When you think of maximum protection for your “i” device (iPhone, iPod etc.) generally one case comes to mind. TheDefender. I’ve used the Defender for both my iPhone 3G/3Gs and my iPod Touch. You don’t have to be a firefighter like me to need the type of protection the Defender offers. If you’re always dropping your device, have small children or pets that like to chew things around, well the Defender is probably right for you.
It was with great anticipation that I waited for the release of the Defender for the iPad. It recently arrived and I’ve had a chance to use it for several days. I’m now ready to offer my thoughts on this perennial favorite amongst those of us who are just a little tougher on our devices than most.
Each Defender comes with a little OtterBox goodie bag which contains one crystal clear scree shield, a generous cleaning cloth and an install tool to help get the screen shield properly installed. The case itself isn’t light weighing in at 12.0 ounces and measuring 9.99 x 7.89 x .094 inches.
Installing a screen shield onto the iPad is no easy task – well that is if you want to get it on perfectly. OtterBox includes a properly sized install card which greatly helps with the process and if you take your time and make sure to keep dust out from underneath the shield you end up with a screen that looks as good as the moment you pulled it from the box.
The Defender features three layers of protection for your iPad, the aforementioned screen shield, a thick silicone membrane and a hard plastic shell. The case also includes a handy cover that doubles as a stand.
To get your iPad into the Defender is a multistep process. You first start with the plastic inner shell. Your iPad slides into the bottom two-thirds of the shell.
And then you encapsulate it by popping on the top portion.
At this point the iPad is locked into the plastic portion of the case.
Once your iPad is locked into the shell you then are ready to wrap the heavy duty silicone skin around it. The inside of the shell is lined with felt so rest assured, the back of your iPad is safe.
The plastic shell has notches carved into it which match up to corresponding peg like ruts on the silicone piece. The two fit together locking the silicone to the shell.
Once both pieces are married together you’re left with a case that resembles a suit of armor and one that’s ready to take on all comers.
The bottom of the case features a removable cover. This allows your iPad to be charged and or synced via the Apple Dock or Apple Keyboard Dock. When it’s on the cover has matched cutouts that account for the speakers so that no sounds get muffled.
The volume rocker is fully protected by the silicone layer but offers good feedback when pressed. There’s a small tab that also covers the orientation switch. It can be easily moved to the side when you need to access the switch.
The headset jack and sleep/awake button are also covered by the silicone layer. Once again you get good feedback when you press the sleep/awake button and when you need to access the headset jack simply slide the port cover out of the way.
On the back there’s a cutout for the Apple logo but it’s protected by a clear membrane. This allows the logo to shine through but helps keep it looking minty fresh.
When it comes time to dock and or sync simply pop off the removable back cover.
This allows for complete access to the iPad’s 30-pin dock connector.
When you’re not using your iPad the Defender has a front cover that clips to the case via the four corners.
The inside of the cover houses a stand.
The stand allows for the iPad to be placed upright in landscape mode only.
But it does so at an angle that’s nice for typing.
Honestly the OtterBox Defender offers unparalleled protection. There really isn’t anything else like. If you’re someone who’s tough on your gadgets or someone who works in an environment that’s tough on them I strongly suggest you check out the Defender. Once you’ve got your iPad tucked inside the Defender’s three layers of protection you’ll rest easy knowing that when it comes time to remove it the iPad will look as good as it did the first time you peeled the plastic cover off.
You can learn more about the OtterBox Defender and even order yourself up one by visiting the Defender page of the OtterBox web site located.
M.S.R.P. - $89.95
What I like – The best protection available for the iPad.
What I don’t like - Bulky.