I noted the announcement of a new product from OtterBox last month.
OtterBox is famous for its tough cases for a wide variety of mobile devices. However, I was incorrect in callng it a “case.” OtterBox categorizes it as part of their Utility Series.
OtterBox Utility Series Latch for iPad (product page)
As you can see in the first photo here, the main function of the Latch is to literally attach it to you in a way that gives you the maximum grip on it with a minimum of effort. The handstrap on the back is very comfortable, easy to use, and provides a good hold on the iPad.
You can see in the second photo that the Latch attaches using four elastic straps on each corner. One of the straps covers the iPad 2’s on/off button. However, you can see press the button through the strap. The Latch fits around the iPad 2 with a Smart Cover on it. However, you need to remove the Latch in order to lift the Smart Cover off of the iPad 2. This means that, in practice, you will be using one or the other. This may not be a problem for extended field use. However, it is not something you would use around the home or office.
The pouch on the bag contains a neck/shoulder lanyard, Velcro leg strap, S-biner clip, and a thin screen cover (the thing that looks like a surgical or shower cap on the right).
OtterBox can make this $49.95 product a lot better for general purpose use by making one of two changes:
1. Design it so it can be used with Apple’s Smart Cover
2. Provide a better screen protection component than the “cap”
OtterBox does say that the Latch can be used with their more highly protective iPad case line such as the Commuter or Defender. However, neither of these cases are currently compatible with the iPad 2.
Disclosure: OtterBox provided an evaluation free of charge for the purpose of this review.