When it comes to Apple products I’m a purest at heart. My Macbook Pro is devoid of any protection (think Malware) and my iPhone sits as raw as could be in my pocket. And my iPad has largely remained unprotected with the exception of a sleeve from Booq Bags. So the idea of wrapping the tablet computer, which oozes with minimalist industrial design, just seemed so wrong if not counter intuitive to me. But then I thought about all the times my heart skipped a beat when the device almost slipped out of the clutches of a friend’s hands, or when someone almost scratched the beautiful metal rear facade. It’s then and only then that I decided it was a good idea to take a look at iSkin’s latest offering: the Duo and Vu.
The Duo, when held in your hands is a floppy rubber cover. But slip it onto your iPad and transforms into a tablet condom that leaves the screen unfettered, and the bevel and back protected from scratches. In fact, it wasn’t until I fitted the iPad into the iSkin Duo that I realized what it had to offer. Suddenly, the once slippery and fragile iPad was easy to grip and no longer seemed susceptible to whatever gravel, dirt or dust lay on my desk.
The volume buttons are complete covered, but still tactically accessible. There is a headphone plug that prevents debris from entering the 3.5mm hole and slots have been cut to allow complete access to the iPad’s 30-pin dock, ambient light sensor, mic and speaker.
My only concerns is that the seam appears to be a bit fragile at certain points. During my testing it didn’t rip, but nonetheless it is a concern.
- Makes the iPad easy to grip
- Protects entire bevel and headphone port
- Easy to install
- Only protects from scratches
- Might have a tendency to split at the seam (unfounded)
Next on the list was iSkin Vu. Like the Duo is protects the back and bevel of the iPad, but provides not only a see-through cover but allows the iPad to be placed into a dock without removing the entire skin.
Installing the Vu is far more challenging than the Duo, largely because it’s clear section is a hard plastic. I was tempted to start by fitting the iPad into the top and then slipping the bottom in last – this won’t work. You’ll need to get the bottom corners situated into the Vu and then slip it into the top corners, which have slits cut into the rubber to allow for great flexibility. Lastly, the dock connector cover, which is a bit fiddly, needs to be inserted.
The Duo features a slit for the orientation lock button. The Vu however has a rubber flap that takes a little bit of dexterity and heft to access it. Annoying? Yes. And as I previously mentioned the removable dock plate, which can be removed without taking the entire case off, can be a bit challenging to reinstall. Fortunately, it contains a small flap to access the 30-pin dock if you’re just syncing with a standard Apple cable.
- Hard back adds more protection
- Dockable without removing the entire skin
- A bit challenging to install
- Orientation button flap is frustratingly stiff
- Doesn’t protect the iPad’s entire bevel
The Vu will provide a bit more drop protection since it is composed of a hard plastic as opposed to a rubber. But my preference is without a doubt the Duo since it’s easier to install and protects the entire bevel as opposed to just half of it.