Otterbox's Defender series for iPad mini takes the ugly out of rugged

The Defender series case for iPad mini protects your device in relative style

If you're looking to protect your device--looks be damned--look no further than Otterbox's rugged Defender series case for iPad mini. This case certainly isn't going to win any prizes in the "sexy and sleek" department, but it will protect your mini better than most.

Otterbox Defender for iPad mini
Otterbox Defender for iPad mini

It's a four-part case with a heavy duty cover that doubles as a stand, so it's also pretty usable. Getting it on and off can be tricky, but Otterbox provides a simple-to-follow instruction video.

The Defender comes in several parts. First, there's a slim, two-piece plastic shell that snaps onto the device. This shell features soft strips to cradle the back of your mini, as well as a thin plastic screen protector. The shell leaves all of the iPad's ports and buttons open, giving you access to everything--there's even a small cutout at the top for the microphone.

Next, there's a black silicone layer that fits around the plastic shell. This piece is stretchy and flexible, so it's easy to put on. It locks over four protrusions on the shell, and covers the mini's Home, volume, and Sleep/Wake buttons with rubbery press-through overlays. It also features rubber flaps that cover the mini's Lightning port, headphone jack, and mute switch. The silicone layer is well made--it's rigid when it's stretched over the shell, but the button covers are easy to press and the flaps are easy to remove when you want to access the ports.

Finally, there's an additional piece to the Defender: a thick, hard plastic cover that doubles as a stand. The cover is the easiest to get on and off, as it only attaches at the four corners of the mini. It can go on the back or front of your iPad, but it seems to make the most sense on the front for added screen protection when your iPad is not in use. Inside the cover, there's a stand that pops up and allows you to prop up your mini in landscape orientation, at an upright, movie-viewing angle, or a lower typing angle.

The Defender definitely offers protection, and it's relatively sleek compared to a lot of other rugged cases. The two-material construction means that the case is better at withstanding drops, since the silicone layer absorbs the shock, while the plastic layer protects from dings. The built-in screen protector is a nice touch, and the mini's screen is still responsive through it. However, since it's not attached to the mini's display, there is the issue of dust getting trapped underneath it.

Bottom line

If you're looking for a rugged case to protect your iPad mini, the Defender series will do an admirable job. It's not the prettiest case I've seen, but it looks and feels sturdy, and the extra-sturdy cover/stand combo is actually quite usable. Of course, if looks are what you care about, this is not the case for you.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Otterboxhardware systemsTablet Accessoriestablets

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?