Review: Apple iPad Cases


If you’ve been bitten by the Apple iPad bug like so many of us, and if you’re often on the move with your device, protection of some kind is a must for your fancy electronic toy. The cases below each offer protection, though with varying degrees. In a sea of iPad case options, these three were our favorites.

OtterBox, with a reputation for super-tough, functional cases, sells its Defender Series case for $89.95. Heavy-duty polycarbonate plastic and shock-absorbing silicone encase an iPad in the Defender for serious protection. If I knew my iPad was going to fall at some point, I’d hope it was in the OtterBox. The company claims the case is “drop proof.”

The OtterBox Defender Series iPad case

Built-in stand on OtterBox

The OtterBox trade-off for its stout protection is weight and bulk. It is the largest and heaviest of the group here. A removable screen cover doubles as a stand to hold the device upright, and a clear membrane shields the screen from scratches. I’m always surprised at the level of fit and finish that OtterBox products have built in, and this case is no different. With rambunctious children in my home, so far my iPad has spent more time in the OtterBox than any other case.

For old-fashioned folks who just plain like the way a book feels in the hand, San Fransicso based DODO offers an iPad case that is made in an actual book bindery. The classiest of the bunch in my review, the DODO case will safely and handsomely transport your iPad as if it were ensconced in the pages of your favorite hardcover novel.

The DODO iPad Case

Detail of the DODO case

A simple elastic band holds two hardcover flaps shut with your iPad inside. It’s low-tech but high on style, with bamboo edging that snugly cradles the device in place with the help of rubber pads. Selling for $59.95, the Dodo is available in a range of interior colors, and it’s a quality piece that any iPad user could be happy to own.

Last, the Waterguard Plus Waterproof case by Trendy Digital is the true outdoor-oriented case in the bunch. Using a combination of zip-lock and dry-bag technology, this case will give your iPad a weatherproof home should you ever need it.

The Trendy Digital Waterguard Plus iPad case

You could literally use this case in the rain without consequence. The case is cheap insurance against a moisture related accident for bicycle commuters and the like. In addition to its plastic casing, a thin layer of padding on the back offers some shock protection as well. Two grommeted eyelets permit a lanyard for carrying it around. Even through the thick plastic, I was able to operate the iPad easier than I expected. The Waterguard Plus costs $23.99, and it comes in either purple or blue.

Be it raindrops or an unfortunate drop, one of these cases should have you covered. Using these cases over the past month, my iPad has been happier and safer ever since.

—T.C. Worley