THE best case for an iPad hands down !
Notes: As anyone who knows me can attest, I get up to some odd adventures and can be rough on equipment, which is why I tend towards what I would call adventure proof equipment. I like to keep things simple, robust, reliable, have understandable directions for use,and preferably with a warranty. The LIFEPROOF case has all these virtues and more, and is my penultimate favorite case for all those reasons.
Appearance: Nice tactile nonslip feel of rubber borders/edge,cut away skeletonized look to the entire case. Clear optical glass cover over camera. A rather stylish minimalist look and feel rather than the chunky overkill of a Survivor series case. Buttons are easy to find and responsive, no plastic screen cover to degrade Retina Display so you can enjoy it in all its glory (Zagg produces a screen protector specific to this case and it can be ordered directly from Lifeproof if you like ). I like the clear back to the case as it allows people to see the engraving I had done (If Found,Reward, etc.) or allows you to add stickers, logos, decorations etc to the back of your iPad and keep them protected.
First Impression: Decently made with a blue silicone gasketing similar to what you find in cars, airplane engines, and other mission critical applications. Cover/shield is a press on grey smoked flexible polypropelene plastic that will not show scratches easily,with notches/cutouts for controls.Microphones and speakers are not blocked by case and the headphone jack has a adapter that screws into the case to maintain waterproof integtrity
Directions and Instructions: While a bit of a challenge to install, I love their obsessive thoroughness to make sure you get it right. First they test EACH case at the factory for waterproofness,then they make you test yourself and the case to make sure you can do it right. They provide very detailed instructions on how to assemble the case (minus your iPad) than submerge it in your bathtub (or similar container of water at depth) to make sure you can snap it together without it leaking. Assuming you do this correctly, then you put your iPad in the case and you are ready to go ! One tip I will add is when you try to snap the two halves together don’t try it with just your fingers – it doesn’t work well – lace your fingers together then use the heels of your hands to press the case together – much simpler !
Testing: While we haven’t tasted the case to failure point, we are quite impressed with it so far. We have dropped it into water, washed it with cheap gin when it got dirty and strolled around with it in the rain,mud and carried it into some fairly ugly environments with no ill effects to either the case or the iPad itself. This case is head and shoulders above any other case for durability, water and spill protection and overall durability and protection. Cover has built in stand with two settings, landscape picture frame type display and much lower typing stand which props up the iPad slightly for typing on screen. Both work well and more stable that other stands that came with cases we have tried. It puts the Survivor case which is good for general, light duty use, completely in the shade in terms of overall protection and style. Slim design makes it easy to carry and store without sacrificing protection.
Other: They have a lot of other equipment and options for the case such as a life ring for aquatic environments ( read boating and dropping it over the side), hand and shoulder straps (highly recommended) and other items.
Final Thoughts: If you want the best and most protective case out there that is still reasonably thin and lightweight this is IT. While expensive compared to other cases you get what you pay for and more. One of the problems with electronics such as the iPad is that they can get ruined so easily so you tend to leave them at home and not to use them nearly as much because you have to baby them. With this case you can carry your iPad almost anywhere you would go in any conditions – rain, snow dust, bars, parties, whatever. The protection this case provides gives you so much more use of your iPad you won’t regret it and the peace of mind and utility is well with the cost. Don’t even think about going outside into the real world without this case.