Taking your iPad along on vacation this year? Then you will want a special case to protect against sand, surf, and other tablet enemies.

Jeff Bertolucci, Contributor

May 8, 2012

11 Slides


Tablets have become a must-pack item for vacations. You can take your iPad anywhere: to the park or beach; on a camping trip; or even backpacking in the wilderness. You could bring a laptop instead, of course, but a tablet's easier. Think about it: It's hard to find a suitable desk on the beach, and using your laptop on your lap is not always a good idea, particularly for guys.

Don't be surprised this summer to see a lot more iPad-toting vacationers out and about. There's a potential problem with this scenario, however: Apple's pretty tablet isn't cut out for outdoor life, at least not without a protective shield to keep it safe.

Simply put, an iPad headed outside needs a case. But which is best for you? A leather cover might work well in conference rooms and coffee shops, but it's not suitable protection for FaceTime chats by the pool, or for a quick game of Temple Run when afternoon winds fling beach sand across the Retina display.

Many cases in this roundup match the "ruggedized" profile: resistance to water; a hard polycarbonate shell; and a shock-absorbing coating. Some might be tougher than you need. The G-Form Extreme Portfolio, for instance, reportedly can protect an iPad from a 60-foot drop onto pavement. You can back a truck over a tablet inside a Hammerhead Capo Case.

If mere resistance to moisture isn't good enough, a few cases here promise watertight protection. Lifedge, for instance, stays waterproof under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, and the OverBoard pouch keeps your iPad dry at depths of 19 feet, the vendor says.

Rugged and waterproof tablets are expensive, naturally, with a few priced north of $100. And if you've already paid $500 or more for an iPad, that's a lot to shell out for a shell. There are cheaper alternatives, however, particularly if you simply want a cover that protects your slate against sand, spills, barbeque sauce, and grimy fingers. Chef Sleeve, for example, is a re-sealable plastic pouch--a Ziploc sandwich bag of iPad protectors, if you will.

You could always leave your iPad at home, of course, and focus on the outdoor splendor that summer has to offer. But if you just can't leave your iPad behind when the day ahead includes sand or surf, you should cover it up with one of these cases.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Bertolucci

Contributor

Jeff Bertolucci is a technology journalist in Los Angeles who writes mostly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Saturday Evening Post, and InformationWeek.

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