Choosing Protection. Choosing Protection.
By Brandon Butler, Director/Chief Instructor and all around destroyer of nice things. The right protection is important for a lot of people and it... Choosing Protection.
By Brandon Butler, Director/Chief Instructor and all around destroyer of nice things.

The right protection is important for a lot of people and it is a very personal choice. Choosing between thick, over-sized, thin, or minimal protection can be hard to choose as there are lots of choices on the market. Some people choose to spend extra time finding the right touch, texture and natural feel. Some really look for an attractive design with various choices. Regardless of what you are think I am writing about, I am actually speaking about computer tablet protection. Yes, computer tablets. Since the dawn of the first PDA to the newest iPad, we have been seeking ways to protect our treasured investments from daily bumps, drops, spills and unfortunate accidents. Most people will go through several types of protective devices before they settle on one they really like to use. After reviewing a couple of the most popular and rugged device protectors, I have selected one to review.

The LifeProof NUUD case for iPad is an interesting concept for a “bombproof” protector for the iPad. Looking over the case’s proclaimed list of protection, I was a bit skeptical about the list and the practical applications of these claims. Just for the sake of  the review I did reserve judgment until it was completed, so here we go!

Product: LifeProof NUUD Case for iPad

Price: $99 to $129 (Included LifeProof Cover and Stand an additional $20 to $30)

Colors: Black

Features(on box): Shockproof, dustproof, waterproof, dirtproof, snowproof

Complete List of Features and Specs at: http://www.lifeproof.com/ipad/

Un-boxing:

The packaging included the case, a testing device for underwater use, a screen cleaning cloth and literature.

I would highly recommend reading through the included literature to find out exactly how all of the parts work together. There are a few items that might confuse you as to where they go.

The Pros:

Screen sealed design without a ‘screen protector’

I was impressed on how well the case snapped together and felt in my hands. The thin design made it easy to hold and use. The design of the case is to be used without any sort of screen protection; in some cases the protector dulls the image quality of your screen. The case seals directly against the glass of the screen which makes for a very nice design. The case’s buttons and use of the iPad screen while in the LifeProof case are great and is just as responsive as if you didn’t have it in one. This case is rated to be waterproof up to 6.6ft (2 Meters) this feature we will cover later in this article. Other items that I like in particular is the speaker port that allows you to use the iPad’s internal speaker without having to open a cover. The case has a plug and an extension cable that screw in to the headphone port to keep the water resistance intact. It also has a convenient plug holder to store the case’s normal plug so you don’t lose it…very nice touch.

This test model came with the Lifeproof NUUD iPad Case Cover and Stand. This is a great way to protect the exposed screen from transport scratches and basic knock around issues. Once removed it can snap on the back (this will muffle the speaker somewhat) or can be used as an angled stand simply by swinging out the internal arm to support the case at one of two angles. This is a pretty nice feature as the higher angle is great for reading and the lower angle places the iPad at a nice typing position if you are responding to emails or typing a review of this case.

The Cons:

For all of the great features of the case there are a few drawbacks. The bottom charging/accessory port in the case is only large enough for the original apple charger (aftermarket chargers like Rocketfish will not fit) and will not fit apple standard accessories or will work in iPad accessories like charging stands and audio systems. There is a fix for this, as LifeProof has an adapter for an additional $30. This is quite disappointing if you have already shelled out $100 for the case and an additional $20 for the cover/stand. Since I use my iPad for checking photos and instructional presentations, all the adapters that I bought from apple would not fit the case without the adapter in place.

The removable seal.

The waterproof claim for the case was never tested with the iPad in place. I tested the case with the included testing insert and found it to be waterproof. Just to make sure there were no leaks, I placed a piece of paper inside the case. There were no leaks after an hour of submersion (the testing only recommends 3 minutes of submersion). The case itself is quite rugged, but the seals are not affixed into their channels and actually come out, thus every time you open the case you are essentially re-sealing it for the first time. I was not confident in this design to test my iPad under water as there was no way to test the unit to make sure the seals were in the right place and were sealed correctly. Risking the investment in my iPad was not one I was willing to take with this particular design, so no underwater testing was done.

Overall this is a great case that will protect your iPad from dust and dirt, minor splashes and spills, drops and bumps (as long as nothing hits the screen directly), and the airport gorillas who security check your bags and electronics. The only issues with this case are the small accessory/charging port and the removable seal. The small accessory/charging port is not an issue if you only use it for charging and have no plans to use Apple or aftermarket accessories. As for the waterproof claim, there are plenty of instances where the case will protect your iPad. If you spill your coffee on your iPad or drop it in a puddle, I would say that this case would surpass those expectations. As for the complete submersion, I have seen plenty of videos on their site of iPads being used underwater in the LifeProof case. After closely reviewing the case, I am not sure that I personally would risk my iPad by taking it underwater.

In my opinion the Lifeproof NUUD iPad case is a good way to keep my iPad safe.  Although the case has some issues, the majority of users of this product will never experience them.  The LifeProof iPad case has many of the features I look for in cases and protection and is a good way to protect your iPad.

 

 

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