iPad mini Case Review: Urban Armor Gear Scout for iPad Mini Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Provides great drop/shock protection without adding appreciably to the size of your device. Single-piece construction means your iPad installs in seconds. Rubberized edges and feet provide extra drop protection and help to hold your Mini in place.
What's Not: Not designed to protect against moisture.
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The Scout by Urban Armor Gear is a rugged everyday case that provides enough protection to make you feel secure using your device without adding excessive bulk to it.
Size and Fit
Rugged cases are all about compromises. Too much protection and they become unwieldy and negatively impact your ability to use your device; too little and they lose their rugged status. The Scout walks the line nicely in this regard. It's svelte enough for everyday use while still providing the protection it advertises. Thanks to the rubberized edges, it snaps on/off in seconds and fits the iPad Mini perfectly.
Features and Quality
The Scout is billed as a composite case, which means that it is composed of two different materials, which are seamlessly bonded together. The case's back and side edges are made of ABS plastic to provide impact protection, while the top/bottom edges and corners are rubberized to allow easy installation and extra corner protection for drops. It's important to note that the soft portions are not too soft like silicone, which tends to not only grab lint but also stretch over time. Before installing it for the first time, I spent a good 5 minutes trying to find a visible seam between these two materials. Obviously, I can see where the plastic stops and the rubber starts, but there is no indication that this thing is glued together in any way. It truly looks like a... composite.
In addition to the edges and corners, UAG took the time to install tiny rubber feet on the back of the case. I didn't even notice them until I tried to slide my Mini across the desk to someone and it just sat there, making me look like an idiot. Of course the rubberized edges will also provide the same (comparatively) high coefficient of friction, enabling you to prop-up your device, both vertically and horizontally. Definitely a nice touch, and one often overlooked. The Scout gives you full access to all buttons/ports/switches, including the cameras. The only feature I found myself wishing for was flaps and covers over the buttons and controls. I can see why this wasn't included, however, as the flexible material used in the Composite Case isn't quite flexible enough for this purpose. It is important to point out that this case will not provide any protection against moisture. As previously alluded to, this is a trade-off for the everyday usability it provides. I only point it out in this review in case you face everyday exposure to water and need protection from that particular element.
For a rugged case, the Scout is very minimally styled. No extra ridges, protrusions or chunky corners on this baby. It seems that it was designed to be functional and understated rather than aggressive. If the Composite Case were a high school kid, it would be the nicely-dressed athletic youth rather than the jerk in the tight Under Armor shirt and compression shorts. The only nod to style that it makes is the inclusion of colored cardboard inserts, which bring a splash of color to the case back. While the review item was black, this case also comes in white ABS with black trim. Please note, however, that this model is called The Navigator.
The Scout (and Navigator) provide excellent drop/shock protection, and do so without making your device overly bulky. If you're looking for a case that is both tough and accessible, The Scout is an excellent choice.