Native Union’s Gripster iPad case for iPad versions 2 and 3 is a versatile product. It is easy to insert and remove the iPad, yet it holds the iPad firmly in place. The unusual stand on the back functions as an adjustable viewing or working stand, can be turned 360 degrees, allows the user to hold it firmly in hand for presentation purposes, can be used to hang it on a wall, and it folds down to be out of the way, or up to serve as a handle.
Native Union's Gipster in silver
The Gripster is available in three colors, high gloss silver, high gloss white, and high gloss black. It is also compatible with the Apple Smart Cover. The heavy duty plastic case is very thin, and it’s ability to protect a dropped iPad is minimal at best.
Gripster white version
Using the product
There were several components to examine while reviewing this case. First I checked out the functionality of the unusual design of the stand. After all, it is semi-rounded on the bottom. Because this part of the case is made from some kind of hard rubber, it holds in place very nicely, even on my slick glass desk. I particularly like the rotation options of the stand. You know instantly when you have the stand locked into a new position because you hear a little click.
Close look at the stand
The handle is less than one-half inch thick at it’s thickest point. A good quality thumb tack, hammered into a wall stud was all I needed to hang the case, containing my iPad, on the wall where upon I watched a movie. It worked perfectly. Of course, considering the size of the iPad screen, this won’t be useful unless you can hang it somewhere with good viewing range.
iPad and Gripster hanging on a wall
With the help of a friend I also evaluated the usefulness of using the stand as a method of carrying the iPad from place to place. We decided that it worked very well for that purpose under certain conditions. We both felt more comfortable with an Apple Smart Cover in place to protect the face of the iPad, and we both felt that while it was a dandy way to transport an iPad within an office setting, it probably was not the best method to use while traveling in crowded environments.
Using the handle function
The last element that received close evaluation was the ability to hold the iPad in one hand, using the handle, while making a presentation. Almost from the first month of the introduction of the first iPad products have appeared promoting their ability to serve just this very function. I have personally reviewed a number of them. This one is not particularly light weight, but it gets a gold star for the smoothness with which the user can turn the iPad in any direction, 360 degrees, with one hand without breaking stride in their presentation.
Do I recommend it?
I do. The things that it does, it does very well. The handle/stand/grip is a unique design that I have not found on any other case and it is quite sturdy in addition to being as versatile as promised. I found no mention of a limited warranty on the package or the company web site, so that should be a consideration. If I worked in an office setting in which I had to carry my iPad from meeting to meeting or floor to floor, I would snatch up this case for the sheer convenience alone.