Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: iPad Defender Case (for new iPad)

Just got the new iPad Defender case in the mail for my new iPad and installed it. First impression: A major improvement over the previous year's design (which I was a little disappointed with). They basically took everything good from the original and fixed all the problems I had from last year's case. The result is what I believe is the best-designed protective case on the market for heavy-duty users like me (an app developer who is often in the field).

What's fixed: The clear plastic protective screen is back -- no more adhesive screen stickers! The bezel is covered again so it's easier to grip. Much tighter and stronger rubber casing, so the thin edges and flaps lock in place better and are not prone to stretching. A much thicker case cover; the previous version had stress points that cracked and broke off. This is definitely more solid.

This is personal preference, but I never did get the reason why you needed a big back flap to dock the iPad. I just charge it with the cable. But it's gone now, so if you needed that big back flap, this new case won't work for you. But I never used it, so frankly I'm glad it's gone.

Finally, haven't given the sleep magnets a full test yet but adding them is a bonus. And I frequently use the stand + type incline prop, so I'm glad that feature remains the same.

My only concern is how this case might impact the new iPad's reported heat issues, but frankly if Apple says the temps are in spec, I'm not too worried about it just yet.

But overall, I think OtterBox hit a home run on this case - and iPad 2 owners, stay away from the previous gen case and make sure this is the one you pick up! Trust me on that.