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May 7, 2010 • Reviews

The Newer Technology NuGuard Leather Hard Shell for iPad Review

One of the first things I did after getting my iPad was purchase a screen protector, but it wasn’t long after that before I started thinking about whether I might need a case or not. On the one hand, a case would mean better corner and screen protection in the event of a fall; on the other hand, it would also mean extra weight and bulk added to my otherwise almost perfectly sized device. I liked the idea of a protective layer between the back of my iPad and any surface that I might lay it upon, which is why the NewerTech NuGuard Leather Hard Shell appealed to me when I was approached about reviewing it.

NuGuard brings the touch sensation to both sides of the iPad so you can share your data, media, and presentations with tactile confidence.

Its hard shell black leather case is precision molded to simply friction on and stylishly protect your iPad. Consisting of Impact-resistant plastic with a bycast leather back, NuGuard offers solid protection while complimenting the natural beauty of your iPad.  Go ahead, pass your NuGuard Black Leather Case ensconced iPad around…it feels great to the touch.

This friction-on case installs easily with no tools required and offers unobstructed access to the multitouch screen.

Lightweight and durable, NuGuard doesn’t add bulk to your iPad and provides open access to all ports and controls including dock connector port, headphone jack, Micro SIM card tray, volume, screen rotation lock, power and home buttons.

The NuGuard arrived in a no-frills see-through plastic sleeve, which honestly wasn’t very impressive; but since you aren’t installing the packaging, it shouldn’t really matter. 😉 The NuGuard is composed of hard black matte plastic which perfectly fits the back of the iPad’s metal case, covers the corners, and otherwise leaves open access to every port, switch and button. This protection is minimalistic, but it should be sufficient for someone who is concerned about adding a lot of bulk but doesn’t want a bare iPad.

The back of the shell has had a very thin layer of leather pressed into the edges of the plastic frame and then embossed with a largish “newertechnology” logo; just by looks and touch alone, I couldn’t tell that this backing was leather. Upon closer examination I could see the individual grains, but there is almost a grippy feel to the shell that is more like the rubber paint used on mobile phones than what I would associate with leather. Understand that the shell is not unpleasantly rubbery, or anything like that; it’s just that the grain is very fine and grippy and not buttery smooth like Napa leather. But with that said, if you lift the shell to your nose and sniff, you can smell a leathery essence. On the plus side, this covering creates excellent friction when the iPad is placed on a smooth surface; there is no fear that the iPad will easily slide across a table, for instance.

The newertechnology logo and name is quite dominant across the upper middle of the NuGuard’s back. At least in this case it could be seen as a descriptive term, after all — the iPad certainly is “newer technology”, so you could look at the branding as an answer to an onlooker’s unspoken question. But otherwise … the logo is big enough that I’m glad it’s embossed in black and not a contrasting color.

The iPad is held in the NuGuard shell by friction, which is created at the four corners where the shell covers the corners. This is great because it allows the cover to go on and come off easily, but not too easily.

After installation, everything that you might want to access on the iPad is left exposed and accessible…

The NuGuard is actually quite brilliant in its simplicity, and the best part is that it is priced in line with what I’d be willing to pay for a shell like this — one that offers protection, but not too much bulk; one that covers the back and not the front; one that has a grippy texture, but doesn’t feel like an expensive leather cover; and one that has such a large conspicuous logo, when a smaller one in a less prominent placement would have been preferable.

If you want a shell for your iPad that doesn’t cover any of the ports or buttons, that offers protection without a lot of bulk, and that offers friction when the iPad is placed on a smooth surface, then the NewerTech NuGuard Hard Shell may be just what you’ve been looking for.

The Newer Technology NuGuard Leather Hard Shell for iPad is available directly from NewerTech and their resellers.

MSRP: $24.99

What I Like: Cover provides minimalistic protection to the iPad’s back and corners without adding to much bulk; shell does not block or cover any ports, buttons or switches; price is in line for the materials used, access allowed and the protection it offers; shell provides friction to keep the iPad from sliding on smooth surfaces; friction used on corners makes shell easy to install and remove

What Needs Improvement: The logo size and placement is very prominent, and would look better if smaller and perhaps placed lower

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