Hey Everyone! It has been a while and thought I’d arrange to have an accessory review written up for what will eventually be, one of the most powerful tablets on the market. I invited my friend Sabesh, who is, like myself, one of the biggest cell phone nuts I know. Sabesh often finds himself in different environments that requires special protection for his devices. I thought, since I don’t own a PlayBook myself, this would be a great opportunity to invite someone who knows what they’re talking about, to do a write up on the OtterBox Defender for the PlayBook.
OtterBox Defenders are 3-piece extreme-protective cases designed to withstand moderate drops and spills. By general consensus, they are considered to be the best at what they do. Hence, I was happy to come into possession of this venerable case. There’s no mistaking that it’s a classic OtterBox Defender: 2 snap-on polycarbonate shells to enclose the Playbook and a touch silicone outer layer enclosing the polycarbonate shell for secure protection. It comes in minimalistic packaging with a “built for Blackberry” logo emblazoned on it. Pictorial instructions are printed inside the box.
High-quality polycarbonate shell:
This is a two part polycarbonate shell which is fitted for the PlayBook. The top portion has a clear protective membrane touch screen that lays on top of the PlayBook’s LCD screen. The two shells snap together around the PlayBook. Snap-on points are located on top & bottom (2 lock-points each). These snap-on points also double up to mount the protective shield. The entire PlayBook is now covered protecting it from the elements. This shell has elevated sides for better handling and for securing the PlayBook firmly in your hands.
Clear protective membrane touch screen:
This touchscreen is conductive and no loss of performance can be noted. It really is quite a remarkable technology. The membrane lays on top of the PlayBook’s touchscreen and conveys all touches and gestures perfectly. This membrane helps seal the entire PlayBook, which I think is a pioneering effort in the Tablet industry. This hard membrane doubles up as protection for the LCD screen. Video calls can be made without removing the case, as the membrane is clear.
Durable silicone skin:
To add more protection and better grip, the flexible silicone skin covers the rear & edges of the PlayBook. Usability of the PlayBook is further enhanced by the ergonomics of this skin. The media & charging ports beneath the PlayBook are protected by a silicone flap, sealing the entire PlayBook. Power button & volume button have silicone plugs on top.
Protective shield / 2-angle stand:
This is another design triumph. The shield can be click-mounted on top of the membrane/LCD when the PlayBook isn’t in use, providing an additional layer of protection. It can also be mounted at the back when using the PlayBook in your hands (for additional grip or if you can’t find a place to put away the shield when on the go). This shield also doubles as a stand. The mechanism for the stand in the shield can be easily elevated or collapsed. Once elevated, there are two viewing angles, depending on which side the PlayBook is placed. The shield also has a sliding door for the camera. When using the shield, the door can be slid to expose the camera or closed to provide additional shielding.
Once everything is in place, the case provides access to the speakers, microphones, camera & volume/media buttons. I have no doubt about the toughness and durability of this case. It feels as if it can take a lickin’ n’ keep on tickin’! I would say that it is water resistant to some extent. The collapsible stand/shield is a boon for field workers and those on the go. Despite all this protection, it is a ruggedly handsome case.
WEIGHT WITHOUT SHIELD: 11.99 oz / 340.19 g.
5.78 in x 8.03in x 1.17 in (146.81 mm x 204.06 mm x 29.82 mm).
– Highly protective case tailor-made for the PlayBook, providing ultimate protection & functionality.
– Touch Membrane for the LCD for protection with no loss of performance.
– Shield for grip, protection and collapsible stand.
– Easily accessible media & charging ports.
– Ports for speakers, microphones, camera.
– Adds a bit of bulk and weight: Not a concern for repeat OtterBox buyers who expect this.
– Power button is hard to press, due to PlayBook’s recessed power-button design.
– Attracts some dust, but not as much as earlier OtterBox designs. I see that OtterBox has been improving their silicone to lessen dust attraction.