iPad Case Review: LifeProof Nuud for all iPad models (iPad Mini version reviewed)
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Waterproof to 2m without the use of a screen overlay. Surprisingly thin and light for a waterproof case. Full access to all ports/switches/buttons
What's Not: Pricey.
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The LifeProof Nuud case for the iPad Mini provides true waterproof protection (to 2m) without covering your touchscreen.
Size and Fit
LifeProof's Nuud case, while a bit bulky when compared to most everyday cases, is shockingly thin and light for a waterproof case. It snaps together snugly, forming a waterproof seal against the Mini's touchscreen. This thing is clearly engineered to the fraction of a fraction of a millimeter because I was surprised to find that it doesn't fit the Retina Mini, which is only 0.3mm (that's a third of a millimeter) thicker. However, at the time of this review, LifeProof was busily working on a version that fits the newer, slightly thicker Mini so check their website for more information and be sure to order the correct one.
Features and Quality
If you've read any of my previous reviews of rugged/waterproof cases, you must know how I feel about screen protectors. In fact, I dislike them so much, I routinely pop them out, knowing full-well that I have just turned a waterproof case into a non-waterproof case. Imagine my incredulous delight then, when the LifeProof Nuud arrived claiming to offer a way to make my devices waterproof without covering the screen. It achieves this herculean feat by precisely engineering their cases so as to form a waterproof seal against your touchscreen. This is clearly brilliant as glass is every bit as waterproof as plastic. It takes some getting used to though, before you fully trust it. To help you along, LifeProof thoughtfully provides a mock iPad Mini for you to seal up and test underwater. After letting mine soak overnight, I can attest to the fact that when installed properly and used within the case's stated limits, it is waterproof. That last point on stated limits is of particular importance because the pressure created by submerging something 2m (about 6 feet) underwater can be met or even exceeded by vigorously moving your device in much shallower water so don't plan on taking it surfing with you as a good wipeout could force water into places you definitely don't want it to go. For most of us, however, the LifeProof Nuud is the Holy Grail of waterproof cases; waterproof without covering your screen. The ante's been upped; I can't wait to see how the competition responds. Lastly, all ports switches and buttons are completely accessible, although utilizing the Lightning port or headphone jack will obviously compromise its waterproof integrity.
The Nuud is available in black or white. It's no-nonsense design doesn't scream style, but the clear case back does let your device's clean aluminum construction shine through, while at the same time allowing you to verify that it is still warm and dry (well, dry anyway).
The LifeProof Nuud is the new high water mark for daily-use waterproof cases. There is nothing else on the market today that can match it's innovative design. The elimination of a screen cover means you can use your iPad without compromise while protecting it from most forms of everyday moisture/dirt/grit/sand and even a light dunking.