Going case-less with iPad

Hey guys.
I have always been on the extra cautious side when it comes to device protection. I use my iPad in a cockpit and ‘on the field’ a lot, and so from day one I’ve had it in a rugged case with built in screen protector. My reasoning was that I could worry less and be ok with it being knocked around a bit.
Last week I took it out, as i planned a few days away from field work. It felt amazing. I felt like i had a new device. It was light, the screen was clearer and brighter, and the pencil felt much more responsive on the glass. I loved it so much that i have decided to use my iPad (6th gen basic iPad) with no case and no screen protector.
I have an old Gen 2 ipad at home that for years has been roughly handled, and has NO scratches. So my hope is that this 6th gen one will be as durable.
I have a similar story with my watch: Used to be so careful and have it in a Supcase. But when I took it out I loved it way better.
I think there is something to be said for enjoying a device and stressing less about damaging it. Yes, a big fat rugged case may serve a purpose, but having a naked device feel so great.
Im wondering if i am being unwise about this? Like i say, i use my iPad in a rugged environment, but so far, with a little extra care for where i put it down when not in use, it feels worth it to me to use it naked.
So, should i do this with my iPhone too?


Last time I’ve used a screen protector was on my iPhone 3GS and a case on my iPhone 4. The iPad I only used a sleeve and never used a screen protector. So far, I’ve only got a few bumps and dents but nothing beyond that bothers me at all. With the iPad Pro, I have the Apple keyboard but when I don’t need to keyboard (especially when drawing) I don’t use it. It’s up to you to accept the fact that it will get scratches and dents from not using a case.


I have Apple Care+ on my iPad, so I am not afraid using it without case. But on the road I use a Moshi cover since it protects from scratches in the bag and it is useful for having 3 viewing angles. I also ordered Paperlike 2 since I like the writing feel and I hate wiping the screen all the time.

My iPhone is always in a Nomad case since I have a better grip on the phone and I love the feel and smell of the leather. So protection is not the only purpose.

As a side note, I also have a screen protector on my phone since I plan to sell it as soon as Apple finally introduces new phones with a proper display (OLED and no notch) so I like to keep the phone safe.

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I only use a case to stand it up. I throw it in the car door and backpacks all the time too so it stops scratching. Started using my iPhone XR lately without a case. Not sure I’ll buy one for it as planned, it’s so much nicer yes. I’ve never really wrote off any devices this way, but it’s always ‘incase’ right?!

I understand. I would rather use a less expensive Android phone than a top of the line iPhone in a large Otterbox type case. I carried my 1st gen iPhone without a case, but I don’t think that is practical with the much more fragile all glass phones I’ve owned since.

I use a thin case that gives the phone a better grip and prevents the screen and camera lens from touching when I lay it down. My habit of always keeping that first iPhone in my right front pocket and my keys and coins in my left is still the “screen protector” I prefer.

I prefer to not spend any more on my devices than needed and take reasonable care of them. Then enjoy them and upgrade/replace as needed.

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I don’t use a case with my 11" iPad Pro. I have a Waterfield sleeve for transporting it, but most of the day the iPad is sleeveless/caseless. The device is well-built and I have no scratches / dings in over a year of pretty constant use.


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I rarely use either an iPhone or an iPad case. I’m not a pilot so maybe I’m using my devices in less rugged conditions than you – but I’m a klutz so I’m frequently dropping my devices on the ground and hard tile floors and such.

And I’ve never had a problem – not since I dropped my Palm Treo 650 on the beautiful Spanish tile floor of a public building of San Diego University. Those were some really hard tiles and they cracked the screen. But I was able to use the Palm for months anyway until I replaced it with my first iPhone.

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I’ve just finally paid off my iPhone X and plan on keeping that another year or probably two. I’ve always kept my iPhones in cases because I use them on walks for podcasts/music. But beyond that it sits on a desk unused. Phones are my least used devices though and I don’t want to have to replace it so it’s in a case.

I use the iPad Air 2 case-less when I’m inside. It’s mostly a reading/consuming device and I like how it feels without a case and being hand-held. On the rare occasion that I take it out I put a Smart Cover on it.

My iPad Pro is my work iPad and I’m actually trying something new. For the past couple months I’ve using it with no case and sitting in a stand or hand held. When working with an external keyboard it would go in the stand. Easy to just lift it for hand-held browsing and so nice without the case. If I have need to go mobile I’d put it into the Smart Keyboard Portfolio and then also a minimal, cushioned sleeve.

Before that I was mostly using it full-time in the Smart Keyboard Portfolio but had to get that replaced under warranty because it was wrinkling and the hinge was coming apart (the wrinkling on the hinge was turning into bubbles and they were flaking apart. Kinda weird and I think a reaction to my skin?) Anyway, I’m reserving the new case for going mobile/leaving home. I don’t think they last as long as they should when they get daily heavy use as mine did.

So, my new experiment as of just yesterday is to keep it in a Zugu case. http://zugucase.com

These are fairly thin cases and weigh about the same as the Smart Keyboard Portfolio. The Zugu has a sturdy 8 slot positioning system for more viewing angles. I’m not using the case for protection but rather for ease of use when typing/working. I can have it in my lap, on a desk, on the futon next to me or any number of other options which allow for easy use with external keyboard. If I’m not using the keyboard it is set aside and out of the way. It’s like having the convenience of a laptop (no need to hand-hold, stable, easy to angle) but not have the keyboard in the way when I’m not using it.

Sorry, probably waaaayyyyyy too much information.


Actually, I thought it very informative
and just bought the Zugu (thanks!)


My iPad is used with a minimal case, just a flip over the front glass. That works for my use case. But my phone gets used everywhere. For me, the phone is a critical item. I need to protect it to the best of my ability and so I’ll put up with a lot to keep it in a rugged case. I love Otterbox cases for phones. To me they look great and are utilitarian, just the image I Want and the protection I require.

My LambTracker tablets likewise need to have handles and be in rugged cases. They get used outdoors and sometimes I cannot take the time to set them down carefully nor can I prevent sheep noses or hooves from coming into contact with them not to mention lamb slime and worse. For devices that must work outside no matter what, I depend on cases as a layer of protection.

My iPad is used primarily inside and in relatively controlled environments so I can afford to let it go naked. I would be paranoid if I tried that with my phone or with the LambTracker tablets.

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I have always done cases, and had never had a scare with the iPad until #3 did a nose dive out of my hands while getting out of my truck. A minor crack in the bottom left corner - unfortunately that is near my default hold point and the second day past the drop, I pick up the iPad as normal and the crack extends across the screen. AppleCare had expired and the replacement screen retails for about $600. Ouch - just was starting my consulting practice when this happened.

#4 has at least the folio cover on at all times.

I bought myself aWifi only, 32 GB iPad thinking that at it’s wonderful price point I’d be less precious with it, and it worked. I love the convenience of it being open all the time and so far it’s showing no wear and tear. I do have a backing’ case’, but that’s purely for ergonomics (I do the same with my phone).
I stopped using screen protectors a couple of years ago.

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Nothing in the iPad but a smart cover. My new 11 pro max has whatever screen protector they sell in the Apple Store. With a big crack on the corner already so I consider it worth it.

I buy AppleCare instead of cases.

Well, that’s not entirely true. For my iPhones before the 11, I’ve usually had a battery case. Now I do have Apple’s leather case, but that’s more for look/feel/“grippiness” than protection.

For my iPad, I have the Smart Keyboard Folio (and I generally transport it in a backpack).

OTOH, my wife won’t use an iPad or iPhone with an Otterbox or similar. She broke the screen on her 3GS about three times by dropping it face down. Even though it was relatively cheap and easy to get it fixed (those were the days!), the inconvenience and the frustration led her to say “Never again” so ever since she won’t even take it out of the box or pick it up until I have the case on it.


I use a case with my iPad Pro 1st Gen 100% of the time. And the reason is simple:

I would lose my pencil if it were not attached to the case :upside_down_face:

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I’m a “no-caser” since the original iPhone, but I’ve been using an iPad holder since last Christmas and have found it helps secure my iPad and also serves to make it easier to hold while reading/drawing. I use this one from Pack & Smooch.


I have an otterbox case (with no front screen protection) on my iPhone X. I used to buy a more secure otterbox (I believe they were water proof is sealed correctly at all the ports). However, I prefer the touch of the glass on the phone as opposed to having a protective surface in between.

For my iPhone Pro, I have this (link). Mostly because I wanted a way to keep the Apple Pencil in the same case.

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I have an iPad Air Pro, with the cover that just flips over the screen. I frequently use it without the cover. I guess I must be pretty careful, because I never have had any scratches at all. I wish a cover similar to this was available on the newer models.

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