I am a college student and I use my iPad for all of my books, scheduling, mobile internet, and media needs. I am also remarkably clumsy. So, I figured I would get a case that can stand up to being thrown in a backpack, set on a desk rather unceremoniously, chucked onto my bed at the end of a day, and yes, even dropped.
I figured this Griffin case would be a good option, since I had one of their Survivor series cases on my iPod long ago and it withstood nearly every abuse I dealt it (until a wash cycle happened). Plus, it was cheaper than the comparable OtterBox case, and without the stupid "logo hole" on the back.
Now then, for my day to day use.
Getting the case on the iPad is not too difficult. Removing it, however, is a whole other story. It takes quite a bit of manhandling to remove the screen protector plastic piece. After that, the rest is easy, however.
The case itself is very sturdy. I have dropped my iPad short distances (think, desk to ground, off my bed, on my face while reading at night...) and it has stood up well. It survives my backpack and my purse. It also survived being beat against a table by a 2 year old I once babysat, no marks to the case and no damage to my iPad. I'd say that's a win for the case.
I appreciate the port covers. Since it does get thrown wherever I need it, no debris or anything gets into the electronics, and I don't have to worry about taking my iPad out in the rain.
The case also has good grip. As I said, I am clumsy, so this has been nice for me to have a good hold on a $500+ electronic device.
Now, for the downsides.
As the title of my review suggests, the case is almost too sturdy. After a summer and half a semester of lugging this thing around, I've realized just how much bulk the case adds. Your .37 inch thick iPad becomes just about an inch thick. The case does add a bit of noticeable weight, as well.
The screen protector does not fit 100% smoothly on the screen, and for me "bubbles" up near the top of the screen. This causes some reduction in the touch screen's sensitivity, which is especially noticeable when the tablet is oriented horizontal.
The screen protector also traps a lot of dust, both in the edges around its plastic frame, and occasionally under the screen protector and against the screen. I have gotten used to cleaning the screen protector about once a month. This is kind of annoying. You will also experience some graininess from the front facing camera since the screen protector material also covers the camera. You can always cut it out with an Xacto knife if it bothers you enough.
While I do appreciate the port covers, they can become quite annoying. Since I use my iPad to listen to music while traversing campus, I have to open and close the audio jack cover often. It is not overly easy to open, either, and for me requires me to press it in so it pops out instead.
I also use my iPad as my alarm clock and so I have to open the speaker cover every night, or otherwise my alarm (even on full volume) is nearly inaudible. This one is easier to remove, however I question its durability. Some reviewers have noted their port covers have fallen off/broken away, and while this has not yet happened to me I fear it every time I open a port. The speaker cover also no longer closes flush to the rest of the case, but now buckles upwards just slightly.
Aesthetically, it is not the prettiest case out there. That's ok for me. I purchased it for its usefulness, not to decorate my iPad. I wish the case was a bit more sleek versus the knobby, rugged look it has, but again. Function over form wins out here.
The negatives of the construction of the case is the only reason I have rated this 4 stars instead of 5.
Overall, the case has been a great purchase for me and I would definitely recommend it.