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New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review: Rugged and Versatile



The OtterBox Defender Series case for the new iPad delivers great protection for an amazing price.

This rugged case seals the iPad ports, includes a built-in screen protector and offers a hard front cover that doubles as a stand.

The front cover acts as a stand for typing in landscape mode, watching movies or holding the iPad in portrait mode, covering all the angles. Thanks to this versatility, there’s no need to switch between cases as you move throughout your day.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review

The New iPad OtterBox Defender Case

The protection adds bulk, but not so much that the iPad is unwieldy to hold or carry. The protection comes from a silicon case paired with a high-impact polycarbonate shell that delivers great protection.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review - parts

The OtterBox Defender Series case comes in multiple parts.

While the iPad is in the case, a permanent screen protector keeps the display safe from scratches. The heavy-duty screen protector does not get in the way of using the iPad. The screen protector is not an optional part of the case, but you don’t have to spend an hour trying to install a screen protector perfectly.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review - Screen protector

Close up of screen protector.

The silicon piece of the case includes port covers for the headphone, orientation/mute switch and the dock connector. There are openings for the speakers and the dock connector, so it is important to note that this case is not waterproof.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review - ports

The New iPad OtterBox Defender Case features dust and debris protecting port covers.

The case includes a cutout for the iPad’s rear camera and access to the front facing camera as well. There is a cutout on the back of the case showing the Apple logo.

The hard plastic shell that covers the screen includes magnets to wake the iPad when removed, and snaps to the back of the case so there’s no need to put it in a bag or worry about leaving it behind.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review - typing

The OtterBox Defender iPad case holds the iPad in place for typing.

The hard cover includes a small stand that holds the iPad in several positions and rubber feet keep the case from sliding. The case can hold the iPad at a standard typing angle as shown above. The case can also hold the iPad in a landscape mode for watching movies or for use with an external keyboard. The iPad also slots in to the lid in portrait mode for reading longer documents.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review - portrait

The lid holds the Otterbox Defender new iPad case in portrait mode too.

While in these modes, the case is solid. There is some wiggle when tapping on the upper part of the screen, but the base remains solid. I am able to press the home button without moving the case on a table or in the lid.

New iPad OtterBox Defender Case Review - movie

The case holds the iPad just right for watching movies.

This is impressive given the extra force required to hit the home button while it is in the OtterBox Defender case. The home button is not difficult to press, but a double tap takes some adjustment given the added thickness of the silicon cover.

It is relatively easy to put the new iPad in the  OtterBox Defender Series case, but it isn’t something I would want to do every day. Check out the video below, which showcases the installation process.

The OtterBox Defender Series iPad case works with the iPad 2 and the new iPad. It is one of my favorite iPad cases thanks to the added durability and the handy lid. Even when used in bed without the lid, I find the rubber silicon provides enough friction to prop the case up against a headboard.

The new iPad OtterBox Defender series case is available from Amazon for $47 in black. Additional colors, including pink, white and green are available for $89.



  1. Jack

    05/30/2012 at 4:25 am

    Impressive looking case and great coverage of it. Personally for me I’ve used a simple case for my iPad called the iLoc. It does it’s job protecting my iPad and at only $2 it does what I need it to. I got mine at

    • Jeff

      06/05/2012 at 4:12 pm

      It’s really bad taste to advertise/re-direct when you’re supposed to be commenting on the product and/or review. I’m sure “Jack” is an actual user and not a shill for iloc…yeah, right. Anyway, I found the review of the Otterbox to be thorough enough to make my decision to purchase pending price shopping. Thank you.

    • iPadCase Review (@iPadCase_Review)

      11/12/2012 at 3:50 am

      iLoc seems value for money.. cool ;)

  2. Sara

    06/18/2012 at 6:09 pm

    I agree with Jeff. But I do have to say for just a couple bucks I may have to try out this iLoc.

    • Luke

      06/28/2012 at 6:18 pm

      Great review, just about to buy one of these otterbox covers.
      Sara, are you kidding me? The iLoc is a glorified snaplock plastic bag, if you only want to keep dirt and moisture off it then fine but thats not going to do a thing when it comes to protecting an ipad.

  3. Griffin

    07/27/2012 at 10:11 am

    An OtterBox case that isn’t waterproof? Unheard of… and it seems to undermine the whole heavy-duty look of the case. Without full protection from the elements, this case is just an eye-sore. Anyway, i’m a graphic designer here in SanFran, and I’ve been looking for a case for my iPad. Also, i’m using AT&T’s 4G LTE, will a case like this interfere with my iPad’s signal reception?

  4. Vannessa Morga

    11/08/2012 at 5:57 pm

    This is a good video. I liked the concept of such cool iPad case. What do you think this iPad case?

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