Otterbox APL4-iPAD1-20-C4OTR iPad Commuter Series Case
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- Slick protective case in black for the Apple iPad
- Combines rugged elements from the Defender Series with the thin silicone skin from the Impact Series
- One-piece custom molded polycarbonate shell; durable silicone mid-layer; self-adhering clear protective film
- Access to all buttons and features; silicone plugs provide coverage for ports
- Backed by 1-year warranty; not tested or recommended for water protection
Ipad Commuter case
The slim and attractive OtterBox Commuter Series for Apple iPad offers protection from everyday mishaps. Enjoy full access to all buttons, ports and features, along with snap-off access for your optional iPad dock. Also included with the case is a self-adhering protective film for your touch screen to safeguard against unsightly scratches and dings. This innovative OtterBox case will increase your peace of mind while keeping your iPad as fabulous as the day you bought it.
The Commuter case provides added protection against bump and shock with its three layers of protection:
- Layer 1: Self-adhering clear protective film (cleaning cloth and installation card included)
- Layer 2: Durable silicone mid-layer
- Layer 3: One piece custom molded polycarbonate shell
Features & Specifications
- Access to all buttons and ports via silicone plugs
- Exposed silicone corners dissipate impact away from your device with added bump and shock protection
- Sleek, stylish design
- Access to all buttons and ports via silicone plugs
- Clear membrane protects Apple logo
- Removable dock door (dock not included)
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
What's in the Box
Commuter case, self-adhering clear protective film, microfiber cleaning cloth, and installation card.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?
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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