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Technology Today - January 2013
By Robert Sanborn

It was my kind of blizzard that hit Indianapolis this past week. Started to snow around 6:30 am and ended by 4:pm. Just half a foot of snow but it blew everywhere making it a true whiteout. But it was heavy with a lot of moisture making getting rid of it difficult and I so, my body is still suffering as I get ready for the International CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show).

Snow in Indianapolis

For the past year, I have used a case from Case-Mate to protect my mobile iPhone and I really like the case because of the non-slip rubber surface it has so when I set it down on something, it stayed there. My only complaint about the case was that the plastic screen protector tended to deteriorate and the shell protection was a bit too thick for the headphone jack. Still, it was my main case for the past year but now that we have snow on the ground, in my hair, and in the pockets of my coats, I need more protection.

Lifeproof

So, while getting ready for the CES show in Las Vegas, I came across LifeProof®, www.lifeproof.com as what I really wanted was an all season, all weather, iPhone case. When you look at the packaging that it comes in, you will see their seven reasons to choose the LifeProof® case and two of them peaked my interest; the ultra slim design and that it was fully sealed and waterproof. What does the trick is the polycarbonate frame, a shock absorbing cover, and waterproof and dirt proof seals on the case for all the external buttons. They even use optical glass anti-reflective lens for the camera and a Gore-Tex membrane for the audio connectors.

While all the information packaged with the case is very useful, you do need to go to their website for the instructions on putting the case together because you are getting a waterproof case and they need to be sure that you assemble it correctly. They also want you to test the waterproof seal to make sure that you can assemble it correctly. In fact, I would suggest reading the directions twice as you really need to make sure the seal is tight all around the case. Cleaning your iPhone before installing in the case is a great suggestion so you don’t trap oil and fingerprints between the membrane and the screen. So plan on spending some extra time with the case and putting it together. What comes with the case is a microfiber cleaning cloth and a headphone jack mini extension cable. What sets this mini extension cable apart is both the gold connectors for better sound but also the screw in connector for the case to keep a watertight seal. Very unique and clever. I tested it with both headphones and a plug in credit card scanner and it works just fine. And because you have to unscrew that headphone seal, there is a holder attached to the cable to hang onto the seal plug so you don’t lose it which is a very nicely added touch.

Cable

Lifeproof Socket extender

A couple of quibbles I have at this point would be the charging port could open up a bit more so you won’t be using it on a stand to charge the iPhone. This can be taken care of with a dock connector that LifeProof® makes available.  They also have a lineup of adapters and mounts and even armbands on their website. The other is that headphone screw cap is difficult to grip, in fact, I had a difficult time getting it off the case when I received it to test it headphones. Because of that, you might be tempted to keep it loose which you definitely don’t want to do. The final quibble is that I wish that the back of the case was made of a nonslip material. One of the things I really liked about the Case-Mate case was that it stayed where ever I set it down.  I will see how it holds up over the next few weeks as I use it. The good news is that I won’t worry at all about walking around with it in the snow outside.

I like it. It is a very well thought out product and looks like it will keep my iPhone very safe and secure this winter.  It has several advantages over the other cases I have used and tried this year which makes it a keeper. The website information is also very comprehensive and it quickly answered any questions I had and so is well worth looking into at www.lifeproof.com.  Available from Best Buy and from Target for the new iPhone 5. $70-$80. They also have a range of products for iPads and iPods as well.

 

Robert Sanborn

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