Saturday, December 21, 2013

Protecting Your Tablet - Reader Recommended Top List

It seems many children wrote to Santa asking for a new tablet this year. Many parents, rightly so, want to make sure that these new high priced devices stay safe in the hands of their children. Whether it was a gift from Santa, family members or purchased with the child's own savings, a case is a great investment.

Cas asked our readers: "My daughter saved and saved and saved and bought herself an iPad mini. Two days later her little sister dropped it and broke the screen. What cover/case would you recommend for the iPad mini so this doesn't happen again?" 

Though the discussion question was specific to the iPad Mini, all the brands listed have options for different size tablets. You can go to the websites listed for more information on your specific tablet.

Suggested cases:

Griffen Survivor : Tested and certified to meet or exceed US Department of Defense Standard 810F, Griffin's Survivor Military-Duty Case is designed from the inside out to protect your iPad mini from extreme conditions... dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration and a host of other environmental factors.

Jeanette suggested: The Griffin Survivor is great, not sure if they make them for the mini.

Kelly agreed: A griffin case, they use them in the army. My son has one on his iPad. BigW stocks them too. 

Heather recommended: Griffin Survivor! It outlasted my Otterbox and Trident Kraken Case.

Bri agreed: Griffin is wonderful, my child has dropped her many times. I have to hold my breath when she drops it on concrete. I ordered mine from amazon, which the price was cheap.

Michelle wrote: Our otter broke in less than a month. Try (Griffin) survivor.

Sam suggested checking Ebay for a Griffin Survivor case.

Otterbox : Rugged, multilayer case readies the mini for heavy use and potential mishaps from your rough and tumble life. This is the iPad mini case that lets you share your mini with your toddler, gregarious second grader and accident-prone friend without worry.

Stephanie added: We have the Otterbox Defender on our mini. It is great and well worth the money.

Natalie wrote: Otterbox is great my son has dropped and thrown his iPad many times and no issues. He lost a small piece on the lid (one of the anti scratching pads). I emailed Otterbox and they sent out a whole new Otterbox not just the missing piece. Great warranty.

Cara said: We have have OtterBox, Gumdrop and Griffin. We prefer OtterBox. The Griffin covers for ports (and speaker and camera) tear at the hinges and get lost. Gumdrop doesn't have a stand, which we like having. Other than that, it's fine.

Nadene, Kim P, Kim L, Christine, Patricia, Gail, and Stephanie also recommended the Otterbox.

Lifeproof : Apple iPhone cases and Apple iPad Cases from LifeProof match the pace of your busy lifestyle. With waterproof cases for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 4 / 4S, Samsung GS3 / GS4 and the Apple iPad 2,3, 4, all of its capabilities can follow wherever you go from the sea to land. Additionally, attaching our waterproof cases to your device lets you take it where other mobile devices fear to tread - oceans, ponds, even the shower!

Rebecca wrote in: Lifeproof are awesome. My 5 year old has one and has dropped it several times without problems. We also have an Otterbox but after one drop there were graphic problems.

Karen likes the Lifeproof, Otterbox and Griffin Survivor. She added that Lifeproof is also waterproof.

Gumdrop : If you're looking for the most rugged, durable, yet ultimately affordable protection for the iPad Mini, you found it in the Drop Tech Series Case for the iPad Mini. Shock absorption, drop protection, extreme ruggedness and hard-core readiness for all adventures, the Drop Tech Series Case for the iPad Mini specifically conforms to the shape of the iPad Mini and offers multiple layers of protection. This iPad Mini case features a unique, snap-on integrated screen for maximum protection.

Tina suggested: Gumdrop are brilliant. I've seen them kicked like a soccer ball across a car park with no damage to the device.

Amanda added: I honestly think Otterbox is overrated but I have a Gumdrop case I got off Amazon

Megan Holmes My 5year old has one of these on his iPad and I have found it fantastic as it has a stand that doubles as a handle.  

Big Grips www.biggrips.comJust like Big Grips Frame, Big Grips Tweener is big, squishy, easy to grab, comfortable to hold, and very grip-able. Big Grips Tweener—it’s everything parents and educators demand.

Meredith added: Big Grips covers the outside of the iPad with a thick light foam. Otter box is good, so is Gumdrop.

Cathy raved: I use big grips in school---awesome case!

Heather agreed: Big grips! I dropped mine down a flight of metal stairs and it was fine. We also regularly show clients it and throw it down a hallway and haven't broken one yet!

Non case suggestions:
Sarah said: I recommend getting AppleCare upon purchase, because they will replace it for $50.

Sue was concerned: Mine has been cracked for a couple months, and it doesn't seem to affect it. Does anyone know if it will in the long run?

Stephanie added: An Otterbox and a high quality screen protector like Zagg. They put them on at Best Buy if you can't do it yourself. Not only will it prevent scratches but will prevent a screen from shattering. I have 2 autistic toddlers who have thrown theirs on our hardwood floors and they are fine. My cousin came over with a cheap case and no screen protector and hers was broken in two days. I swear by this now.
Zagg Extreme Protection Screen protector ($39.99)
Unique shock and break resistant layer
Exceptionally tough & virtually indestructible
Preserves screen clarity
Ultimate break protection

Melissa replied: Also I saw a pin on Pinterest saying you can change a screen for 25 bucks.. Might be worth a look?

Many case options exist in varying price and quality.

A few tips:
With so many different tablets available, make sure you get a case compatible with what you own. This sounds simple enough, but you would be amazed. It is fairly well known that the case for iPad 1 will not fit an iPad 2, but occasionally you have to read the fine print on the case to figure out which model it is designed to fit.

Are you looking for protection or functionality, or both? Do you need a stand, or is that not important? Does it need to be waterproof, scratch resistant, protected from drops? Figure out what the most important feature is for you before you buy.

Look at the design of the cases. Do you want something easy for little hands to hold, lays flat for handwriting practice, or has a built in stand to make it easy to watch movies.  It may be the most indestructible case made, but that only goes so far if the functionality does not work with your needs.

Staff Recommendations:
Cynthia: My Griffin is falling to pieces. For the kids' minis I love the Tweener from Big Grips. Aiden tosses his iPad every now and then when I take away YouTube.

Lisa M: I swear by Otterbox cases. My iPads get thrown around like a footy and I've never had any problems, and their customer service is 5 Star.

Lisa R: We love the Trident Kraken. It has survived everything.

You can hop on over to Smart Apps for Kids to read about when Lisa R's Tot tested out multiple cases for her iPad (note, all giveaways associated with these posts have expired):
The Tot vs Trident Kraken A.M.S
The Tot vs Big Grips
The Tot vs iBallz
The Tot vs The Gripcase

Also, multiple cases were tested against ten preteen boys in a self-contained autism classroom. Read the results in Case Wars Round 2 and Case Wars Round 2 Redux

Rachel H has some generic case on her iPad that she picked up from Target. After reading and researching all the better ones out there, she is thinking it is time for an upgrade.

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