Go ahead, take your iPad Air into the ocean. It’ll be fine IF you have the LifeProof Fre.
The LifeProof Fre for the iPad Air is one of the very few cases that offers water and shock protection for your iPad Air. It comes with a built-in screen protector, is waterproof up to 6.6 ft and shock-proof from 4ft. It offers great access to the screen of your iPad air and the case feels really solid in general.
One of the things that we noticed that annoyed us about this case is that the screen protector STILL produces a rain-bowing effect. This is the 4th variation of the Fre that we’ve had from LifeProof and they still haven’t changed it. For this tough iPad case, we gave it a score of 4.1 Eh’s out of 5.
[toggle title=”Watch the COMPREHENSIVE LifeProof Fre iPad Air review video”][/toggle]
[toggle title=”Design – A very functional, well designed case”] In terms of weight/bulk, the LifeProof Fre is only 10mm thick and weights only 227g. These numbers seem quite impressive until you realize that you’re more than doubling the thickness of your iPad and adding approx. 50% more weight. The whole case add an additional 3/8 to ednge of your entire ipad. With all that being said, this tough iPad case is a little slimmer than other cases on the market.
Installing the case is fairly straightforward. Put the iPad air in the cavity of the case and snap the two pieces of the case together. Uninstalling the case is now extremely easy with LifeProof’s fancy little uninstall tool. This little piece of plastic is such a good idea and I’m really surprised how this little orange thing has made me so happy when dealing with LifeProof cases.
This case does not feel cheap unlike the Fre’s for the iPhone’s. The back panel feels tough and is quite rigid. When you hold this case, it feels like your iPad Air can take some punishment. The front panel feels much flimsier but based on all the awful things that we’ve done to LifeProof Fre cases, we can safely say that flimsy does not equate to bad protection.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Protection – Unbeatable day-to-day protection”]
The LifeProof Fre for the iPad Air is waterproof up to 6.6 ft for 1 hour and shockproof up to 4 ft and based on our tests, we have no reason to believe other wise. The case is made waterproof by the o-rings that run along the inside of the back panel. The headphone jack is made waterproof by a plug and the lightning port connector is covered by an orange gasket.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Functionality – Everything can be accessed. Generally”] In terms of accessing your iPad Air, there isn’t anything on the LifeProof Fre that get’s in the way. All the buttons and switches are easily accessed. Getting to the headphone jack is easily done through the plastic nub at the top and the hole is large enough to fit non-stock Apple headphones. The lightning port connector is covered by a latch that’s similar to every LifeProof case that we’ve tested. It’s orange now, which is different.
The sound coming from your iPad Air is not muted, in fact from our test, it actually increase the sound from your iPad Air by a tiny amount.
For the screen usability, the built-in screen protector of the LifeProof Fre allows you to easily access every corner of the iPad screen as well as the swipe menus easily. The edges of the front panel are far away enough from the touchscreen that you can easily use a stylus as well with this case.
The LifeProof Fre fails a bit with the screen viewability. Glare coming off this screen is pretty bad and there is still a rain-bowing effect that has existed on all Fre cases that we’ve reviewed. The screen protector diffuses the touchscreen which reduces the clarity of the iPad Air. [/toggle]
Click here for a comparison between the LifeProof Fre and the LifeProof Nuud case for the iPad Air? We’ve got you covered!