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Electronics Accessory Review

Pelican Takes Aim at Protecting Your Personal Electronic Devices (continued)

As with all Pelican cases, this one is rated watertight. There was really only one way to test this claim and that was to take it out with us on a trip to Clear Lake, California where we were meeting up with Vince Borges of Phenix Rods and TnT Baits to see what was new with those two companies. It was really the perfect opportunity because having my notebook with me on the boat, I’d be able to take notes right then and there.

Hopefully it's watertight?

Yup... safe and dry. Phew!

With morning formalities out of the way, and lunch time rolling around, Zander and I took a break from fishing duties to put the 1090 HardBack to the test and really all it took was one big toss out into the water - actually two. For the first toss, I took my notebook out of the case. I wasn’t going to take any chances. We had to make sure the case floated (it did) and that it was water tight. After we got the case back and saw it was completely dry inside, I stuck my notebook back inside and told Zander to roll the video. Up and out the case went again, but this time, with my notebook inside. As you can see from the video, my notebook survived unscathed.

The Pluck-N-Play foam ensures a snug fit for your computer.

For protection from the elements, it’s tough to imagine a case more effective than this, but the HardBack 1090 is not without its faults. The same latch that closes down on the lid and holds the case closed with a water tight seal, we found, can be very difficult to flip open. You really have to get a good hold on the case, then the latch, and apply a lot of force to open flip the latch into its open position. Given how well this case seals, I really see little resolution here. Id rather live with a hard to open latch than one is easy to open and is prone to leaking, or opening accidentally.

This padding on top keeps things safe.

The second criticism of this case? I wish it had a handle like a traditional brief case because that is exactly what this case feels like, a bulletproof brief case. Actually, we’re not sure of its permeability or lack thereof to bullets, but you get the idea. The HardBack 1090 comes with a convenient shoulder strap, but the case would be even more easy to handle and convenient to carry around if it just had a handle like a traditional brief case. Of course one solution is to simply remove the shoulder strap and slide the entire protective case into a separate bag with a handle, but then we’re kind of duplicating efforts.

This 12" Macbook Air fit in the 1090 with room to spare.

Then again, perhaps the latter solution is really the way this case should be used because the last criticism I have of this case is, while its great for housing your notebook, that’s all it can house. There are no extra compartments or really, room inside the case to hold a power cord. It’s made, pretty much for your computer and that’s it. It’s important to be aware of this limitation in an otherwise fantastic product.

i1015 Micro-Case : The i1015 Micro Case from Pelican is their iPhone enabled 1015 Micro-Case. What makes it an “i” you ask? It’s the water resistant headphone jack. Originally a general use, small device case, the i1015 features an internally routed headphone jack and a special rubber liner designed to hold current generation smartphones with touch screens. We tested it with an iPhone 4 and it worked splendidly.

Pelican i1015 Micro Case Specifications

Type Small Electronics Case
Dimensions (Exterior) 6.68" x 3.88" x 1.86"
Dimensions (Interior) 5.14" x 2.64" x 1.37"
Weight (with foam) 0.46lbs
Features Rubber Lining doubles as o-ring seal, stainless steel hardware, lifetime guarantee
MSRP $36

Pelican makes it clear this case is made for protection in rugged environments and is not intended for swimming or submerging. Just the same, we put it through the water toss test and it protected the iPhone with no problems.

The i1015 is perfect for the iPhone.

This case comes with a d-ring loop for easy connecting and is rated as not only water resistant but crush proof and dust proof. We did not test the crushing claim.

A look at the internally wired earphone cable.

And a look a the water resistant earphone jack.

Other than being a tad bulky, as one might expect from a case like this, we had no real criticisms of this device. It is available with a clear lid which makes more sense than our black lid when used for a smart phone, but you still cannot access the screen from behind the lid.


Pelican HardBack 1090 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality As solid as they get 9
Performance Cannot argue with the waterproof effectiveness 10
Price Reasonable 7
Features Waterproof and though we did not test it, crush proof 9
Design (Ergonomics) Could use a handle 7
Application For protection from the elements, Pelican is hard to beat 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Sleek and slim - No room for accessories
+ Very Secure Latch - Could use a handle
+ Watertight  


The HardBack 1090 offers great protection for your notebook from the elements.



Pelican i1015 Micro Case Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality More plastic than other Pelican Products 8
Performance Held up well to our tests 8
Price Non waterproof iPhone cases can cost more than this one! 7.5
Features Waterproof and though we did not test it, crush proof 9
Design (Ergonomics) Bulky but probably out of necessity 7
Application For rugged protection scenarios 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Excellent protection for your iPhone or other smartphone - Just a little bulky
+ Water resistant headphone port  

The i1015, on the other hand, offers wonderful protection for your iPhone.

Conclusion: If you're an outdoor enthusiast with an addiction to your electronics, you're probably already aware of Pelican's products. If not, you owe it to yourself to check them out. The two products reviewed here are but a very small sample of the fit, finish, ruggedness, and dependability of their products, but both the HardPack 1090 and i1015 Micro Case continue the fine tradition of what we've grown to depend on as quality Pelican products.










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