Not only did your tablet cost $600 or more, but you've become addicted to using it. So what happens if you drop it? Will it survive, or are you out all that money and unable to satisfy your tablet craving until you get a repair or replacement?
That's the question the folks at SquareTrade asked -- and answered -- by dropping an Apple iPad 2 (with and without a Smart Cover attached) and a Research in Motion BlackBerry PlayBook onto a concrete floor from a height of about three feet, roughly waist height. SquareTrade is one of several companies that sells insurance for mobile devices, so it has a vested interest in understanding what kind of risk it assumes when by offering policies for these devices -- and in making you want to buy insurance by publicizing such videos, of course.
[ Also on InfoWorld: "Tablet deathmatch: Apple iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom" | Compare and calculate your own scores for the iPad 2, Xoom, Galaxy Tab, PlayBook, and ViewPad with our tablet calculator. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
You can see the results yourself from the videos below.
Apple iPad 2 drop test
The screen of the iPad 2 without a Smart Cover shatters on the first, glass-down drop, although the iPad continues to function. But the screen of an iPad 2 with a Smart Cover installed survives undamaged and the iPad continues to function after being dropped glass-down. When SquareTrade dropped the iPad 2 with Smart Cover from a higher position (about five feet), the Smart Cover became detached and the iPad 2's screen was damaged, but not nearly as badly as the unprotected iPad 2 screen dropped at three feet. The lesson is clear: Get a Smart Cover or other sleeve or cover.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook drop test