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I'm upgrading from the original iPad (2010) to the new iPad (2012). I skipped the iPad 2 and the Smart Cover, so I don't have any compatible cover accessory for the new iPad.

I did try someone else's iPad 2 and Smart Cover before, and while I think the Smart Cover design is clever, it does little to protect the iPad from a fall, or the back from scratches. And, while the magnets are strong, the Smart Cover can still separate; i.e. don't have a 4-year-old yank an iPad 2 by the Smart Cover and expect it to stay stuck!

What I would really like to shield my new iPad is something almost (but not quite) exactly like the cover I had for my original. Of course I'm referring to this:

       Original Apple iPad black cover

What I liked about the original black iPad case/cover is:

  • it protected both front and back from scratches,
  • it could be folded to stand in two orientations,
  • the rubber-like material sticking out a bit at the edges made the case absorb some of the shock of a side-impact drop (helpful if you have a four-year-old .. though she's five now and is more careful!),
  • it is tight fitting, and
  • it could be cleaned easily.

I already tried putting my new iPad into the old iPad case/cover, and some things don't line up (power button, notably), and it's lacking the camera hole at the back, and it's no longer a tight fit since the new iPad is slimmer.

Is there a third-party / aftermarket case almost exactly like the Apple one pictured above, but designed for the new iPad (2012)? I'm hoping some company might have closely matched Apple's original design.

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Targus is advertising iPad 3 cases and one of their portfolio style cases may suit you.

Many iPad 2 cases will work with the new model. Although I haven't tested any of these on a new model iPad, you might consider:

iLuv Portfolio Case with Stand

Filemate Imagine series smart cover

Beyond that, a search for iPad portfolio will produce a multitude of choices.

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There are many iPad cases up on Amazon, some with the necessary cutouts for the cameras and controls of the iPad 2/3 and some without so be aware.

I have this one for my iPad2 and it's worked quite well. It's slim, has enough padding, has magnets that turn the screen on and off and allows all functionality.

http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Leather-Case-latest-generation/dp/B004TPG3ZS/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1331934880&sr=1-3

The Case Crown cases are also nice but they're a bit thicker, mine's closer to the slim original Apple iPad case which my wife has on her iPad 1.

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(Thought I should add this answer in case anybody comes across this page.)

Since I asked my question originally, of course Apple introduced the iPad Smart Case, which combines features from the original iPad case and the Smart Cover. The Smart Case has a front much like the Smart Cover, but includes a backing part that better protects the iPad. Reviews here and here. Here's what it looks like:

Apple iPad Smart Case

See it in the Apple Store online here.

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