Speck Candyshell iPad case review

As with any Apple product in recent memory, 3rd party manufacturers have made accessories to combat anything anyone would want with their iPad/iPod/iPhone.  One of the most important accessories to have is a case for that shiny new product.  Apple being a great design company has always produced some quality products, but usually leaving them a little fragile in the end.  You won’t see many people walking around with a shiny new iPhone 4 without a huge protective case on it.  Well the same goes for their tablet, the iPad.  Being an owner (well, the wife actually) of an iPad, the first thing I had to undertake was to look for a protective case.  After searching different styles and protective qualities, I settled on the Speck Candyshell for iPad (also available for Galaxy Tab).  How has it performed in the couple months of use?  Let’s see…

First things first, this is a pink case for my wife.  Speck has a huge array of colors to choose from to suit anyone’s personal needs.  Feel free to choose anything from a  nice bubblegum pink to that manly and burly black or blue.

Design

Speck has long been an accessory maker for many products with Apple being their primary focus.  The Candyshell case originally started with the iPhone, and was a popular seller and decided to introduce it when the iPad came out.  The idea is to give users serious protection with minimal interference.   The case uses a 2 piece design with a durable plastic exterior and a rubber lining on the interior.  The idea behind this protection scheme is to use the rubber as a secure cushion as immediate protection against the iPad, while the harder exterior will take the impact on the outside for excellent shock absorption.

The case has been designed exceptionally well leaving all ports and buttons open for business.  Users simply pop their iPad into place.  The edge of the case gently wraps around the edge of the iPad keeping it securely in place.  The screen lock button is easily accessible on the top right of the pad as well as the headphone jack and 3 speaker cutouts on the bottom.  The display power button and the volume rocker are actually both covered by the case, but this is done by design.  Being actual physical buttons, they have simply added an “extension” to give users easier access.  If this was simply a cutout, it would be harder to use the buttons.  So the case has the buttons on top of the existing giving the same feel and control as the actual iPad buttons.  It works well and I honestly did not realize this was how the case was designed until I started this review.  It comes across that seamlessly.

Seeing as how Apple refuses to ditch their proprietary dock connector, we need access to the bottom part of the iPad as well.  Needing to be tied to iTunes, the dock connector is frequently used.  This is where the Speck case has shined in my eyes.  They simply use a hinged design on the spine of the case to open up the port area.  It is cut to specifications to be docked to the Apple keyboard as well as other docking stations.  This enables full use of the case without any connectivity issues.

Everyday Use

With Speck doing a fine job on design, how does it fare in daily use?

Well the iPad has received plenty of use in my household between my wife and my 15 month old daughter.  Honestly I’m not sure who uses it more.  She has gotten a little better recently, but she used to love to throw the iPad off the couch onto the floor and watch it go tumbling.  It’s even happened a couple of times on the tile.  Obviously my wife is a little gentler, so it gets thrown around a little less with her.   But the iPad still works as advertised with not a single mark on it.  The case has definitely saved us from having a $500 paper weight.  The dual layer of protection has done a remarkable job keeping the tablet looking the same as it did on day one, to which I am extremely grateful.

Conclusion

The Speck case has done everything as advertised.  I never expected to see the iPad thrown around as much as I have, but am amazed that it’s still kicking.   The case doesn’t add too much bulk at all, and keeps the weight down to a respectable weight (another problem you will find with overly protective cases).  The price is also insanely cheap ($25-30 at Amazon depending on the color) for the quality of product you are getting.  All in all, I have to recommend this as an excellent product for anyone looking for a protective case for any device.  With protection being the ultimate purpose of the case, I don’t think I’d still have this iPad if I had used another case that was anywhere near the same size.  I don’t have a single complaint about the Candyshell at all.

http://www.speckproducts.com/

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.