By Louis Senecal on Thu, 07/22/2010
Well, it’s been about a week or so since I received the Otterbox Defender Series case for iPad. What do I think about it? I love it. I have been using it non stop since.
First off, it comes packaged in a cardboard box, and is held in place inside via a cardboard tray. When you take it out, you will see a folder under the Box with the Otterbox colors and logo. Inside this you will find that they provide a screen shield, a cleaning cloth and a squeegee. The case instructions are also printed inside the folder.
The case consists of three layers of protection. This consists of the screen shield, the Hi-impact Polycarbonate shell, and the Silicone skin. If you have ever owned one of their device defender series cases before, you will find this very familiar.
You will need to move the rubber off the case, only at the top. Once that is peeled away a bit, the top half of the case slides off. This is where you slip in the iPad. There is a tight fit so take your time. Once you seat the iPad in place, slide the back top cover on and place and press the rubber back on the sides. Note that before you slide the iPad in, there is a little clear round sticker inside that keeps the charging/cradle sliding cover in place. Make sure you take that off before you put the iPad in. When you are placing the rubber sides back in place, go around the entire case and ensure it’s all pressed firmly where it’s supposed to go. I did not use the included screen shield as I already had one on my device. Please also note that I have seen reports in the various forums that if you have any type of clear guard on the back of your iPad, that it may be just big enough to prevent the iPad from sliding in without ruining that guard you have on it.
I am going to say it right now that the case does add more weight and bulk. It’s kind of obvious but an important fact especially if you like the thinness of the iPad. Chances are if you are using this, you are using this for the extra protection / peace of mind anyway. On the case itself, there are covers for the audio jack and screen lock that peel back for access. The power button and audio rockers are covered. There are holes for the speaker and you already know about the piece that slides off that covers the charging area. I like this piece because if you have an Apple Cradle, you will appreciate it. I also like it because you can also use any type of charging connector there is and not be limited by the amount of room. I own the Defender case for iPod Touch, and this was a criticism I had about the charging space. There were only certain size chargers that the case allowed to fit in. Lastly, there are four plastic squares with a dimple at each corner. This is where the cover clips in to place.
The back of the case provides a see though hole with clear plastic covering to protect the plastic apple logo / antennae area. The Otterbox logo is also in the top corner. I love the feel of the silicone that covers the case. It helps with gripping it.
Now for the cover. When the cover is snapped in place over the screen, it does add to the height a little bit. It’s also concealing a foldaway stand inside, so you can place the iPad on a viewing angle. The case also has rubber feet on top. It’s there because you can clip the case on the back of the iPad if you wanted to. You don’t need to, but you can if you want to keep it out of the way and free from loss. You may want to keep it there if you are out and about or maybe using the iPad in the field for something. It also adds the extra protection to the back of the case when you want to set it down. It could help from having something gouge or rip the silicone. As a stand, it holds the case/iPad well. I had no problems when I was using the iPad with the ABC app to watch some TV shows. A very nice design.
I have always liked hard cases that cover the back and leave the screen free like the Speck Candyshell for example. But what has always held me back from using something like that for long periods is the fact the screen is not protected when not being used. I have always gone back to the Apple case, as it has the screen protection. Well, if you have the same concern I have, the Otterbox Defender Case solves that because of the removable cover. When the iPad was not in use, the cover was always back on it.
Todd Bernhard was right when he said this would not be a case you would want to swap in and out of frequently. I think if you are using this case, you will be doing it for longer periods of time. As for the total looks, I like it. This is definitely a personal preference that each of you may differ in. I like the solid tough look and feel it has.
The case retails for $89.95. It’s definitely not a cheap case, but consider this when you are doing your homework. There is a lot of case protection here as well as a high build quality, more than you will find on other case (in my opionion). You get an included screen shield as well as a stand.
iPhone Life’s Todd Bernhard’s review
Otterbox product page: