When we open up our iDevices for the first time, all we can do is stare at the scratchless back and wonder how it is so thin. Most of us then buy a case, or some other form of protection, to keep this beauty intact. We then have to make the difficult decision between elegance and protection; the best choice, however, may actually be a compromise between the two. OtterBox‘s Reflex Series might just be the answer to this compromise. Read on for the full review:
The OtterBox uses a common two-piece design that slides along the device to interlock. This makes putting on the case extremely easy; taking it off is the same way. However, the ease of attaching and detaching the case from the device does not pose a risk to the its safety. When the case is fully attached, it’s nearly impossible to accidentally detach it. Once the case is secure, it just takes a simple pull from each side to separate the case enough to slide off. I personally prefer the design of the Reflex since it provides a less bulky solution for the protection of an Apple device.
The Reflex’s front side.
OtterBox is known for their amazing protection, but with amazing protection comes thickness. Thickness isn’t something that iPad 2 owners love. Typically, customers prefer to use a case that shows off the thinness of their device – the Reflex doesn’t necessarily disappoint in this area, but it’s not the thinnest case either. Despite this, bulk can still be an issue to some consumers.
The Reflex Series only comes in black, which can be a disappointment for people who prefer much more elaborate colors. Although minor, there could have been at least two different color combinations to choose from so that it could perfectly compliment both white and black iPads.
Some cases have a flawed design by providing little room for each port or switch; this can result in an unpleasant experience. Thankfully, OtterBox made openings large enough for things like the mute switch, camera hole, and dock port. Along with the mute switch, another major port that can cause usability problems is the headphone jack. This case has an angled opening, which allows practically headphone to be used without a hitch.
The mute switch is given an adequate amount of room so that it can be operated with ease.
OtterBox does include a screen shield that transforms into a stand. The screen shield can also be used as extra protection when your iPad is not in use. The stand can be used to support the iPad while typing on one side of the stand and video viewing on the other.
The stand is dual sided to provide an efficient design so that it can fulfill needs of many situations.
OtterBox is renowned for having some of the most protective cases. The Reflex Series is very sturdy and will withstand just about any drop. There is a substantial lip on the front, which will protect most face-first drops.
The Reflex Series even takes protection a step further. Most cases will not protect against a large object directly colliding with the screen. However, with the OtterBox, when not using your iPad, the included screen shield, which is the same piece that transforms into a stand, can easily attach to the front of the iPad. Now, the OtterBox will protect practically any collision. Then, when you want to use your iPad, you can take it off the front. The screen shield can also attach it to the back, sit off to the side, or be used as a stand so that it will not be lost while using your iPad.
The screen shield securely attaches to the front of the iPad.
To prevent the iPad from scratches, the interior of the two pieces has a felt coating. This can collect a minor amount of dust. Although it can collect dust, it will not be enough to scratch your iPad.
Furthermore, the OtterBox now includes a free screen protector with every order from OtterBox’s official website. This being said, just like every other screen protector, it will ensure that your iPad’s screen remains scratch-free. The Reflex Series also protects each port and button on the iPad.
The volume buttons are protected with flexible rubber, so the sound level can still be changed with ease. All of the other ports have a wide enough opening to give perfect accessibility, but small enough so it won’t allow debris in. Overall, the OtterBox Reflex Series for iPad 2 lives up to the OtterBox name by offering top-of-the-line protection.
If a case falls apart in a month, then, no matter how great it was while it lasted, it will not be worth buying. Thankfully, the Reflex Series provides adequate build quality to complement its promising design and protection. The two pieces of the actual case consist of a durable, hard plastic with a rubberized coating around the edges. The plastic is tough and will not snap easily; this means it will maintain the same protection through its entire lifespan. The rubberized coating is also very strong, but it can still be scratched. These scuffs will not, however, lead to major deterioration of the case.
The inside of the case consists of a felt layer.
The other half of the case, the screen shield and stand, is made of a different kind of plastic and flexible rubber. This plastic is also thick and durable, however, it is translucent so that you can see when the screen lights up with a notification. It is also sturdy enough to hold the iPad when used as a stand without having to worry about your iPad toppling. The other material used is a rubber that allows the screen shield to bend into a stand. This rubber does not show any signs of tear or major blemishes.
OtterBox retails at $69.95 on OtterBox.com, but it can be found from authorized retailers, such as Amazon, for less than forty dollars. At the full retail price, the Reflex Series offers a decent bang for your buck since it does include the screen shield and stand, along with a screen protector. However, for $40, OtterBox is and absolute steal despite the fact that through Amazon, the screen protector is not included. In that price range, it is extremely difficult to find an iPad 2 case that has outstanding protection, simplistic design, and a major accessory such as the stand.
The OtterBox Reflex series is a perfect choice for users who seek great protection and do not wish to compromise design and thickness. However, users that have a priority of maintaining the sleekness of the iPad 2, may be better off with another case. In the light of this, I don’t think that you’ll regret the purchase of this case. It’s a great value for just under forty dollars.