First Look: OtterBox Commuter + Defender Cases for iPad
Originally revealed in pre-production form in late April, OtterBox's Commuter ($65) and Defender ($90) cases for the iPad are finally becoming available. Commuter is the simpler of the two, but still a fairly complex case, using a combination of a rubber interior shell, a hard plastic exterior frame, and two clear items -- screen film and an integrated Apple logo guard -- which come together to form a durable shield. We found the hard and soft parts unusually difficult to properly integrate together, but if you're willing to work at it, Commuter becomes one of the more solid iPad cases out there, with only its slide-off Dock Connector cover making for somewhat inconvenient recharging. By comparison, Defender feels like a nearly bulletproof design, adding even more rubber and hard plastic to Commuter: an even more substantial hard plastic frame is used for the iPad, with rubber on top, including a pop-open orientation switch cover that's not on the Commuter. Also added to Defender is an optional hard plastic rear frame that converts into a video viewing stand. Though the price is quite high by plastic case standards, Defender is the most rugged iPad case we've yet seen, though we're expecting others -- including ones from Incipio -- to be rivals in the near future. Both OtterBox cases come with screen film, cleaning cloths, and rubber film squeegees.