Ballistic Tough Jacket Series offers maximum protection for the BlackBerry PlayBook

By Alicia Erlich on 20 Jun 2012 04:06 pm EDT

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.


Similar skin cases for you BlackBerry PlayBook

Otterbox Defender Series Case Incipio Hive Honeycomb dermaSHOT Silicone Case BlackBerry Skin Case for PlayBook
OtterBox Defender Series Case for BlackBerry PlayBook
"Tough (not rough) contender for the ultimate in protection and functionality title"
Incipio Hive Honeycomb dermaSHOT Silicone Case for BlackBerry PlayBook
"Offers excellent drop protection as well as anti-drop protection"
BlackBerry Skin Case for PlayBook
"Add some protection and style to your BlackBerry PlayBook"


Reader comments

Ballistic Tough Jacket Series offers maximum protection for the BlackBerry PlayBook


I own this case, purchased on Ebay in Dec for $22.00 with free shipping. I will say there is no better protection. Still looks as new as the day purchased. It adds a little bulk but not ugly, really durable and adds value to the playbook. I throw mine around quite a bit and I think its because I don't fear that it will break. Get one Today, you won't regret it. I find it nicer than the defender for a lower price and no reduction in protection. Hope it helps anyone on the fence about getting one. Ballistic Rules!!! Absolutely love my Playbook!!!

I have this exact same case! My gf uses the otterbox defender. She complains about the built in screen protector affecting the touch sensitivity, plus the buttons are hard to press on the otterbox. My ballistic case is awesome though, dropped my playbook 3 times already and not a single scratch or scuff, and the buttons are easy to press. Only complaint is that the cover when attached to the back while in use is a bit annoying as it sticks out too much. Otherwise a very durable case.

Just got one of these. Using this for long distance trips and attaching a baterry pack with velcro. Going to add some weight but will last me for atleast 24hrs between charging

I'm rather curious about this as well. When I use the rapid charger on my PlayBook, I normally take it out of the OEM convertible case as it get warm even in it.

What the heck, I bought one on Amazon. Sorry CB, But I had $65 free money on my Amazon credit card plus got free shipping, plus price was lower. I bought the red one to jazz things up a bit.

The girl at the Ballistic booth at BlackBerry World gave me one of these cases. So far it's held up very well to my crazy 10 year old boy. :)

I bought one of these cases because my 3 year old son dropped my PlayBook when I had the BlackBerry Convertible Case... it scared the heck out of me. Also, my one year old daughter will be most likely become interested in my PlayBook as well (love of tech toys must be genetic). So I wanted to get something quite robust. I feel much better now that I have this case.

I was contemplating getting the OtterBox Defender, but the reviews I read mentioned that it was difficult to install and more importantly, I was not a fan of the integrated screen protector in the OtterBox. I liked the option of being able to easily replace the screen protector if needed. Also, I like having all the ports open, without having to fumble around with opening silicone tabs. Finally, red is my favorite color and the price was better.

There are a couple of points that were not mentioned in the review.

1) The kickstand that is integrated into the front cover actually has four positions to adjust your viewing angle - two positions when the front case is attached right-side up and two positions when the front case is attached up-side down. Having the front cover clicked into the rear of the case right-side up, you have two positions (around 60 degrees) for say watching a video or listening to music. However, because the front cover can be attached to the rear of the case upside down as well, you have two additional angled positions (around 30 degrees) so you can have your PlayBook at a better (lower) angle for typing on the screen.

Note: Yes, you could simply flip your PlayBook over with the front cover in its right-side up position to accomplish the same task, but you would not have easy access to the volume, play/pause and headphone jacks.

2) As a result of the larger Ballistic corners raising the bottoms ports off your desk, you can attach your micro-USB cable and quick-charger while using the lower angled position (with the front cover attached upside down) instead of having to lay your PlayBook flat on your desk.

Note: Because of the angled cable attachment for the quick charger (BlackBerry Rapid Wall Charger) you can attach the charger in all four positions. However, the standard micro-USB cable sticks out too much from the port and will not work in the higher angled positions. If you found a micro-USB cable with a right-angle connection, you may be able to attach it in all positions as well.

3) The power, volume and play buttons are much easier to use than with my BlackBerry Convertible Case. The silicone rubber used in the Ballistic case is easier to press than the harder plastic used for the BlackBerry Convertible Case. The buttons are also more prominent than on the BlackBerry Convertible Case. For those with the older, more recessed power buttons on their PlayBooks, this may make it easier to access these buttons.

Note: I actually bought two of these cases (for prototyping and in case my idea does not work) as I am thinking I might be able to convert it to work with the iGrip Headrest TABLET Kit. I find the case that came with it is incredibly difficult to remove from your PlayBook and scratches the finish.

I have from 2 month now. I bought it from I think i paid 29$.
The product is impressive amd its protects my Playbook perfectly. I recoomend it.

It will be nice if the product still available. Unfortunately, it's been out for weeks! I'm not even sure if the stock is being replenish.

Sweeeet, my Ballistic arrived today! Sweeeet, I'm a happy buyer. Much easier to hold, doesn't make me feel that it's too bulky, the corners make the Playbook easier to hold onto. Can ease up on my grip. The Stand is just the right angle, and even thought the on/off and volume buttons are covered, they seem easier to control. I recommend the Ballistic as a must have option for Playbook. I hate to even use the word option because it just seems so much like a part of the Playbook once it's installed.

I can feel the heat radiate out the back center where the playbook silvers berries are, so it seems the Ballistic case allows the transfer of heat through it.