Kensington has released the BlackBelt 2nd Degree Rugged Case for iPad mini. It consists of a hard polycarbonate inner layer that is surrounded by a strong, cushioned rubber layer. It features a built-in hand strap and a multi-position stand. A raised bezel and screen protector prevent scratches, and an X-frame designed to meet military-grade testing protocols adds all around protection. The rubberized texture of the outer layer provides a slip free hand grip. All ports and openings are well matched.
BlackBelt 2nd Degree Rugged Case for iPad mini.
The stand has adjustable height levels.
Back view with stand open.
The stand locks into place, providing a safe hold when using the hand strap. It is easy to insert and remove the iPad mini from the case.
The polycarbonate X-frame is designed, according to Kensignton, "to meet military-grade MIL-STF-810G testing protocols for all-around protection against drops and scratches." It weighs 9.1 oz. (258 g).
The BlackBelt 2nd Degree has a MSRP of US$44.99, and it is available for pre-order from the company website. It's available in black, plum, or red. There is also a BlackBelt 2nd Degree case available for the iPad Air.
Using The Product
Testing for this case was generously provided by a two year old boy who loves his iPad mini, but does have a tendency to drop or discard his mini when distracted. It has been accidentally knocked off the dining room table onto a wood floor, dropped from his hands on a concrete floor, and even tossed several feet in the middle of a two year old fit of pique. In all cases it provided perfect protection for the iPad.
I tested the case for additional drops and looked at the hand strap and built-in stand. The strap is wide and sturdy and works well. The stand offers more than one level of tilt. My one disappointment with this case is that it is difficult to close the stand once it has been opened.
There is a spot that users should press while closing, but still, it is awkward at best, and I had to maneuver it with my fingers to get it to close. Once it closes part way, it easily snaps back in place.
Directions for closing stand.
Do I Recommend It?
This case has so much going for it that I still recommend it for those who need comfortable protection. However, the problem with the stand forces me to give it a lower overall score.