Gumdrop’s $60 Drop Tech Series case is built to withstand an extreme amount of wear and tear while keeping the iPad safe and scratch-free.
A thin, plastic shell holds the iPad in place, and includes an almost unnoticeable plastic screen protector. The screen protector does not limit the tablet’s touch-screen capabilities, and the way it is set in the shell keeps spilled liquids and goo out. The shell has extra protection in the form of a rubber outer case that looks like it could survive a couple of atomic bombs.
If you’re looking for a rugged case that resembles a tractor tire, this offering from Gumdrop is as close as you’re going to get. It is thick, treaded, and might even bounce (though I didn’t test for that). The rubber makes the case very easy to grip and the plastic shell gives it sturdy protection.
In Gumdrop’s promotional video for the case, the DropTech designers shoot the case with paintballs. Unfortunately, they don’t show how well the iPad survived, which makes me suspicious about how well the case’s screen protector actually works.
The case has openings for the front and back cameras, speaker, headphone jack, and dock-connector ports. The buttons are covered with designated buttons on the case, and while the Home button works just fine, the volume buttons get stuck. When you try to increase the volume by one increment, the case gets stuck and turns the volume all the way up. The same goes for the lower volume button. Needless to say, this is incredibly annoying, but it is the only flaw I found in the case.
You can choose from four different shell color combinations—black on black, black on red, white on black, or pink on white. The screen protector is also sold separately if you need to replace it.
[Lauren Crabbe is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. You can follow her on Twitter.]