PDair Aluminum Metal Case for Apple iPad Review


Dan: iPad cases come in all types of materials. Ya got yer leather cases, ya got yer plastic cases, ya got yer cases made from cloth, and ya’ve got yer cases made from leatherette (aka plastic that kinda sorta looks like leather). But this is the first case we have checked out that’s made from… metal. Yup, this PDair case is made from shiny aluminum so you know it going to offer some serious protection.

Judie: I’ve been a fan of metal cases all the way back to my first Rhinoskin Ti Slider when I was rocking a Palm III series; I even had a story I liked to tell about how a Rhinoskin case had saved my Palm III when we were working cattle. Well, I haven’t owned a Rhinoskin in ages, but I have used various other aluminum shells on different PDAs and phones, and I have found that they are excellent for protecting the entire device from shocks and dings. The PDair Metal Case for iPad seems like an appropriate product for someone who wants a bit of extra protection, more than mere leather or plastic could provide.

Dan: We’ve been checking them out for the last few weeks. Read on for our impressions… and for a chance to win them both!


From PDair:

Thin, Lightweight and strong.

Anodized aircraft-grade aluminum prevents from scratches.

Neoprene inner lining for extra protection and shock absorber.

Easy access to all buttons and features.

High tensile strength aluminum.

Cutouts give easy access to all handheld features.

Easy to install

Our Thoughts:

Judie: The PDair shell is available in either silver or black aluminum. It is shaped to fit the iPad perfectly without adding much bulk or weight. The interior is lined in shock-absorbing black neoprene.
Dan: There’s no need to worry about the metal scratching your iPad since the entire inside is lined so nicely.


Dan: The silver case… is… shiny! Seriously, the first impression you have when you pull it out of the box is something like “Now that’s the shiniest iPad case I’ve ever seen.” And then you realize that this case is going to be like putting armor on your iPad.

Judie: Thankfully the black version is a bit less blingy and much more stealthy!

Dan: This is a folio style case, so the cover is permanently attached. Fortunately it is double-hinged so the cover folds back and is almost flat on the back.

Judie: The hinge allows the case to fold back perfectly, but when open the tension clasp which would ordinarily keep the lid shut tight sticks out a bit .

Actually it’s just enough to lay the iPad down for keying from a landscape orientation with a slight incline. So … bonus!

Dan: The case also has a cutout for the Apple logo on the back. Personally I don’t quite get this. If I want to protect my iPad with a tank, then it doesn’t really make sense to leave a section of the iPad unprotected but… so be it.

Judie: I have to agree; the cutout doesn’t really make any sense, and the case would have offered more complete protection without it.

Dan: The iPad is held inside by friction and pressure. When you place the iPad inside you have to compress the neoprene a bit. This creates a tight enough seal that the iPad won’t be coming out until you want it to. Unfortunately it also means you are pretty much out of luck if you have a Clear-Coat or similar of permanent skin on it.


Dan: The case has cutouts in all the right places. The result is that all the posts and button are accessible and fully functional while inside.


Judie: The case opens the opposite way of how the typical book in the US would, in other words the heavy portion of the book is on the left, and the lighter cover is on the right. If you are used to reading your books from left to right (or coming from the typical US book-style case), this will seem awkward at first. If you are used to reading Chinese (or any other language where reading is done from right to left), then the case’s right to left orientation will likely seem natural.

Dan: The case has a vent across the upper back portion of the case, presumably to help keep the iPad nice and cool when in use.

Judie:I don’t know if the vents are really necessary or not, but perhaps they will help those who like to use their encased iPads outside in the 100º+ summer heat we’ve been “enjoying” lately.

Dan: One question that might be on your minds is whether or not the metal reduces the signal strength that the iPad gets while in the case. I didn’t notice any issues on my 3G model, but your mileage may vary.


Dan: In all, the PDair Aluminum Metal Case for Apple iPad is an interesting case. It looks and feels different from any other we’ve checked out. It you need super serious protection for your iPad’s screen, then this might be a great choice for you.

Judie: I think that the screen protection from this case is definitely going to some of the best that we’ve seen. And while the iPad’s own metal back should provide sufficient ding protection, I think that the Apple logo showcasing cutout should have been skipped, and the case’s metal back left intact. Ah well, it’s a minor quibble for an otherwise seriously protective case. If you work outside, in dusty areas, or even if you’re prone to dropping your handheld electronics, the PDair Aluminum Metal Case might be perfect for you.

PDair’s Aluminum Metal Case for Apple iPad can be ordered directly from the PDair website.

We have two PDair Aluminum Metal Cases for iPad’s to give away — one is black and one is silver. These cases are open box review units in pristine condition. To enter to win one simply retweet your favorite post from last week and let us know which one (with a link to that post) you retweeted in the comments below. Be sure to read the fine print at the end of this post.

MSRP: $79.00

What We Like: Good screen protection; double hinge lets the cover go all the way back; all ports and buttons still full accessible when iPad is in case

What Needs Improvement: The cutout on the iPad’s back is unnecessary; too tight a fit for iPads that have a permanent skin

The Giveaway FINE PRINT:

This contest will be open until Friday, August 6th at midnight CT; the winner will be announced shortly after.

Shipping address must be in the USA

If you’re entering this giveaway using Facebook connect, you MUST have your Facebook page set to accept messages from non-friends so we can contact you through your page if you are the winner. If you are unsure how to set your privacy settings to allow this, feel free to contact us for assistance or read facebook’s instructions.

Categories: Reviews


19 replies

  1. I think the “vents” and logo cutout are more so that wireless could still work while the iPad is in the case. The wifi antenna is behind the Apple logo. The 3G antenna is on the back, opposite of where the home button is.

    • Ah… That makes that makes total sense thanks… But I still don’t like it being left exposed like that… Maybe a clear insert in the future?

  2. I retweeted the “Cisco’s Valet Makes Wireless Network Setup Easy, New Survey Shows Just How Important That Is” post from last thursday.

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  7. I got one too! Very nice, but agree that perhaps the hinge is on the ‘wrong’ side and should maybe be changeable somehow?

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  11. Beautiful cases. Would love to have one! http://twitter.com/LisaSVance/status/20398168780

  12. My fave post was about the StarCraaft Phishing scam http://www.geardiary.com/2010/08/03/beware-of-this-starcraft-ii-phishing-scam/
    I’ve gotten some similar emails from Blizzard World of Warcraft.
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  13. My new iPad is on it’s way and I would love to have one of these to go with it!
    Posted to Twitter, http://twitter.com/QueenReginaZ/status/20480692871

  14. What a beautiful case. Love to win it.
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