Review: Gumdrop Cases FoamTech Case for iPad Air
We've covered similar cases from other companies before, including i-Blason's ArmorBox Kido Series, but FoamTech Case for iPad Air ($25) is Gumdrop Cases' new take on the kid-proof foam protector. Designed with the company's easily recognizable tire-tread pattern, the one-piece case is made out of a material that has some give, but isn't quite as squishy as one may expect. It's specifically designed for use by children at school and at home, with blue, black, pink, and green versions available.
FoamTech isn’t made to be a slim case. It adds 1.1” to the height to the tablet, and about 1.1” to the width, if you don’t count the handle. The case is about an inch thick, meaning it adds about 0.7”. The raised pattern, a collection of 1.5”-long lines, point in toward the handle. Unlike i-Blason’s case, which has you insert the iPad through a long opening running the height of the case, this one requires you to simply push it in through the opening for the display. It takes a little bit of muscle to do so, which may be a good thing for parents; children aren’t likely to remove it easily.
While the thick foam is going to help protect the iPad Air from many drops and bumps, it is a bit less protective than it could be. All the ports and buttons, with the exception of the speaker, are left exposed. The audio is just ever-so-slightly muted, but it’s certainly not a problem. While we’d prefer button coverage, we found them easy to access, which can sometimes be an issue with thick cases. Certain headphones, especially those with angled connectors, will be difficult to plug in.
The most noteworthy feature of FoamTech Case is its handle, which doubles as a stand. Inch-thick foams attached to the left side of the case, with a 5”-long hand hole. The iPad can be carried this way, or it can snap back to serve as a 73 degree viewing stand, or a 15 degree typing stand. Both are rather sturdy, but even if the case were to fall over, there’s little chance of damage.
It’s certainly not for everyone, but for adults concerned with the security of an iPad in kids’ hands, FoamTech Case is a good option worthy of our general recommendation. There are some areas in which we’d like to see improvements, namely button coverage, but it’s otherwise solid for what it’s intended to do.