Review: Trident Cyclops for iPad mini
At the same time that it has revved some of its earlier iPhone cases, Trident has released Cyclops ($50), a new protector for iPad mini. The playthrough-style case uses layers of plastic and rubber to cover a significant majority of the tablet, keeping it safe from rain, wind, dust, and drops. There's also a screen protector built in, with elements that perhaps hint at support for future iPad hardware updates.
Cyclops snaps apart into two distinct pieces. The first is the rear tray, which has a plastic core in your choice of red or black. It’s lined with foam on the inside to help prevent damage to the iPad mini, and the perimeter is augmented with rubber. Next, the matching plastic frame snaps into place between the edges of the tablet and the tray. There are two notable elements to this frame. The screen protector, which is clear and doesn’t have an effect on touch sensitivity, has an opening at the top for the front-facing camera and sensors, and another at the bottom for the Home button. This may be Trident hedging its bets on the introduction of Touch ID to the next iPad mini, or it may simply be the easiest way to provide access. The frame also ports the audio from the speaker toward the user.
With the exception of the two microphones, Cyclops offers some degree of protection for all of the ports and buttons along the iPad’s edges. The headphone port, Lightning port, and side switch are respectively covered by flaps that keep them safe. Both volume buttons and the Sleep/Wake button are also covered by rubber, but this isn’t executed as well, as the latter provides almost no tactile feedback.
Overall, Cyclops is a good, but not great, iPad mini case, and compared to models from the likes of OtterBox and others, priced rather aggressively. While it’s not quite as attractive as Defender Series Case, the lower price may make it worth it for many. Earning our B rating, Cyclops should be in consideration when shopping for a heavy-duty case, but its faults must be taken into account as well.