iPad Case Review: Ballistic Tough Jacket for iPad 2 and 3rd Generation iPad
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Super tough iPad case with reinforced corners and a screen cover that doubles as a viewing stand.
What's Not: Not designed to protect against moisture.
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The Ballistic Tough Jacket is an iPad case that provides excellent drop/shock protection for your iPad 2 or 3rd Generation iPad.
Size and Fit
First, the important part for those of you who have recently upgraded to the new iPad; The Tough Jacket fits both currently shipping iPad models. Regarding the size, while it looks a bit bulky in photos, this is primarily due to the heavily reinforced corners, and not because it is overly husky. Now, back to those corners... Yes, the case adds a comically large amount of padding to the corners of your iPad but doing so allows the rest of the case to be slimmer as no matter how you drop your iPad, it's going to hit one of these corners first. I was also pleased to find that Ballistic has chosen to place the silicone skin inside the hard plastic case - next to your iPad. This not only provides great shock absorption where you need it, but also alleviates the problem of saggy silicone as your case ages (silicone tends to stretch and become loose when used as the outermost layer).
Features and Quality
The Tough Jacket provides great drop/shock protection for your iPad, and is also chock full of nice design touches. All ports and switches are accessible, as are both cameras. The back panel is textured to help you hang onto it (although it is not rubberized) and the ABS plastic shell is very sturdy. The screen cover is equally tough, and clips solidly to the shell, providing one of the best screen protection systems available for the iPad. This cover also clips to the back of the device. When attached in this way, a cleverly designed hinged stand can be popped-out to prop the device up for viewing, or for typing when laid-flat.
Lastly, the bevel of the case that surrounds the screen is designed to protect the screen in case it is laid face-down. The only missing feature is protection from moisture, although this is clearly not an oversight, but a design decision to minimize bulk and increase accessibility. As most iPad users face a daily threat of drops/bumps/scuffs and are only minimally exposed to moisture, this will likely not be a problem for the vast majority of users. For those of us who need daily protection from water, however, know that this case will not fulfill all your needs.
The style of the Tough Jacket is, well... Tough. It's not particularly stylish in any tangible way, although as I have previously noted in other rugged case reviews, "tough" is really its own style category. In addition to black/black, the case also comes in red/black, which provides an even more aggressive look for those who wish it.
The Tough Jacket by Ballistic provides great drop/shock protection for your iPad 2 or 3rd generation iPad. The heavily reinforced corners allow the rest of the case to be a bit slimmer without sacrificing protection, and the screen cover is nicely designed to also serve as a viewing/typing stand. Although it is not intended to provide moisture protection, the level of protection it provides from most iThreats (sorry, I couldn't resist) is exceptional, and will not be missed by most.