Will an iPad Air 2 case fit on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro?

Will your old case work, or will you have to buy a new one? Like so much in life, it depends.

9 ipad pro smart cover stock
Credit: Apple

So you own an iPad Air or iPad Air 2 with a case and you’re thinking about upgrading to the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Do you need to shell out money for a new case? As usual, it depends.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the iPad Air 2 have the same dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 inches. So iPad Air 2 cases should fit on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

9 ipad pro dimensions Apple

9.7-inch iPad Pro dimensions

ipad air 2 dimensions Apple

iPad Air 2 dimensions

How functional the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is in the case, however, is another issue. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has four speakers while the iPad Air 2 has two. An iPad Air 2 case could block the speakers at the top (vertically) of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Also, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has something the iPad Air 2 doesn't: a True Tone Flash underneath the iSight camera. An iPad Air 2 case could block this flash (thanks to reader @nchia for pointing this out).

Another thing that’s probably less of a concern is the Smart Connector; a case could block it, preventing you from using an encased iPad Pro with a keyboard. Most keyboards that use the Smart Connector also serve as a case, so this probably isn’t a big issue.

With the Apple Smart Cover, Apple confirmed that the magnet alignment is different with the Smart Connector on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, so using the iPad Air Smart Cover on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro is not recommended. With this in mind, it’s not much of a stretch to conclude that any magnetic cover that was designed for the iPad Air should not be used with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro Smart Cover is $49.

Apple's iPad Air 2 Smart Case fits with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but the case isn't designed for the iPad's camera and flash, Smart Connector, and speakers.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.