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iPad Durability

This is a discussion on iPad Durability within the iPad 3 Forum forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; While I think the 3 is a superb product, it is incredibly delicate and I was wondering about the choices apple made in its design ...

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Thread: iPad Durability

  1. #1
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    iPad Durability

    While I think the 3 is a superb product, it is incredibly delicate and I was wondering about the choices apple made in its design (those with engineering/design backgrounds weigh in please). I did not have either of the earlier ipads, and have only picked up the 3 in the last few weeks, so i am still internalizing its form factor/workings...

    For example, the choice of glass which cracks/shatters when the device is dropped - why wasn't a stronger, more durable material like plastic used, that still would have been scratch-resistant? At a reasonable price, is there such a type of plastic available that could have been used?

    It seems that the most likely problem people have is dropping it, as it is nearly impossible to hold securely with one hand. Using glass instead of plastic appears to be an aesthetic choice apple made over practicality, where perhaps using plastic may not have been as shiny/attractive but would have made the device far more durable. Especially given that sawpping out a unit with broken glass is several hundred dollars at least.

    The other obvious design choice I question is the borders and back; why did they not place some type of rubberized protection around it, so that it would not be damaged if dropped from 2-3 feet. While my blackberry may be garbage overall (should have gotten an iphone, I know ) even with its glass screen i've dropped it on concrete from 2 1/2 feet and it was barely scratched. While outfitting the device with an external rubber protection may have admittedly compromised its looks a bit, it would have made what i feel to be a very delicate product to be a bit more durable, and would not have to be treated with such incredible amounts of care/attention. Thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tritium
    While I think the 3 is a superb product, it is incredibly delicate and I was wondering about the choices apple made in its design (those with engineering/design backgrounds weigh in please). I did not have either of the earlier ipads, and have only picked up the 3 in the last few weeks, so i am still internalizing its form factor/workings...

    For example, the choice of glass which cracks/shatters when the device is dropped - why wasn't a stronger, more durable material like plastic used, that still would have been scratch-resistant? At a reasonable price, is there such a type of plastic available that could have been used?

    It seems that the most likely problem people have is dropping it, as it is nearly impossible to hold securely with one hand. Using glass instead of plastic appears to be an aesthetic choice apple made over practicality, where perhaps using plastic may not have been as shiny/attractive but would have made the device far more durable. Especially given that sawpping out a unit with broken glass is several hundred dollars at least.

    The other obvious design choice I question is the borders and back; why did they not place some type of rubberized protection around it, so that it would not be damaged if dropped from 2-3 feet. While my blackberry may be garbage overall (should have gotten an iphone, I know ) even with its glass screen i've dropped it on concrete from 2 1/2 feet and it was barely scratched. While outfitting the device with an external rubber protection may have admittedly compromised its looks a bit, it would have made what i feel to be a very delicate product to be a bit more durable, and would not have to be treated with such incredible amounts of care/attention. Thoughts?
    You limit who you want to reply to this thread by stating: "those with engineering/design backgrounds weigh in please." In addition, Gorilla Glass versus plastic is discussed elsewhere in this forum. Do a search and you'll find a hearty discussion, see this link:

    Gorilla Glass

    If it wasn't for the fact that I have an engineering credential and I design hardware and software for my company, I meet your criteria and thus felt free to reply to this thread by directing you to another thread. If you want to read some great comments on this glass versus plastic, read that thread and participate in that discussion. BTW, the iPad is NOT a delicate device. I have owned an iPad-->all three in fact, and I have been astonished with the resilience and the durability of this tablet. I admit that in the two years that I have owned an iPad, I have only dropped it once and that was onto a very thick, plush, Aubusson rug. I remember the day, I just about had a heart attack! But the iPad was unscathed and the experience made me more attentive.

    If you are concerned about dropping your iPad, I have three comments for you:

    1. When you focus on dropping the iPad, inevitably you will drop your iPad. That is Murphy's Law. And that is why a lot of companies make a lot of money providing products that mitigate the effect of dropping an iPad.

    2. However, if you are focused on dropping your iPad, then get an iPad cover. Here is a link discussing accessories for your iPad:

    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-acces...es-thread.html

    3. If you are completely focussed on 1&2 above, then get insurance. Here is a link discussing insurance:

    Applecare plus versus Squaretrade

    In summary, YOUR issue with the "design flaw" of the iPad and its "delicate" nature can be diminished with an additional expenditure of money to buy accessories and insurance to cover any shortcomings Apple had in selling you the iPad. It really doesn't take an engineer and a person with a design background to understand that BUT with the help of this forum, you came to the right place.

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    The simple answer is that Apple didn't want wish to create the product you seem to think would be better. Frankly, I would not buy the device you are wishing for and it is likely that millions of others wouldn't either. And I got Applecare+.
    Last edited by AQ_OC; 05-05-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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    The iPad in its "naked" form is a delicate device and should be treated as such. I agree that if it is concerning a durable case is a wise move. With that said, one of the reasons why the iPad continues to get high marks overall is its sleek design and build. More materials and a bulkier build would mean more weight. I think if Apple was gearing the iPad for more tactical use than they would have made it more durable but for the everyday user Just pick up a case and you should have no issues. For me when I spend $500 or more on a device I will pretty much baby it.
    iPhone 4s 64GB White (Jailbroken), The "New iPad" 16GB Black (Stock), Past devices: iPad 2, HTC Hero, HTC Evo, HTC Evo 3D, ASUS Transformer.

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    I'm a trucker. I spend most of my working life on roads that would shake your teeth loose. My iPad has been with me for a year. I work with a qualified engineer. My experiences are as follows: ignore the engineer, since their minds seem to work in ways that normal people find disturbing; buy a case and use it; don't try to use a device one handed that was clearly designed for two handed use.

    Sent from my iPad 4 HD mini
    Apple Equipment (so far) rMBP 15"; iPad 2 (iOS 7.1); iPhone 5s (iOS 7.1); iPhone 4 (iOs 7.1); AirPort Extreme; Airport Express; AppleTV

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    I'm a carpenter. My original iPad spent most of its working life jammed down the side of a toolbox or just dumped in a backpack, protected by nothing but a regular case. My new iPad is the same, and both are still working just fine. I've dropped my iPhone a few times; I've never dropped my iPad <shrug>

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    Quote Originally Posted by petermillard View Post
    I'm a carpenter. My original iPad spent most of its working life jammed down the side of a toolbox or just dumped in a backpack, protected by nothing but a regular case. My new iPad is the same, and both are still working just fine. I've dropped my iPhone a few times; I've never dropped my iPad <shrug>
    That is blasphemy. Lol.
    iPhone 4s 64GB White (Jailbroken), The "New iPad" 16GB Black (Stock), Past devices: iPad 2, HTC Hero, HTC Evo, HTC Evo 3D, ASUS Transformer.

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    I kinda the same with peter, I use a leather case that also thankfully have a rubber case inside it (the rubber cover all the edge of the iPad while the leather cover the back and front).
    I usually just jammed my iPad to my backpack. A few times it hit against the edge of the table, wall, etc since I have a habit using the iPad while walking around and paying a little attention to my surroundings. Bless the one who invented the case with rubber that I used right now so that up until now my iPad is unscathed.

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    That's why I don't mind tolerating a bulky case that keeps me from destroying the iPad. It's size makes it a lot more fragile though because of the large screen.

    My iPhone 4 is made of a lot of the same materials, and I've carried it naked for months at a time beating the hell out of it with no issues. I think a lot of the screens shattering is just due to luck of how it lands when you drop it. I've been lucky so far... knock on wood.


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