The Vault by Pelican ProGear is an extreme protection case for the iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display found. It's geared for the extreme user and the accident-prone alike.
Despite being chuck full of features that are sure to please, the "guarantee for life" is the showstopper that will make you take a second look. However, picking a case for your iPad is like picking out clothing, you need design, comfort and most importantly, functionality. So is the Vault by Pelican the dressing for your iPad?
When first opening up the Vault case from the packaging you will notice that you have to unscrew the flush fit stainless steel hex-head machine screws so that you can insert your iPad. This is easy thanks to the hex wrench that in included with your case, as well as extra screws. Once you have taken apart your case and reassembled it, you are ready to go. But it is worth noting that you need to keep up with your hex wrench in case you ever wish to take your iPad out of its case.
The first feature of the Vault you will notice once you have your case on is the front cover. Unlike other heavy duty cases, this one is attached, and not something to keep up with. It does a wonderful job protecting the screen, but I am not willing to throw my iPad across the room to test it.
The best feature to the front cover is the use it has as a stand. This is, by far, my favorite feature of this case, and one that goes above and beyond most case stands. This is made possible by the aircraft grade aluminum hinge that holds the cover for multiple viewing angles. It is also helped by the rubber on the clasp and the border of the case gripping to any surface — creating a wonderful stand that is very adjustable.
The stand feature is my favorite part of the case, and it’s the cover that makes this feature possible, I don’t quite care for how hard it is to open and close though This is something that I am afraid is not going to improve or that can be done without, because that is what keeps the screen protected. But I do not care for how hard it is to open.
Another feature that I find both a curse and a blessing is the covers over the exterior ports and volume control. If something comes on too loud and you need to quickly mute or change the volume, there is not a quick way to do it. On the other hand, Pelican has done a great job with the covers, which stayed closed — well, all but the aux port plug. This one, and maybe it's just operator error, will not stay plugged. When I do get it to stay it is still easily knocked out.
These features are all part of what make this case as resilient as it is, and while I may not like all of them, the protection more than makes up for it. The one feature that I would have to knock is the audio, because it is one that they point out as a feature and I do not see the benefit.
With any case you are going to loose a bit of sound when covering up the speakers; this is understandable. And while you can hear you music with the Vault, the volume is a bit muted and not as clear.
When comparing this case to others in its field like the Otter Box or Griffin you will find that its price of US$79.99 is very competitive among similar cases, and often cheaper. Alongside its competitive price you can also pick from three different color designs: all black, grey-orange, and magenta-grey. This may not be the first case I would go for, but it is certainly my first pick for "extreme protection cases." Between its sleek and non-bulky style and the protection it offers, this case is very much worth the money.