You have an iPad mini, and, with or without an iPad case, it’s somehow morphed into an extension of yourself. It rides to school in your book bag, and if you’re off to the skateboard park, it’s likely enough to be there in your backpack. It’s great for giving you something to do on those odd minutes off, when you’re waiting and have to sit. Out in the playing field? Yes, the iPad is out there too, maybe on the sidelines with your extra sweater.
iPads are great for on-the-go, active lives. But there’s one thing they’re not: sturdy and durable. Designed for gentle indoor use, for the most part, and maybe a little quiet walk in the park every now and again, they’re hardly the stuff of gym bags and jumbled lockers. Pushing them past their limit can mean hefty repair bills or a need to buy constant replacements.
Often, an iPad case is the only thing standing between your tablet and certain disaster. But not all iPad cases are built the same way. What kind of case do you need if you’d like to take your iPad with you everywhere in your rough-and-tumble life?
The first thing you need to look for is 360-degree protection: protection from each angle, edge and side. Some iPad covers provide an extra layer over the aluminum backing, protecting it from scratches: they do that well, but won’t do much if an iPad is dropped or suffers a collision. On the other side of the spectrum, you can find well-engineered covers that protect every part of the iPad, including the screen when not in use.
A well-thought out case will also include a lip around the camera cutout. You can’t cover your camera without making it pretty well useless; you can, however, use an iPad case that keeps those delicate lenses off the ground or tabletop.
Most of the best protective covers in the market today are built to meet military standards, and have been subjected to the same tests the military does to test its equipment before it goes out on the field. You might see the abbreviations MIL-STD-810G 516; this refers to the actual standard being met. MIL-STD-810G is the multi-part document which provides conditions for various standards, and 516 is the bit of that document particularly relevant to tablets: the part that talks about how to test how well an object is protected against shock.
This standard is actually pretty complicated and includes procedures to test for functional shock, transportation shock, fragility, transit drop, crash hazard shock, bench handling, pendulum impact, catapult launch and arrested landing. In general, iPad case manufacturers figure that the part most applicable to iPad cases is transportation shock: a test for items that could be accidentally dropped while being moved from one place to another, for instance.
To pass the tests for transportation shock, an item must be dropped from a height of 4 ft (48 inches) no less than 26 times, and, during these drops, must land on each face, edge, and corner at least once. At the end, the device must still be ‘field ready’, another way of saying fully functional. That doesn’t guarantee you’ll never have an iPad mishap, but it does make it much likelier your iPad will be able to continue to travel with you accident-free for a much longer time.
Suppose your iPad is an iPad mini. Which case, then, do you want to buy? A case that provides 360 degree protection, and preferably one which has been tested and found to comply with military standards. So far so good. But of the iPad cases meeting both of these criteria, which is the best?
There are a number of very decent options out there, but one of the best is the Zugu iPad mini case. The designers of this case found the elusive middle ground between too lightweight and too bulky, and they came up with something that has enough heft to protect your device while still being skinny enough you don’t mind carrying it around.
The Zugu case has some very nice features, like ten viewing angles and the possibility to mount your tablet on any metal surface (with an invisible magnetic mount you’ll never have to fold up or put away). You can even stick it up on your refrigerator while you’re washing those dishes or experimenting with a new recipe.
The mini case comes in six different color options; black, scarlet, cognac, slate, or pine. It weighs 7.65 ounces, so it will increase the weight of your iPad a little, but not enough to be a game changer. Lighter cases do exist, but they’re not going to be able to offer the same padding and protection.
Before you buy any iPad case, you’re going to want to read the reviews. That’s the best way to find out how it performs in everyday life, and whether people like you bought it and regretted their decision. It’s also the best way to gather info that doesn’t make its way into product descriptions: durability, for instance.
The Zugu iPad mini case has some pretty stellar reviews, and they all seem to say the same thing: here’s a great case that you won’t regret buying.