This is a review of Seidio CONVERT Value pack case for Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (SEIDIO | Convert Value Pack for Samsung Galaxy Note 2
When it comes to a quality rugged cases for Note 2, there are not too many choices. As a matter of fact, it's common to read about only one choice which people buy by default, and in most of the cases end up modifying in order to make it usable. That's why I was very pleased to find out that Seidio took their time to engineer an ultimate rugged protection without any compromises. And now I got a chance for a hands on experience testing this case.
The case itself is actually two cases in one. A lot of you are familiar with Seidio SURFACE (also available as Platinum case from Best Buy) and Seidio ACTIVE. Now imagine two of these cases combined together with over-sized ACTIVE as an additional protection layer on top of SURFACE - and you will get CONVERT. Let's start with SURFACE case. Its probably one of the slimmest cases I've tested, made out of hard plastic material with felt inner lining and soft touch outer finish (kind of reminds me of Thinkpad laptop finish). The design consists of two interconnecting halves that firmly house the phone with a very tight secure fit. As a matter of fact, once both halves slide in and get connected, it's not that easy to unlock it which should give you a good piece of mind that a case will stay intact if you drop it. There is no issue putting the phone down on its screen since the case offers an acceptable lip to keep it off the SURFACE. The case also comes with a very unique magnetic kickstand which I can confirm does NOT interfere with s-pen, although offers only landscape support. Every cutout is precise, and you get a perfectly aligned port openings for micro-usb, both microphones, speaker, s-pen, volume/power buttons and camera/flash. I want to point out a nice detail of a separate camera and flash cutout, and also the actual cutout for volume/power where you have direct access to the physical phone buttons. SURFACE slides easily in/out of the pocket, and the finish keeps it lint free! CONVERT Value pack also comes with a bonus SURFACE holster, and as some of you know - Seidio holster are in a class of it own. Beside felt liner to keep screen of the phone from scratching, it offers a very unique spring loaded latch mechanism to keep phone secure without sliding out and stil giving you an access for a quick release whenever you need to take it out.
To take it to the next level, you get a soft silicon layer which goes right over SURFACE case. Beside offering an extra layer of shock absorption, it also adds a decent grip and port covers for micro-usb and headphones as well as sealing off volume/power button. Since its a silicon layer, power/volume buttons are easy to press and you get nice tactile feedback. Another unique feature - camera/flash gets a port cover as well. Plus, there is a cutout for SURFACE case kickstand to open up without any obstruction. One thing I do have to note - soft silicon is a lint magnet. That's something you will have to live with. Although silicon layer goes on SURFACE with a tight fit, you get another hard plastic outer shell on top of it. That shell offers cutout for kickstand and camera/flash port cover, as well as offering additional corner protection for the case. Silicon layer sides of the case remain open thus continue providing a very good grip of the case. And to top it off, you get a specially designed CONVERT holster for the phone facing with a screen in. It's a heavy duty plastic holster with a signature spring loaded mechanism which as a bonus offers a latch to lock it up for extra security. Furthermore, there is another locking mechanism in the middle of the holster behind the belt clip which allows for a belt clip to be removed. I haven't seen any additional info about the purpose of removing this belt clip, but in a back of my mind I'm wondering if Seidio is planning to introduce other accessories to be attached to this belt clip since you are left with 3 tabs after belt clip is removed. The case also comes with a screen protector in a separate package labeled as "ultimate screen guard". I can't comment on it's quality since I didn't install it, although it felt thin.
Overall, this is a VERY impressive case design with a huge bonus of two cases in one where you can choose what level of protection you would like for your Note 2!!! With addition of very robust (landscape only) kickstand and best in class holster - I would definitely recommend CONVERT! If you already have SURFACE, its not a brainer to get this one. Also for others who think there is no other choice but to get Defender and pop the plastic screen protector out to make that case usable - you got a choice now, which is slimmer and lighter (I weighted both to compare).
At the current moment of writing this review, the whole Value package is being offered on Amazon for under $55, although due to its popularity the case is temporary out of stock. I think its a good value for 2 cases.
Now, here comes the pictures. I actually starting it with a packaging box which has a very thoughtful messages on the bottom (I took a picture of it as well).