One of my biggest complaints about protective iPad Air cases is that you typically must sacrifice the device’s sleek design in order to achieve a high level of protection against bumps, scrapes, drops, or anything else that can make us scream in horror as our trusted and beloved iDevice ends up scarred, damaged, or possibly destroyed. Sure, there are cases that are relatively thin, but so are the materials that won’t stand up to the test of time. I don’t want to feel like I’m lugging around a laptop when I hold my iPad Air, so there needs to be durability and good protection while minimizing any added bulk and weight to keep in sync with Apple’s design philosophy. STM’s Dux case for the iPad Air meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Defense standards for durability, but does it add too much bulk to achieve it?
The STM Dux case for iPad Air is offered in three different colors: black, blue, and red. It has an MSRP of $49.95, and is available at most online and retail stores, including the Apple Store. The case itself is a polycarbonate shell with a clear plexiglass back window and a magnetic clasp on the front flap. The shell has recesses along the outer edges to make it easier to hold. In those recesses, the case has a knurled finish to provide extra grip.
The front flap also has a similar knurled outer finish for better grip. The inside uses microfiber material to protect the screen from any scratches. The sides of the case will wrap completely around the iPad Air. When the flap is closed, it will be flush with the raised edges of the case for a snug fit. There is a large magnet within the outer tab on the flap that will make use of the instant on/off capabilities of the iPad Air. The magnet is also helpful in setting up the viewing stand when the flap is moved around to the back of the case.
The back of the STM Dux case for iPad Air has a large clear window with cutouts for the camera and the microphone. Because the back is clear, it will give you the chance to show off any decorative skins on their device. You can also use this to show off pictures, artwork, or anything else you would like to sandwich between the case and your iPad Air, just make sure to clean the surfaces so no dust or dirt particles get trapped inside.
Around the sides of the case are cutouts for the speakers, dock, microphone, and toggle switch. All other buttons are covered and protected, but still easily used with the raised buttons on the case itself. The opening to the headphones is a bit narrow and may offer some difficulty for headphones with a wider plug.
The iPad Air is able to easily snap into the case, although you may need to take a little more time if you have a screen protector. The sides of the case will completely wrap around the edges of the iPad Air, so you want to make sure the case edge doesn’t catch and pull the edge of the screen protector.
One of the biggest claims for the STM Dux case for iPad Air is the fact that is has passed the U.S. Department of Defense – MIL-STD-810G – durability drop test. This means is is able to survive a drop of four feet onto a hard surface without damaging the iPad Air. The case also comes with a lifetime warranty, which you don’t see on many protective cases.
Want proof of surviving a drop test? STM has provided a video of dropping the STM Dux with an iPad Air inside 26 times:
I’ve spent almost two months using this case for my iPad Air, including a trip to England for a few weeks. My iPad Air remains seated firmly in place within the case, and the front flap covers over the front of the screen completely. Even with the clear window in the back, no scratches have been found. The raised edges along the back help to keep the clear window off any surface. Overall, it’s very solid and has offered excellent protection.
The STM Dux for iPad Air is a protective case that offers a high level of durability without adding too much bulk and weight. The price of the case is very affordable, and you can’t beat a lifetime warranty. This is a must have for anyone who takes their iPad Air on the go.
Buy the STM Dux case for iPad Air
Provides: Scuff/scratch and drop protection for iPad Air
Minimum Requirements: iPad Air