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You may not know that OtterBox is one of the fastest growing high tech companies, a supplier of ruggedized electronic gear protection to the US military and the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phone cases. Chances are, you know the OtterBox Otterbox phone.jpgDefender, though. These super-tough cases have a well-deserved reputation for protecting smartphones and tablets from drops, scratches and other hazards. For those who aren’t familiar with the OtterBox Defender, here’s an overview of this award-winning series of protective cases.

Anyone who’s ever shelled out the $200 or more to replace a cracked screen on their iPad Air, Galaxy Tab or Nexus knows the importance of wrapping their new tablet in a protective case.

Not all cases are created equal, though, and none has the reputation of the OtterBox Defender. The case has become known for being tough while ensuring your mobile device is still useful —not so buried under layers of plastic that it becomes a pain to operate. And the OtterBox Defender line is available in a wide range of colours to suit your sense of style. The line that defined smartphone protection is also offered for tablets.

OtterBox Defender for iPad Air

Let’s look at the OtterBox Defender for the iPad Air as an example.

This is a three-layer case to maximize survivability should you drop your iPad. The first layer is high-impact polycarbonate with a foam layer for shock absorption. This is the component that does the most in terms of protection from the big drops that all iPad owners have nightmares about.

Next, a silicon layer offers a splash of colour (or more black if that’s your preferance), further protection from bumps and shocks and provides a grippy texture so it’s less likely you’ll drop the device in the first place. Finally, a built-in screen protector wards off scratches and keeps out dust.

Also built in to the Defender for iPad is the shield stand, a high impact plastic component that can be fitted as additional protection on the back or front of the tablet during transport. As the name implies, it also has an integrated kickstand that can be used to position the iPad upright for viewing or typing. 

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How effective is the OtterBox Defender at protecting an iPad Air? 

Think of the demographic that’s toughest on these glass and aluminum slabs —kids. I can speak from experience there, having had one iPad meet an early demise at the hands of a 10-year old with a slippery grip. The consumer association PTPA (Parent Tested, Parent Approved) awarded the OtterBox Defender for iPad its Winner’s Seal of Approval in 2013 based on testing results reported by its 65,000 member parent community.

In other words, there’s a good reason why OtterBox sells so many protective cases. 

Galaxy S5.jpgOtterBox Defender Covers Many Different Devices

While the OtterBox Defender series may be best known for saving iPhones and iPads from accidental damage, these high tech cases are available for a wide range of mobile devices. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, Samsung Galaxy S5, Motorola Moto X and Moto G, HTC One M8, LG G3or iPod Touch?

These and more are covered —in style, convenience and safety— by an OtterBox Defender series case.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. I have been writing about technology for several decades for a wide range of outlets including Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, MSN,, Kiplinger, and GeekDad. I’m in my 10th year as a senior contributor for Forbes with a focus on reviewing music-related tech, Apple gear, battery power stations and other consumer electronics. My day job is with the Malware Research Center at AI-native cybersecurity pioneer CrowdStrike.