Kensington Black Belt Protection Band for iPad (Review & Pics)

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Austin M., Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Austin M. macrumors 6502a

    Austin M.

    Jul 29, 2010

    The iPad is a big tablet, and big tablet’s are always prone to damage, a lot more damage than smart phones. I have seen numerous amounts of videos that showcased an iPhone 4 dropping to its death and surviving the first few falls. However, that was not the case with the iPad, when you drop it straight down, wether it’s the first time or not, it’s gone (or cracked in this case) for good. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on Kensington’s new addition to the iPad’s family of cases, the ever so powerful and rugged BlackBelt Protection Band for the iPad. The BlackBelt Protection Band for the iPad features an extremely thick layer of silicone that wraps around the outer edge of the iPad sort of like a bumper style case for the iPhone 4. So, the question remains, is this thing really as tough as its name depicts, or will this case lose the match against solid concrete? Read on for the full review of the BlackBelt Protection Band to find out.

    Let’s start off with the packaging, which is very simple if I do say so myself. The BlackBelt Protection Band for the iPad comes wrapped in a very small plastic wrapper that is very easy to get into and within a matter of seconds I was able to get this thing full installed and ready for anything life throws at it. In case you were wondering, all you get is the case itself, no shields or any other goodies of the sort. This is kind of a downer, since the backside of the iPad is fully exposed, leaving it prone to scratches and what not, although it makes up for that in a tremendous amount of lay on the table design. Installation was very easy and only took a matter of seconds. I simply wrapped the BlackBelt Protection Band for the iPad around the edges of my iPad until fully seated in. I did notice that the case actually seemed pretty loose as even the slightest pull on the sides will stretch the case out very far.

    Now that we have the case installed, let’s take a quick overview of the buttons starting at the top. The headphone jack and the mic were wide open and I had no problems when it came to using large size cables or jacks in the cutout. The sleep/wake button is covered by a very thick piece of silicone and even though it was a little bit mushy, I didn’t find it to be too much of a pain and I could still here the click of the button when turning my iPad on and off. Going down the side of the case you will find one large opening for the mute/rotation switch and the volume rockers.

    I did find that both of these buttons were a little bit tough to reach due to how recessed they were, even though a small issue, it’s still an issue nonetheless. Last but not least, you will find two individual cutouts for the three speakers and the dock connector. Although some charging cables will fit in here just fine I cannot guarantee that everything will fit in here perfectly due to how deep the cutout is. What I can guarantee is that you will not be able to dock this at all. Finally, I had no problem at all when it came to reproducing sound out the bottom speakers.

    As far as overall protection goes, this case definitely stood up to the name, with a few flaws that is, but we will get to that at the very end, let’s get some positive feedback here. Now, while I didn’t think of doing any sort of drop tests I think that I would be fully confident dropping my iPad on the ground with the case itself as the extremely thick silicone will absorb most if not all of the shock that the impact gives off. Also, the case does offer a very good amount of grip to the sides and has a lot more than just the naked iPad itself. The back is also open so that you can show off that sexy aluminum that the iPad gives off. That being said, the back may also be prone to scratching, like I mentioned in the beginning of the review.

    To recap some of the issues I stated in the beginning was the fact that this case was quite loose and would generally peel off at the sides and that some of the button cutouts were not cut large enough for third party accessories. I forgot to mention that this case is quite a lint magnet and I was constantly having to clean this case off in order to keep this bad boy looking like new. Also, some people may be turned away by the sheer size of this case. I’ll have to admit, this case is a beast and will likely cause some fear in smaller children. That last sentence was a poor attempt at sarcasm, in case you where questioning it.

    Overall, the BlackBelt Protection Band for the iPad is a pretty solid case. While this case does have some design issues (button cutouts not being big enough, being an absolute lint magnet, sheer bulk, and leaving the back exposed) people will find that the protection that this monster of a case offers is fantastic. The silicone should easily absorb most of the impact from minor falls. You can pick up the BlackBelt Protection Band for the iPad on Kensington’s website and it currently sells at a retail price of $32.49 (was originally $39.99). Hit up the link for more info.

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