The Forward Lifejacket iPad Case is a
Tank case for the iPad designed to protect it from any submersion of water, so now the problem of dropping your iPad in the toilet is solved. Kidding aside, the case protects your iPad when you know you will be in water environments such as on a boat, near a body of water, or even under water. It is available for $94.99. Let’s see if this is the waterproof iPad case for you.
Don’t expect this case to be the nicest looking case you have used. It is a tank. It makes the iPad turn from one of the thinnest “books” you can use to one of the thickest. Similarly, it turns from light to heavy with the addition of this case. One could simply say, bulky is the word for the dimensions of the case. It is made up of a black, hard plastic that would take a tank to dent it. The case is awkward to use because there are several hatches on the case that keep it closed. The back looks like the backing of a bland looking stereo receiver backing, except without all the ports of course. Protecting the iPad’s screen is a sheet of a see-through screen protector. The only color on the case is the white and blue logo of the company, all of the rest is a bland black color. Inside the case, there is no clear way of putting the iPad in the case. The only way I see is to just lay it on top and close the lid. The inside of the case also looks bland and cheap. Of course, don’t get me wrong, the case is not cheaply made, it just has the appearance of it, particularly on the inside. The case does not fare well in the form category, but how can a tank be nice looking anyways?
If it’s one thing this case does well it is to protect. This case will protect your iPad from drops and from water. In fact, it does it so well, it’s military grade. I tested it myself and it indeed passed the submersion test. Of course, I’m not one to want to submerge my device if I don’t have to, so I took it out before testing. Unfortunately, there is a price to pay to get this protection. First of all, we’ll start at putting the iPad in. There are four hatches that you need to open to get the case open. I wouldn’t normally complain about this but you have to have strong hands to open this case. People with weak hands will not be able to open this case. The hatches just hatch it closed too tight to even be able to open it. Next, after you pry it open, there is, once again, no clear way to put the iPad in. There are no corner things that you attach to the corners of the iPad or anything of that sort. You just put the iPad in and hope it is even, because if it’s not, you’ll have to reopen and adjust and try again. After you close the case, you will discover that a few key features have been stripped of their use. The camera, volume buttons, sleep/wake buttons, charging port, headphone jack and the rotation lock switch are all inaccessible. That’s right, you can’t listen to music in your headphones nor the speakers since they are almost entirely blocked, you can’t turn the rotation, you can’t change the volume of the music you can’t hear, you can’t charge the iPad while in the case, and you can’t even turn the iPad off. What is the point of using a device if all of it’s primary functions are blocked even if it does provide military grade protection from drops and water. If the case protects your device but the device isn’t usable, what’s the point? Unfortunately, this case did not do well in it’s function either.
-Too thick and heavy
-Hard to open
-Questionable placement of the iPad
-Limited functionality, too limited for most to sacrifice for the protection
Ways to Improve
To be honest, Forward should consider a complete overhaul of it’s case. As a matter of fact, I believe much time and resources should be put into R&D to fix the many problems of this case while still keeping protective abilities, even if one has to sacrifice the thinness of the iPad for it. If that was all one sacrificed, I would use the case. However, so much is stripped away that it renders the iPad useless.
The case very much reminds me of communism. We’ll take away your rights in exchange for protection. Your right to audio, turning your iPad off, switching the rotation and even charging the iPad are stripped away. Of course, you can get these rights back if you open the case (remember, difficult to open) and take the iPad out. Then, after you take it out, you won’t ever put it in again. The case receives a 1 star from me, for at least providing protection for the iPad. Unfortunately, the costs are too high to keep that protection. Besides, who’ll drop it in the toilet anyways?
Thanks for reading,