There are several different case types for the iPad. One type is a clamshell-like case that fits snugly around the back, and it’s preferable for many purposes. The Newer Technology NuGuard Shell is one of those. It’s great and very modestly priced.
I was watching an episode of ABC’s Castle recently, and Alexis was sitting with an iPad in her lap. However, it was blue on the back, and I wondered what kind of case it was. Now I know.
I suspect it may have been a clamshell-like case like the Newer Technology NuGuard Shell or the NuGuard Gel — which comes in many colors. This review, however is for the NuGuard Shell which simply comes in red or black. It fits around the back and sides of the iPad snuggly, almost like a second skin, and leaves only the display exposed.
Why Would One Want This?
My iPad started its life with an Incase Convertible Book Jacket. I reviewed it back in April, 2010. This kind of case is like a book jacket. It encapsulates the iPad and has a cover that opens like a book. Sometimes this cover on some brands of cases, Apple’s, Marware, and Incase, double as a support for holding the iPad up at an angle. The benefit of this kind of case is that it protects the face of the iPad from damage, especially when traveling. Some models, like the Newer Technology iFolio have pouches for business cards.
The NuGuard Shell, however, has a different purpose. It’s designed to be minimalist and protect just the back and edges from scuffing or a slight drop of a few centimeters. [That’s my surmise, not a claim by Newer Technology.]
This kind of case is really better around the office or home because when you’re sitting with the iPad in your lap, the cover flap of folio-type cases gets in the way. It either hangs out or has to be awkwardly folded around the back of the iPad, and that could stress the binding.
Out of the box, protection for the protection
So, my “Aha” moment arrived when I saw Alexis with her iPad, and I thought, why am I using this cumbersome Incase Book Jacket around the house? I need one of these shells so that the iPad fits nicely in my lap. And that’s exactly what it does.
The NewerTech NuGuard Shell, as I mentioned, comes in red or black. I asked for the red model, knowing that black wouldn’t show up well in product photos. It’s made of a blend of ABS plastic and shatter resistant polycarbonate plastic. It has a warm, soft feel, but it remains semi-rigid and not limp. As a result, it not only feels good but provides for a non-slip surface. It snaps on to the iPad without tools and is easy to pry off. It has just the right rigidity to be strong and keep its shape, yet it’s flexible enough to attach to the iPad without effort. That’s a fine art, and I was prepared to be critical on that count. The NuGuard Shell passes with flying colors.
The case wraps around edges, all ports accessible
There are cutouts for every iPad port. One problem I had with the Incase Convertible Book Jacket was that the iPad would slide a few millimeters inside the case and the headphone jack and power button would be partially covered. Because I take a lot of screenshots* for publication, I need to have that power button cleanly accessible.
It’s Got You Covered
I’ve switched to the NuGuard for use around the home office. I sometimes worry about accidentally spilling a drink on to the iPad’s face or scratching it with a heavy glass mug that’s often nearby, but I’m simply more careful. The iPad is either in my lap or in my Keynamics stand, something I also reviewed previously and is also showcased in the photos here.
Keynamics stand not included. Note that Apple logo shows through.
If I travel with the iPad, I’m planning to remove the NuGuard Shell and put the iPad back in the Incase case. That’s sensible because it offers a lot more protection, especially for the glass face of the iPad.
However, around the house or office, this is a terrific, minimalist case. It’ll protect the back and sides from minor scuffs or dirty, gritty surfaces. Best of all, it looks very, very sharp and is nicely priced. Friends might even ask you, “Where did you get a red iPad?” And you can just smile enigmatically.
* An iPad screen shot is taken by pressing and holding the Home button down, then briefly pressing the power button at the top.