The iProtection, which is the successor to the previous Defender Series products, is OtterBox's latest in ruggedized cases for the iPad 2 and 3. The company has made a number of design tweaks to the product in order to improve protection and to make the product more user-friendly.
Immediately noticeable is a return to full-bezel enclosure on the polycarbonate casing. The previous Defender product did away with full-bezel enclosure in order to lighten the heavy case and only enclosed the iPad up to the rim of the display. OtterBox has also incorporated a permanent clear screen protector into the top piece of the clamshell, which is a nice addition.
For more details about Otterbox Defender, read Jason Perlow's blog.
As I have observed from the construction of other versions of their Defender products for other devices, OtterBox has moved towards a clamshell design for their tablet protection systems that snaps rather than slides together. While this makes it slightly more difficult to remove the device from the case, it does make for a tighter and slimmer fit than the original version for the first generation iPad.
As with the previous generation of the product, the charging port is covered with a silicone rubber flap bonded to polycarbonate that can easily be bended away so that the 30-pin connector can be inserted. The Audio connector has a similar rubberized flap that protects it as well.
The polycarbonate cover itself which snaps on to the front or the back of the case is largely the same as the previous Defender, with the exception of the new texture. As with the previous model, the hinge mechanism which is used to support the iPad at an angle for typing as well as in a standing position for viewing slides into position rather than snaps as used in the first generation model, making it easier to move.king it easier to move.
While OtterBox has made a lot of effort to reduce overall weight, the case is still one of the heaviest available for the iPad 3 — with the cover on, the iPad 3 in the new Defender weighs just over two pounds and nine ounces, which rivals a lightweight laptop . The iPad 3 is already considerably heavier than the previous generation when naked due to the huge Lithium Ion battery it needs to power the Retina Display, so you’re sacrificing a lot of the lightness of the tablet in the process of protecting it.
The iProtection case for iPad 2 and 3 costs $89.95, which is no small price to pay for a case either. But then again, the first time iProtection protects your iPad from a hit on the corner, the side or the front may save you several hundred dollars from having to replace your device.