OtterBox iPad Mini Defender case review

Ever felt the urge to toss your iPad Mini like a Frisbee? With the Defender case you can.

The iPad Mini is so far the device I have had the least urge to protect. It is fairly inexpensive compared to the iPhone 5, or iPad 4. It is also extremely light meaning that if dropped it hasn’t got the same mass as the heavier iPad. Considering how fond I have been of it from day one I still want it to be covered to avoid scratches, and dents.

The Defender Series for iPad Mini is more than enough to make the device almost impervious to harm unless it is attacked by a knife, bullet or explosion. Dropping it when inside the case just makes the iPad Mini bounce a bit, and then settle with a sigh on the ground. Thrown it skids across the ground, and quickly comes to a stop due to the rubberized surface of the case.

The Defender case is made from three layers of protection. First there is the two hard plastic pieces that clamps together tightly. The front piece includes a quite thick plastic cover for the screen as well. To round off the protection a layer of silicone goes over the back, and sides of the case. Once in place the silicone is tight, and there are not gaps or places where it seems to come off.

The silicone covers the home button, volume controls, and silent button on the top. All controls are still functional, but it takes some getting used to having the home button covered. Silicone flaps that are fiddly to learn to remove for usage cover the headphone socket, mute switch, and charging socket. Once in place they are tight giving a good seal against dirt, and grime. The only open places on the case are the camera cut-outs, speaker cut-outs and light detector on the top. Other than that everything is covered up, and protected. Even these open places can’t be hurt during a fall.

A stand, extra cover for travelling is also included. Personally I don’t see this as useful given that most of the time you can have the iPad Mini in your hand, or lap. Perhaps for longer video viewing sessions, but other than that this stand/cover is best left in the box. For the iPad 2/3/4 it is much more useful.

The extra grip is excellent, and playing games is much easier than with the ordinary naked iPad Mini. I have had a blast playing Grand Theft Auto Vice City using this case that would have been much less enticing with the naked device.

There is one issue with the case though, and it is one that used to plague the Defender cases for the iPhone 3G/3GS. The plastic screen tends to get watermarked, and fuzzy. This can be remedied by having a small amount of baby powder on the screen before applying the case. Rather annoying that this issue has returned to the series.

For protection there is none better than the OtterBox Defender Series. It might be a bit overkill given how light the iPad Mini is. I would love to see the Commuter Series for the iPad Mini, as it might be a better fit for the device size. If you want a case that you can just dunk the iPad Mini into your bag when heading out it is perfect.


Final Rating


Defender series at $69.95

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