The Ballistic Tough Jacket is the clearest case of overkill I have seen in a while. If you need protection at the cost of size, weight and style, then you should probably buy one now. Otherwise, read on. The case is actually pretty useful.
The Jacket comes in three parts, and putting them onto your iPad is a little like dressing a child against the winter weather. First comes a silicone undershirt, with big, bumper corners. Then there’s the jacket itself, a plastic rear shell which covers much of the silicone, but leaves some parts (like the corners) uncovered. At this stage (if you bought it in white at least), it looks a little like a Star Wars Stormtrooper.
Lastly comes the lid, or “hat” if we continue our winter-clothing metaphor. Actually, it’s more like a helmet. A helmet which can also be worn on the back, and which has a kickstand. OK, too much metaphor mixing… now I’m confused.
This thing is tough, and while putting it on takes a while, it’s also very satisfying: The parts fit the iPad perfectly, and the case sections themselves slot together like a well-cut jigsaw. There are cutouts for the camera, the speaker, the 30-pin dock connector and even the microphone, so the iPad can stay inside all the time.
Even the front cover has a camera-hole, so when it’s clipped onto the back, it doesn’t get in the way.
In short, if you drop the iPad while it’s inside this case, things should turn out well. The only thing that could go wrong is that you drop the assembly onto a sharp spike and it happens to enter through one of the gaps.
It’s heavy, and it takes ages to put on.
If you treat this as a protective uniform, and are cool with it taking a little while to put on, then no worries. But just be aware that every time you get your iPad dressed for work you’ll need to put its clothes on a layer at a time, and make sure to tuck the soft under-layer into the hard shell, edge by edge and corner by corner. The lid snaps on and off easily, at least.
And when I say heavy, I mean it. With an iPad 3 inside the combined weight is
1167 grams, or 2.6 pounds. Even empty it’s 496 g (a pound, more or less). This won’t be your everyday case, unless you work in a hazardous but dry environment, or you really do have the worst butterfingers ever seen.
This is a case made for a specific purpose: protection. And in that it excels, making the iPad virtually drop-proof whilst letting you use every single function. If this is what you need, the $70 asking price is a steal.
If you’re looking for an everyday case that can take a few knocks, then look elsewhere. This thing is just too much case for the job.