Best BlackBerry PlayBook cases hands-on round-up
So you’ve just got a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet from RIM (or about to get one) and now you need to protect your 7-inch wonder.
There are, as you would expect, a number of different cases out there all promising protection. Some go for the business look, others the sporty look, and some the “wrap me in this and your PlayBook will be safe forever look”. So which one should you go for? We pick out some of the best ones to help you decide - yes doing a pool-side shoot was tough.
BlackBerry PlayBook Pop! Case
Available in white, black, and pink, the idea of the Pop! Case is to give the PlayBook a hard cased shell with a pop out stand making it easier to use in presentations or when you fancy watching a movie.
To help you get the PlayBook in and out quickly - although to be fair you get access to all the ports so you probably don’t need to that often - the case has soft rubber sides that snuggly fits to the PlayBook and that in turn gives you a case that won’t fall off.
The case doesn’t add too much weight or size to the device overall and the stand is certainly sturdy enough, although it doesn’t have multiple viewing angles.
And for those asking, yep, that pink is really bright.
Incipio BlackBerry PlayBook Hive Silicone Case
If you’re looking for something a little funkier than your average leather folio option, the Hive is probably going to be the one for you.
The case, according to makers Incipio, is made from something called dermaSHOT silicone, and that means it has a revolutionary anti-static coating that prevents the silicone from becoming sticky.
The design itself is a honeycomb pattern and comes in a variety of colours including bright red, this certainly dismisses any notion that the PlayBook is a boring business tool.
While it doesn’t protect the screen, it will amply protect the back of your new tablet.
BlackBerry Leather Envelope
The Leather Envelope is more like a Oscar winning letter and makes you feel like you’re pulling out that Academy Award winner every time.
Crafted in premium-grade leather, the BlackBerry Leather Envelope protects your BlackBerry PlayBook keeping it safe thanks to a small magnet on the front that should keep your tablet out of harm's reach.
The downside is that it won’t let you use the PlayBook while in use.
Otterbox BlackBerry Playbook Defender series case
If it’s ultimate protection, then Otterbox has you covered with its Defender series. The case comes in three layers: a hard inner shell with plastic screen protector, a silicon rubber outer skin and then a further outer hard case as well.
All that unfortunately does bulk out the PlayBook massively, almost tripling it’s thickness to provide that immense protection.
That hasn’t surprisingly stopped Otterbox letting you access the ports and sockets, while the power and volume controls are easily accessed by soft rubber buttons over the top.
While it’s by no means pretty, this is probably the toughest case you’ll find, making it a perfect case for builders, soldiers, and anyone else in an extreme environment.
While Incipio offer “dudes” the Incipio Hive, for those looking for something a little more “mature” Incipio have the Kickstand.
It’s made from premium leather on the outside and a microsuede lining on the inside and like the official BlackBerry kickstand case comes with three angle settings for watching movies or giving “presentations” saving the need to find a coffee cup.
The battered leather gives it an aged look and while the overall design does add some bulk to the device, it’s not enough to put you off.
If you just want something to protect your PlayBook rather than cover it completely or make a statement about who you are, you’ll probably want the BlackBerry Skin.
Coming in blue this soft, slip resistant silicone shell looks good, offers you some protection, and is the least evasive skin/cover/case we’ve played with so far. Like many of the cases however it doesn’t offer protection for the screen.
Made from black Moroccan cloth and constructed using traditional book binding techniques, just like the DODOcase for iPad, the DODOcase for BlackBerry PlayBook can be folded back to be used as a stand if you want.
Like a Moleskine, you’ll get an elastic strap keeps your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet protected while on the go and you’ll still have access to all the buttons and ports.
This is a very classy case for those that need to impress when they turn up to their next business meeting, but unlikely to appeal to the boarder dude you know.
BlackBerry Convertible Case
It’s leather, it gives you the option to perch the case at multiple angles and comes with a BlackBerry logo bold and centre in case you forget who makes your tablet.
There isn’t much to the Convertible Case other than to say it’s straightforward and works. If you’re looking for a case that offers you those angles you could go for this one, but there are cooler cases out there that will give you more street cred in the long run.
Ettinger BlackBerry PlayBook fashion case
RIM has teamed up with eight brands in five nations to create 20 cases exclusively for the PlayBook.
The cases vary, as do the prices, and we’ve heard from RIM that they will be in limited supply as well.
Out of all of them, we like the Ettinger design from the UK.
Bonus: Don't bother
Of course having got this far, it's probably only fair to point out that you get a very basic case in the box. It is simple, but it will be effective in keeping your PlayBook clean and kinda safe in your bag when you're travelling.
What is your favourite case? Let us know in the comments below.