First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Product snapshot: LifeProof Nuud iPad case
- — 24 May, 2013 09:20
This protective case from LifeProof is designed for adventurers, tradespeople, cooks, sports people, and pretty much anyone who likes to use their iPad in situations where it could potentially get damaged.
The LifeProof Nuud case is designed to be waterproof to a depth of 2m for up to 30min; it's also dustproof and snowproof and it can protect your device from drops up to 1.2m. It adds a little bit of weight and bulkiness to the iPad, which is to be expected, but if you want to use it in risky situations, then that's a reasonable trade-off for its safety.
The case is designed to stay on all the time; it's not the type of case that you can just put on and take off whenever you feel like it, and it's not a toy. The Nuud snaps onto an iPad in two pieces, which includes a rear piece and a front frame. Both pieces have an o-ring that forms a watertight seal once it's correctly in place.
It can be very hard to put the two pieces together (and also to remove them) and this is perhaps one of the reasons that the manufacturer recommends that once it's on it stays on. The case has openings (which can be sealed for waterproofing) for the dock and headphone port (and it comes with its own waterproof audio adapter), there is a built-in optical lens for the camera, a waterproof microphone opening, a waterproof speaker enclosure, and there is a button at the front for the home screen. Interestingly, the front of the case doesn't cover the screen itself.
Because the iPad is flat around the edges, the case forms the seal around it and you can use the screen just as you would normally — the screen won't be affected if it makes contact with water. By not having a cover, it means the screen will be as responsive as it is usually ("the naked touch experience" as LifeProof calls it). LifeProof warns that you must not use a screen protector while using the Nuud case.
In the event of a drop, the bumper around the case will do its best to absorb the shock and ensure that the iPad stays safe, but this rating is for up to 1.2m. If you do ever drop it, the company recommends that you perform a waterproofing test again, just to make sure that the case is still in perfect working order.
Before placing your iPad into the case, you are urged to do a thorough waterproofing test with the supplied mock-up plastic cover, which represents the screen of an iPad. You can place a piece of paper inside it, too, just to make doubly sure no water has crept into the case. Once you're confident that you know how to work the case and properly snap it in place, only then should you put your iPad into it.
It's definitely an interesting product and it should tweak the interest of those of you who perhaps want to use your iPad on a boat, while hiking, even around the pool or in the kitchen. It could also come in handy in warehouses, wood shop floors or any other types of environments where dust and dirt reside. A cover is also supplied with the case, and the best part about it is its built-in stand, which allows you to sit the iPad up like a picture frame while you watch videos.
The Nuud is currently only available from LifeProof's site, but will soon be available in Australian retail stores, too, for an estimated price of $130. Only Apple devices are supported at the moment (check out LifeProof for all the cases and associated accessories for those cases), but cases for Samsung products are said to be in development.
Here's the founder and designer of the product, who happens to be an Aussie, showing it off.