case-mate iPad Hybrid Tough Case Review

A few months ago, I reviewed case-mate’s Walkabout premium leather slipper case for the iPad. It was a very nice leather slipper case that provided good protection during travels but not during use. My biggest worry with my iPad is not bad things happening during transit but while in use or sitting around the house. case-mate has recently sent me one of their Hybrid Tough Case for the iPad to review/tryout. Unlike the Walkabout, the Hybrid Tough Case is meant to be worn all the time, providing continuous protection for your iPad.

The Hybrid Tough Case does not have the stylish piazza of Vaja’s i-volution or Orbino’s Padova cases. However, it does have a hearty, rugged, utilitarian function and look to it at a fraction of the cost.

case-mate’s iPad Hybrid Tough Case is comprised of two pieces. The inner piece is a form-fitting silicone skin which covers all but the screen and four cutouts. The outer part of the case is made of a hard, ABS plastic. The outer shell wraps around the inner skin locking it (for the most part) firmly in place. The inner silicone skin is available in gray and black with the ABS shell only in black.

The black and black combination looks very professional on the iPad. Definitely a case you could take your iPad into a Board meeting in. As you can see, the Hybrid Tough Case fits the iPad perfectly; adding little bulk but a good amount of protection to the sleek device.

The top of the case has a single cutout for the headphone plug and a push through for the power button.

The right side has a cutout to access the screen lock and push through button to control the volume.

The bottom of the case has cutouts for the iPad sync cable connection and speaker.

The left side is devoid of any cutouts or push through buttons.

This picture shows you how well the outer shell and inner skin fit together. The ABS plastic shell is very rigid and takes a bit of force to get into place. But once it is seated properly, it will definitely stay in place until removed.

The only complaint I have with the Hybrid Tough Case is that the outer ABS shell only wraps around two of the four sides. The longer vertical sides of the iPad case are firmly held in place, while the horizontal sides flap on and off when you grab it from those ends. If it was not for this (aka the outer shell not securing all four sides), I would consider the Hybrid Tough Case a near perfect way to protect your iPad.

The Gadgeteer Kid and I took a 2000 mile road trip with my father a few weeks ago. The entire time my iPad was protected by the Hybrid Tough Case. The trip was hectic and we often used my iPad to determine the best route, what we were eating for dinner, entertain the short-one, etc. I was taking it in and out of my travel bag many times per hour, leaving it occasionally in a precarious spot in the car, or (heaven forbid) letting my Dad hold it. That entire time, I felt that my iPad was extremely well protected (less the screen of course….).

Other than my wish that the hard, ABS shell wrapped around all four sides, instead of just two….I really like the look, feel, and function of case-mate’s Hybrid Tough Case. It fits the iPad perfectly, provides excellent protection, adds little weight/bulk to the device, and looks extremely professional to boot. At $50, this case is a great, relatively cost effective way to protect your iPad.

 

Product Information

Price:$49.99
Manufacturer:case-mate
Pros:
  • - Well fitted for the iPad
  • - Quality materials and workmanship
  • - Provides great protection
  • - Rugged, professional look and feel
Cons:
  • - All four sides should be held by the rigid outer shell
Posted in: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Chris September 9, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I have this style Case-Mate hybrid case for my iPhone 4 and love it except for the same issue you brought up with the iPad version – the outer shell only protects the two sides. This makes the bottom silicone lip push up when I’m holding it and has already started to sag away from the bottom of the device.

  • Pat September 10, 2010, 7:40 pm

    I hope they update it so that all 4 sides are wrapped to offer better protection.

    Very in-depth review, btw, Dave.

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