Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I don't need a case for my iPad.... Oh yes you do!

I am one of those people that when I am carrying my iPad I treat it like a small child. OK, maybe that’s a little over the top! Due to my career path and hobbies I seem to be rough on my equipment. See 28 years ago I became a firefighter and due to the job and my personality I tend to tear stuff up. I am the perfect person to test an iPad case because I am in some unfriendly environments.

To start this product test I go straight to the internet and do a little research on the LifeProof web site (http://www.lifeproof.com/en/ ). All their advertising says all their cases (phone or tablet) are waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof. Well guess what, I believe I can test a few of those things over the next month! I am not satisfied with what I read so I pick up the phone and call LifeProof. I get a marketing person on the phone who tells me, “Tom go ahead and give it a hard test. Drop it on the concrete to test it. Put the Life Jacket on your iPad and drop it in the water and see what happens!” Now I am a little scared to be dropping my iPad on the ground or in the water. “If it tears up your equipment we will replace it!” said the LifeProof employee. OK, I am in….

Let the testing begin. The LifeProof cases are made of: polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a durable material. Although it has high impact-resistance, it has low scratch-resistance and so a hard coating is applied to polycarbonate eyewear lenses and polycarbonate exterior automotive components. 

lifeproof ipad case

* iPad with Life jacket picture courtesy of LifeProof

For all of you that hate the process of learning about new items, LifeProof iPad  cases come with a really nice set of instructions. The instructions have really good pictures if you would rather not read, but I would suggest that you do.  Don’t hesitate to go to their web site and view some of their cool videos.

Prior to placing your iPad in the case the company recommends you test the case in the water to make you feel satisfied you are not going to stick your iPad directly in the water first. Again “READ THE DIRECTIONS, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT PRIOR TO PUTTING YOUR iPad INTO THE WATER!” The two-piece case will snap around your plastic, the iPad test unit on both sides. It is important when assembling the case to be careful and take your time. When doing this you must make sure the internal latches are locked together. All the latches must connect to make the case 100% waterproof and dust proof. Place the case and the test unit in the water for up to 3 minutes to test for water proofing. After 3 minutes pull the unit out of the water, shake it off, dry the outside and now look inside the unit to make sure no water has entered the case. If I have confused you at this point go to the web site at:  http://www.lifeproof.com/en/support/products/ipad/user-guide/

Snapping the case together did not seem to be an issue, but taking it apart requires a bit more time and effort. I honestly say I still felt strange placing my iPad into the water, but now I feel a lot better about the unit getting wet. Once your iPad is in the case, you should ensure that the “Charge Port Door” is completely closed & locked prior to putting the unit in the water. LifeProof does have a mechanism that folds over the iPad to protect your charging connectors. You can open that door whenever you need to connect your charger or sync your iPad. The door is also made with the polycarbonate material which will keep it study and strong.  To keep all the dust, dirt and grime out of your iPad headphone jack, the LifeProof case includes a cover that screws into the opening of the jack. Can you still take pictures with your iPad? Yes, you can because the camera remains exposed, and all the buttons can be accessed through the case. The volume, sleep, wake, and Home buttons are easy to access with a touch.
LifeProof claims their cases remains are watertight down to 2 meters of water, and it can survive drops onto the smooth concrete from the same distance. The LifeProof cases are able to withstand temperatures between -40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t believe I will be testing this feature right now!  Overall, this case is very light for the protection it offers. This case is tough, durable and meets my test with flying colors.
If you are an outdoor's person, I highly recommend buying another item from LifeProof, and that is the “Life Jacket."  With the Life Jacket accessory, your iPhone or iPad will actually float. The “Life Jackets” are handy extra for those who take their iPad or iPhone out on the water. With the big orange Life Jacket wrapped around your device, you will not have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the lake or ocean if your tablet or phone goes over board. This “Life Jacket” will keep your tablet or phone safe and secure, which means it shouldn’t get wet or even sink into the water.

If you purchase any LifeProof case, make sure to register it to get the “Total Water Protection Program”. If your eligible device suffers water damage while in a LifeProof case, LifeProof will repair or replace it. The program is limited to a one-time use, and requires the case be used in accordance with all instructions provided. Check the web site out for more information.

I value my electronic device's way too much to use a cheap $10 case you can buy online. Spend a few extra dollars and get a dependable LifeProof case. The cases retail for $79.95 for iPhones and $129.99 for iPads, but you might be able to find them on sale with some searching. The Life Jacket can be purchased for $39.95 to $59.95 depending on the unit you want to protect out on the water.

Thanks for reading…… BRANCH

About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

Follow him on www.facebook.com/tombranchjr   and http://twitter.com/tombranchjr 

Blog: http://outonalimbwithtombranchjr.blogspot.com/


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