Lifeproof iPad Mini case – Review

Sometime ago I bought myself a shiny new retina display iPad, lovely I thought, that was until my wife saw it.

..I no longer have a retina iPad.


Then Apple released the iPad mini. Great, I thought,  I’ll treat myself, plus it will be easy to pop in my bag for work. That was until my little boy saw it.

..I no longer have a iPad mini.

The problem with my little boy having the mini was this I was terrified that he was going to damage it, let’s be honest here, 4year-old boys are not the most safest of user’s, I would be constantly hovering over him telling him to hold it “with two hands”.

Anyhoo here at Coolsmartphone we were contacted by Lifeproof. They wanted us to review their new iPad mini case, which they claim is ..

1. The thinnest, lightest all-protective case ever made

2. Totally sealed from dirt and dust.

3. Survives spills, splashes and full submersion.

4. Withstands unexpected drops and shocks

5. Complete access to all buttons, ports and features.

6. Full screen protection.

7. Maximum sound output and clarity.

8. Anti-reflective optical-glass camera lens
9. Removable shoulder strap.

Impressive specs! So I duly contacted Lifeproof and they sent me a case to try.

What’s In the Box

The packaging of the case is really nice. It has a good premium feel, but for the price of this case you would expect this (I’ll come on to this later).

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

Inside the box is the Lifeproof case itself, instructions, a cleaning cloth and a high quality Lifeproof branded shoulder strap. Yes, a shoulder strap.

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

Initial Impression

The Lifeproof case looks like its made of a clear plastic with a grey/white outer edge. It has closable ports for both the headphone socket and the lightening charging port.

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

When I first felt the clear plastic of both the front and rear panels it felt considerably “thick”. I had suspicions that the front one would effect the responsiveness of the touch screen.

Following the instructions, I snapped the case together without putting the iPad mini in, the case clipped together solidly with very satisfying “clicks”. I then carried out a “water leak test” what this basically meant was submerging the case in a bowl of water (with a cup holding it under) for 30 mins, which I duly did. After 30 mins of browsing Coolsmartphone.com I retrieved the case, dried off the outside and opened it up.

Result? Not a drop inside the case at all.

I then cleaned the iPad with Brasso Gadget Cleaner, which I picked up from the Gadget show earlier in the year, once fully cleaned I placed the iPad mini into the bottom half of the case and snapped the top into place.

In Use.

Now, you know how I said above that the clear plastic front panel felt thick and might effect the responsiveness of the touch screen? Not a bit, it worked perfectly, it felt as if I was using the iPad screen with nothing in between my finger and the screen.

At the bottom of the case there’s two “vents” that marry up to the speakers, and again these did not effect the sound quality of the iPad at all. Water doesn’t get in, but sound gets out, I can only sumise that Lifeproof have utilised some kind of magic.

All the buttons on the iPad were easily accessed and Lifeproof have included a clever rocker switch that activates the mute/rotation lock switch.

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

I don’t use my iPad mini to take photographs, and lets be honest it’s not really a top-notch camera, but I couldn’t see any issues with the few photographs that I have taken with the mini. There was no evidence of the case interfering with the iPads’ functions.

Holding the iPad in the case, does have a premium feel to it, but it comes at a cost, quite a high cost. The Lifeproof case is currently retailing for a £79.99, which is expensive in comparison to the other “full protection” cases on the market. The redeeming feature of the Lifeproof case is that it doesn’t add anything like the bulk of these other cases.

Despite telling my little boy numerous times about holding the iPad, it was me that dropped the thing, I dropped it from about chest height onto a hardwood floor, it landed right on the corner and flopped to the floor screen down, I then stood there wide eyed doing what everyone who has ever dropped there gadget..

Please, please, please don’t be cracked!!

I bent down and slowly turned it over ….. Nothing not a mark the device was perfect, scratch one up for the Lifeproof cases “Withstands unexpected drops and shocks”.

I didn’t fit the supplied shoulder strap, despite the strap being very good quality, it’s not something I would ever use on a iPad, I would have much preferred some kind of stand so that I could have stood the iPad up to watch a movie etc.

Well after a massive internal debate, I decided to go the full monty. I put my full trust in the Lifeproof case and dunked my iPad in a bowl of water. Sure, it wasn’t quite 30 minutes, in fact it was only long enough to take the included snapshots, but my little mini came through unscathed and bone dry, so scratch another on up for the Lifeproofs “survives spills, splashes and full submersion” claim.

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

Lifeproof iPad Mini case   Review

Yes my iPad mini is submerged in a bowl of water playing Netflix!!

Pro’s

The case is well made, and appears to meet all the claims made by Lifeproof.

The case doesn’t add as much bulk as other full protection cases.

The touch screen works perfectly throught the screen protection.

The sound from the iPad is not muffled in any way.

Con’s

Price, at £79.99 this is very expensive case.
There is no stand to allow viewing of media etc.

When using the iPad outside I did get quite a bit of glare from the front screen.

In Conclusion.

Would I have ordered and paid for this case prior to this review? Erm .. no, not at that price. Would I now? I think I would yes. It just gives that peace of mind when handing over the iPad to the little ones, I will be sorry to see it go back.

You can grab the case from LifeProof.com.

 

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