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June 24,2010 - iPad Armor ...

When we slipped out to pick up some late-breaking gadget info at our local dead drop, someone slipped into our hotel room and attempted to gain access to the contents on our iPad. Fortunately, the palm scanner security program, not recognizing their hand print, denied them access

Just to confirm that the iPad had not been compromised, we followed protocol, activated scanner, and ran a Level One security check on the content. The sweep came back clean. None of the security layers were breached, no files or programs had been added, deleted, or accessed. The iPad was clean. We have to be careful as we all learned a valuable lesson from Gizmodo's recent encounter with The Authority.

Suddenly, we heard the door handle turn. The barrel of what appeared to be a silencer pushed through the narrow opening. Not waiting to find out who was on the other side or what they wanted, we silently closed the case, slid open the glass door to the balcony, tossed the case out over the railng, and followed it into the swimming pool a few stories below.

OK, so the scenario above is completely fictitious. Also, the palm scanner from Kudit is a simulation. PalmScan is great fun and garners alot of "Oh cool!"s but does NOTHING to secure the contents of the iPad. It goes without saying (but our lawyers are making us say it) that no iPads, interns, or editors were put in harm's way during the visualization of our James Bondian fantasy.

The Apple iPad is not a fragile piece of technology, but it is not exactly rugged either. The unibody aluminum case does make it stiff and light. The oleophobic LCD glass does resist fingerprints and other oily grime quite well. Unfortunately, the LCD is not shatter-proof, the glass is not scratch-resistant, and the case is not sealed against moisture. But what if we really HAD to toss an iPad out over the balcony or into a swimming pool? What could we use to protect it? Would it survive?

If it was encased in the OtterBox laptop case, we are pretty certain it would. The OtterBox laptop case was designed to protect its contents under "extreme" conditions. Unfortunately, this case is no longer available. There may still be some stock floating around the web and occassionally on EBay, but you will not find it listed on OtterBox's official site.

It is a shame, because there are so many cool features to this case. The locks have this really secure z-hinge design. The placement of the rubber pads on the inside are totally customizable for whatever you need to secure. The folder and pen inserts are removable because they are mounted via velcro. The contents are protected from moisture by the tongue/groove/o-ring seal around the case. The two halves of the case are held together by some very tough piano hinges. This case is not going to open up unless you want it to.

If this armor case is over-kill for your needs, perhaps the OtterBox's soon-to-be-available iPad Defender or Commuter cases would be sufficient. It may not save the iPad if you toss it into a pool from a hotel balcony, but it should keep the iPad intact should it get knocked off the desk as you dive behind the couch to escape the hail of machine gun fire (or whatever passes for fun around your office). [Permalink] -iPad Armor

Note: The following items were used in the creation of the scene in the photos...

  • iPad Palm-scanning simulator: supplied by Kudit
  • OtterBox Laptop Case: discontinued. Available via EBay
  • Flashlight: supplied by LumaRay
  • Knife: 98M, hand-made by Barry Dawson


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