Thursday, 3 March 2016

Kid-proof your iPad with a Logitech BLOK protective shell. #review

It's an issue our parents and grandparents never had to worry about. That constant nagging to "be careful" with the tech that we put into our children's clumsy little hands and the inevitable stomach plunge when they confess they have dropped the gadget which now has an attractive spiderweb design across the screen.

iPad mini 2 in Logitech BLOK case


 As a family of nine we have had our fair share of glass smash incidents. My eldest went through a stage of writing off iPhones. He broke his and borrowed mine then confessed he had smashed mine too!

Apparently this is not uncommon - one survey revealed 36% of children have damaged a tablet or smartphone. Another 45% blamed the dog/little sister/zombies for damage to their gadgets. The second part of that survey result is not true. (or is it?)

I was smug for years about not smashing my screen until in a moment of madness I rested my gadget on a bag on concrete on a table (as you do) only to see it slither off the curved and shiny plastic bag in full action movie slo-mo. Sadly not slo-mo enough for me to catch it before it hit the deck.

Of the five tablets we bought the children for Christmas two years ago, two have been sent to gadget heaven (cheapie tablets not worth getting fixed).

Thankfully due to my slightly obsessive love of my mini iPad which means I treat it like a newborn baby and expect anyone who borrows it to do the same, the screen has (so far) remained intact.

I do panic every time the children want to use it for homework or movies or anything their cheapy tablets can't do. I ask them to sit down before I hand it to them, beg them not to walk holding it and screech like a banshee if I discover they have abandoned it hanging half off the worktop or sliding down the sofa cushions.

It was literally minutes after one such incident when I was emailed about trying out the Logitech BLOK protective shell.

I had just come across Grumpy wandering from the kitchen, MY iPad held precariously between finger and thumb holding a glass of milk in his other hand which he occasionally sipped from.

Liquid. Drop hazard. Clumsy child. What could possibly go wrong?

Luckily disaster was averted on this occasion but it made me very receptive to the idea of trialling the Logitech BLOK which promises drop protection from up to 1.8 metres. (that's 6ft if you work in old money like me)

Logitech Blok Case

Unpacking the BLOK I was unsure at first about the style - the square corners seemed a bit clunky.

Reading the packaging though I realised the square corners have been designed specifically to provide impact protection where it needs it most - on the corners. I wonder who spent their working day dropping iPads to find this out?

The corners actually have extra-absorbent polymers (large molecules- I Googled it)  and this structure supports and flexes with your iPad on impact even from drops as high as 6ft onto surfaces as hard as concrete.

BLOK shell Logitech

Once I had popped the iPad in I was actually quite pleased - it looked nice in black with a tasteful red logo on the back.

All the apertures for input and output are generous whilst not compromising protection. This might seem essential but a protective case we have on another tablet doesn't allow enough room to push the lead for my son's headphones in without a real struggle so this is important.

iPad mini for homework

We tried the shell for the iPad mini - apparently the one for full-sized iPads comes with an all angle case and a bluetooth keyboard - very useful.It would be nice if they would roll this out to the iPad mini BLOK too.

iPad mini screen protectorThe shell we tried came with a screen protector and a great kit with cleaner, cloth and bubble remover gadget to fit it with.

Now I mentioned popping my tablet in was easy - popping it out was not so easy the first time I tried which I worried about as I have a shell with a built in bluetooth keyboard I usually take with me when I am working.

I'd like to swap between cases but first time prising the iPad out was quite tricky-the second time was easier so I think I just needed to get the hang of it.

Looking on the positive side at least the children won't find it easy to pop it out either. The reason we have had two smashed tablet screens is because the little darlings took the tablets out of their cases for reasons unknown.

My children all agreed the case feels nice to hold and thought it made the iPad feel safer. My 16 year old pointed out that it doesn't make the iPad mini too chunky so it would still easily fit into a bag.

I wondered if the black was a bit manly (the BLOK shell does come in a choice of colours) but my teenaged daughter said she likes the colour because it blends sleekly with the screen.

My 11 year old who has been off sick this week with a nasty bug gave the case a thorough test whilst using the iPad to do some research for his SATS booster work and to watch some fab BBC Bitesize videos about angles. No honestly. He did. OK then he played some X Box games with his big brother. You can't work too hard when you're ill.

boys studying for SATS with iPad mini

All in all we'd give the BLOK the thumbs up. Not the prettiest but certainly the most reassuring case/shell I have trialled to date.

Disclaimer: I received the Logitech BLOK for iPad mini 2 & 3 (RRP £29.99) free for the purposes of this review. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

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