At a Glance
Otter Box’s Reflex Series for iPad 2 is a cleverly designed cover that wants to do it all.
Otter Box’s $70 Reflex Series for iPad 2 is a cleverly designed cover that wants to do it all. Its unique design makes it stand out, although its ultra-industrial appearance may be best suited to those who prefer functionality over style.
The case itself is made up of two parts—a hard shell that covers the back of the iPad, and a transparent front piece (Otterbox calls it a shield) that covers the touchscreen and doubles as a stand when the iPad is in use.
The shield is, by far, the best feature. It is stable yet flexible and can accommodate the iPad in three different positions: two for viewing in landscape or portrait orientation, and one made for comfortable typing. When you’re not using the shield as a stand, it collapses easily and snaps over the touchscreen for on-the-go protection.
The back shell offers substantial protection and leaves the iPad’s ports and camera free and unobstructed. Because the shell covers the iPad’s speaker, it employs a cleverly designed opening at the bottom that redirects sound toward the user. However, this feature does make the bottom corners of the case look and feel a little awkward.
The shell also covers the volume and sleep/wake buttons, and though they are still functional, the case’s stiffness makes it a bit difficult to use these buttons. I found taking screenshots with the shell on to be fairly difficult, and it often took me several tries to successfully take the screenshot I wanted.
For a case that adds only minimal bulk, the Reflex Series offers substantial protection. Otter Box is so confident in the protection afforded by the Reflex that their website shows a promotional video of one of their designers throwing a Reflex-protected iPad on the ground and dropping rocks on the screen. While the videos are impressive, I would think twice before doing the same to my own iPad—the front shell leaves small sections of the iPad screen exposed and not entirely safe from scratches.
The Reflex Series is only available in black and its design, while clever, is not especially intuitive or aesthetically pleasing.