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Tablet Insight: Back Protectors

Most people are concerned with keeping their tablet display free from cracks and scratches. There are tablet screen protectors to stop the scuffing, smart covers to weather the bumps and tablet folios to manage those clumsy bang ups.

But what about the back of your tablet? That undiscovered, boring land of tablet case exploration. Actually, though, this is one of the most important parts of your tablet and the correct back protector can transform your tablet experience. Don’t believe me? Take a read below.

What are they?

Basically a backing shell slips over back of your tablet and comes up around the bezel (the front) of your device. Pretty simple, right? This little lip on the bezel is good if you drop the tablet face down—it gives enough space between the display and the floor.

But, this little lip can get in the way of those grandiose finger swipes across the touch screen. Backing shells are made from everything from silicon (a bit sticky and a prime dust collector) to TPU (like silicon but without the stickiness) to polycarbonate rigid plastic.

In short, there is just about every material or design you could want. Generally, a good backing shell clocks in at $20 but there are some out there that are run a bit more. Usually for good reason, but just double-check that it fits all your requirements (head phone cut out in the right place? Rear camera hole? Fits the New iPad?) before you buy.

For design

One of the many reasons for investing in a backing shell that it can add a bit of color and hipness to your tablet. Take candidate #1: BoHobo’s swanky blue back protector that comes with a foldable tablet stand for the Apple iPad 2.

BoHobo iPad 2 Back Protector with Stand

Coming in at just under $20, this BoHobo tablet case it right price PLUS it has a cool little stand. The requisite cut-outs match up on the iPad 2 without problem. Doesn’t add much for grip, but who cares when you’re looking good! Oh yeah, it’s the TPU jelly-like material—much preferred to the silicon .

If you are looking for a similar pop-up stand in your backing case, then why not check out the funky cover - ‘Pop!’ from Case-Mate. This BlackBerry PlayBook case is nearly double the price than other shells. Watch out!

Case-Mate BlackBerry PlayBook Pop!

For Grip

Some of you out there who suffer from so-called ‘butter fingers’ might want to stay away from the BoHobo and consider backing cases because of their added value to the grip factor (say what?). These backing cases, in general, give your finger tips a bit more to grab onto, so no more worrying about your tablet going flying out of your hands. iFrogz tablet cases take on the backing shell is the ‘Soft Gloss’, again at a good price hovering around $20.

iFrogz iPad Soft Gloss Case

Case-Mate tablet cases has put out a line called ‘Barely There’ which, as you guessed it, seems like it is not even noticeable when it is on your tablet. In fact, though, you’ll definitely notice that it is there with the extra grip you get. A clear plus for this one.

Case-Mate iPad 2 Barely There Back Protector

For Protection

Now, to the most ‘classic’ example of why to invest in that shell: protection. This is often considered the ‘reason to be’ of the backing case’s existence. Almost all cases can help in avoiding nasty bang ups and scratches. Happy Owl Studio tablet cases feature a good one for protecting your tablet, called ‘The Leather Shell Protector’. This is a nice take on the other protective shells, which are normally made from a hard, rigid shell. Those do the trick too, but there is something a bit ‘cheap’ about them,

Happy Owl Studio iPad 2 The Leather Shell Protector

For Fun

This is definitely the best part of getting a backing case—it just makes the tablet not such a status symbol and rather something that is fun and useful (as they should be!). So, liven up your tablet with any number of affordable backing shells from Paul Frank tablet cases or Hello Kitty tablet cases. Also, you’ll find a number of sports team themed shells or one from your favorite university. So, have some fun with how your tablet looks!

Hello Kitty Themed iPad 2 Back Protector

Paul Frank Themed iPad 2 Protector Case in Black

Paul Frank Themed iPad 2 Protector Case in Red Pilot

Ferrari Themed iPad 2 Hard Case

Top 5 Back Protectors

If, after all this thorough explanation, you are still not sure of which backing case is right for you, then take a look at our Top 5 Back Protectors—these are the heavy hitters of the backing case class.

Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.