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Bottom Line: With a tough design and an excellent stand, the Shockdrop Poptop Rugged Case is a solid choice for those who value protection over form-factor.
If you’re like me, then you use your iPad everywhere, from your kitchen to your karate classes. And a natural consequence of that is that your iPad takes a beating. In a perfect world, your precious iPad would be immune to the constant dangers of dings, scratches, falls, and the occasional drop of water. Well, we don’t live in that world. But thanks to the Shockdrop Poptop Rugged Case from Hard Candy Cases, my iPad is dramatically safer.
The case features a heavy-duty rubber exterior, reinforced by hard plastic beneath, as well as a plastic screen guard. The rubber casing feels very durable, and was clearly designed with shock-absorption in mind. There are apertures for the front and rear camera, but otherwise every port and button is encased in rubber. The buttons are still easily accessible through the case, but in order to access the ports, one must pull open one of the small flaps built into the case. While by no means water-resistant, the sealed ports and screen protector do make it much less likely that stray dust or moisture will find their way into your device. The kickstand on the Shockdrop is excellent. It snaps sturdily in place and is held fast by a magnet, perfect for viewing upright or at an incline for typing.
Unfortunately, these good qualities come at a design cost. Though the flaps on the device ports seem sturdy, I couldn't help but worry about accidentally tearing them as I bent one back to plug in my charging cable. The reinforced rubber exterior isn't hugely bulky, but it certainly isn’t the slim profile that many iPad covers lean towards. The rubber (naturally) also has a good bit of drag, and once or twice I found myself struggling to get it to slide into my backpack as it rubbed up against books and papers. The plastic screen cover is perfect for protecting your iPad’s fragile glass face, but it also shows fingerprints very pronouncedly. Finally, and this will only be a problem for some folks, but the rubber frame seems to attract cat hair like a magnet.
Overall, I think that the Shockdrop Proptop case is a very nice piece of hardware. Granted, the case has some drawbacks, but weighed against the protection that my iPad now enjoys, I think a few errant strands of cat hair is worth it.