When it comes to my devices, I'm never without a case or some form of protection. On the first day the BlackBerry PlayBook came out, I refused to use the neoprene sleeve included in the box. As I've dropped, banged, and dented every BlackBerry that's come across my path, there was no way I would let serious harm befall my precious. Just the thought of seeing a scratch or a cracked screen would be enough to drive me over the edge. As I take my PlayBook with me to work every day, there are all sorts of potential hazards that could occur while commuting. As their motto is "designed to survive life" was this case up the challenge of surviving me? Click on the jump to find out.
The Ballistic Tough Jacket Series comes with three layers of protection to make sure those of us who have difficulty holding onto their devices won't be running out to buy a new PlayBook each time they have an "accident." Another cool thing is that this case meets military specifications, which means you know that it's extremely durable and probably one of the strongest cases available.
Advanced three layer protection
Layer 1: Inner silicone core absorbs shock
Layer 2: Impact resistant hard plastic
Layer 3: Shock absorbent polymer layer
Ballistic corners for drop protection
Removable cover that can also be used on the back as a kickstand
Lay-on-table feature (screen never touches the surface of the table when laid flat)
One thing about cases that you need to look out for is how easy they are to put on. I can say this case is easy to get on but if you do it the wrong way there's a chance you could break a nail or the pieces at the top/bottom that cover the ports and buttons. Take a look at the video above on how to install properly. Removing it is another story. I gently remove the side polycarbonate layer from the gel and then slowly slide it off all the sides.
Design & Protection
It features a three layer design: an inner silicone cover, a touch polycarbonate hard shell, and a polymer layer on the back. All of these together create a seal that offers ultimate protection for your tablet. Once your PlayBook is in this case nothing will happen to it and I mean absolutely nothing. I've already dropped it a few times and it still looks like it just came out of the box.
While this case is made from solid and durable materials you'll see that it does add some extra bulk and make the PlayBook heavier than what some people may be comfortable with. For me, this is a trade-off I'm willing to make. I'd rather have the extra weight than worry about what might happen the next time it slips out of my hands.
Speaking of slippage, the third layer on the back not only offers a firm non-slip grip but also prevents it from sliding on smooth surfaces.
Another interesting and most helpful feature is the introduction of their Ballistic Corners, which means that all four corners come with extra shock absorption. They may be oversized for some people's taste but again they make sure your PlayBook doesn't crack or break when dropped on the floor. These corners also contribute to the lay-on-table feature so that your screen never touches the surface (be it floor or table) when laid flat.
Finally, it comes with a removable front cover that also doubles as a kickstand. The only thing I don't like is that it's for landscape viewing only and cannot be adjusted for portrait mode. However, the added screen protection does let me place this in my bag when traveling without worrying that the screen might be scratched or damaged in transit. Unlike other cases, this does not come with a screen protector for your display.
Being the klutz that I am, I did drop it a couple of times. The first was when it was in my bag at work and it fell off the counter of about 4 feet high. The other time it fell off my nightstand of about 2 feet as I was reaching to shut off the alarm. I must say that there was not a scratch on either the case of the tablet. As for the latter instance, it fell facedown but because of the thick corners the screen never touched the floor.
Finding the right case is tough. Do you go for full body protection, thin and light, a skin case, or a sleeve? Personally, I tend to gravitate towards ones that offer protection for my daily grind. With this case I'm no longer panicking that my klutziness will cause irreparable damage to my PlayBook. While the weight is sometimes cumbersome it's easy to slip on and off. It comes in two colors (black/black, and red/black), though I would like to see a wider selection. It is perfect for the constant traveler looking for top notch protection.