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How-To Geek

What You Said: How You Protect Your Gear

Earlier this week we asked you to share your gear protection tips and tricks, now we’re back with a roundup to share.

One trend throughout the comments was that you could never be too cautious. Grant highlights this:

Well, I bought the ultra-durable phone (Motorola Defy) that is scratch resistant, drop resistant, and water resistant, then I put a screen protector on it, and put it in an Otter Box like case. Now all that happens is that the screen cover gets scratched. I know I shouldn’t need one since it is Gorilla Glass, but I am a big chicken.

So: Buy the durable thing with the Gorilla Glass, and protect every way you can anyway.

Well, we suppose that makes us chickens too–even if someone told us the glass was unscratchable, we’d still slap a screen film or case on it. Screen protectors are cheap, phone repairs are not.

99er highlights the downsides of heavy cases but the benefit of cases that do double duty.

My iPhone has an Otterbox Defender case which is really durable and strong, only downside is I cannot dock it on my stereo with it in it’s case. A dock extender would resolve that issue, but finding one is another thing.

My ASUS Eee-Pad Transformer has a pretty durable screen. Durable, but not shatter proof. I bought the keyboard dock for that model which provides screen protections considering it sits together like a laptop. I also have a neoprene case which I use when I take the device on trips.

You may want to check out this little extender that’s designed to fit within even a tight case.

TheFu also uses the double-duty case as cover trick, as well as a host of other tricks:

Cheap case, if the device didn’t come with it.

Bought a USB keyboard/folio case for an Android tablet for $30. Get protection AND a nearly full sized keyboard for travel. No more taking a netbook/laptop on flights. Of course, a good-enough chroot Linux install is mandatory for this to work – android is too limiting still.

Huisie mentioned being caught in the rain – that’s why you carry garbage bags with you – to cover your luggage/backpack. A $0.99 poncho works wonders too. I take a few heavy duty plastic trash compactor bags. Those DO NOT RIP. The cheap garbage bags are great for snow skiing in the rain too.

A Motorola v195 has been working 6+ yrs now and I’ve never had a case for it. I can’t see swapping a 7+ day battery for a > 1 day smartphone.

PnS camera just gets throw into a daypack when on travel next to the phone. No special protection. It looks a little worse for wear, but not so bad that it doesn’t take very nice photos still. Over 10K photos from around the world on that little camera. I bought a camera protector, but it was too bulky for use. Wanna buy it?

Hit up the full comment thread for more tips and tricks. Have a tip of your own to share? Sound off in the comments.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/17/12

Comments (2)

  1. KatsumeBlisk

    Missed the initial one, but the way I protect my phone is nothing. It has Gorilla Glass. If it didn’t, I’d at least have a screen protector. I don’t drop my devices, so I don’t have a need for a case. Plus, they just add bulk and I find cases ugly. I’m going to get one for my Kindle Touch eventually though so that I can protect its screen. Not sure how badly their screens scratch, but better safe than sorry.

  2. Cirric

    I have a Kindle Fire and added a shield to it. The shield had a crease in it from being examined by the Postal Authorities (probably due to the name of the product). Received a new a new one but had difficulty getting it aligned perfectly. When I got done and let it dry for 48 hours there was a dog hair under the shield. Grrr. Took the shield off and will depend on the Gorilla Glass. (Love the KF!)

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