Roughing up the iPad

Due to my albinism my eyes are seeing less than desired, and has the consequence that I can’t drive a car. I do most of my local traveling on my bike. But that also means that taking my computer stuff with me has a bit of a risk of getting damaged.

For example, I could easily put the phone in my pocket, no problem. But the iPad won’t fit in the pocket of course, meaning I have to use a backpack or a bag or something else. And it’s not always ideal. I got a leather case a while ago and it’s great. So far the best iPad cover I’ve used for the iPad. That, inside a bag, gives me enough comfort usually when I am on the bike. I don’t feel too bad if it bumps against the steering, or when it’s on the back in the straps, when I got over bumps.

But still, how well does it protect? If I happen to fall or the bag it is in breaks, whatever, how well does the iPad survive because of the leather cover? I decided to take a look at covers specifically designed for those situations where I am roughing up the iPad. I found Griffin Survivor Case For iPad.

I rolled my eyes a little when they promise 100% protection, including rainstorms. And since I lack a budget to torture test the device I can only take their word for it. But I am confident this helps me protect against basic bad weather, and certainly something like dust and damage from falling. Or what I would use it for. To take it with me on a bike where I can offer it little protection, and I would like to arrive without bumps, scratches, or fear of some basic rainfall.

It’s certainly a great package. It does what it advertises. Four layers of protection, plastic front and back cover, which helps against bumps, and the front has a plastic transparent layer which is surprisingly very responsive and did not affect touch at all. The plastic fits snug around the iPad, it really is a perfect fit. But without the fourth layer, the rubber that wraps around it all, it does not feel comfortable at all, I would say it’s a necessity. And yes, you read it between the lines, this is not a real winner in my opinion.

The rubber wrap around layer is made of great material, but the cut out flaps are not staying in place as nicely as I was hoping they would. I can imagine material fatigue might eventually cause problems. Putting the iPad together with other stuff in a bag, it seemed to have quickly flip open and therefor at that points stops protecting that particular part. Such as the camera, the connector, etc. And I certainly don’t want any water to get there. In a survivor situation I rather compromise access to these features, balanced against saving the device from water damage.

What I also found a bit disappointing is that it was not intuitive what was up or down, or how the puzzle fits together. I figured it out quickly enough, sure, but it’s the first cover where I though “hm, so… how does this go?”. But it’s a minor issue. What’s a bigger issue is that the device takes a bit of time to undo. Which is what I find quite important. I want a mobile device to be on the go. So I get up, pick it up, switch or use the cover it’s in, and I want to leave the apartment. This case requires more time, with either setting it up or removing the case. It’s not a slide in and click in place or something.

Oh, and it actually comes with a firm stand, which clips away rather logically. Thumbs up for including it!

But! The case works, still looks pretty good (once the rubber wrap around is on it), and it certainly feels comfy in my hands. It is easy to just put in a bag or on the strap on the back of my bike. I won’t feel bad if it has a bit of rainfall, or if I drop the iPad now. This really does help survive those situations. Something I still feel uncomfortable about with the other covers and cases.

I know for a fact I will use this coming winter, or when I am traveling short distances. If I think the tableware cover might not do the job. My next thought is what iPad accessories I might need when I go travel through Europe in 2013.

If I have to score this between 1 (bad) and 5 (must buy), I score this at a 3,5 (if you need it, this is it, but it’s not (yet) perfect. I just wanted to try it out, experience it, and think about what my options are. And share this experience and opinion with others; And I hope it helps, thank you for reading.