New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case

By: Dave Lorimar

New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case
New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case
New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case New Survivor all-terrain iPad Air case

If you use a tablet in this industry then it will need to have some sort of protection. Over the Christmas break I had the Griffin Survivor All-Terrain protector case for the iPad Air to play with.

Last year I tested the Griffin Survivor hard case for iPad 2. I thought it such a great product that I got one for myself; and I haven't taken it off since, I can do everything I need with it on.

Griffin has now released a new Survivor All-Terrain case for the Apple iPad Air. Apple has since updated and released the iPad Air 2, but since the external dimensions are the same as the iPad Air, this case can be used for both models.

The new case offers the same military grade of protection as the previous model. To gain this standard, the Survivor All-Terrain protected iPad has to survive a range of tests. These include drops from two metres onto concrete floors; endure a one-hour sandstorm in winds of 64km/h, and up to 200mm per hour of rain. Scratch and wear resistance were also measured. It passed. But remember, it's not waterproof; so don't even think about submerging it.

As much as I believe these facts, I'm still reluctant to really drop an iPad Air 2 from two metres onto concrete, especially when said iPad doesn't actually belong to me. However, after using the case for a few weeks and having dropped my old iPad 2 a few times while it was in its survivor case, I can believe that the statements are true. Unfortunately, the Editor wouldn't approve my request to test the case to destruction with a real iPad Air. That would make interesting reading indeed.

The case is constructed from both impact-absorbing silicone and foam-lined polycarbonate, and with the front cover forms three layers of protection. The front cover has an anti-scratch screen shield that will protect the screen from hard-core scratches, like those from a set of keys. Yet it is also thin enough that you don't even notice it's there when you are using the touch screen. The lightest touch from my finger was enough to select and drag items around. It's fantastic.

There was a slight upward bend in the screen shield when I first assembled the case although this didn't affect the sensitivity in any way. Once I reassembled the case following the instructions and slowly connected the case starting at the bottom and pressing the air out of the unit, the screen shield sat flush with the iPad screen.

The front cover clips onto the rear. However if the case is twisted it can sometimes unclip. It's easy to clip it up again but it's something to be aware of. The previous version didn't have this problem to anywhere near the same degree. However, as long as there's no serious twisting, it's fine.

With a special plastic cover over the home button, the excellent finger print ID feature available on the iPad Air 2 still works. There is now no need to ever remove the case; everything can be used as if the cover wasn't even on at all.

Survivor _case _3

All ports have protective silicone covers, which can be opened to allow charging cables or headphones to be connected. The front and rear cameras have a clear plastic cover that allows photos to be taken without having to remove a cover. This is an improvement on earlier models that required a cover to be released before you could take photos. It was a pain to keep taking the cover on and off between photos. Problem solved.

Unfortunately the volume buttons don't line up well with those on the iPad Air 2. The down button is problematic and the up is virtually impossible. Luckily, with iOS8 allowing the volume to be controlled via a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen, this basic fundamental fault can be easily managed.

You might be a bit disappointed that the nice and sexy, slim-line iPad Air now looks a bit on the chunky size, but you need to remember that this is the Survivor All-Terrain protector case. There are slimmer models but they don't match the level of protection you will get from this model.

Once you have had the case on for a few weeks, you can find yourself throwing and dropping the iPad onto chairs and desks much more than you ever did before. It shows the subconscious confidence you get from having the survivor case on your expensive device. Take it off and straight away you'll notice yourself being a little more careful with it again.

The case comes with an optional foldaway stand that clips to the side of the unit. The first version covers also had this attachment. The stand itself is very useful if you want to watch a movie or perhaps to do some typing since it can raise the iPad Air up slightly. The only issue is it is easy to knock off and the iPad will not sit flat on a desk if the stand is attached and folded away. This issue wasn't as noticeable on the pervious iPad 2 version.

The verdict

The Griffin Survivor All-Terrain case is a well-made case that offers Military grade protection. There are some minor faults but overall this case is excellent. If you want protection, you got it. The touch sensitivity is fantastic, which is to me, one of the most important features. What's the point with all that protection if you have to remove the iPad to use it? There are no such issues with this case. Plus the touch ID feature still works. Highly recommended.


  • Beautiful feather-like feel to touch screen
  • Fits both the iPad Air and iPad Air 2
  • Great protection. Built to US-MIL specs
  • Touch id feature still works


  • The volume buttons don't work well with an iPad Air 2
  • Doesn't resist strong twisting action

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