When it comes to protecting your device, the first name mentioned/recognized is usually Otterbox, but the Pelican ProGear Vault Series Case for the iPad Mini is not only a major player but offers an attractive alternative to the aforementioned.
The Vault Series case offers complete protection from dust, water and more importantly shock and drops. My co-workers have dubbed this the ‘GI-Joe Case’ because it looks so rugged and army-like. The engineer-grade genetic makeup of the Vault includes an impact absorbing liner that re-enforces protection to your Mini along with stainless steel hex head screws (screwdriver included), a protective water seal for resistance and (brief) immersion and an aircraft grade aluminum hinged front cover that releases quickly for multiple viewing angles. One would assume with all of this miliary class protection, your Mini would be encased in some sort of tomb without access to the devices’ buttons or speakers. The Vault boasts a waterproof GoreTex film covering both the microphone and speakers (which does not compromise the audio) and a Dragontail optical protective shield for the rear camera.
This case is definitely built for the rugged, active iPad owner; the camper, the mountain climber and all of the
actors people in that ‘what will your verse be?’ commercial. In my time with this case, I found myself becoming very careless with my Mini; I’d come home and toss my iPad on the couch and watch it bounce off and onto my throw rug and not break a sweat. I think the ideal demographic for this is both the outdoor-y iPad owner and those of us who just want more protection than most standard case offers. And children…this case is definitely for those of us who have children that use our devices, I will put money on the fact that a five-year old can’t crack the Vault case. I appreciated the sense of security the ProGear instilled in me but I didn’t like the weight and bulk it added to my Mini (yes I understand that military-grade protection doesn’t come in a thin/light option). It weighed down my purse but I’m sure the weight wouldn’t be noticed in a laptop bag or backpack.
The ProGear Vault case is a complete protection package, I give it an 8 out of 10 but again, I do not think I am the target demographic for this case. What it lacks in my choice of personal style it more than makes up for in protection. If you are looking for an alternative to the mainstream players in the defensive case game, definitely give Pelican a try.