Child-proofing your home these days involves more than securing your furniture and fixtures. We also now need to child-proof our own favourite toys – such as our iPads, iPhones and other smart devices – that are also fast becoming the preferred playthings of our offspring. There is really no bigger stress test for your smart devices than giving these to toddlers who like testing their limits and infants who often do not know their own strength. These gizmos can slip through small hands and land on hard floors, resulting in smashed screens and other repairs that can lead to big bills for exasperated parents.
If this sounds like a possible scenario in your family home, you may like to get acquainted with OtterBox and its range of products. OtterBox offers industry-leading expertise in protective casing and is the number one selling brand in its category in the US. OtterBox, recently ranked number 10 in Forbes magazine’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies 2013, is now expanding into Hong Kong and the rest of Asia-Pacific with its extensive range of highly protective device cases. In addition to the new iPhone 5S and 5C range, OtterBox also offers protection for all of today’s hottest technologies and smartphones including GALAXY S4, iPad, HTC One and many more.
I took the iPad and iPhone 5 Cases from OtterBox’s Defender Series for trial runs to see if these could really help cushion the impact on these tech products and parents’ pockets.
OtterBox’s Defender Series iPad Case is touted as one of the toughest iPad cases in the business. This product was recently awarded the parental stamp of approval in the form of the Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) Winner’s Seal of Approval. PTPA Media provides an objective framework for appraising and promoting new products designed to enrich family living.
I dropped both my OtterBox Defender Series encased iPad and iPhone a number of times from the height of my bed, and also from a standing position with good results – both items were still in good working condition after these test drops (to my great relief!). For the iPad case, there is also a nifty built-in stand that can sit the device up in portrait or landscape mode for more comfortable viewing. However, these Defender Series cases will not waterproof your devices – they will only provide protection against bumps and shocks. Only cases from OtterBox’s Waterproof Line i.e. the Armor and Preserver Series are rated for water immersion, within specified depth and duration limits. Once inside these waterproof cases, your phone can supposedly be submerged under 6.6 feet of water for a whole 30 minutes. They can also apparently withstand being crushed under 2 tonnes of weight, and dropped from a height of 10 feet. My brother-in-law who is a marine biologist owns one and uses it when he is out in the field researching coral reefs.
The cases I tested are built for pure functionality and so don’t have forms that are aesthetically pleasing – think Volvos versus BMWs. So, design aficionados will have to consider if they are willing compromise on style in exchange for product security. The cases are also brick-like, bulky and add weight – not a great thing if one of the reasons you prefer Apple products is because of their lightweight portability. The skimpy product manuals that accompany the cases don’t properly explain how the product can be fitted and later on removed. These should ideally make reference to good YouTube videos and the detailed instructions on the manufacturer’s website on this topic, but they don’t. I ended up breaking my thumbnail and wasting precious time following the flimsy printed instructions when I was trying to extract my device from the iPad case post my testing.
That said, these cases have their own fan bases and there are quite a few glowing reviews on the web (accompanied by stories of personal experiences) that attest to OtterBox’s worthiness of its good reputation.
Regular Retail Price (RM)
- Defender Series iPad 2 Case: RM329
- Defender Series iPhone 5S Case: RM189
- Armor Series iPhone 5S Case: RM339