Modulr iPad mini Mobility Pack review
by BILL KUCH, the-gadgeteer.com
I purchased an iPad mini. That was the easy part. What I needed next was a case that is both rugged and reliable, because I plan on carrying the mini with me while hiking in the woods near our house. I stumbled across the iPad mini Mobility Pack sold by Modulr and thought it might be the way to go. I was intrigued by the claim that it exceeded certain Military Shock Standards. Hmm, I wonder if it could survive the twin 5-year-old grandsons?
What intrigues me about the mobility pack was the ability to configure the case for different uses and the drop protection.
- Shock-proof case
- Flip cover
- Task specific accessories (Hand, shoulder and wrist straps included)
- Black or White/Gray color
On the left is the case with the slip cover on the right. At the top on the left is the hand strap with the shoulder strap on the right. At the bottom is the wrist strap.
Here’s the case looking at the top with the backside up. You’ll notice that all the iPad mini controls are accessible.
The bottom of the case. There are holes for the speaker and access for the Lightning cable.
Here’s a front view of my mini in the case. Not shown are the right side switch and volume rocker, which are extended through the case.
This is the flip cover with the included straps hooked to the attachment points for illustration. There is an addition hip/shoulder pouch available for purchase.
The cover can be moved from the bottom of the case to the top, so it protects the screen. The task of moving from back to front does take a little effort. You have to gently pry either the top or bottom brackets that surround the case and then remove the cover and reverse the procedure to put it on the other side. Although I didn’t experience any issues, I wonder if the repeated flexing of these brackets will eventually loosen the cover. That would be disastrous, because the attachments for the straps are on the cover and if it came loose the mini would fall.
I also received the optional storage stand. Here again the attachment points on the cover are used to secure it to the stand.
The underneath of the stand provides storage for a cable and power plug for the mini. It is not a docking station.
Here the case is attached to the stand. I found the stand convenient for viewing my Aereo TV while writing at the PC. The combination also makes a great clock radio appliance.
I’ve been using the case for a couple of weeks and have some observations. It does live up to its billing of being light and thin. The added weight is minimal and with it on, holding my mini felt more secure. For most of the time, I use the wrist strap. One thing I’ve learned about changing the attachment options, is to insure they are totally secure. Center the attachment over the large hole and then pull strongly until the clip “snaps” into place. I have used the shoulder strap, but the hand strap would be more useful for someone doing data entry on the fly.
Overall, I’m impressed with the Modulr solution, but I do have a couple of nits. With the slip cover attached to the back of the case, the front facing camera is obstructed. In a commercial environment, this wouldn’t be an issue, but for example, when I was in Sam’s Club recently, I had to remove the cover to take photos of prices and products. This then left me holding the iPad mini without any straps and each removal of the cover made me nervous about dropping the iPad. Also, access to the headphone jack is problematic with the case on. The Apple supplied ear-buds worked, but several of my 3.5 mm cables and devices would not fit, because the thickness of the case kept the plugs from going all the way in. Neither of these issue are show stoppers for me, but just be aware.
I didn’t do any drop testing, because I’m not that brave. On their website, Modulr has a video of them dropping a mini protected by the mini case, if you’re interested. I can say, that after going on several walks in the woods, swinging the mini around many grocery stores, and generally bumping my iPad into things, I haven’t suffered any damage, and so far, it’s weathered handling by the 5-year-old ankle biters.