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Oct 15 2011

WaterField Ultimate Tablet Sleeve Case Review

As a note, all still pictures in this review are taken with the onboard camera on the iPhone4S just to see how it performed.

2 years ago having a case for your tablet meant you were carrying medications along with you. A year ago a tablet case meant an iPad case, or possibly a Kindle.

Today? Can you count the number of tablets in the marketplace? Two iPads, stranded Touchpads, the whole Kindle family, Asus, Vizio, Samsung, Motorola…even the PlayBook. Well, you get the picture.

So the question is how do you protect your tablet if you are not on one of the major platforms? The farther off of center you are the harder it is to find a case that is a perfect fit.

WaterField wants to be your go-to company on this and they have a pretty compelling offer on this case. First of all, look at the long list of tablets they already have cases laid out for:

If you are off of the grid with your choice of tablet they can still cover you.
Send them the dimensions and they will custom make you a case to within a quarter-inch tolerance. I sent them the dimensions for my HTC View and take a look at what came back to pillow my precious tablet!

The pictures give you a great view on how perfectly WaterField fit the case to my tablet.

The Tablet Ultimate Sleeve Case is a minimalist approach to surrounding your tablet in serious protection.

Ballistic nylon, plastic reinforcement and neoprene are all combined to wrap the tablet with safety and security. WaterField than adds a leather or indium accent across the bottom of the case to class the whole thing up.

As is usual with WaterField, the quality of construction is over the top. Perfect stitching, great gathers and not a thread out of place. The person doing QC at WaterField must be a class one anal retentive.

This case is exceptionally well padded and the internal fit is so tight that nothing shifts around. I pictured myself doing some pretty serious drop tests with the Tablet Ultimate Case on video, but I just couldn’t bring myself to fling my tablet about, even inside of its new bullet-proof vest.

Of course, picturing things in your head often brings them to fruition, so be careful what you wish for. Within a couple of hours of putting the View inside of the Ultimate Case I set it on the top of my car…and watched it tumble right onto the asphalt.

Intellectual acceptance of protection is one thing. Emotional acceptance is something completely different. I could literally feel the acid in my stomach change its pH balance and the whole world went into slow motion as I watched my tablet tumble its way onto the parking lot surface. I watched it land right on a corner and my heart quailed.

With more than a little angst, I opened the velcro flap and pulled the View out to witness…nothing. Not a mark, not a scratch, just my tablet cuddled in Ultrasuede looking like nothing had ever happened to it. I started to breathe again! Consider me sold on the level of protection they put into the Ultimate Tablet Case.

WaterField gives you the option of adding D rings and a strap to the Ultimate case, but for the seven-inch format I really like the simplicity of the unblemished case. Should you want to use case as a murse, it’s as simple as checking a drop box on their website.

The back of the case features a small, angled pocket that gives you just enough space to stuff a sync cable. It is not a sealed pocket, and it is pretty space limited but I was able to put the Scribe pen in it as well and it did not show any signs of escaping.

One thing about WaterField, they have a plethora of options for almost any piece of tech that you have, and tablets are no exception. If you go to their website you will be presented with no less than 5 options for cases for general tablets. These range from simple slips to a couple of more protective options.

I reviewed the Tablet Travel Case earlier this year so I thought I would give you a couple of quick comparison points to help you make a decision if you can’t make up your mind.

The Tablet Travel Case is larger, has more storage but does not have the same level of protection as the Ultimate case. Thickness is actually similar but width and height are a little more on the Travel Case.

The video below also helps with the comparison of what will fit into either case.

So, if you like to use your tablet without a case but want great protection when you are carrying it around, I think it is safe to say this is the case for you. It takes some conviction to actually use the word “Ultimate” in the name of a case but WaterField can back up the braggadocio.

Couple that with the fact that the Ultimate Tablet Case is made in the good old USA and you have a winner in your hands.

WaterField Ultimate Tablet Sleeve Case
Price $50-$79 depending on options

WaterField Designs
Made in San Francisco
415-552-8572

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