Lifeproof Fre for iPad mini case pictures and hands-on

With the summer in full swing, you want to be spending more time in the pool, on the beach, on your boat, even just hanging with your kids in their paddling pool. The problem is the iPad mini isn't very waterp friendly and unless you've got a tablet like the Sony Xperia tablet Z, water is a no-go for you.

In steps the Fre for iPad mini case by Lifeproof, due out later this summer, that promises to encase your Apple mini tablet in a waterproof outer that doesn't instantly triple the size of the device.

The Fre for iPad mini is waterproof down to 2m, completely sealed and can be dropped from up to 1.2m while still protecting your tablet, the company claims. 

In the flesh and the Fre iPad case looks and feels sturdy. The unit completely seals in your iPad with lock switch and volume buttons replaced with rubberised versions on the outside. To guarantee the waterproof element, the seal includes a thin plastic cover for the screen. Thankfully, the touch sensitivity of the screen is unaffected.

The case - part plastic, part see-through - offers all the relevant holes for the camera lens, and for headphones. Unlike Lifeproof's Fre for iPhone 5 case you don't get a waterproof headphone jack in the box, and neither does the headphone cap screw into place - that's slightly worrying, but not a complete deal breaker as it is still hard to dislodge. 

Acknowledging that you are more likely to carry your iPad rather than slip it into a pocket, the case comes with a heavy duty clip-on strap, and slots for future accessories like a cover - these aren't available yet.

Dunked in water (brave, we know) everything worked perfectly as expected.

For those looking to take their iPad on the beach, to their boat, or to the pool, this will certainly do the trick, and we really like the fact that it is a lot nicer than some of the more generic "bags" that you can get from other companies.

The Fre for iPad mini case costs £79.99 and will be available in the UK from the end of August.