Danls92 Reviews: Otterbox Defender (1st Generation) Please Register or Log in to view images Introduction: What I'm going to be reviewing is the Otterbox Defender 1st generation case. It is a silicone and polycarbonate two piece case, where the polycarbonate portion locks together and the silicon portion then goes over it. How I Review: This review is broken up into 3 major categories (Design Overview, Protection Supplied, and Misc. Comments) with a final wrap-up at the end. I have never liked the method of reviewing involved the arbitrary assigning of numbers to quantitatively express a feeling because it is so subjective. Due to this, I will not be giving my opinions a numerical value, instead I will be using the words excellent, good, neutral, bad, and horrible. For a brief description of what each means: Excellent- Either perfect or just barely missing it. Something will receive an excellent rating if it is the best it could possibly be. Good- Possible to improve, but by no means bad. This is the verdict I would give something that is good for what it is, but has several things holding it back. Neutral- Neither good nor bad, I don't have any strong feelings. If I feel ambiguous about something it would receive this rating. Bad- The unfavorable outweighs the favorable aspects. If something is not well designed, or poorly implemented this is what I would rate it. Horrible- Unacceptably poor. If something impedes the thing it is meant to assist, or is completely useless I would say this about it. With that being said, let's start the review. 1) Design Overview This thing is a tank. Let me clarify that a bit. Basically, if you have any intentions of dropping your iPod off buildings, using it as an impromptu hockey puck, or launching it into orbit this case is what you are looking for. First, there is the polycarbonate skeleton with a built in screen protector, then there is the silicon outer layer. Combined, they give the iPod what can only be described as an excessive amount of defense against your daily routine. This means that the Defender is for a relatively small niche of people. If your utmost concern is for the aesthetic look of your iPod, I would advise you to look elsewhere. However, if you are looking to keep your iPod as safe as possible I wouldn’t be able to suggest a better place to look. At first I was slightly confused as to how it all fit together (and more importantly, how to get my iPod into it), but it was easy enough to figure out. One thing that it would have been nice for Otterbox to make more obvious (though it is stated in the instructions, but really, who reads the instructions for a case?) is that there is actually a screen protector protector on the inside of the iPod screen protector. Basically, what it boils down to is that your protector seems opaque but leaves enough visible that it isn’t instantly obvious that you need to remove its protector. A problem that plagues silicone skins in general is also obvious here. Any attempts to store it in your pocket for a long period of time result in it being covered with a fine layer of lint. This is all well and good on the better part of the case’s area, but the lint tended to get trapped around the corners of the screen where it wasn’t readily able to be removed. The screen protector on the polycarbonate skeleton also was a bit more easily scratchable (if you’ll excuse the neologism) than I would have liked. Overall, the case is terrifically designed, with both the home and sleep buttons easily accessible despite the layer of silicone protecting them, and you can’t really fault Otterbox for one of the shortcomings inherit to silicone cases. Rating- Excellent/ Bad I had a bit of trouble here, as if you are the market that Otterbox is evidently aiming for then you will love the design. However, I would venture to guess that the average iPod Touch user would prefer a more elegant design over the protection offered. Basically, if your priority is your iPod’s safety you’ve hit the jackpot, otherwise I would recommend looking elsewhere. 2) Protection Supplied Generally, you have to decide between two types of cases. In one corner of the ring you have rubber/ silicone skins with their superior shock absorption and tactile feel. In the other corner, you have hard cases that better protect from dings and normal abuse. To sum it up quite simply, I’m in heaven. While it might not be expressed to well over the forum of the internet, I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to my electronics. I polish them multiple times a day, and agonize over the smallest scratches (I can’t watch a video on my iPod if there is the least amount of detritus on the screen). The case goes to greater lengths than any I’ve ever encountered to thoroughly insulate my iPod from the outside world. While it might grow up to have issues, in the short term it is devastatingly effective. Not only does it have a built in screen protector, the silicone skin also has plugs that fill the headphone and USB port when not in use. While I need to clean the skin just as often as I needed to clean the iPod to remove the various pieces of lint and dust from the screen, at last now I can throw my iPod into my pocket without worrying about what it might come into contact with. Rating: Excellent No matter what you’re looking for in a case, you cannot deny the shear defensive abilities of this case. I know I previously said this about the CoreCases Aluminum Slider, but this case is truly the magnum opus of iPod protection. I have to apologize to CoreCases, but Otterbox is the new standard to beat when it comes to damage prevention. 3) Misc. Comments Aside from the case (which I think was a bit larger than necessary for this case, gotta think about the environment people!), there isn’t much else to talk about with regards to this case. I’ll take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Otterbox, as the turnaround time for this review was much longer than I had planned for. Rating- N/A 4) Overall Rating: Neutral/ Excellent I’m going to have to restate what I said above in the design section, and say that if you are the market that Otterbox is aiming this product at, you have found possibly the ideal case. Otherwise, I would be more inclined to point you in another direction. If you want to make sure that your iPod is safe despite whatever the world (and possibly your pets/ siblings/ friends) throw at it, you have found your case.