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How Military-Grade Standards Affect the Next Generation of Rugged Case Design and Testing

Rugged Case with CAC Reader for Surface™ Pro on white background

Heading back into the workplace in a post-pandemic world means knowing how to protect your device cases against degradation from constant disinfecting.

It starts with Kensington™ purpose-built rugged tablet cases for your iPad or Surface devices. These cases have undergone testing and are proven to withstand constant contact with the chemicals found in disinfecting cleaners. You are no longer simply protecting your tablets from drops, slips, and damage. Degradation occurs when you subject these protective cases to harsh cleaning agents that break down tech accessories materials.

When the CDC published their Reopening America guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, including workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes, they encouraged daily habits that include disinfecting at regular intervals. 

Unfortunately, disinfectants can be harsh on the materials that you use every day. Because of this, Kensington recognized the need to develop tech accessories that can withstand the frequency of disinfecting recommended by government officials and medical professionals.

What is MIL-STD Testing and Why it Matters

MIL-STD-810, Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests, is a U. S. Military standard for engineering equipment that makes sure it can withstand the conditions it will experience throughout service.

Equipment is tested in rigorous environments by instituting case test methods that replicate the effects of those environments rather than imitating them. Designed for military applications, the standard is used in commercial designs as well.   

Kensington’s Portfolio of Rugged Cases for iPad and Surface Devices

At Kensington, we have developed a series of rugged cases to protect iPad and Surface devices. These next-gen cases do more than protect your devices from potential damage caused by drops. Their rugged design can withstand repeat contact with the harsh chemicals in cleaning agents and other disinfectants.

Here are three of the best cases Kensington has to offer:

K97950WW BlackBelt™ 2nd Degree Rugged Case for Surface™ Pro

In partnership with Microsoft, we developed this BlackBelt™ 2nd Degree Rugged Case for Surface™ Pro to be a reliable option to protect your Surface™ Pro 4, 5, 6, 7 and even the 7+. This rugged case provides military-grade drop protection. So, no matter whether you’re deployed in a harsh environment or just trying to keep your kids from shattering the screen after dropping it from the top of their bunk bed, your Surface Pro is protected. This case is government/TAA compliant and approved for use with U.S. federal government foundations and enterprises.


  • Designed exclusively for Surface Pro
  • Drop and wipe-down tested via U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) MIL-STD-810 protocols
  • Government/TAA compliant
  • Cable lock compatible
  • Self-adjusting hand strap
  • Kickstand opening
  • Pen holder and tether
  • Keyboard holder and type cover strap

K97550WW BlackBelt™ Rugged Case with Integrated CAC Reader for Surface™ Pro

This protective, stylishly designed solution is perfect for military personnel who need to protect their device and access the credentials required for sensitive military data. This rugged case has an integrated Smart Card (CAC) Reader that provides easy one-handed functionality when on the go.

Features all the great features from our standard Surface Pro case, plus:

  • Integrated CAC reader
  • Read-only memory (ROM)
  • Rear camera cover

K97322WW BlackBelt™ Rugged Case for iPad 10.2"

Perfect for active work environments, the BlackBelt™ 2nd Degree Rugged Case for iPad 10.2" features full access to every port on your device, so you can plug in quickly. You can use the on-screen keyboard on the go and can instantly pair it to your Bluetooth keyboard at work. This rugged case is another one of the products that is subjected to — and passes — MIL-STD 810 drop and wipe-down testing. 


  • Infinitely variable kickstand
  • Full access to all ports
  • Self-adjusting hand strap
  • Apple pencil holder and tether
  • Adhesive screen protector
  • Asset tagging area

Kensington Standardizes a New Military-Grade Testing Protocol

As the leading developer of desktop and mobile devices, we have become trusted advisors at the federal level. That is why we focus on providing not only the very best in military-grade products, but why we continue to test to new standards.

Within the medical community, we also work to provide solutions that promote efficacy. Now, more than ever, it is essential that the protective equipment utilized by medical professionals withstand MIL-STD 810 testing. We strive to anticipate the needs of our medical community, including high-quality, military-grade device protection.

MIL-STD 810H Method 504.3: The New Standard for Wipe-Down Protection

A newer version of the Department of Defense's (DoD) standard, which focuses on product degradation testing, is MIL-STD 810H Method 504.3 Contamination by Fluids. There are several levels of exposure: occasional, intermittent, and extended contamination.
For the occasional exposure, an item to be tested is exposed to contamination for five to ten minutes at ambient temperature, or at a temperature specific to real-world use.

Intermittent exposure involves an item being continuously exposed to the contaminating fluids for eight hours and left to dry for 17 hours.

For the extended contamination test, a product is exposed continuously for at least 24 hours. Kensington subjects the tested products to this level of exposure to determine whether they can be labeled with wipe down protection.

Learn more about this test standard, and the chemicals used with our blog 13 Military-Grade Wipe Down Fluid Tests that Kensington Products Are Subjected To

How Kensington™ is Initiating a New Standard for the Next Generation in Rugged Cases 

There is a new standard required in a post-pandemic world. That standard includes innovation in design and testing. Kensington has been in the business of innovation for over 35 years. Because of this, we continue to unveil products with the capability to withstand exposure to not only drops but also to harsh cleaning agents.

Do you have questions about MIL-STD 810H Method 504.3 Contamination by Fluids testing? Contact Kensington today to learn how we are setting the bar for professional-grade products.