Review: Incipio Capture for iPad Air
Capture for iPad Air ($90) seems to be Incipio's answer to OtterBox's Defender Series Case. Made up of plastic and rubber layers, it offers significant protection from drops with almost complete body coverage. Not as heavy duty as Atlas -- this one isn't waterproof -- it's still going to help keep the tablet safe from damage in many situations. One of Incipio's main selling points with this case is the adjustable handle on the back, which can be swapped out for an included flat panel when you want. A separate screen film is packed alongside Capture, rather than being built into it.
Breaking the case down piece by piece, you’ll find a plastic backplate lined with foam, a matching frame for the front of the iPad, and a textured rubber skin that fits around the grouping. Square 4.5” cutouts on the shell and skin make way for the plate with the handle, or the one without, if you prefer. They simply fit into place, with grooves to hold their position. Snap the components together, and you have your case.
Although it won’t keep the iPad Air safe from damage if it’s dropped in the pool, Capture does offer splash and dust protection thanks to its sealed ports. Both the Lightning and headphone ports are covered by rubber flaps which can be lifted away when access is needed. The former leaves enough room to use pretty much any cable, but certain large headphone plugs are going to be problematic. Neither microphone is covered, but the rear camera is protected by a clear piece of material.
All four of the tablet’s buttons are also protected, covered by the rubber layer. At first, we found the volume buttons to require way too much force, and provide little to no tactile feedback. During our testing, however, it seems they loosened up, as they, along with the Sleep/Wake button, are able to click without any problems. The Home button actually feels a bit better than those three, and is pleasantly clicky.
Capture’s handstrap is a combination of nylon and Velcro, attached to a plastic mound. This allows it to easily be resized to a length that’s comfortable. The plastic bump is smooth, making it easy to slide your hand over it, and it feels really nice. An included pad fits around the strap to protect the back of your hand. The handle turns in either direction, clicking into place with every 1/16 rotation. This allows you to find the right position, and easily change it as necessary.
Much like Defender, Capture isn’t for everyone. Most people, in most circumstances, will be fine with a less protective and less expensive case. For those who do require the high level of protection this one offers, it’s a good choice. The handle is an added benefit, but again, only for those who need it. Griffin’s Survivor is still our top choice in this category due to its lower price and greater level of water protection, but Capture is worthy of our general recommendation. It’s very much on par with Defender, with the handle being the biggest differentiator.