Review: Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
We've seen Gumdrop Cases' DropTech cases a number of times in the past, most recently for the 12.9" iPad Pro. The rugged case is also available for the smaller Pro, and we've received the company's new combo pack — the DropTech Case + Hand Strap ($85) — for that device. The combo pairs the tried-and-true DropTech Case with a Hand Strap, which is affixed to the iPad through a hole in the back of the case. The Hand Strap allows users to get a firm hold on the back of the iPad, and it also allows for total 360-degree rotation.
The DropTech case itself is as expected — it’s still a soft-touch matte black rubber case with “dragon scale” type ridges for added grip. There’s proper button coverage for volume controls and the sleep/wake button, and port covers. There’s even a thin screen protector with an opening for Touch ID access. It’s a solid protective case to be sure, but as we’ve noted before, it can be a bit of a magnet for pet hair and dust. This time around, though, there’s a big hole on the back of the case to accommodate the Hand Strap.
Gumdrop’s Hand Strap connects directly to the back of the iPad Pro via the opening in the case, and is affixed to the device using 3M tape. A double velcro ring lets users attach and remove the strap from the device. Hand Strap uses the same soft-touch rubber to cradle the palm, while a velcro strap is tightened around the back of the hand for the proper fit. The strap is tough, and it feels natural in the hand. You can grip the inner section of silicone, or you can rest your fingers up against the back of the device — whichever feels more comfortable. Rotating the device is easy, as well. It’d be nice if there was some way to turn the strap into a makeshift stand — one idea would be to sell a velcro stand that could be swapped in and out, even as an additional accessory.
Is it easier to hold an iPad using the Hand Strap, rather than simply holding the side of the case? We’d say “slightly,” if only due to weight distribution (though the case itself adds some weight, of course). Is that enough to warrant paying an extra $25, on top of the regular cost of the case? That depends on the user. If you often feel uncomfortable holding a 9.7” iPad Pro for long periods of time, this might be a proper solution for you. The case offers very good protection, as well, and the entire package earns our general recommendation.