OtterBox Defender

Dave Bullard - Managing Editor
27 January, 2011
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OtterBox Defender



Ultimate protection



US$49.95 (iPhone); US$89.95 (iPad) + shipping


Not all iPhone and iPad cases are made equal, with some being more about looks than protection, most providing a low level of protection, and a select few promising to keep your iPhone safe in just about any situation.

The OtterBox Defender Series cases fall squarely in the latter group – in fact, they offer better protection (though not against water) than anything else we’ve seen on the market.

The Defenders have multiple layers of protection, including a high-impact polycarbonate shell and an outer layer of impact-absorbing silicone.

The iPhone case also includes a built-in touchscreen membrane that allows full app control while resisting fingerprints, static and bubbles. The iPad doesn’t have this membrane, but instead has a clip-on hard cover (or ‘holster’) that protects the screen when in transit, and doubles as a stand when the iPad’s in use.

The iPhone case also has a holster that serves as a belt-carrier, a stand, or yet another level of protection. Both also feature an inner felt liner.

Putting the case on the iPhone is straightforward, but it’s quite a job on the iPad. In either case, you’re not going to want to put them on and take them off too often.

With this in mind, both have dock connector access, in the form of a silicone flap for the iPhone, and a slide-off polycarbonate section in the case of the iPad.

Australian Macworld’s buying advice. The Defender Series cases will protect your iPad or iPhone from just about any impact or wear and tear, but the trade-off is in size. In use the iPhone case feels bulky, but the iPad one is very bulky indeed. These are not cases for the faint-hearted, but are the best option if you need as much protection as you can get

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