iPads are becoming indispensable onboard. Water kills iPads. There is lots of water around boats. I see some problems here.
We learned the hard way just how fast water will kill an iPad during the Seattle Boat Show when a leakproof water bottle in Deborah’s handbag managed to leak. All over her iPad 3.
By the time someone noticed that her bag was dripping water, it was too late. The screen was ruined and after a few minutes, it refused to even start again.
After dropping another $800 at the Apple store for a new one, we decided that we had to take better precautions, especially since we use our iPads all the time on our boat. Not only is it great for checking email, browsing the web and writing stories for this website, it is a fantastic backup navigation tool and my new best friend when I do boat projects.
There are a lot of options out there for keeping iPads and other tablets protected from the whims of nature and the stupidity of mankind. Rather than getting lost in the millions of reviews and opinions online, I turned to a trusted source of information for all things boating — Practical Sailor.
It just so happens the magazine recently ran an in-depth review of the best iPad cases for boats. And the top pick was LifeProof.
I picked up couple of the “Nuud” model from LifeProof’s website for about $100 each. Not cheap, but I was willing to spend a little to protect our electronic loved ones.
The best thing about these cases is that they don’t cover the iPad’s glass screen, which means it is easy to swipe and type just like normal. Instead, the case uses an o-ring to form a water- and dustproof seal around the edge of the iPad screen. Just seat the iPad in the bottom cover, and then click the top piece in place. The company makes similar covers for phones and other devices.
The series of photos below shows just how easy it is to keep your iPad protected.
Thanks to some clever engineering, all of the functions are still available on the iPad with this case — including the camera, speakers, volume buttons, power slot and even the headphone jack.
The manufacturer claims the case is waterproof to 6.6 feet. That’s great, but if I drop my iPad overboard — which I’ve nearly done a few times — then just about the time it gets below the keel, it’ll be toast.
So we sprung another $60 for one of LifeProof’s “LifeJackets,” a softish orange case that slips over the regular cover and keeps your iPad bobbing on the surface.
Over the weekend, we decided to give the case and its “LifeJacket” a real-world test. With a bit of trepidation, I did something I never thought I’d do — toss my iPad in the water at the end of our dock. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:
So how did it work? Well, I wrote this story and posted it on the same iPad. I’m happy and my iPad is still dry.