Programming Note: This site will be on break through the holidays and return in January. Be sure to subscribe or check back for updates!

Review: SwitchEasy Reptile for iPad

by on January 3, 2011

In light of a lot of people getting their hands on iPads, we thought reviewing a few accessories would be a great way to ring in the new year. As such, we had a chance to get our hands on SwitchEasy’s Reptile case. Priced at $40, it falls in line with most of the offerings that can be found at various retail establishments.

Reptile Reptile Reptile + iPad (Back) Reptile Stand

The case design is somewhat unique in that it is comprised of two separate types of materials. In addition to a soft, yet flexible shell (SwitchEasy calls it “adaptive dynamic soft polymer”), Reptile includes a hard polycarbonate frame that surrounds all of the corners, ports, and buttons, providing extra protection in the “high impact” areas. Installation is easy, and the case provides a good fit. Buttons are covered, except for the mute switch (orientation lock for those of you still running 3.2). As both models of the iPad feature the same form factor, the Reptile should fit both identically.

Unfortunately, the case adds some bulk, so it will not work with various docks. The case itself is not hard to remove, but is more difficult than some slipcases or silicone shells. If you frequently use your iPad with Apple’s Keyboard Dock, you might want to look elsewhere.

In true SwitchEasy fashion, the Reptile includes quite a few little “extras” to help protect an iPad. Included in the package are two fold-out stands, a screen protector, microfiber cloth, squeegee for installing the screen protector, two headphone jack protectors, and two Dock Connector protectors. While the fold out stands are pretty basic, they do serve their purpose. Unfortunately, they are not adjustable, but fold completely flat. The screen protector is also nothing special, but installs fairly easily and does not serve as a distraction (although it will get fingerprints and has that “rainbow effect”, both noticeable when the iPad is off). Finally, the port protectors are a handy addition, especially if you rarely use your iPad’s headphone jack or want to keep the Dock Connector clean. All of these items are nice additions, especially if you otherwise would not pay for them.

The case performs quite well, offering very good protection, not a lot of extra bulk, and just enough grip. Functionally, it’s a great case, but ultimately, the texture is the polarizing quality of the case. Some may find the faux-crocodile skin design rather tacky, while others may love it. In the time we used it, we really didn’t notice it much (since it is on the back of the iPad), but did appreciate the texture for the sake gripping the iPad. It will also be somewhat tough to scratch or damage.

In summary, SwitchEasy has created an excellent case that protects just about every part of the iPad, the only exceptions being the cutouts for the microphone, speaker, and mute switch. For the price, it’s not only competitive with products from bigger manufacturers, but the included accessories are a nice touch.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

The SwitchEasy Reptile is a stylish, creative take on the shell-style iPad cases.

Pros: Well-made, nice accessories, unique design

Rating: 8/10

Cons: Texture may not be for everyone, incompatible with many docks/stands

The Facts

Product: Reptile
Company: SwitchEasy
Platform: iPad (1)
Price: $39.99

This post has been filed in iPad, Mobile Devices, Reviews