For so many of us, packing mobile phones, iPads and tablets, laptops and notebooks, and earphones when heading out is just par for the course. These are more than just gadgets, they are tools of work and education, and they keep us connected. So its pretty important to keep devices going, wherever you are.
A protective rugged case can keep your device going even after a bump, drop, splash or crash. There are a so many choices in tough gear, how do you choose the right rugged case for your device?
It starts off with the device brand
While we all like to be individual, the fact is that the more popular a device, the better choice you will have in protective and mounting equipment for it. iPhone and Samsung devices, for example, have a significantly longer list of options when it comes to rugged and waterproof cases, than say a Lumia phone. So when you are renewing your device, consider if you need to have more choices in rugged cases and other helpful accessories, or not.
Genuine brand rugged cases
Next is the case brand. No one likes to be a slave to brands, however in terms of rugged cases, the best, most reliable protection will come from a genuine brand case from a manufacturer with experience and a deep commitment to device protection.
The key differences between quality brands such and the flimsy silicone bandaids offered at the local supermarket are clear once you look closely.
Rugged case materials matter
When your phone or tablet is at risk, you want it wrapped in quality highly protective materials. Quality rugged cases use materials such as ABS toughened plastic and dense silicone to give mountain-climbing-degree protection. Think of it as a helmet for your portable brain, and then you will see why the materials matter.
Not only are the materials in your rugged case specially chosen, but they are designed to withstand the kind of pain that a fall from a high place will give.
Quality rugged case often use layers, using a multiplying effect of protection. For example, a rugged skeleton of ABS with the shock absorption of rubber or silicone outer layers. Some brands build in specific features such as corner protection through inbuilt air chambers strengthened by internal bracing. There are independent ratings for protection against drops and environmental factors, including those used by US Military Standards, and only the best cases can pass these tests.
Keeping the muck out of your power port and headphone port is crucial. Nothing will help you if you get sand, water or mashed banana gets into your power port. Secure port covers on your rugged case are important.
Screen protection for your device screen
Grit scraped across your device glass can scratch your viewing surface and make it hard to see information, so protecting it with a screen guard helps keep your view clear.
Waterproof rugged cases
Water can sneak into any gap, so a quality brand for waterproof equipment will have engineered a reliable solution. For example, some brands use an O-ring within the case design to guard against water ingress. When it comes to water, IP ratings help you understand the level of protection you can expect from the case.
Phone case with a rechargeable battery built in
Recharge anywhere with the flick of a switch with a powered case, which has an extended rechargeable battery built in. This is a very convenient way to protect your phone plus recharge anywhere, which is invaluable when your phone is at the centre of your busy work day.
Right case for the job at hand
From mobile white colour workers, to healthcare service providers to high school students, people everywhere are using iPads, tablets and phones as their primary tool of work. When juggling work tasks, patients and products, holding onto a device can add to workplace stress and should be considered as part of the workplace health and safety.
Rugged cases with hand or shoulder straps are helpful in reducing the chance of 1. The user dropping the device while working then losing effectiveness on the job or 2. Being distracted in protecting the device and suffering an injury instead, such as missing a step as they try to grab a falling device. Reduce the risk and choose a case with a strap.
Keyboard case for easy info input
Many people are using phones and tablets as their primary data input device – try it for a day and you will soon see that typing onto the screen is not really an option for long tracts of text.
Think of wrist position as well as the reduced screen size once the keyboard is on display. Think of the awkward posture.
The addition of a separate Bluetooth keyboard that easily integrates with iPad or tablet or a keyboard case for your device means they can type comfortably and get full use of the device for the long school day. A keyboard iPad or tablet case is also a sturdy protective case as well so two jobs done in one.
Certifications may help you decide on a rugged case
When you have high-protection needs, referring to international codes for protection can help ensure your device gets the protection it needs for the job at hand. The key qualifiers of rugged are US Military Standards and Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings.
Military Standard 810G or MIL-STD-810G is a United States Military rating that establishes testing methods replicating environmental effects to determine resistance to environmental stress sequences and the life cycle of the equipment. This certification requires that your case can physically withstand the drops, fumbles, vibrations and bumps you encounter day to day, and more often when you are outdoors doing fun stuff.
Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings are published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These ratings us the letters IP then 2 digits to categorise the degree of environmental protection a case provides against the invasion of solid foreign objects (first digit) and water (second digit). 6 and 9 are the highest ratings for solids and liquids, so a protective case with an IP68 rating can withstand circulating talc for 8 hours and water immersion to 6.6 feet or 2 metres for 1 hour.