When using an iPad, the less bulk, the better. So OtterBox's Reflex Series seems like a more welcome addition for those who want serious protection and an adequately slim iPad 2, 3 and the New 4th generation.
One thing we all really like about the Reflex Series are the colours they come in. This comes in a total of four very virbant and stylish colours, Ash (black on black), Vapor (translucent on black), Zinger (purple on pink) and Radiation (lime green on blue). The case is made from a polycarbonate shell with rubber corners and is very slim taking into account the protection given and feels very comfortable in use. The rubber exterior and smooth edges make for a firm grip but after excessive use the case does cause hands to sweat. The bezel isn't covered by the case and that's very a good thing when using certain Apps and it just makes the iPad more enjoyable and less hassle to operate.
Getting the iPad into the case is very simple, slide the iPad into either half of the case and then slide the other half on and then they'll clip together. The fit is very tight and rather secure, we've never seen either side come loose. Something we also rather liked was that the interior of the case has a scattering of four rubber pieces for the iPad to sit on, preventing scratches and damage targeting the iPad and also adds shock absorbency.
The iPad's buttons are all covered by artificial ones built into the case sitting on top of the real things. They all feel nice to press, responsive and they don't stick which is prone to happen in cases which cover buttons for protection. The audio jack, mute switch, microphone and 30 pin dock connector are all cutout of the case. The 30 pin dock connector cutout isn't big enough for many accessories to plug in, but as the case is so easy to slide apart, whenever we needed to use a bigger accessory we simply slid the bottom half off the iPad. However one of our early major concerns using the Reflex case on the iPad is that the speaker is entirely covered by the rear of the Reflex. But OtterBox have thought of this and built into the case what they call 'Audio Reuters'. These basically direct the sound towards the user and to our surprise the audio output is slightly louder and have tad heavier on the bass.
A touch screen shield attaches itself securely onto the front of the iPad and hooks onto the Reflex via four silicone corners. It's designed to prop the iPad up and deliver two different viewing angles. The mechanism on this is most definitely the smartest OtterBox have designed with their stands. We were very impressed with the upgrade from the Defender for the iPad 1 to the iPad 2 but this blows that out of the water. Getting the screen shield to extrude itself so it can be used in two different angles is achieved via an easy push down on the middle section and then it will latch itself upright. The two angles give a choice from a typing position and an upright angle which is perfect for watching movies or viewing photos. It also triggers the sleep and wake function of the iPad when removed and attached. When not using the shield it's designed to be latched onto the rear of the Reflex, something we frequently forgot to do. But when we did remember it wasn't as comfortable holding the iPad within Reflex as compared to when it wasn't attached. So we ended up removing it anyway during prolonged usage.
The protection is the best going for the cases dimensions when compared against it’s competitors. The slimness and lightness is something we really enjoy, but the solid protection amongst all that is what makes the Reflex so great. Crumple zones like you get in car bumpers are located on all four corners of the case. The reason for this is because when iPhone's and iPad's are dropped onto a surface, the devices nearly always land on their corners. This is where the Crumple Zone comes in and takes the impact, leaving the iPad safe. We tested the drop protection and are happy to report the iPad survived each impact, the highest of which was from 6 meters onto concrete. And if you remember to attach the screen shield, the iPad is protected front and back.
Overall the Reflex Series Case that fits the iPad 2nd, 3rd and New 4th Gen, is the case to get if you want best size to protection ratio going for an iPad case.