Get 10% off your entire order and free shipping at Otterbox using this discount code: amipic1010p Hurry because this offer expires very soon!! If you’re in need of a rugged case that puts all the other puny iPad cases to shame then OtterBox has you “covered.” OtterBox takes iPad protection seriously and nothing is more evident than that in their OtterBox Defender series for the Apple iPad. OtterBox sent us a review unit to play with and we certainly put it through its paces. Read on to see if this case manages to make your hard-bodied and soft-touch iPad fantasies come true…
OtterBox was formed in 1998 by Curt Richardson and their first product offering was designed to be waterproof. Curt and his wife later used this fact and named their brand new company after the fun and waterproof mammal, the Otter. Later, OtterBox expanded their product line into 4 distinct offerings: the Impact series, the Commuter series, the Defender series, and their classic Waterproof series. That brings us to today’s product review, which is the Defender series for the iPad. (We’ve also done a review on the smaller, lighter, and less intense OtterBox Commuter iPad Case).
It’s apparent from the moment the bright yellow box is opened that this case isn’t messin’ around. Included in the package is the 3-layer polycarbonate and silicone case, a hard polycarbonate cover, a cleaning cloth, a clear adhesive screen protector, a cardboard squeegee, and instructions in pictorial form all packaged in a black paper pulp tray. The actual case is make up of 4 pieces: a soft silicone outer layer, a two piece hard plastic inner shell, and a hard polycarbonate cover with a trick up its sleeve. The whole case weighs in at 12 ounces of hardcore iPad protection (340 grams for our metric friends).
Installation is straight forward enough with the included picture instructions. First, the clear screen protector is installed with the aid of the cardboard squeegee and (thoughtfully included) cleaning cloth. Then the two piece hard carbonate case is snapped together. There is a felt type coating inside the two pieces to protect the iPad from damage from the case while inside. After the case is assembled, the silicone skin is wrapped around the whole assembly and wiggled into position. The fit is very (very) tight so the iPad isn’t prone to rattle around in the case or get scratched up from the case itself. The whole iPad plus case weighs in at over 2 pounds and feels built like a tank!
The outer polycarbonate hard cover is secured in place with an innovative bump-and-indent system. There are 4 hard nodules poking out from the silicone skin with small indents. There are 4 matching wings on the outer shell with small bumps that lock into the indents quite securely. The cover can be snapped on the back for normal use and snapped onto the front over the screen for impervious protection during transit. Finally, 4 silicone pads on the surface of the hard cover secures your iPad in place on flat surfaces. No more knocking the iPad off the table!
The whole package is extremely well made, well designed, and complements the iPad’s style very well. The soft silicone skin gives a really nice feel to the iPad and provides a solid grip during use. One nice touch is that the Apple logo on the back of the iPad peeks out from a clear membrane. While OtterBox designed the Defender series for maximum protection, they also designed it for maximum use. You see, each port and button is accessible through the silicone skin which helps keep dust and dirt from getting inside the iPad. Even the home button is completely protected by a nice and responsive silicone plug. OtterBox’s genius engineers even designed the hard case to be used with Apple’s official dock. On the back is a removable hatch that is large enough to accommodate Apple’s dock. This hatch lets the iPad charge up and sync while still encased in the case.
If all this functionality wasn’t enough, OtterBox included one additional feature that really took it from ultimate protection to ultimate case. On the hard cover’s inside is a built in scissor stand. By utilizing two of the hard cover’s wings the iPad can be propped up in landscape orientation for serious work or serious play. This attention to design is carried throughout the whole case and really makes the OtterBox worth the price tag.
So how well does the Defender defend the iPad? Well, the included screen protector saves the iPad’s big and beautiful screen from scratches, the hard polycarbonate skeleton and cover protects it from impacts, and the soft outer silicone skin cushions it from occasional drops and falls. This case is like three cases in one!
The biggest negative that this case has going for it is also its biggest strength; the fact that it’s so tough and intense. If the iPad was general issue for the military there is no doubt that the OtterBox Defender would be the case that it came in. No other case on the market even comes close (well, Otterbox’s Commuter series) to the level of protection, durability, and functionality that the Defender series provides. If you demand ultimate protection for your iPad, then the OtterBox Defender is the case you simply have to buy. Act now and get free shipping!