Cases often present a strange trade-off between form and function. Either the case is protective and ridiculously bulky or it is stylish and slim but short on absorption power. The Gumdrop Drop Tech Series is the latest accessory that tries to be protective and pretty at the same time. Is it successful on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1?

The Drop Tech Series (DTS) case is a little too thick to be considered slim. It’s still small enough to not earn the “ridiculously bulky” tag, but noticeably bigger thanks to the weight that it adds to the normally featherweight Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, unlike the Toshiba Thrive – which is abnormally large – the Gumdrop-coated Tab 10.1 actually uses that bulk to keep the device safe.

The Gumdrop DTS is actually a three-part case designed for “high-density” shock absorption. A hard polcycarbonate frame protects the front, and a silicone skin protects the back and sides. An optional screen protector frame is also included, but considering that the Tab 10.1 has Corning Gorilla Glass that can stand up to practically any real-life adversity, that seems rather unnecessary. The only positive reason I can see for keeping the screen protector is in case a user fears spilling coffee or water in the morning.

The silicone case is necessary and a reassuring feature. During my informal drop tests from just under waist length, the case did an excellent job of absorbing the impact of the fall. The silicone has a number of pads elevated to a tip, so the shock of hitting the ground is practically uneventful. And while these earn the DTS praise for security, it also lead to minor points deductions for not being a smooth and comfortable surface. One-handed operation in portrait is fine because the fingers rest between the ridges, but holding with two hands in landscape – important for gaming – is slightly awkward.

People who are careful and avoid dropping their devices don’t really need the Gumdrop DTS. But people who are less-than-careful and want an added bit of protection for that Android tablet that cost several hundred dollars are the target market. The DTS does an excellent job of keeping a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or ASUS Eeepad Transformer in tact after being dropped, so visit Gumdrop Cases if you have $ 49.95 to spend.

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