Finding the Best iPad Case, Part 2: What to Look for in a Rugged Case
by Tablets for Artists
IPads are used in the military for everything from logistics to chatting with family back home. IPads get knocked about in deserts, jungles, and Jeeps, in extreme dust, in freezing and hot temperatures, and they see action like few back home ever see. Many iPad cases for sale are made to military-grade standards.
But civilians have bumpy lives too. They travel. Their kids treat iPads like bouncing balls. And face it, everyone is a klutz at least some of the time. A military-grade case can be the best iPad casefor active people.
Companies have responded to the challenges the active lives of iPad owners by making tank-like containers that seal in the device so it’s snug as a bug. Some of these are waterproof or water-resistant, dust-proof and drop-proof to a certain height, and some have hand or shoulder straps. Not all rugged cases have everything. Try to think of features you can and can’t live without.
Before purchasing a rugged iPad case, consider:
Weight. How much weight does it add?
Screen clarity. Does it come with a screen protector that lets you use the screen? Does the screen protector protect from spills? Is it removable? Is it sensitive to your touch, or do you have to press hard to get it to work? Try pressing the buttons. Try it with a stylus.
Is it waterproof? Water-resistant?
Does it have a wake/sleep mechanism? Most covers have magnets that do this.
Holding it. Does it have handy features such as a belt that you could attach to a hand, arm, or leg? Not everyone would use this, but if you’re out in the field, or a teacher giving a talk who uses the iPad to refer to notes, this feature can be useful. Or maybe it has a shoulder strap?
Grip. Does the grip slip?
Stand. Does it have a stand? Does it work in several positions and the two modes, portrait and landccape? Many stands are landscape-only.
If it has a built-in screen protector, can you still use your own, at the same time? Or as a replacement?
Protection. How is the padding, screen protection, corner protection?
Cutouts. all ports, plugs, and cameras accessible? Does the case protect the ports?
Mic. Is the mic blocked?
Appropriateness for your iPad. Is the ambient light sensor and retina functions working with the case, if they are supposed to?
Materials. Most cases are made from materials such as silicone, hard polycarbonate, or TPU (a soft plastic), rubber, or siliconized rubber. Some say silicone, though more flexible, can attract dust because it picks up electrical charges. TPU is harder but easier to clean. Pure rubber is natural. None of these are better in quality than the others, it’s just personal preference. Many durable, rugged cases combine hard and soft materials.
Fit. Is it easy to install and remove the iPad?
Features. Is there something you really need–a keyboard? Would it need to be built-in, or could you use a separate one? If you’re an artist, maybe the best iPad case for you has a notepad and pen loop.
Safety and wear and tear. Does it have little pieces that could break off? This is particularly important if you have children, as it could be a safety issue.
Price. Some are fairly expensive, but there are some affordable ones that work almost as well. The best iPad case for your lifestyle isn’t always the most costly one. A lot goes into these cases and getting the details right. Sometimes some batches will not fit iPads as well as others. In that case, using a company with good customer service will matter, in the event of a problem.
Customer Service: Is the manufacturer reputable and responsive?
Check to make sure which iPad model you have and that your case is right for this model. There can be subtle differences in iPads even if they almost the same.
CLEAN your iPad screen before putting it into a screen protector.
By considering all these points, whether you decide you need a rugged case or not, you can find the perfect iPad case for your life.
Read our reviews of five of the best rugged cases.
Browse rugged iPad cases on Amazon.
end of Finding the Best iPad Case, Part 2: What to Look for in a Rugged Case