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Product Review: Gumdrop Cases

Product Review:  Gumdrop Cases

Whenever a school system is able to figure out a funding source to supply devices to their students, there’s often one element they completely underestimate:  wear and tear.  Having monitored devices in schools systems for about 15 years, I can tell you right now that despite your tech support systems, it’ll be difficult to keep up.  Although protection devices like cases seem like a large investment up front, they’ll save your budget in the long run.  And at present, Gumdrop is the supplier to rely on for the most damage-resistant products.

Gumdrop is already used in over 2,500 schools across the country, and their focus on smart design for device protection is so comforting for both large and small school districts.  Gumdrop cases fit all major classroom devices (65+), which is really quite convenient.  Many schools balance more than one type of device for their students, if only as new devices get “phased in” and older devices are “phased out” of the system.  Gumdrop allows districts to get all of their protective gear from the same source, which added together, all count toward the volume education discounts they offer.

Our school learned the “protective case” lesson the hard way. Initially, funders were worried about the relatively small cost of investing in this sort of product, assuming that a stern warning and extensive “how to take care of your Chromebook” training would be enough to avoid a worst-case scenario.  Although these are important steps in managing devices in EDU, you need to take some preventative action to be successful.  I can’t stress that enough.  In our case, the cost of replacing and repairing devices over time greatly surpassed any investment we could and should have made at the onset of our program, despite my ominous warnings.

Don’t be like us.

Built to Last

Gumdrop devices are exhaustively tested for their durability and ruggedness.  Not only do each of their cases go through the drop testing process, they have even taken the extra step of involving Allion Labs, “an independent test laboratory located in Beaverton, Oregon, that uses state-of-the-art technology to create a rigorous test environment for devices covered in our cases.”

And the thing I love most is that they show you the direct results of this drop testing.  You can’t get any more transparent than that.  They film the results of multiple drops from as high as ten feet unto a clearly unforgiving floor.  You won’t find a lot of companies that are willing to do that.  Check out their drop of a Dell Chromebook 11 similar to my own in the video below:

My Experience

For my test experience, I explored a Gumdrop DropTech case for your standard Dell Chromebook 3100.  The case was surprisingly easy to install, considering how form-fitting it is:  it snapped right in and was ready to use within minutes.  The case itself is protective, but not clunky – it keeps the Chromebook secure without losing the compact nature of the device.  Aesthetically, it looks like the Gumdrop case could have simply been an intentional part of Dell’s design – it is that seamless.  And despite all of this going on, it’s lightweight.  That’s where the science of all this surprises me.

Now, the first thing I always look for in protective gear for electronic devices is how well the corners are protected, as they are often the most vulnerable when it comes to falls…and I was not disappointed.  The Gumdrop clamshells are well-protected by a completely shock-resistant combination of thick silicone bumper skin and rigid polycarbonate casing.  I know the wall scale on their drop videos only goes up to 9 feet, but I would be extremely surprised if this case couldn’t withstand a drop at least double that.  It’s as sturdy as a tank.

Overall, my verdict is that there’s nothing your students could do to these cases that would damage the device you’re trying to protect.  Gumdrop had to have had K-12 Education in mind when designing their product, and I will be bringing one of these cases to my school’s next board meeting for serious review.  They’re both built to last and impressively affordable when compared with competitors.

Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor

Lambert is an English / Language Arts teacher in Connecticut.