Gear / Tech / September 11, 2013

Otterbox Heads to Cambodia: Defender for iPad Mini Review

Otterbox defenter for iPad Mini - Ask Anna

iPad mini Defender Series Case $69.95,

The Good: Sturdy case, did a great job protecting my iPad mini in extreme elements in Cambodia.

The Bad: It’s a little bulky so I don’t use it for everyday use.

The Ugly: I got the Defender Case in the color “blushed” (pink) and after 2 weeks of using it in Cambodia the case got really dirty and I can’t get it clean. It was a very pretty color but now it’s dingy pink instead of bright pink.

After purchasing my iPad mini for all my traveling this summer, I quickly realized I was going to need something to keep it safe. OtterBox sent me the iPad mini Defender Case and after putting it on my iPad I felt confident that it would be safe throughout my two weeks in Cambodia.

The hard polycarbonate inner shell clicks over the iPad to protect it when it’s dropped and it has a screen protector to ward off scratches. When I returned from my trip the screen protector was all scratched up from constant abuse but my iPad didn’t have a single scratch on it.

Otterbox defenter for iPad Mini - Ask Anna-2

The outer layer of the slipcover has a textured exterior which makes the iPad stay in place while you are using it but I noticed it also made it difficult to pull in and out of my pack. The added grip was nice though when I was taking pictures in the rain because it kept the iPad from being slippery so I never lost my grip on it. This is the part of the case that ended up looking dingy so I would recommend not purchasing the lighter color, stick with the darker colors that won’t show scuff marks and dirt.

The Defender case also includes a hard screen cover that locks over the screen to protect it when it’s not in use. It also serves as a stand for the iPad. I used the stand for watching movies on the iPad but since coming home I use it in the kitchen when I need my iPad propped up to view a recipe. I like the added protection of the screen cover however when I didn’t need it to protect my screen I would click it onto the back of the iPad but then I couldn’t take pictures because there isn’t a hole for the camera. This was a big inconvenience while traveling because when I’d take it off the screen then I’d have to put it back in my pack, or hold onto it, while I was taking pictures. I think adding a hole for the camera would be a huge improvement to the design of the screen cover. Here’s a sample photo taken through the Defender case (with the cover off).

Otterbox defenter for iPad Mini- Ask Anna-4

Overall I love the protection and look of the OtterBox Defender Case, and I would purchase the product again, but I would make sure to purchase it in a darker color so it doesn’t end up looking dingy after only a couple weeks of use. It is a very solid case and my iPad mini made it back to the states unharmed and without a scratch.

Anna Moseley writes the wildly popular cleaning and organization blog Billy is betting that she’ll find a way to clean the Defender by the time this post goes live.

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Trek Tech Staff


Oct 03, 2013

Happy to see this review. My iPad mini is following me to the classroom and back several times a week on my bike. When I have to cram in gradebooks, papers, extra sets of clothes, etc., into the panniers, it makes me a bit nervous about the impact on the iPad. Going now to add Otterbox to my wishlist!

Sep 11, 2013

Haha! I love your description of Anna following the post. Very apt! :)

Sep 11, 2013

Love the idea of this Otterbox and I love the honest review of the product and the encouragement to get a dark color to hide the dirt.

Sep 11, 2013

Awesome, this is great timing! I just got an iPad Mini and am in the market for a case. I know Otter Box makes great stuff, but was worried this one would be a bit bulky. It sounds like it’ll work well for me, but I’ll be sure to get it in a different color!

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