482 of 516 people found the following review helpful
OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad -- Ultimate Protection, in Style,
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series for Original iPad (Black) (Personal Computers)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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2010 11:08:58 AM PDT
S. Hall Morin says:
Excellent review - thanks to you we purchased this and installed the protective covering successfully!
Posted on Nov 7, 2010 8:43:52 PM PST
C. Yu says:
One of the best reviews I've ever read here. Great job.
Posted on Nov 28, 2010 5:00:41 AM PST
G. Gales says:
This review is for the defender case, but iy appears on the commuter case's page.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2010 10:23:29 AM PST
Matt S. says:
Both of these are on the same Amazon page, just different "styles"
Posted on Jan 10, 2011 10:57:35 AM PST
Renee Doiron says:
I have a question maybe you could answer for me: is there a place on the Defender to attach a lanyard or a strap?
My autistic son uses his iPad as a communication tool and he needs to be able to carry it hands free wherever he goes.
Posted on Apr 6, 2011 6:04:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2011 6:05:45 PM PDT
Uwe Denk says:
review is for incorrect model
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2011 6:35:13 AM PDT
James Cantrell says:
look at otterbox's utility series latch for ipad. I saw it on their website and I think Amazon has it here also. It looks cool. I, too, bought the ipad (2) for my disabled son who cannot speak. Watch the videos for the latch to see how it really works - lanyard, handhold grip, elastic strap - looks very flexible
Posted on Jun 16, 2011 8:23:21 PM PDT
James G. Hayward says:
Sir, your review is probably the best I have read on Amazon, THANK YOU !!!!!
Shifting gears away from your wonderful review for a moment....I'm not sure why one would want to protect the iPad like one would their phone (I also use an Otter Box defender for my phone). Reading all the reviews, and yours, there are some irritating compromises using this case. A phone is pulled out, laid down, moved to your ear and then onto the car seat or dropped in a purse, etc. Not so with a computer...which the iPad is......It's life is spent in a case or on a desk or in your lap or in a cockpit helping to navigate your airline crew around. In a recent class of pilots I was teaching, only one in 26 pilots even had a clear protectant cover on the screen. Most opted for the front side only magnetic cover Apple sells. Hmmmmmmmm, have to think this out.
Posted on Sep 17, 2011 7:59:35 AM PDT
Four Gee Sixty Three says:
I've read that Apple does not stock the Otterbox in the Apple stores because they do not recommend the product to its customers. Reason being is that the case traps the dispersed heat from the device that would otherwise be expelled. More so than a traditional silicone case due to the rubber and hard plastic that makes up the case. They likened it to "sticking your iPhone/iPod/iPad in an oven." I have the Defender for the iPhone 4 and I can attest to the fact that when charging, it does get noticeably warmer than it does compared to the silicone "barely there" case I have it in now. Also, the lady working the counter where I bought my Otterbox claimed I did not need a traditional screen cover with the Otterbox, so I removed it and put the phone in the case and a couple days later, took it out to clean it and noticed the built in screen "cover" ruined my screen. Not to mention it scratched the hell out of the back as well. I don't care for the Otterbox anymore. Definitely not getting one when I get an iPhone 5. I think more people should be aware of these issues.
Posted on Oct 24, 2011 5:38:53 AM PDT
Possible OtterBox employee? Only 3 reviews, all for OtterBox products, and all 5 star ratings.