Hands-on with Otterbox's Defender Series case for the iPad 2
The Defender Series case is a rugged accessory comprised of a few parts: The exterior shell is made from high-quality polycarbonate, while the inner case is a durable yet flexible silicone skin. There is also a foam lining on the interior to protect the back of the iPad.
Upon opening the box, I quickly discovered just how strong the Defender case is. However, that's mainly because it's comprised of so many pieces that took quite a while to get through before even inserting the iPad 2.
This layer on the back (which honestly reminded me of a strange-looking turtle) can be removed first as it is only the attachable stand for when users want to prop up the iPad 2.
There were a few trademarks reminscent of other Otterbox cases I've seen before. One included the rather large Otterbox logo on the back of the case as well as those rubber port covers on the silicone case. Just like with the Commuter Series for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, I found these covers to be annoying and not really stay pushed in like they're supposed to be.
Getting through the layers of the Defender series took longer than I would have liked and turned out to be more confusing than I expected. Even though there are a series of drawings as instructions on the inside of the box, getting to the very bottom where one could finally put the iPad 2 in was not intuitive.
The hinges between layers were hard to open (which could also be considered a good thing in the long run in order to protect the iPad), and I even almost cut my finger at one point.
When I finally got the iPad 2 in, I could tell it was secure, but it I couldn't put all of the pieces back together as seamlessly as they were when fresh out of the box.
Finally, when I got all the puzzle pieces of the Defender Series case back together with the iPad 2 locked in, I tried out the stand. Obviously, it doesn't stand very tall, but it would do the trick for basic typing on the virtual touch screen.
The Defender Series case for the iPad 2 is available now for a whopping $89.95. That's a bit expensive for just a tablet accessory, but it is sturdier than most of the competition. Otterbox has also tacked on a self-adhering screen protector freebie for a limited time.