Lifeproof’s water-ready iPad case tested

Thinking of taking an iPad swimming? We’d advise against it, but if you want to, there’s a case you simply have to try.

Developed by Lifeproof, the “Nuud” is a series of cases designed to help you take your smartphone and tablet off road and into the water, alleviate the fears of certain death liquid tends to bring to the equation.

It goes further than just protecting against water, since it also lived up to a level of military specification in environment proofing, reaching the IP68 certification which means it’s capable of surviving an encounter with snow, ice, dirt, dust, and surviving a drop of 1.2 metres. Whether your screen will survive or not is another question, but at least you know the data inside should be fine.

Water-proofing is the part that grabs us, though, as water and technology weren’t really made with a level of mutual respect for each other, and generally any device that goes in the drink won’t come out in the same level of working condition as when it went in to begin with.

Lifeproof’s case gets around this by providing a very heavy plastic and rubberised frame for the device, as well as rubber-tube water stoppers, leaving the screen usable but forming seals around this section so no drop of water enters any vital part.

We tested this on the iPad, running the case through the test with a sheet of paper, before being satisfied and replacing the test paper with an actual iPad.

With the iPad sitting inside the Lifeproof Nuud, it was time to submerge the sucker. We held our breath and hoped for the best.

Inside the case, you’ll find a a couple of rubber tubes, called “o-rings.” These sit inside specifically cut out cavities of the case and – when pressed together with the plastic and rubberised frame of the Nuud case – block water from moving past the rubber tubing.

Immersed in water, the iPad is completely fine, and you don’t even need to protect the screen, since the o-rings are pushed ahead the iPad’s screen, blocking moisture from getting in, which is especially good, since that alone would have destroyed the iPad.

But there is a catch here: thanks to the sensitivity of the touchscreen, you can’t actually use the iPad underwater. At all.

No touching appears to be registered, and the water acts as one giant multitouch, so when you lift the device out of the water, you may find that it weirds out, jumping between applications as if lots of wet fingers were touching it at once, which from the iPad’s point of view, is exactly what’s happening.

The short video above demonstrates just that, making iPad use underwater next to impossible, unless you’re keeping the tablet locked and playing back music only.

Despite the inability to use the iPad underwater, the case could help anyone who is at all worried about lending an iPad to a friend or family member, especially if there’s a possibility the iDevice could take a tumble down stairs or in the pool.

The image ghosting on the screen is the iPad trying to jump between apps, as it picks up the water and interprets it as multitouch gestures.

We wouldn’t recommend relying on this for taking photos underwater, but if you’d like to surf the web while you’re relaxing in the pool, on the beach, or at the snow, the Lifeproof Nuud does a pretty good job at stopping your iPad from being destroyed by excess moisture, also known as liquid and snow.