Disclaimer: Hard Candy has provided Dragonblogger.com with a ShockDrop Rugged iPad Mini Case for evaluation purposes. Opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
Are you an iPad Mini owner with a sweet tooth? Then you may be delighted to hear about Hard Candy’s delicious ShockDrop Rugged Case for the iPad Mini, iPad 2, and the rest of the current generations. At first glance, you may not realize that the ShockDrop is in fact a full encompassing case. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with such cases. However, Hard Candy makes several promises with this particular case, which no doubt intrigued me. Read below to see how well the case fared through my testing.
Aesthetics that are Both Fun and Functional
The overall appearance of the Hard Candy ShockDrop Rugged Case is certainly bold. I was very fond of the striking fire engine red case I received and loved how it made my iPad Mini pop. On the sides and back I immediately noticed the raised ridges that I believe act as a good bumper for harsh impacts. Topping things off, the semi-rigged screen protector is as clear as the actual iPad Mini touchscreen and does not appear to suffer any noticeable rainbowing.
Installation is Not So Fun
One little annoyance I have with full encompassing cases is the fact that they feel cumbersome to install. Slipping the iPad Mini into the ShockDrop was not so bad. What did grind my gears was the laborious process of kneading each silicon wedge into place. Once everything is set, a pesky little dust speck usually finds it way in and you have to decide whether you are willing to live with it or not. These criticisms apply to pretty much any full encompassing case and I cannot use them as a valid reason to dock points from the case’s ultimate score though.
Buttons Galore and Cutouts Wherever You Need Them
Hard Candy has fabulously executed all the raised buttons and cutouts. I hate having to sniff around for the volume, sleep, or other controls on my iPad Mini. The ShockDrop raises all of them and makes them incredibly easy to find. Cutouts for vital functions are also very well done. I was able to fit in the plug for my headphones with no trouble at all and took pictures with the iPad Mini’s camera without any ring obstruction. It was certainly clever of Hard Candy to keep all the plugs covered as well and I appreciate that the covers do not feel incredibly stiff when I peel them back.
A Cushiony Test of the Hard Candy ShockDrop
I have to come clean and admit that I did not have the guts to put the ShockDrop’s name to the test. My budget for electronic extravagances is humble and I just cannot risk my one and only iPad Mini for such a test. Those of you screaming at your computer screens however can refer to the video above to view a clip of the ShockDrop in action. Still, this would not be a “Mitra Faridian Dragonblogger Review” without some kind of demonstration. So I opted instead to do a more cushiony experiment with the case.
Several iPad owners weave a tapestry of curses each and every time their iPads slip down their pillowy pedestals. Thanks to the ShockDrop’s raised ridges, you will never have to suffer such an inconvenience again. In the video above, I poked and prodded at my iPad Mini and no matter how hard I tried, the device was going nowhere. I tested this on a variety of fabrics, cushions, and what-have-you and I am pleased to say the ShockDrop passed with flying colors.
Screen Protector Functionality Test: Also a Big Success!
The screen protectors on some full encompassing cases occasionally compromise the functionality of the iPad’s touchscreen. In the case of the Hard Candy ShockDrop, my experience was in no way botched. To be perfectly honest, I hardly felt that there was a screen protector on it to begin with. Whether I swiftly swiped back and forth, vigorously tapped on the onscreen buttons, or pinched/stretched a webpage; the screen responded without a hitch. The Hard Candy ShockDrop definitely gets high marks for this.
Using the Hard Candy ShockDrop Rugged Case on my iPad Mini was simply delightful. The only significant critique I can give the case is the fact that it lacks a kickstand. Hopefully Hard Candy will consider installing one for future models. Other than that, I heartily recommend the ShockDrop to any iPad Mini owner looking for an awesome combination of protection and pizzazz.