- Not too heavy or cumbersome
- Rubber shell provides a complementary look to Apple Product Designs
- Will serve and protect from bruises, dents and dings
- Enhanced Sleep/Wake Button can easily and accidentally be pressed
- Removable screen almost seems best to be removed for full accurate performance
The iPad 2 is known for being sleek, slim, and lightweight, but even the most confident user can see the design – pretty that it is – just screams of vulnerability. And while there’s a plethora of cases out there that can help protect to the screen, no one likes their tablet to end up with bumps, bruises, and cosmetic damage on the sides and back. With this in mind, Gumdrop Cases has released their newest Drop Series model that is specifically designed for the iPad 2. Looking to protect the tablet in several ways, from all sides, the Case stays clear of adding too much bulk and weight, and looks to give the user some extra protection for a modest price of $60.
I fancy myself a fan of simple setups that don’t require much description to put together, which is a good thing because Gumdrop Cases substitutes a lengthy manual for a brief and basic diagram on the back of the box. There are four basic parts to the Drop Series Case: A rubbery and rigged silicone skin shell, a not-to-be-seen-once-setup-is-complete polycarbonate back that helps keep the shell sturdy while enveloping the tablet, a polycarbonate front that hugs the iPad 2 from the front-end, and a removable screen protector frame that still allows the user to touch, drag, and swipe. The Drop Series Case is pretty intuitive by design, so even a user that isn’t as savvy with physically putting pieces together, will take comfort that there’s not much to building this model beyond a few clicks and a couple reserved seconds for finger finessing. The total setup time should take only minutes, and if the end result is a sturdy one, it’s a pretty great indication you’ve done things right.
In regards to the iPad 2, the Drop Series Case tries to marry two features that aren’t always compatible in a tablet world: protection and aesthetic. Very quickly, the user will realize that, in general, Gumdrop Cases do a pretty great job of keeping the tablet secure and safe without jeopardizing the simple and snazzy look that Apple products are known for. With the Drop Series Case, there’s noticeable weight added, but it’s relatively bulk-free and the tablet never feels too heavy in regards to all types of transport and most common activities. All in all, the Case’s arrangement between look and added security is a pretty successful one.
When looking at functionality, however, Drop Series Case could divide the masses. Performance of the product really depends on the user’s tablet activities, as I found while spending an adequate amount of time with it. When doing routine functions – such as composing emails, browsing the web, watching videos on your lap – the Drop Series Case seems to be a fine complement. However, those who are a bit more interactive with their tablet: gamers, those whose apps rely on a lot of movement and swipes, and even bed dwellers who read on their backs, might find frequent limitation or even general frustration with the Drop Series Case. Having the option to remove the screen might help in terms of functionality and response (for gamers, I would say it’s imperative as I can’t tell you how many FIFA games I blew with it on…), but the Case still remains a tiny bit cumbersome even without it. One of the more annoying setbacks is that the shell’s rubber enhancement makes the tablet’s Sleep/Awake button a lot easier to click on and off. That might be a plus when lazily looking to power down after a long night with eyes half-closed and mind half asleep, but it’s far from welcoming while one is flinging a bird directly at a King Pig and accidentally putting a bit too much pressure on it.
Build & Design
The Drop Series Case comes in four colors: black, black/red, white and pink. The shell’s tread adds a bit of ruggedness to the design, but it doesn’t look over-the-top or tacky in any way. The back of the Drop Series Case has an aesthetically pleasing V which helps to firmly cradle the tablet while coming across as slick yet ultimately sturdy. On the top of the Case is a flap to access the headphone jack, a cutout for the microphone, and that same (and in my opinion, unwelcomed) rubber enhancement for the Sleep/Wake button. On the right side of Drop Series Case is a less limiting rubber enhancement for the volume switch and a flap for the Silent/Screen Rotation Lock. The bottom port also has a rubber flap, and the home button has its own rubber enhancement (which I like here since it’s always facing up). The cameras are nestled pretty snugly in their rubber cutouts, and the speakers can breathe thanks to 4×10 cutout squares.
Gumdrop Cases Drop Series model does a fine job of keeping the iPad looking pretty cool, but adding in a level of security and durability that would otherwise be missing from a naked tablet. With its rugged yet resistant rubber tread, it will clearly keep the bumps and bruises to a minimum but could potentially limit the user’s performance due to its removable screen and accentuated Sleep/Wake Button. For the right user who reads, watches, and emails, it’s a fine lightweight product that will keep the iPad safe, although gamers should use caution if dents and nicks come second to one’s own high scores.