Griffin Survivor for iPad 2 and iPad 3 Extreme-Duty Case Review

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I don’t take my iPad into harsh conditions. I mean, the most volatile situation my tablet finds itself in is my monthly board meeting. (I kid… I kid…) In all seriousness though, while I do keep my iPad protected in a case it is rare for it to be in any situation where it might encounter serious damage. For some, however, having the very best protection possible is important. For them there is the Griffin Survivor.

The Griffin Survivor is one tough case. It weighs a bit but for the weight you get serious protection from dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration and more. Yes, it is a serious case for serious iPad-users. Do you fit the bill? Is this the case you need? Read on…

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From Griffin:

Ridiculously over-engineered? Or the perfect case for your iPad 2 & iPad 3 no matter where you’re headed? We think it’s a little bit of both.

Simply put, the Griffin Survivor Case is the most protective case we’ve ever built.

Tested and certified to meet or exceed US Department of Defense Standard 810F, Griffin’s Survivor Military-Duty Case is designed from the inside out to protect your iPad 2 from extreme conditions … dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration and a host of other environmental factors.

Survivor is built on a shatter-resistant polycarbonate frame clad in rugged, shock absorbing silicone. A built-in screen protector seals your Multi-Touch display from the outside environment, while hinged plugs seal the dock connector, camera lens, headphone port, hold switch and volume controls. The included stand clips on, then folds open for landscape viewing and typing.

Survivor is independently tested and verified to meet or exceed environmental testing standards for blown rain, blown dust and grit, vibration, shock, temperature and humidity.

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Specifications:

Independently tested and certified to meet conditions outlined in US Department of Defense MIL-STD-810

Integral Display shield deflects wind and rain (Test: up to 200 mm/hr for 1 hour)

Rigid internal frame protects against shocks and drops (Test: drop on flat concrete surface from 6’/1.8 m)

Sealed ports block blown sand and dust (Test: up to 18 m/sec for 1 hour)

Silicone cladding blocks vibration (Test: 18 hrs at 20 to 2000 Hz)

Includes multi-position workstand

After using the case for a time I can honestly say there are no understatements in the company description. And when we break the case down, you can see why it is a durable and tough as it is.

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The interior of the case is a two-piece hard shell that frames the iPad in an initial protective layer. The two pieces sandwich the iPad in place and click together rather tightly.

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It wraps tightly around the iPad and truly becomes an outer skin/shell.

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That is where the “Rigid internal frame protects against shocks and drops” that let it be drop tested 6′ without damage comes in.

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Around the rigid farm is a soft silicon layer. It is thick, a bit “squishy” and covers everything but the screen itself.

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This is where the “Silicone cladding blocks vibration” of 20 to 2000 Hz for up to 18 hrs comes in.

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To hold the skin in place the case comes with a triangular piece of hard plastic.

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It snaps around one side of the case and stays firmly in place.

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And adds an extra degree of strength and support to the case — not that it wasn’t already close to, if not beyond, overkill.

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Here is the view from the back. To say it locks into place securely would be an understatement.

But it does more than that.

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It also doubles as a multi-position stand. It works quite well!

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Here it is from the side.

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And a third view.

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There is another aspect to this protection system. The upper section of the interior rigid frame has a span of clear material filling the space. This is where the “Integral Display shield that deflects wind and rain” comes in. Strikingly, I found that the touchscreen worked just fine when manipulating the iPad through it. Yes, I did have to shift the way and force with which I tapped or swiped, but I was able to make it work just fine. (In this regard it makes me think of the LifeProof iPhone case.)

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The soft silicon wraps entirely around the iPad. Since you still need to access the ports and controls there are a series of cutouts in strategic places. Each cutout opens to reveal the necessary interior control or port but “locks down” in place when unused in order to ensure maximum protection.

The speaker has one.

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The silent toggle does too!

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The microphone does also.

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So does the 30-Pin dock connector.

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Which looks like this when closed.

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The Griffin Survivor is a pretty amazing case. Dust, dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration etc… no one really expects to keep their tablet safe under those conditions do they? Well, with this case you can and Griffin even tested it to make sure. It is ONE tough case. Add in the fact that the touchscreen works just fine through the clear protective layer and this case is really an engineering achievement.

All this protection does come at a cost and I’m not just speaking about the $79.99 price tag. Yes, the Survivor does add some significant weight to the already heavy-ish iPad. The new iPad already weighs 1.44 pounds (652.g). The Survivor case weighs in at 15.2 oz (431 g) and thereby adds 2/3 the weight again. It is heavy when you pick it up and, after holding it for a time, seems to become worse. But if you need a case the protects your iPad and you don’t mind the weight or will not be holding it most of the time, this is a case that is definitely worth a look.

You can learn more about the Griffin Survivor for iPad 2 & iPad 3 Extreme-duty case here on the product page.

MSRP: $79.99

What I Like: Superior protection; Tested for strength and the accuracy of their claims; Built-in screen protection that does not stand in the way of the touchscreen doing its job

What Needs Improvement: Add significant weight

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.