Otterbox iPad Defender Series Case Review
Here at ActiveGearReview.com, we love to be in the outdoors and as a result love to take some of our indoor toys into the great outdoors for further enjoyment. The Otterbox iPad Defender Series is a perfect match for outdoor minded people seeking protection and continued portability of their iPad. We tested out the fist Otterbox Defender case designed for the iPad and have had the chance to put the “new” model to the test over the last few months.
Fortunately, Otterbox made some key changes to their design which offers more protection without sacrificing key features that are important to your iPads’ usability. For starters, the Otterbox Defender series case now features a built in screen protector which not only keeps your screen from getting scratched or dusty, but is also easy to care for and wipes clean with a soft cloth. The screen protector does NOT interfere with any of the touch screen features that are essential to the use of any iPad. I was incredibly pleased with this feature because on the previous model I installed my own screen protector and noted some delays with the touch screen and had some issues with bubbling of the screen and dirt getting in between the screen protector and the remainder of the case.
Another great upgrade I noted was the change in the rugged outer silicone layer; the silicone remains incredibly durable, yet no longer attracts dust and debris like its predecessor. The “older” model would attract anything and everything from the bottom of my bag or any surface it was placed on. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. The silicone covers the inner shell of high impact polycarbonate, which also includes a foam interior to provide shock absorption if dropped from any angle. I have yet to intentionally drop my iPad from a height larger than a kitchen counter, but the iPad has remained no worse for wear after being jostled around in my pack for the past 3 months thanks to total coverage with the Defender Series layering system. The silicone outer also has separate movable flaps to keep the headphone jack, charge port, and on/off screen lock buttons protected when not in use. The volume controls feature a separate cut out for easy up and down use. The home button is also covered in the silicone and is the focus of my only complaint with this case; the home button is harder to push and activate on this newer model. I think this is a combination of Apples’ design for a slightly inverted home button and the difficulty of matching the dimple despite additional layers of the case. Overall, not a big deal.
The silicone protects that back, corners, sides, but what about the front? In addition to the screen protector, the Otterbox Defender Series Case features a heavy duty plastic front cover that snaps in and out of place. The front cover is now equipped with the same magnetic technology as Apples’ own Smart Cover, which allows you to put the iPad to sleep and wake it up upon opening or removing the hard plastic front. As for staying in place, the front cover snaps at the front corners and is pretty simple to get on and off. The first model we tested, we had some issues with a corner piece of plastic failing after about 3 months of use. This has not been the case with the updated model.
The outer case also converts into a stand for your iPad as well. This feature is grossly unchanged from the previous model, however the angles available are slightly different. The more upright angle is perfect when using the iPad for sending emails or word processing with Apples’ wireless keyboard. While the more flat stand position is good for watching movies or using your iPad on your lap. The stand seems quite durable and I have yet to encounter any issues. The stand is best used in the landscape mode, but also be placed upright if you are on a flat surface.
After reviewing the updated Otterbox iPad Defender Series Case for our iPad, I am excited to see what Otterbox has lined up for the new iPhone 5 case. The technology keeps getting better and thankfully the cases, meant to protect them, are also improving. Of note, the new Defender Series for the iPhone 5 are available now.
The Otterbox iPad Defender Case series is available in 6 color combos and retails for $89.95. To some this may seem steep, but honestly with this case you are really protecting your investment without sacrificing usability. So far I have loved my Defender Case and am looking forward to the same piece of mind with the iPhone 5 case!