Will Your iPad 2 Cases Fit the new iPad?

If you have an iPad 2 and are buying the  iPad 3, now just called iPad, you may want to save some money by reusing your old iPad 2 cases.

Will your iPad 2 case fit the new iPad?

(Read: Should I Upgrade to the new iPad?)

Because the new iPad measures slightly thicker than the iPad 2 and a little thinner than the original iPad, your old case might fit the new iPad if it fits loosely. Form fitting cases made of hard material almost certainly won’t work.

We’re learning from some manufacturers that a lot of softer cases, even tight fitting ones will work. If you have an old case, I recommend that you hold off buying a new one until you have your new iPad in hand. Test it out. If it doesn’t fit, then go looking for a new case.

Here are the major case styles and whether they will likely fit your new iPad. You may save $20-$150 or more by using your old iPad case.

Apple Smart Cover

The Apple iPad Smart Cover was first designed for the iPad 2. They clasp to the left side of the iPad with magnets that hold it into place. Magnets in the right side of the case interact with magnets in the iPad 2 that sense when the iPad Smart Cover covers the screen and the sensors turn off the display.

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The Apple Smart Cover will work with the new iPad. It has the same magnets that hold the smart cover in place and in the right spots on the new iPad. Your old iPad 2 Smart Cover should work just fine with the new iPad. The feature that wakes the device from sleep will also work fine with it.

Smart Cover Companions

These cases cover the back of the iPad and have cutouts along the left side so the magnets of the Smart Cover have room to clasp to the iPad 2.

Some of the cases made to go along with the iPad 2 Smart Cover will fit the new iPad because they two tablets are so close in size.Cases made of hard plastic or metal, designed to the exact dimensions of the iPad 2 may not fit, even though the difference is minimal.

Sleeve Cases

Sleeve cases are usually made of soft leather or cloth material and have an opening on either the short or long edge of the iPad so you can slide it into the case. It may have an opening or a flap the covers the opening entirely or in part.

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Sleeve Cases will almost certainly work fine with the new iPad. These cases usually  have a little leeway to fit a slightly thicker tablet because of the softer material used to make them.

You might have a problem if you use a case made for the original iPad,because it’s thicker than both the iPad 2 and new iPad. The new iPad will slip out easily if it was already a loose fit for either the original iPad or iPad 2. If your sleeve case has a flap to cover the opening or if you’re careful, it will work safely until you replace the sleeve with a case designed for the iPad 3rd generation.

Folio Case

scosche folio p2

I prefer folio cases because they protect the front and back of your iPad without requiring the user to remove the tablet from the case like you do with the sleeve case. Unfortunately, folio cases usually fit the iPad snuggly. I couldn’t use my favorite original iPad folio case with the iPad 2.

Because the new iPad measures only .9mm thicker than the iPad 2, its worth waiting to test it on your new iPad if the case has some life left in it.

Back Cover iPad Cases

A few iPad 2 cases only cover the back of your iPad but don’t work with the Smart Cover because they don’t have the cutouts along the left side for the magnetic clasps that hold the Smart Cover in place. Back covers made of softer material will likely fit the new iPad, but some of these cases fit perfectly on the original or second gen iPads so they won’t work on the new one. If you have one like this, I think you’ll be out of luck.

Rest assured the case makers will be doing as they did when iPad 2 launched, marketing brand new cases ready by the time you get your new iPad March 16. Some already surfaced this week ahead of the announcement and our favorite case makers will be redesigning them for your new iPad. Hold off until you can test your favorite case because they’ll be everywhere.

If you decide you just want a new case, look for one that fits well and if it covers the front, find one that has the magnets to wake/sleep the iPad.