Looking for an iPad case that you can rely on? The choices can be overwhelming, but some are clearly more suitable than others. I’ve seen a lot in the work I do with integrating iPads, so here are a few that will stand the rigors of almost any classroom. They are in no particular order, and I am not being compensated for any of these reviews.
1. Gumdrop Droptech Series – It’s rugged, durable, and built to withstand a lot of punishment. It has two layers of protection – a polycarbonate frame that is enveloped by a tough rubber exterior. The screen protector is optional, and can be removed if needed, but many will want to keep it on. The rear of the case is textured, and easy to grip and the whole case fits well with cutouts for the camera, ports and and switches perfectly placed. The Gumdrop Droptech also fits nicely in an Bretford iPad cart, and there are versions for the iPad 2, iPad 3/4, and the iPad Mini.
2. Trident Kraken A.M.S – The Kraken has a hardened plastic shell with shock absorbing silicone in all the right places – namely the corners. The achilles heel of the iPad’s durability is undoubtedly a drop on one of its corners, so the protection this case offers is much needed. Like the Droptech, it also has a built-in screen protector, and all the ports and switches are protected too. It is comfortable to hold, and will also fit nicely in an iPad cart. Best of all, Trident have a very agressive discount policy for educational institutions, so make sure you ask about this before you buy.
3. Griffin Survivor – Griffin boast that this case is military tested, so you can be sure that this one is built to last. Its protection levels are second to none, with 6ft drop tests showing no damage to the device. It has a water resistant screen protector, sealed ports and rubber cladding all around the device to protect against even the most careless students. It even has a clip on stand that can be used to prop the iPad up for a more confortable typing position or for viewing videos. However, it is not perfect. Even without the clip on stand, it is a very snug fit in the Bretford iPad cart. It fits…but only just! Also, the flap that covers the camera borders on inconvenient because you have to hold it out of shot when taking pictures or videos. Many schools decide to just remove this and the power cover.
4. Otterbox Defender – Otterbox is a well known name among iPad cases, and one that is synonymous with protection. They are not cheap, but they are well made, and designed to offer maximum levels of protection for your device. The Defender has multiple levels of protection, a built-in screen protector, and an additional front cover that doubles as a stand for the iPad in landscape or portrait orientation. However, the Defender will not fit in an iPad cart with this additional front cover, so that would have to be stored separately in a cart environment.
5. M-Edge SuperShell – Weighing just 9 ounces, the SuperShell is a great choice for an elementary or special education classroom that shares a few iPads and doesn’t have a cart, (the SuperShell is too wide to fit in a standard iPad cart). The soft foam the encases your iPad offers great protection in the event it is dropped, and although it has no built-in screen protector, the raised edges endure that the screen never touches a surface if it is placed upside down. The volume buttons may be a little hard to press for younger students, but the cutouts for the camera is great, and the power port is also easily accessible.
6. Big Grips Frame – Last, but not least, in this lineup is the Big Grips Frame. Again, it will not fit in an iPad cart, but the protection it gives is hard to beat. The foam fits snugly around the device and protects it on all sides. The foam is resistant to oils, chemicals, stains, molds…and germs! It is lead and latex free, easy to grip, and can be bought with the optional Big Grips Stand. Tempted? Make sure you ask about the educational discount. Details of that are available on the Big Grips website.
So, what is your favorite iPad case for schools? Which one do you use in your classroom and why? Leave a comment below to share your comments on these iPad cases or any others that you would recommend for educators.