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Otterbox Kids' EasyGrab line isn't just for children

It may have a juvenile branding, but this is equally suitable for vertical market iPad users.

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Otterbox Kids for iPad Gen7/Gen8

Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Today, Otterbox announced releasing Otterbox Kids, a new line of device protection products targeted towards young children. I got a chance to play with three of these products, the EasyGrab iPad Gen7/Gen 8/Mini case with a flexible stand, a blue light screen guard, and a hardened, coil-design charging and audio cable kit.

My wife is a Gen7 iPad user, so I used her device for the evaluation. As an Otterbox for iPad and iPad Pro user since the very first iPad in 2010, I'm absolutely sold on this -- if you have kids and use iPads, the Kids' EasyGrab is the case you want.

Also: Best iPad in 2021: Which iPad model should you buy?

Why? Well, it's built on the same design as the Otterbox Defender for iPad but has a bunch of enhancements -- the rubberized back is now more "grippy," it has an integrated hand knob so you can use it as a handle and can accommodate a flexible stand for viewing the content in different positions. The rubberized material is also antimicrobial, derived from the very same tech used in the Defender Pro cases for hospital/medical applications.

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Otterbox Kids iPad 7/8 case with flexible stand attached

Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The iPad Gen7/Gen8 case is $60 (the Mini version is $10 less), comes with a flexible stand, and you can buy it at Target. It comes in a bunch of kid-friendly colors. If I had kids, I'd totally be buying these for every iPad Gen7/8 in my entire household. 

But do you know who else should be using this case? Every business that uses iPads in a public-facing setting. Restaurants, medical offices, construction. Every vertical industry.

I'd personally love to see this case not just for the base-level iPad and the Mini but also for iPad Air and iPad Pro, as "Defender Industry Edition." Sell it in clinical white, basic black, and construction black and yellow ("Martian"), and you've got protection and a stand for just about every industry imaginable. The only adjustments I would make to this product are allowing the rear knob to be removed and swivel so that the stand can be propped in a vertical position, not just for horizontal viewing.

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Otterbox Kids coiled charge cable

Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The cable set is optional, but overall, I think they did a great job with it -- it feels like it is built as tough as nails, and I love the coiled design. I'd love to see these kinds of connector wraps across the entire industry. If they are to sell this kit for verticals, I'd also do USB-C to Lightning rather than USB-A to take advantage of USB PD charging, but that's a nitpick. The current USB-A to Lightning is excellent for those who don't need a high-speed charge and also if you need a ruggedized CarPlay cable (that's where mine is going). The audio cable features a right-angled connector on the iPad end to minimize repeated flexing and possible breakage, which is a nice touch.

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