There always seems to be a struggle at my house for one thing – the iPad. My 4-year-old daughter is a tablet expert, to say the least. But there are times I haven’t exactly felt safe handing over an expensive piece of technology to someone who is still learning the word “gentle.”

After trying a few options, including bulky cases like the Otterbox Defender, I have finally settled on a slim, folio-type case for my day-to-day usage. And when my daughter asks for the iPad, I simply hand it over and hope for the best.

But X-Doria is attempting to solve that problem with its Widge case. It promises to provide a kid-proof layer for the iPad while not looking childish.

The Good

Composed of soft, squishy rubber, the light-red Widge at first looks like a bulky case. But in reality, it’s anything but. The lightweight rubber material wraps completely around the iPad, while a large wedge protrudes from the back.

The wedge allows the case to be situated in two different positions – a typing-like orientation and a stand-type angle. Both worked reasonably well and allowed my daughter use the stand in a variety of situations and places around my house.

The case design is also strongly geared toward kids. Along with the color, the Widge has fat corners that are easy to pick up and a carrying handle in the back of the case. The handle worked very well, and my daughter enjoyed being able to carry around the iPad without my usual bout of insanity.

As another plus, the Widge provides access to all of the iPad’s buttons and ports, including the rear-facing camera. The speaker, though slightly covered up by the case, sounded normal.

I also liked the look of the Widge in general. The only other case that I could find marketed similarly was Speck’s iGuy. While I liked the iGuy’s multiple color choices, the Widge looks less childish while still being kid-friendly.

The Bad

Even though the iPad is held strongly in place by the Widge, actually getting the tablet in the case is not exactly that easy. To wedge your iPad in the case (pun intended), it does take a significant amount of adjusting and pulling the borders of the Widge. After the first few times, I figured out the quickest way to get my iPad into the case, but it is still a little time consuming.

The rubber might soften over time and make that task easier, but I can’t tell.

Also, the base of the Widge isn’t 100 percent stable. Especially while in stand position, there was a little bit of rocking while my daughter attempted to play games on a table or countertop. Typing orientation was more stable, though, and is probably the best bet for hard-surface use.

There is also no way to use your iPad in portrait orientation with the case. That wasn’t a huge problem for my daughter or I, but it might be for some users.

Finally, while the Widge is a good option for kids, it’s not exactly a case parents could use consistently. And since two iPads aren’t in the cards it my house, it is a little bothersome to have to spend the time to get the case ready for my impatient daughter to use.

Verdict

While a little pricey for what it does, I think the Widge is a passable option for parents who don’t want to use a bulky case for day-to-day use but do want to protect their investment when handing the iPad over to kids. If you’re a multiple iPad household, though, I would highly recommend the case the protect your kid’s iPad full-time. It provides a great layer of protection without a large amount of extra weight.

The Widge is available for $39.99 from Amazon or X-Doria directly. The case is compatible with the new iPad and iPad 2.