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483 of 517 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
After my wife bought me an iPad and I cradled its sleek aluminum and glass body in my hands, I knew that finding a protective case for it was of paramount importance. But rather than jumping into the arduous task of researching the dizzying array of available iPad cases, I already had an idea where to look: OtterBox. My wife and I have both protected our iPhone 3GS's in the company's iPhone Defender cases for over a year and have been very happy with the results. Even after numerous accidental drops, our Defender-clad iPhones look like new underneath their "armor".

And fortunately, a quick check of the OtterBox web site revealed that the company did, in fact, offer a Defender series case for the iPad. Nearly ninety bucks and just over a week later, I am happy to report that OtterBox's Defender case for iPad is everything I had hoped it would be. At $89.95, this case is certainly one of the more expensive iPad case options available, but in my opinion, it is well worth the investment. I do have a minor quibble with the included instructions, but it is far outweighed by the product's overall quality, sheer durability, and style.

Contents:
The iPad Defender product includes a black high-impact polycarbonate shell, a separate black polycarbonate shield, a silicone outer skin, and a self-adhesive protective film. Other items include a microfiber cleaning cloth and a stiff scraper tool for applying the protective film to your iPad screen.

Packaging:
After opening the box, you find your Defender case nestled in a recyclable cardboard tray, along with a packet containing instructions and the other items included with the product. The utilitarian packaging does not quite provide the unboxing experience you'd have with an Apple product, but it suits its purpose well. Fortunately, the packaging is devoid of any unnecessary plastic or other packing material, so it's as environmentally friendly as possible.

Instructions:
Rather than providing written instructions in English and other languages, OtterBox included numbered illustrations printed inside the packet. One set of instructions illustrates how to apply the protective film, while another set illustrates how to remove the silicone skin, open the case, install the iPad, and close the whole thing back up again nice and snug. The packet also includes illustrated instructions for the company's other iPad case (the Commuter series), but they are clearly labeled as such and will hopefully not confuse any Defender purchasers. I really wish OtterBox had also provided written step-by-step Defender installation instructions, instead of relying solely on illustrations. Even well-executed illustrations (which these certainly are) can sometimes be difficult to understand, and I feel that even a sentence or two for each illustration could have provided better clarity. A web URL printed inside the packet gave me hope that more detailed instructions could be found on the OtterBox web site, but unfortunately the instructions for the iPad Defender case were not yet available on that web page at the time of this review. I'm certain that OtterBox will be rectifying this issue soon.

Installation:
By far, the most tedious part of installing this case is applying the self-adhesive protective film to your iPad's screen. The illustrated instructions do a fair job of expressing the necessary steps, but the film application could really be helped by accompanying written steps. As I applied the protective film along with its backing and used the scraper tool to smooth out bubbles, I started to get worried because the tool seemed to snag a few times, causing some small kinks which only got worse as I continued trying to gently scrape them to the edge. Fortunately, once I removed the backing from the protective film, I found that the kinks were not in the film itself, but rather in the disposable backing. Whew! The protective film ended up looking nearly perfect on my iPad screen. Removing the silicone skin, opening the polycarbonate case, inserting the iPad, and closing it all up again proved to be much easier.

Product Use:
First and foremost, the Defender case seems to achieve its primary purpose -- protecting your iPad -- very well. When you're not using the iPad, you should clip the polycarbonate shield over the iPad screen to provide maximum protection. The shield grips the edges of the case snugly, to help ensure that it doesn't inadvertently get knocked off. And when you're actually using your iPad, the shield has a retractable built-in stand which will set your iPad at a nice viewing angle for desktop or tabletop use. Or if you don't need the stand and want to hold the iPad while using it, you can simply clip the shield to the back of the case. Doing so will add a little more heft to an already-hefty iPad and case, so you can also just leave the shield off during handheld use as well. To help protect the various iPad ports, the case features integrated silicone plugs which are easy to open and close as necessary. The case also includes a removable access door to allow you to charge your iPad or mount it in a standard iPad dock. However, I did not test the iPad dock capability for this review.

Style:
Let's face it -- you're not going to buy this case because you're fashion-conscious. You're going to buy it because you (like me) want to provide the very best protection for your iPad, without locking it a vault. That notwithstanding, the OtterBox Defender case for iPad is still an attractive case. The iPad Defender is an imposing-but-stylish black polycarbonate and silicone suit of armor which, like its iPhone 3GS Defender little brother, provides a round protected window on the case's backside to clearly display the Apple logo. When the removable shield is used as a iPad stand, four small black silicone pads provide a secure footing on smooth surfaces. Both the silicone skin and the polycarbonate shield feature subtle checkering at the top and bottom edges to improve grip -- a nice touch.

Summary:
The Defender for iPad is likely the best protective case you can get under a hundred bucks. I already feel more comfortable lugging my iPad around, knowing that it will be able to stand up to just about anything I can throw at it (figuratively speaking, of course). With the Defender series case for iPad, OtterBox seems to have covered the bases quite well, offering a well-rounded combination of protection and stylishness.
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165 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2010
Let me start by saying that this is really a quality product. It feels very solid and ipad feels very secure in it. The fit is also excellent and the screen protector it comes with is good value. It feels like I have a one of those rugged laptops that you can abuse. I took it camping and felt at ease that no harm would come to my ipad. I also felt like that I didn't need to baby my ipad.

Now the problem with this is that this protection will make the ipad feel bulky and a little heavy espically if you are using it as ebook reader. One must keep this in mind. It's all about balancing protection and comfort. This case is definitely more towards the protection end.

The downside of this case is that the snap-off access for optional iPad dock doesn't come with a opening and closing flap for just the port itself.

Everytime one has to charge the ipad, the cover needs to be removed by sliding it out. This becomes annoying after awhile. This leaves an area of the ipad exposed if it happens to fall. Also, even though there is a felt lining inside the cover, I feel sometimes that there is plastic to ipad contact. I need to put it back on slower so it just touches the felt. Why do I do I need to slide it off everytime when I just need access to the port?
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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
I have been waiting for this case to come out and finally it arrived. It was easy to assemble, fits the ipad like a glove, and looks great. I love the stand built into the snap off cover, great angle for watching movies or surfing the internet. I no longer have to worry when my 3 year old wants to watch a movie or play a game, my ipad is PROTECTED!!!!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2010
I am the type of person who believes every gadget should have adequate protection...at least from my clumsy hands :). I had an Otterbox case years ago for my BB Pearl and remembered they were a good brand. Before buying the case, I used one of those silicon rubber cases that only protects the back and sides (barely) that I purchased with the iPad for $40. A few months later I tried a folio-type case, but it was too obstructive. After a few returns to Best Buy, I finally waited somewhat patiently for this case.

People who criticize the iPad for it's price are crazy, because I've paid $40 for a case that offers 1/8 of the protection the Otterbox provides. I thought it was a steal for $50 bucks, considering it MSRP's for $90.

I will admit, the Otterbox is one beastly case, but I am a big guy so lugging an extra 1-1/2 pounds is nothing. I can see how some people, primarily women, are turned off by the case. It isn't attractive, either, so stylistas beware. I love the fact I can cover the screen when not in use, and that the stand lets me watch movies while sitting on an airplane.

Before buying the case, I used an InvisiShield for the screen only, which was a huge mistake. The texture on the protector was awful, whereas the Otterbox screen guard felt natural, comparable to the iPad's original surface.

I'm not the best person at putting things together, hence having a couple screws left over from my Ikea furniture, but the Otterbox was easy to take on and off. Again, nothing too complicated, just take your time and do it right the first time. Dust clings to the iPad like a magnet, so use compressed air to remove the particles before sliding it in. The silicon tabs are a P.I.A., but work your way around the chassis slowly for maximum results.

The only complaint about the case is it is a dust magnet. The silicon on the back collects debris like crazy - dust, hair, dirt, etc add up quickly. Keeping the front cover on the back helps eliminate it slightly, but then dust just collects around the edge of the screen. No solution thus far except for a mildly wet cloth.

Unlike other idiots out there, I haven't tried to test the limits of the Otterbox, so I cannot tell you if it protects it from a fall. Based on my usage, it could withstand a fall from the bed or desk onto carpeting. Tile, which I have, tends to break electronics faster than other surfaces, but it MIGHT be safe. Dropping it from higher places may or may not be covered. (i.e. if it fell from a counter). I seriously watched someone try to purposely ruin their gadgets over on Engadget - what were they thinking?
Here is who I think will LOVE the iPad:

True Geeks, because they usually value durability over aesthetics.
Field Workers, because this case is ready for action despite the conditions.
Average People, who want to protect their $499 to $829 investment.
Parents, because the Otterbox protects the iPad from your kids sticky/dirty mitts. Businessmen, because the iPad stores nicely in a messenger bag while traveling.

Here's who I think should avoid the Otterbox (and sacrifice protection):

Anyone with a sense of fashion, as this isn't the prettiest case I've seen
People who think the iPad is too heavy, as this case adds a good 20 ounces to the bulk
Cautious people who can take care of their gadgets without needing a security blanket

The Otterbox Defender for iPad isn't right for everyone, but IT IS the best case available. In the end, looks and aesthetics outweigh practicality, durability, and safety.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
This is my sixth iPad case. This is by far the best. The last one was a folio style case which I truly loved until I dropped it. Was taking my iPad out of my purse and setting it on my desk. It slipped out of my hands, gently fell to the floor on carpeting. Didn't think it had hit hard enough to do any damage. No problem with the glass, but landed on the edge where the power button is at and where there was not any protection. Had numerous flaky power issues after that. Luckily, Apple offered to replace it for free (and gained a customer for life as I had the $800 model and no insurance!). Next thing I did was order an OtterBox for my new iPad.

Now, to compare it to previous cases. I have used a soft silicone case, a stouter rubber case, a hard plastic shell, the folio case, and a padded carrying case. The plastic case had a plastic screen protector, I liked the case in concept. After using it, every time I had to remove the plastic, it just was set down somewhere and I would have to find it when done as there was no way to keep the two halves together.

With this otter box case, when you take off the top, you snap it on to the back. So the two pieces are always together.

I loved the folio case the most and carried it the longest. Would honestly still be carrying it if I hadn't dropped it. I loved the more professional look, being able to flip the cover off and on like a notebook, and the ability to tri-fold it and stand it up in a triangular shape to stand it on the desk in front of me. The otter box also allows me to use the top half of a case as a stand. It is attention getting because of the bright color, and really does a fabulous job of framing the iPad. In my opinion, just adds more curb appeal to an already gorgeous product.

I can snap the cover off and on, maybe not quite as quickly as the folio case. But with the benefit of when the case is closed, being able to set things on it and carrying it with other books and papers without worrying about scratching anything.

Additionally, this case is far more protective for my iPad when sliding in and out of my purse. Much less worrisome, far more confident. Adds a bit more bulk in the purse, but worth it to not worry about car keys brushing up against the glass.

Finally, when handing off the iPad to toddlers, I no longer worry about them dropping it. The texture of the case provides a better edge for gripping, and I'm fairly secure with Otter's reputation in the event of a drop.

All the buttons are easy to access. Every button is covered by a silicone button covering, I'm having no issue with using any. The design does require you to remove a plastic piece each and every time you want to plug in the apple cord to sync or to charge. Not my favorite, but the much longer battery life on this means I only do it once or twice a week. As best I can tell this was needed to make the opening bigger for docking devices. I don't dock to anything, so haven't noticed a value add. Would far rather have a silicone plug over the port similar to my iPhone case. Additionally, this is the one piece that has no way to stay attached with the rest when its opened, so would be easy to take off without it.

Finally, kudos to shopping on amazon. This particular color was $30 cheaper than the price at best buy. And best buy only offered black. I was able to save $30 and utilize my super saver shipping. Made the case a very nice deal. I can't see ever changing out of this case. Having lived thru the damage from a tiny little ding on the edge, I am thrilled to see this case entirely wrapping my iPad in its shell.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2010
My seven year old: I hate it! It's sooooo heavy! Why did you get this? Can I take it off?

Me: If you haven't dropped it after six months, we can take it off.

Her: How about five months?

Me: Hmf

Ninety seconds later, she dropped it in a parking lot and I haven't heard a word since. Not a mark on it, either.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
After my wife bought me an iPad and I cradled its sleek aluminum and glass body in my hands, I knew that finding a protective case for it was of paramount importance. But rather than jumping into the arduous task of researching the dizzying array of available iPad cases, I already had an idea where to look: OtterBox. My wife and I have both protected our iPhone 3GS's in the company's iPhone Defender cases for over a year and have been very happy with the results. Even after numerous accidental drops, our Defender-clad iPhones look like new underneath their "armor".

And fortunately, a quick check of the OtterBox web site revealed that the company did, in fact, offer a Defender series case for the iPad. Nearly ninety bucks and just over a week later, I am happy to report that OtterBox's Defender case for iPad is everything I had hoped it would be. At $89.95, this case is certainly one of the more expensive iPad case options available, but in my opinion, it is well worth the investment. I do have a minor quibble with the included instructions, but it is far outweighed by the product's overall quality, sheer durability, and style.

Contents:
The iPad Defender product includes a black high-impact polycarbonate shell, a separate black polycarbonate shield, a silicone outer skin, and a self-adhesive protective film. Other items include a microfiber cleaning cloth and a stiff scraper tool for applying the protective film to your iPad screen.

Packaging:
After opening the box, you find your Defender case nestled in a recyclable cardboard tray, along with a packet containing instructions and the other items included with the product. The utilitarian packaging does not quite provide the unboxing experience you'd have with an Apple product, but it suits its purpose well. Fortunately, the packaging is devoid of any unnecessary plastic or other packing material, so it's as environmentally friendly as possible.

Instructions:
Rather than providing written instructions in English and other languages, OtterBox included numbered illustrations printed inside the packet. One set of instructions illustrates how to apply the protective film, while another set illustrates how to remove the silicone skin, open the case, install the iPad, and close the whole thing back up again nice and snug. The packet also includes illustrated instructions for the company's other iPad case (the Commuter series), but they are clearly labeled as such and will hopefully not confuse any Defender purchasers. I really wish OtterBox had also provided written step-by-step Defender installation instructions, instead of relying solely on illustrations. Even well-executed illustrations (which these certainly are) can sometimes be difficult to understand, and I feel that even a sentence or two for each illustration could have provided better clarity. A web URL printed inside the packet gave me hope that more detailed instructions could be found on the OtterBox web site, but unfortunately the instructions for the iPad Defender case were not yet available on that web page at the time of this review. I'm certain that OtterBox will be rectifying this issue soon.

Installation:
By far, the most tedious part of installing this case is applying the self-adhesive protective film to your iPad's screen. The illustrated instructions do a fair job of expressing the necessary steps, but the film application could really be helped by accompanying written steps. As I applied the protective film along with its backing and used the scraper tool to smooth out bubbles, I started to get worried because the tool seemed to snag a few times, causing some small kinks which only got worse as I continued trying to gently scrape them to the edge. Fortunately, once I removed the backing from the protective film, I found that the kinks were not in the film itself, but rather in the disposable backing. Whew! The protective film ended up looking nearly perfect on my iPad screen. Removing the silicone skin, opening the polycarbonate case, inserting the iPad, and closing it all up again proved to be much easier.

Product Use:
First and foremost, the Defender case seems to achieve its primary purpose -- protecting your iPad -- very well. When you're not using the iPad, you should clip the polycarbonate shield over the iPad screen to provide maximum protection. The shield grips the edges of the case snugly, to help ensure that it doesn't inadvertently get knocked off. And when you're actually using your iPad, the shield has a retractable built-in stand which will set your iPad at a nice viewing angle for desktop or tabletop use. Or if you don't need the stand and want to hold the iPad while using it, you can simply clip the shield to the back of the case. Doing so will add a little more heft to an already-hefty iPad and case, so you can also just leave the shield off during handheld use as well. To help protect the various iPad ports, the case features integrated silicone plugs which are easy to open and close as necessary. The case also includes a removable access door to allow you to charge your iPad or mount it in a standard iPad dock. However, I did not test the iPad dock capability for this review.

Style:
Let's face it -- you're not going to buy this case because you're fashion-conscious. You're going to buy it because you (like me) want to provide the very best protection for your iPad, without locking it a vault. That notwithstanding, the OtterBox Defender case for iPad is still an attractive case. The iPad Defender is an imposing-but-stylish black polycarbonate and silicone suit of armor which, like its iPhone 3GS Defender little brother, provides a round protected window on the case's backside to clearly display the Apple logo. When the removable shield is used as a iPad stand, four small black silicone pads provide a secure footing on smooth surfaces. Both the silicone skin and the polycarbonate shield feature subtle checkering at the top and bottom edges to improve grip -- a nice touch.

Summary:
The Defender for iPad is likely the best protective case you can get under a hundred bucks. I already feel more comfortable lugging my iPad around, knowing that it will be able to stand up to just about anything I can throw at it (figuratively speaking, of course). With the Defender series case for iPad, OtterBox seems to have covered the bases quite well, offering a well-rounded combination of protection and stylishness.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2010
This is the best iPad case on the market, period. Believe me, I've owned many, from the Apple case to various jackets, to the full fold over leather belkin-type cases (it was somewhat of an addiction there for awhile). Most folks are aware of the quality of Otterboxes other products, and this one really steps it up a notch. Otterbox was a little late in hitting the market with the case and so I dont think very many iPad owners are aware that this is out there. I also haven't seen it in many stores as of this posting either. I'm not sure if it's the higher price point or what. Regardless, this case has saved my iPad from certain demise more than once already. The snap front, which also doubles as a stand, makes this all worth having. Yes, it does add a little more bulk and weight, but it's quickly forgotten when you start to use it. The concave nature of how the case fits in your hand is a welcome addition. Also, the rubber grippy-ness helps to make sure you don't wing your iPad at a co-worker when you pull it out quickly to take notes. I couldn't be happier with the case. The only two minor gripes I have (and I stress "minor) are that the back fitting that has to be removed to charge is somewhat difficult to get off and on at first. However, it soon loosens up to the point where snapping and unsnapping is a breeze. That being said, that also makes me a little concerned that it will one day loosen to the point where it just falls off (still yet to be seen). The other (again minor) thing I would like to point out is that not all peripherals fit into the headphone slot. For example, I use my iPad as a navigation system. The auxiliary cord that I use is too chubby to fit through the case and into the hole (not unlike the problems people are reporting with the iPhone 4 Bumper). That said, I wouldn't trade this case for anything else on the market right now. Spend the extra dough and invest in one of these. For the money it's worth it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
I like the protection this case gives but it's not very convenience. I hate the fact that every time you need to charge your iPad you have to struggle with the bottom piece. It's snug in pretty well, so it's a bit hard to release in order plug in the power charger. And i feel like this "protector" adds another 5lbs to your iPad! It gets pretty heavy when you have to carry it around. I only gave it a 3 stars because it is very annoying when you need to charge or mount your iPad to an external power source!

For the price and design, cutting an extra hole at the bottom for the convenience of charging and docking isn't that hard...is it?
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2010
After carefully shopping the Otterbox Commuter and Defender, and the Incipio Destroyer for iPad -- I made a surprising decision to keep the Otterbox Defender.

I had my heart set on the Incipio Destroyer, but I just wasn't 100% satisfied with it. Please see my review for the Incipio Destroyer for iPad.

I then purchased the Otterbox Commuter hoping to get a slimmer, durable case only to discover that the plastic frame that attaches to the back of the silicon rubber actually is rough and noticeable in your palm when gripping as such. Rubbing the edges on the top, bottom, and sides confirm its sharpness. This case had high potential in my lineup, but the plastic edges disappoint. Also of modest disappointment was the silicon rubber case against the face of the iPad since you can flick back the rubber edges if you wanted to. Like most rubber casings, this was bound to happen.

Ultimately, the underdog of my lineup became my unexpected favorite case -- the Otterbox Defender. This offered the same rivaled protection as the Incipio Destroyer. Both are heavy duty cases that protect without a doubt. I loved the frame of the Defender since it ran up directly to the screen edge of the iPad covering the black frame on the glass. This offered a greater grip area than the Destroyer. Both were heavy, but the Defender ran a bit lighter without the screen cover; subtle, but noticeable. The silicon rubber cutout are accurate and fit with precision. The plastic shell is of a slightly textured design giving it a nice feel unlike the pure slickness of the Destroyer. While I'm not a fan of silicon rubber cases, this one won me over. It tabs into the plastic frame nicely and gives the bulkier iPad a nice grip. The edges are more tapered and rounded giving a more elegant look and feel. I consider the shell protective cover/stand a bonus since it does add to the overall design. On top, the shell makes for a nice screen impact protector, and as a stand it makes it the iPad an awesome display. I may end up leaving the stand at home to prop up my iPad and take it with the bare Defender case on the go. My wife likes the angle and how much it props it up for enjoying content. It's too angled to type comfortably.

Access to the port was smartly engineered since the cover can be removed to accommodate the keyboard dock or any iPad dockable goodie, including accessories such as the Camera Connector Kit. Good move. Unlike the Incipio Destroyer, the Otterbox iPad series enable full unimpeded access to this area. The only concern is that fine dirt can be trapped under the seams and potentially scratch the bare aluminum frame underneath. Not too concerned about this as the likelihood is slim in my daily use.

Without a doubt, go for the Otterbox Defender for full protection of your iPad. It offers a good balance of weight-to-protection ratio in this heavy-duty protection category with well-chosen materials and plastics that end users like you and I enjoy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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