NewerTech’s NuGuard Clear is a crystal clear hard shell snap-on half-case for the iPad. It covers the back and sides (not the screen), but if you’re looking for a minimally-intrusive way to protect the back and sides of your iPad, it does the trick quite nicely.
According to the manufacturer the polycarbonate shell offers more impact resistance than acrylic shells. I don’t know about you but I’m not about to drop my iPad on a hard surface to test that particular claim. I’d do a lot for you, gentle reader, but I have to draw the line at drop testing or blender testing.
Other than that I’ve given this “case” a thorough workout and it does what it says — protects the back and sides of your iPad against dirt, scratches, and oily fingerprints — while letting the natural beauty of the back and sides of your iPad be seen. I like that it doesn’t add much bulk and it looks like your iPad is “naked” unless you look closely.
I have two complaints. The first is that the beauty of the backside of your iPad is partially obscured by a huge Newer Technology logo as shown below.
Mediocre photo by Bob LeVitus
I like Newer Technology as much as the next guy but if you pay $25 for this thing I don’t think you should have to be a walking billboard for them.
[Tangent Alert! Skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to hear it.]
Here’s a concept: Offer it at two prices. Keep the logo for those who choose the lower price and sell a logo-free model for a few bucks more. I, for one, would pay a few bucks extra to be rid of the logo.
The second issue is that even though it’s really thin, it’s just thick enough to prevent you from putting your iPad in an Apple Keyboard Dock. And it may not fit in other docking devices for iPad either (though I’ve yet to receive any for testing). It’s not that removing the NuGuard is difficult — it’s not — but having to remove it every time you want to type (or possibly listen to music or sync your iPad) is a pain.
To be fair, this second issue has affected every single close-fitting case I’ve tested and it’s only an issue if you use an Apple iPad Keyboard Dock, iPad Dock, or other iPad docking device.
The Bottom Line
A very nice way to protect the back and sides of an iPad in a way that your iPad doesn’t look like it’s in a case. If you don’t mind the rather large ad for Newer Technology and don’t use an Apple Keyboard or iPad Dock, it’s a sweet piece of work.