad to stand at two different angles, while an opening at the back alllows for more effective temperature control.
ESR have chosen to include their own material over the capacitive power and volume buttons, which lack the tactility and responsiveness of the one's directly on the device. However, the trade-off for extra protection is one we're willing to make.
4. Ztotop Case for iPad Air 10.5in (2019)
Here's a case we've seen for other iPad models. The Ztotop folio case uses synthetic leather on the outside and a soft microfibre lining on the inside to keep the 10.5in iPad Air's screen safe.
What's especially useful about its design is the leather hand strap that offers additional grip and the built-in stylus loop for the Apple Pencil (see our round up of the best styli for iPad). There's a nifty pocket too, so you can stow away notes and papers.
5. Torro Premium Leather Smart Case for iPad Air 10.5in (2019)
Another leather case option that we like is from Torro, a UK-based brand that crafts its cases with premium US leather. It's on the pricier side, but you get a truly sophisticated look with protection for your case.
Torro's case offers a clip at the back too so you can easily lock the front cover into place when using it as a stand. The Torro Leather Smart Case offers sleep and wake functionality and is available in four shades: Black, All Black, Dark Brown, and Tan.
You can also buy a separate sleeve (£11.99/$19) for the Apple Pencil which attaches magnetically to the back of the case.
6. ESR Trifold Smart Case for iPad Air 10.5in (2019)
ESR's trifold smart case is another good alternative to Apple's Smart Cover, as it protects both the front and back of the iPad Air while offering the auto-sleep and wake function.
7. ProCase Felt Sleeve Case for iPad Air 10.5 (2019)
ProCase's felt sleeve is a classy looking solution to keeping your 10.5in iPad Air protected when it's not in use. While it doesn't promise rugged proection, the felt interior should provide sufficient safe-guarding from scratches, scrapes and bumps.
It has additional pockets on the back so you can carry other accessories such as AirPods or your iPhone even. Plus, there's an elastic pen holder for the Apple Pencil or your stylus of choice.
Available on Amazon for £9.99/$10.99.
8. ProCase Smart Case Cover for iPad Air 10.5in (2019)
ProCase also offers the smart cover style for the iPad Air 10.5in 3 in a wide assortment of colours (no, really, you can choose from fourteen options!).
The cases offer smudge-resistant, hard-case protection on the back, along with all the features you'd expect from a smart case: auto-sleep and wake, a magnetic closing clasp and a cover that folds into a stand.
Pick it up for £12.99/US$12.99 on Amazon.
9. Tomtoc Shoulder Bag for iPad Air (2019)
Tomtoc's iPad bag fits any 10.5in to 11in tablet. The exterior is spill-resistant while the interior features rubber-insulated corners to keep your iPad Air 3 safe from bumps and drops. The Tomtoc bag has a pocket at the front too so you can stow away your charger and other essentials, including your Apple Pencil, which gets a designated slot.
10. Arteck iPad Air (2019) Keyboard Case
A keyboard case combines the best of all worlds: style, functionality, and protection. Arteck makes wireless keyboard cases for a number of other tablets, so we're glad to see an option of the 10.5in iPad Air (2019).
It promises a 100 hour battery life on a two-hour charge. You also get a two-year warranty, should you run into any issues.
Available for £26.99/$31.99 on Amazon.