For those who have picked a PlayBook, I want to ask you a question; How many of you still have the screen protector on? Yes, the one that has the gestures printed on it. It’s okay, I do as well - it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I was a little disappointed that the PlayBook didn’t come with a screen protector free of graphics. At least we have a neoprene sleeve to provide protection when it’s not in use. As with most new toys, I’m always afraid of that first drop. I’ve been lucky so far (knock on wood), but I still dread that first slip - the slow motion fall to the ground accompanied by a useless “Nnnnooooooo!”
When the Otterbox Defender series case for the PlayBook came out, I was able to get my hands on one. My past two BlackBerry smartphones have sported a case or two, at some point, and I was eager to give this new one a go. With 3 layers of reliable protection, I was pretty sure that the case could stand up to practically anything, even our 4 year old. As an added bonus, the case includes a removable shield that doubles as a stand! Let’s check it out.
Warning: Within this yellow and red box lies a tough, rugged case designed to withstand much of what is thrown at a geek on the go. In some cases, it’s also the geek that is thrown. Emblazoned on the box is the “Built for BlackBerry” logo, which stands for quality and two thumbs up from RIM. The kit is pretty simple, as the only thing inside the box, besides the case, is a set of instructions printed on the inside wall. It’s minimal packaging for providing maximum protection. Here are the tech specs for the Defender case:
Layers of armour:
A clear protective screen and camera protector (membrane)
A silicone skin for you to caress while you carry your PlayBook. I mean, it’s used to provide a better grip, yeah, that’s it...
A polycarbonate shell to bear hug your PlayBook. The inside of the back half of the shell has a soft lining.
A multi-purpose, plastic shield
5.78inx 8.03 in x 1.17in (or 146.81 mm x 204.06 mm x 29.82 mm)
11.99oz (340.19 g) – that’s only the case, not including the shield/stand.
Now like any great, fully loaded case, this puppy protects your ports with silicon plugs. While it covers nearly every square inch of your PlayBook, it still provides access to your speakers, microphones, headset jack, power buttons and media/volume buttons. There are 4 tabs on the edges of the case; 2 on the top edge and 2 on the bottom. These have two purposes. First, it’s used to secure the extra plastic shield in place. Second, it locks the back and front of the polycarbonate case together.
With this much protection, one may still worry about any potential damage to the still somewhat exposed screen. What really makes the Defender case stand out (in more ways than one), is the removable shield. It can be positioned to cover the back of the PlayBook (with a sliding “peephole” for the camera) or the front, protecting the case when not in use. The coolest feature it has is the collapsible stand built into the shield. It’s the perfect angle for checking out pictures, watching videos or even playing music and games at a desk. I loved typing on it while at my desk, as well.
While it does take away from the compact feel of the PlayBook, I feel much more secure taking my tablet out and about. I’ve been babying it ever since I got it and it’s about time to let loose a bit. The membrane didn’t seem to affect the quality of images I was taking, nor did it affect the sensitivity of the touch screen.
Oh and Bla1ze, if you’re reading, I will say it again; No I will not do a drop test! If, and I mean IF, I ever drop my tablet, I will update this review with my findings.
The Otterbox Defender series case for the PlayBook is a tough (not rough) contender for the ultimate in protection and functionality title. Its sure grip will protect from dings and dents, while decreasing the risk of any accidental drops. The stand and shield are added bonuses that will prop up and protect, respectively. With my PlayBook all armoured up, the only thing missing is the miniaturized arc reactor. You can pick case up from shopcrackberry.com for only $66.95.
Contest: Do you need to get your hands on one of these? How about winning one from ShopCrackBerry.com? All you have to do is leave a comment below. Here’s the catch, you have to share with everyone how protective you are of your PlayBook. Is it bubble-wrapped? Have you even taken it out of the box yet? Let us know. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. One of you will win this case straight from ShopCrackBerry.com. Only one comment per entry please.
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