One of the appeals of tablet computers is that they’re “good to go” – you can just grab them and use them wherever you want. The fact that they’re not particularly real-world-proof, however, takes away from that a little. The same thing could be said about smartphones, which is why so many people now keep their phones in rugged, waterproof cases. Well, Lifeproof’s just-launched nüüd case is like one of those smartphone cases, but for the iPad. It’s not the only such product to ever exist, but it is able to do the job without anything covering the tablet’s screen.
The nüüd has an IP-68 protection rating, meaning that it will remain waterproof at a depth of two meters (6.6 feet) for 30 minutes, can withstand drops from up to four feet (1.2 meters), and also keeps out the dust and dirt. It is able to maintain this level of protection, interestingly enough, while leaving the iPad’s screen totally exposed to the elements – the front edges of the case seal against the glass of the screen.
While this does leave the screen open to possible scratches or impacts, it does allow for complete touchscreen functionality, and doesn’t compromise the image quality at all. On other iPad cases, the gap between the tablet’s screen and the clear membrane that covers it makes full touchscreen operation more difficult – or at least, that’s what Lifeproof maintains. The company also states that because those membranes aren’t completely optically perfect, they diminish the display somewhat.
Sealed ports on the case provide access to all of the iPad’s buttons and ports, while a clear glass lens cover its camera. A proprietary Sound Enhancement System channels the tablet’s audio output through the front of the case, which is claimed to result in better sound quality than that of other cases.
According to the rep we spoke to at IFA, the Lifeproof nüüd works with second- and third-generation iPads, and comes bundled with a cover and stand for €127.53 (about US$160). A version of the case designed for the iPhone 4/4S is also available.