Company breaks new iPads -- on purpose!

by David Needle

March 23 2012

One admittedly unscientific test says the new iPad is just as fragile as its predecessor the iPad 2 when it comes to breaking the display.

Sales warranty company SquareTrade wanted to find out how easy it might be for the new iPad to break so it went ahead and dropped it. Actually, it dropped several iPads, both the new iPad and the iPad 2 models, onto a hard flat surface to see if either “survived” any better. With one notable exception, there was no difference. 

"It seems like the iPad 2 and the new iPad break in the same fashion," said Vince Tseng, SquareTrade's vice president of marketing. "The form factor of the new iPad is almost identical to the iPad 2."

SquareTrade’s test involved dropping both iPad 2’s and new iPads from waist and shoulder height, glass up and glass down, onto a hard, flat surface. Both tablet models survived the face up falls, but their glass overlays shattered when dropped face down. 

However, SquareTrade did note that damage to the new iPad's screen seemed more significant and in one case, the display nearly separated from the case.

Solar panel and protection

The SquareTrade test results came in a release from Solawerks maker of the Solapad electronic sleeve designed to work with all versions of the iPad. The main feature of the Solapad is that it contains a large, high-efficiency solar panel on its back, plus an additional internal battery to keep the iPad charged at all times, but Solawerks is also touting its protective features. 

With the Solapad installed, the company says it’s “somewhat impossible” for the iPad to be dropped and have it hit flat on the screen due to the shape of the accessory. And if dropped on the other side, the Solapad case material will absorb the shock, though the company doesn’t guaranty the iPad can’t be damaged. 

Solawerks (a division of Domark International) says it’s also working on a Solapad version made out of hard rubber for rugged conditions. Meanwhile, the original Solapad apparently isn’t available yet. The company’s website has some information and a phtoo of the accessory and an order form to reserve it. 

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