TestFreaks | August 29,2013
Review of NuGuard KX for the iPad mini
NewerTech Media Coverage
For today's review we will be checking out the NuGuard KX for the iPad mini. Designed by the folks at OWC, well known for their Apple accessories the NuGuard KX offers military grade protection for your Apple tablet. This case is designed for folks wanting OtterBox like protection without the extreme bulkiness
It works two fold using a plastic protective shell along with an energy distributing liner made of something called X-Orbing gel. OWC selected this material as it redistributes the energy from an impact across the gel liner instead of the iPad mini. The NuGuard KX for the iPad mini is even military drop test certified.
The NuGuard KX for the iPad mini arrives in a white, red and black cardboard package with the case visualized through a clear plastic window. The front cover lifts up to reveal the back of the NuGuard KX for the iPad mini. The inner flap has a QR code for video demonstrating the case's protective capabilities. On the back is a list of features and a description of the product.
Inside the package we find the case by itself. The NuGuard KX for the iPad mini comes in one color – black and is composed of a rubbery plastic exterior shell. For a rugged style protective case the NuGuard KX is fairly flexible when not housing an iPad Mini.
The periphery of the case has opening for all of the inputs and controls. The volume and power buttons are covered by the case while the headphone jack, microphone, speakers, Lightning connector, rotation lock and camera all have easily accessible openings.
OWC designed the NuGuard KX to create a lip on the front of the case to keep the iPad Mini's screen from laying flush with any tabletop surface.
The inside of the shell is lined with the padded X-Orbing gel designed to absorb the kinetic energy of a fall instead of the Apple tablet.
On the back of the case we see the NuGuard KX logo on the bottom right corner with a textured pattern on the rest of the case surface. This texture is designed for aesthetics and to help provide additional security by enhancing the tackiness of the back of the case.
Specifications and Features
NuGuard KX for the iPad mini
Offers X-treme protection against accidental drops, impacts and scratches without sacrificing looks or adding bulk!
Hyper-advanced X-Orbing gel made in the U.S.A.
Plastic imported from Germany.
Protection with hyper-advanced X-Orbing gel
Easy Access to all ports and buttons
One Piece integrated hard shell and soft core offers fast, easy install
Best Warranty gives lifetime peace of mind ownership
Unlike common military-impact case materials, KX uses state-of-the-art X-Orbing gel technology to absorb and evenly distribute kinetic energy for ultimate protection!
This patent pending design allows for protection against accidental drops, impacts and scratches with a lightweight & thin design versus the added bulk found in other more expensive cases that attempt to provide this level of protection!
To install the iPad Mini simply insert one corner into the NuGuard KX and press down on the other three corners bringing the case over the tablet. It is just as simple to remove, just pull down one corner of the case and pull the iPad Mini out. Since the case is more malleable than other heavy-duty iPad Mini cases, it is a simple process of installing and removing the NuGuard KX.
Once the NuGuard KX is in place you will notice a substantial increase in the thickness of the tablet. Surprisingly the NuGuard KX for the iPad mini is very lightweight for a case providing such protection, as it weighs just a few ounces. The rubbery external material makes the case feel secure in one's hands.
Aesthetically the NuGuard KX looks like an ordinary black case. It's rather pedestrian looking and does not stand out in one way or another. Hopefully there will be color choices in the future.
Accessing all of the controls and ports was not a problem although the covered buttons for power and volume took a little more force than usual to transmit to the iPad Mini. The headphone jack area has a square cut out allowing most headphone jacks to fit easily.
The OWC site has a video of an iPad Mini flying down a set of concrete sets to show the ruggedness and protective capabilities of the NuGuard KX. While I did not repeat such testing the NuGuard KX did provide plenty of protection from everyday bumps and the occasional drop.
The raised lip around the main screen provides some protection for the display. Like most cases the screen is still exposed to external danger from direct blows. Sadly, OWC does not provide any form of screen shield, which would be a nice addition for this style of case.
I tested the NuGuard KX during my recent vacation and it survived sitting outdoor and on the beach without a scratch. One event occurred that may or may not have been due to the case; when the direct sun was hitting my iPad Mini after a ½ hour it shut down due to overheating. I am not sure if this happened because of the gel padding which acted like an insulator but I believed it may have contributed as I did not have this issue while using my folio style case.
If you are looking for a rugged case that does not add too much weight and eschews the Otterbox style then the NuGuard KX is a great option. It protects the iPad Mini from trauma in a two-fold fashion – using a rugged shell and then lining it with a gel filled liner that absorbs kinetic energy. While it is rather ordinary looking and only comes in black, it is not an ugly looking case either. Hopefully more color options will become available like OWC offers with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S versions
If you have young children or use your iPad Mini in rough environments then the NuGuard KX for the iPad mini is an excellent choice. For the price and protective capabilities the NuGuard KX for the iPad mini is a great investment in protecting one's Apple tablet
+Simple to apply and remove
+Easy access to all ports and buttons
-Plain looking design
-Adds some bulk
-Lacks included screen shield
Grades: 9 out of 10
Design / Aesthetic
Value / Price
Performance / Usage
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