Mac Observer | November 14, 2013
3 iPad Air Cases that Won't Weigh it Down
NewerTech Media Coverage
Protection is important for your iPad Air, but one doesn't want a case that defeats that airy feeling that it's known for. This is a review of three cases from iLuv, Newertech, and Speck that are in the 6 to 9 ounce (170 to 255 g) range They're not the lightest possible cases, but the protection is good.
The iPad Air weighs just a little over a pound. At 28 percent lighter that the previous generation, it doesn't seem like much, but the effect is astonishing. Accordingly, to preserve that feeling, one would prefer a case that affords good protection but doesn't weigh the iPad Air down. Anything in the 1 to 6 ounce range would be extraordinary and preserve that airy feeling.
The cases reviewed here are some of the earliest available. They're mid-weight, in the 6 to 9 ounce range. Even though they weigh more than one might wish, all were judged to have very good protection. Plus, the combined weight is more or less the same as the bare 1.46 pound iPad 4.
3. Newertech Nuguard KX for iPad Air ($89.95)
This is a different kind of case, a shell case that wraps around the back plus a little bit around the front edge, but leaves the display exposed. While that may seem like a bad thing, it's an advantage for fairly safe environments. Plus, it leaves the camera lens always exposed, as any iPhone's case would. However, unlike the folio cases which have a flap that protects the display duing travel, throwing this case into a backpack is problematic unless you buy an additional plastic or tempered glass display protector.
The case material is an exceptionally cushiony and lightweight, and the light and airy feeling of the iPad Air is better preserved than the two cases above.
The power/sleep button is covered with a push-through button, but the action remains easy and light to the touch.
The only available color is a dark gray. It complements my space gray and black iPad Air well, but the photos of it on a silver/white iPad Air suggest a pleasing contrast of dark gray and white.
Also, this case is quite a bit more expensive than the other two reviewed here. My take is that the material is somewhat more exotic and expensive to manufacture. The grip is excellent, and you'll feel more like a starship officer holding this case and iPad. The two folio cases above make one feel as if reading a conventional book.
One notable thing about this case is that the opening at the bottom for the Lightning conector and the stereo speakers is ribbed, providing extra strength. I also found it very easy to insert and remove the iPad Air from this case.
Like many shell cases, this one wraps around to the front just slightly so that when you lay it face down, the display is protected. What's notable here is that the case's edge is a bit thicker than gel cases, so that the protection, that is, the distance from the table surface, is even greater. It was a good feeling for me.
At 6.4 ounces (182 grams), this case still had that (almost) feeling of a lightweight iPad Air. It's about the heaviest case that can do that in my subjective analysis.
For those who would prefer a wrap around shell case, and this is a very good one. It has all the right features, feels good, looks good, is grippy and thick and cushiony. The push-through power button has a light feel. However, when I recently had to toss my iPad Air into a briefcase for a short trip, I replaced it with a folio case to protect the display. Easy on and easy off is the key in that scenario. For everyday use in an office, this is a great case. The TMO rating is 4/5.
Recommendation: include a tempered glass display protector.
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