Customer Reviews: OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad 2/3/4, Black, Retail Packaging (77-18640)
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Color: BLACK|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Change
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on March 19, 2012
I just got a new iPad (3rd Gen) to replace my original iPad and I wanted a very protective case for it. I had an OtterBox Defender case on my original iPad and loved it. My original iPad still looked brand new thanks to the OtterBox (and a screen protector) and I wanted the same protection for my new one. I read the reviews of the OtterBox Defender case for the iPad 2 and wasn't too optimistic. It seemed to be hit or miss whether you got a good one or one that would fall apart on you. I'm happy to say that either they improved the quality in the new one or I just got lucky.

When I first opened it, I was a bit confused as to how to get it apart so I could put it on my iPad. There are picture directions on the box (no written instructions), but they are vague so I had to work a bit get it taken apart. The silicone part is more firm (not as pliable or flexible) than the one for the original iPad and I think I prefer it. The hard case snaps together at a few points where the original one just slid together. It feels more steady and protective. I also like the built-in screen protector rather than relying on having a stick-on screen protector (those are a pain to put on and I always end up with a small speck of something stuck under the protector).

Once I got it all put together, I really like the feel of it; it's pretty solid. The cover for this case snaps on more securely than the original one did so I like that as well. The cover would pop off my original iPad way too easily.

Another thing I like on the new one is the cover for the dock connector. On the original one, there was a piece that would actually slide off (as in a completely separate piece that you then had to keep track of) that revealed enough of the back and bottom of the iPad so you could put it in a dock if you wanted to. I don't use an iPad dock, so wasn't of any use to me and just irritated me that I had to keep track of this extra piece. After using the case for a while, that piece didn't stay put nearly as securely as when it was new, so I had to be careful how I held my iPad while caring it so I didn't accidentally grab just that piece and have it slide out and drop my iPad on the ground.

The only complaint, and that's pushing it a bit, is that the silicone covering the home button is a bit stiff so pressing the home button, or double-clicking it, is a little bit tougher. By no means is it a deal breaker and I really think it will loosen up with a little bit of use (obviously I haven't used it much since I just got it a couple days ago).

Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase (though I bought it from Best Buy, not Amazon) and would recommend this case t anybody that wants full protection (not water-proof) for their new iPad.
2828 comments| 644 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I ordered one of these cases when I first ordered my New iPad but I had to wait for over 3 weeks to receive it. I have to tell you I was nervous holding the iPad without a case. I have large, dry and calloused hands and to hold an iPad without a silicone case for me is like trying to hold a slippery sliver of ice. I was so afraid I was going to drop it and the iPad is designed like a piece of art and I didn't want to scratch or damage it.

This new case has several improvements and they are noticeable because we own an iPad 2 and the older style Otterbox Defender case. The improvements in my opinion are:
* The lid of the new case has four robust hard plastic corners that firmly lock around and onto the corners of the Defender case itself. This provides better protection from dropping the iPad on a fragile corner and the lid is snapped onto the case more securely than the last model.
* The lid contains two magnets so that when you snap it onto the case for carrying it puts the iPad into sleep mode and when you remove the lid the iPad is instantly turned on. The old case did not have this feature.
* The new case has a built in screen protector and the original had a separate screen protector. The new screen protector has a pixilation effect when compared to using the New iPad retina display without a screen cover. Without the cover the picture is absolutely perfect and with the cover you can see the micro granulation of the plastic material. It is ever so slight but it is there and this aspect of the screen protector needs improvement. I like the fact that the screen protector is built in but I hate losing display quality because the wrong material was selected for the protector. Let's face it, the retina display is the main reason why many of us purchased the new iPad.
* On the new case the flaps that cover the docking area, the headphone jack and the switch for the Silent/Screen rotation lock, snap into place tightly and do not randomly come open. The silicon seems thicker and tighter on the case and the areas where these flaps fit are much better designed and close tighter.
* The edge of the silicon on the top bezel of the case that goes around the iPad display has a nice wide extrusion that fits into a larger channel seal area in the hard plastic case than the last model defender case. The seal and fit is much tighter than the last model case and it simply feels more secure. The silicon was actually a little harder to get off to install the iPad as it is so tight fitting.
* The silicon overall feels thicker and fits tighter than the last Defender model and it just feels better made.
* The large flip up flap that was on the back of the case for the iPad 2 docking area is no longer there and I like that they removed it. It was useless and was hard to seal and keep in place some times.

Things that are the same and are still good:
* The removable lid still has the flip up mechanism inside that allows you to install the iPad into it in a typing slant or in a higher tilt for video viewing. I do like the larger snap on corners again as the tilt holding area is larger and seems safer in the video viewing position. For video viewing you can stand the iPad up into the portrait or landscape modes.
* The lid still snaps onto the bottom of the case for storage while using the iPad.
* The case has two hard plastic polycarbonate shells that firmly snap together to enclose the iPad. The bottom case shell is lined with memory foam to cradle the iPad and provide additional shock absorption.

Over all the weight of the New iPad in the case does increase. My iPad 64 GIG is specified to weigh in at 652 grams and when installed in the case with cover the weight goes to 1172 grams or 2 pounds and 9 ¼ ounces. I know it is heavier by almost 80% but I can tell you it feels 10 times more protected than a bare iPad. The silicon cover has an alligator style tread pattern on the long sides of the iPad case and I can securely hold it in one hand where without the case I was afraid to drop the slick surfaced iPad.

Two negative comments about the display cover built in as part of the case top shell.
* I cleaned my iPad with a very slightly damp microfiber cloth and made sure that the case screen was clean. I still got a few minor pieces of dust under the screen once I closed it. I don't like that but I have to tell you that is was cleaner than when I installed the stick on screen cover on the last model of the Defender case. You just can't get rid of all the dust no matter what you do. This is not Otterbox's fault but just a statement about screen protectors in general and their installation.
* The screen protector that is built into the top of the polycarbonate case needs to be improved. I may leave mine on for a while but I am likely to take the screen protector out of the case as I do not like the degradation of the quality of the retina display.

Overall I love this new case and if the screen protector was better it would be a strong 5 out of 5 stars. It is the best Otterbox case I have used in 3 years and I have purchased a lot of them for iPhones, iPads an iPod touch. As it is now I would have to rate it 4 stars but I still recommend it to you as a good buy.
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on March 26, 2012
Received this case and installed it pretty easy watching the video from Otterbox's website. First thing I cleaned the Ipad screen and the screen protector and looked at them both in the light making sure there was no prints or lint on either. I just used windex and a paper towel. Then assembled it. The screen looks beautiful. Games, video's and everything else looks wonderful. I can't tell I'm even looking thru a screen protector. I can't understand why so many other reviewers are unimpressed with the screen protector. Overall protection seems pretty good. My nine year old son can grab this anytime he wants now without me worrying. I would recommend this case highly to anyone looking to purchase protection for their new Ipad. Also try keeping this in your cart with Amazon as the seller and watch for a price drop. Amazon last week for a short time dropped the price to $30.99 which is when I purchased it. If they did it before maybe they will do it again.

Items Ordered Price
1 of: OtterBox Defender Series for The New iPad 3 3rd Generation & iPad 2 - Black [Personal Computers]
Condition: New
Sold by: LLC
Amazon Prime: Two-Day Shipping is free

Item(s) Subtotal: $30.99
Shipping & Handling: $0.00
Total Before Tax: $30.99
Sales Tax: $0.00
Total for This Shipment: $30.99
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on March 24, 2012
I talked to an Otterbox rep about the screen taking away from the New IPAD's retina display. He said the plastic from the screen can be removed from its frame. Its only attached with a mild adhesive. Then you can have your own screen protector but on (one of those shields that adhear to your IPAD). Then put the frame over that. Granted for $90 they should of provided a that as an option in the package, but this is a very protective case that will work well I believe. Removing the screen Otterbox said will not void the warranty.
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on November 11, 2012
It seems most people who are in the market for buying a solid protective case for their iPad find themselves trying to decide between the Otterbox Defender and the Griffin Survivor Extreme Duty. Having owned and lived with both of these cases on my 3rd Generation iPad, the Otterbox Defender is the one I ended up dressing up my iPad with. Why?

Note: I'm comparing the two covers in a few different categories. In reality, the comparisons should be used as more of "specs" sheet then anything else. This will make more sense in the Durability section.

Weight: Surprisingly, when fully dressed out the Defender (20.7 ounces) actually weighs more then the Survivor. That being said, I don't typically carry around the Defender's cover/stand so that makes the Defender a lighter weight option for me. The Survivor weighs in at 15.2 ounces, nearly a pound of extra weight added to your iPad. The Defender weighs in at.13.6 ounces which may not sound like much, but trust me, after holding the iPad for long periods of time it adds up.

Bulk: More bulk = Better Protection? Let's start with the first part of that equation. The Defender is certainly a slimmer case. With the cover on it's .94 inches thick. The Survivor is .9 inches thick but don't rush to any judgements quite yet. Again, for me, the Defender is slimmer then the Survivor simply because I don't typically have the cover attached to the case. The difference in thickness is interesting however. I would have expected the Survivor to be a thicker case because of it's "military grade" status. At 10.2" x 7.9" the Survivor is a bit thicker around the waste. The Otterbox measures 9.99" x 7.89" which is not much less then it's rival but it felt quite a bit less in my hands.

Durability: In full disclosure, my comparison of durability between these two cases is really a matter of opinion and speculation. I did not try throwing my iPad down a flight of stairs in order to test these cases out. That being said, I would say that the Survivor does offer more protection then the Defender case. For me, it wasn't which one offers the most was which one offers "enough" protection. My iPad is a homebody. Some may even say it's a Couch Potato. The only jungle warfare my iPad will see are my two boys ages 4 and 6. I think both cases offer enough protection for my needs but the Otterbox does so with a little less weight, bulk and added convenience.

Convenience you say? Yes! There is one feature that both cases provide in which the Otterbox is a clear winner, the Stand. I found the Survivor's "stand" to be nothing more then an afterthought by Griffin. I can see it now, sitting in a conference room looking at their new Survivor case and realizing they forgot to add a stand. So, what do they do? Toss on a plastic side piece they hope will keep the iPad upright. It does a horrible job of this! I would rather prop my iPad up against a book, a knee, anything rather then use the provided stand.
On the other hand, there is little doubt that Otterbox made the stand an important part of their case design. It allows for both Portrait and Landscape viewing, both of which have 2 different angles to select from. I find the stand to be secure and convenient. If you plan to use your iPad hands free on a stand for any particular amount of time, do yourself a huge favor and go with the Defender. I'm not saying the Defender has the best stand on the market's just far better then the Survivor's

Like most other reviewers have said, if protection and durability are your #1 priorities it would be hard to pass up on the Survivor. You'll have to put up with it's slightly heavier weight, bulk and poor stand design but these are probably non-issues when hiking through forests and snow capped mountains.
For me, the Otterbox Defender was the case I finally decided on. It provided plenty of protection while not adding excessive weight and bulk. The cover/stand works quite well and I find it to be very convenient indeed.

Props to Amazon for offering great prices on both cases as well as having, in my opinion, the best return policy bar none.

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on August 14, 2012
I have been using this cover, on my iPad 3, for nearly six-months now. I consider the iPad as a multipurpose tool. Thus, I have subjected my iPad, and this cover, to a number of professions and hobbies. Some as low-impact as reading books, to use in a garage or while on construction jobs. Before the Otter Box, and the protection it offers, my iPad had a very limited use. Never before had I owned a device which was both beautifully designed, fragile, with so many possibilities as a daily aid. This cover is the bomb! While taking some of the beauty away from the iPad, it certainly made up for it by opening up so many care-free features. Now, I have no fear bumping, dropping (low-altitude), or using the iPad in nearly any hostile environment. The silicone backing is a real device-saver. It easily absorbs most any abuse I can dish out. I certainly do not want to convey the thought that i abuse the device or condone such treatment. all i am professing is that whether you are a delivery person, auto mechanic, or construction worker, this case will definitely protect your investment.

As with some reviewers, I am not to thrilled with the screen protector. While adding a great deal of protection to the iPad, it can be improved upon. It can scratch with abuse. however, the slight beauty it takes away from the new retina display is far exceeded by it's durability and worry-free use. Unless you are using the iPad as an artist, or professional photographer, you'll not be dissatisfied with the screen protector.

Other than this slight flaw (of which is no concern to me-but added for others), I wish I can give the Otter Box ten stars! This should be a no brainier for anyone who plans to use the iPad as a tool, in other than in-house use, and is serious about protecting his/her investment.

**Update: 26 Aug 2012 **
Well, as previously stated, the only part of this product which may need some work is the screen cover. After a few months of "brutal" use, I decided to see whether I could remove the Otter-box plastic cover and new install a new cover to the iPad.

Once I removed the iPad from the case, the plastic screen, which came with the Otter-box, can easily be removed. Gently, press on one of the from corners until the plastic begins to separate. Then, continue to work around the cover until fully removed.

I feel the ArmorSuit MilitaryShield is perhaps the best cover for the Retina display on the new iPad. Easily installed (bubble-free, might I add), this cover allows the full Retina beauty to sine through. Very durable, and resistant to fingerprints, this cover is the clear winner. Feel free to read more about this cover at Amazon's site:
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on June 11, 2012
I don't write too many reviews. And I decided to start writing after I've had the product for a bit so it's not just the initial quality test. The Otterbox far exceeded my expectations in what I wanted in a case/cover.

There were so many negative comments about the screen protector, that this is what I did. I put the iPad IN the Otterbox before I even turned it on. The screen protector is brilliant. I figured if I didn't know what I was missing, I'd be better off. The screen still certainly looks much better than the iPad2.

I NEEDED something rugged with two kids (6 & 3). They are not supposed to use it without me, but they (ok, the 3 year old) tends to steal it and run away with it no matter how much I scold her. Luckily, I always have the protective case on, and covered. It's been spilled on, dropped (once by the three year old, once by me - d'oh!), peed on (don't ask), and no damage whatsoever. Now, keep in mind that the Otterbox is NOT meant to be waterproof. Each time fluids hit it, I took it apart to be sure no fluid got inside. In both cases, it didn't.

My on/off feature still works perfectly. I've had it about a month.

Assembly is a bit complicated (at least for me), a little elbow grease and the video on the website solved that.

The home button works perfectly through the Otterbox.

I was concerned before purchase of the quality of the stand. If it was just cheap plastic - NO! It wasn't. I'm VERY impressed by the quality of the cover/stand.

Yes, it's bulky - hello! It's meant to protect against falls and such! Such a product could not be paper thin.

I am taking a lot of pictures and videos with the iPad. I love that it does not have a flap hanging down to deal with such as a portfolio style. I love that if in the midst of recording, I accidentally drop it, it will most likely be fine. It is also soooo easy to grip while taking pictures/videos. I have not dropped it once doing that.

What a brilliant product. One of my better purchases. Leaves me scratching my head - what are the negative reviews about? What the heck to they expect? If they don't need rugged protection, get something else...
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on March 23, 2012
I was really looking forward to protecting my investment with this case, unfortunately the low quality screen protector is too large a trade off for this protection.

+ The case is rugged and fits well with access to all of the ports
+ Cover that doubles as stand is nice

- Poor quality screen protector
- Screen protector cannot be removed without modification and possibly voiding the warranty
- poor instructions for diss-assembly of case (not an issue for most but my mom would go crazy)
- screen protector seems to float above the screen giving a "tic" sound when pressing and releasing at times

I imagine the sacrifice in optics would not be as noticeable on an Ipad 2 but it is a huge detractor from the stellar screen of the Ipad 3. Pass on this case until the price drops and the screen is made removable or improved. Clear plastic optics are achievable, many others are doing it, it is a shame that otterbox would to this shortcut to presumably trim the margins. If Otterbox would include the protector instead of attaching it to the top portion of the case, then the consumer would have the option to use or discard the protector.

UPDATE- I would like to acknowledge some of the resourceful ways of removing the screen protector from this device as pointed out in the comments for this review. However I feel it is important to remember this may void the warranty on the case and more importantly it should not be the responsibility of the end user to modify a premium product that should be consumer ready out of the box. Modding is usually something performed on less expensive products in order to mimic the function of more expensive products, not the other way around.
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on April 14, 2012
So it took me a while to decide on a case for my ipad 2. I was going to Walmart, Bestbuy, Target, and the mall, searching for an Otter Box because my friend has the older version. I realized the same case they sell in the stores for 90$ (EVERYWHERE) is only 50$ on Amazon. Then reading the review, everyone complains about the built in screen protector and it made me think twice. SO..., I looked at other cases for another week trying to find one with good protection and a decent stand that looked good.. with a comparable price. NOTHING. LONG story short, I gave in bought the Otter Box, the screen protector is fine, no air pocket between the screen, no clicking noise, no rough surface making it difficult to move your finger across. It is a light weight, well protected, decent looking case with a good stand AND IT EVEN HAS THE AUTO LOCK MAGNETS ON THE FRONT COVER LIKE THE SMART COVER, which i didnt know until yesterday even though I have had it for two weeks. No complaints so far. Not difficult to assemble, unless your a monkey without thumbs AND the PRICE.. you cant get the reflex at walmart for under 80$. BUY IT IF YOU WANT A GOOD CASE. and to those who made me second guess getting it and wasting 2 weeks scrambling for another case, I DONT LIKE YOU, ITS A GREAT CASE. ENJOY.
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on March 29, 2012
I wanted to "defend" this product. We have the defender for the iPad 1. It's very nice and durable. I knew I had to get a cover for "The New iPad" that was on the way, so I started looking at covers. Reviews for the iPad 2 Otterbox Defender were not that great, so I looked at some others (griffen, gumdrop). Those reviews looked nice, but I wanted to wait for the new otterbox defender to come out for "The New iPad." Well, we've been using this for a few days and it's pretty nice. I immediately RIPPED out the screen protector. I put Zagg invisible shields on all my stuff. Whoever said they CUT out the built-in screen protector in their review is crazy. Just push it out of the frame and make sure you get most of the adhesive to come off with it. So, this is 100% perfect except for the home button. It does take a little extra muscle to press it. We've started to press the button on the top (I don't know the name) to make the iPad wake up. I also use that hand gesture a lot (take 5 spread out fingers and then pinch) to go back to the home screen. SO, if you find you are a freak-a-zoid about perfect comfortabilityness with your home button relationship - DO NOT GET THIS!! If pressing a little harder on the home button doesn't seem like that big of a deal, then this is the product for you. As a side note - my wife says the new iPad resolution is better. She never says that - even when we watch a blu-ray movie on a TV that's better than ours...

9/29/2014: This case has not stood up well. The outside rubber part is getting stretched and does not attach at all contact points. It doesn't fall off completely, but it is extremely stretched. A few areas with thin rubber contacts have ripped. I had such high hopes because we've used otterbox for the original iPad and an iphone 4. They are still working nicely. The fact that the outer rubber part has become stretched really bugs me. I would pass on otterbox for this device. I looked up otterbox's return policy and I think you have a year to get a replacement. Too late for me...
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