A Stability of Type & Operate: NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

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OtterBox circumstances are very protecting, however large.

iDevices are costly, comparatively fragile and extremely transportable, a combination that usually leads to heartbreak and tears as house owners scrape the stays of their go-to cellular system from the sidewalk. Unsurprisingly, many firms have sought to deal with this actuality by creating ultra-protective, powerful circumstances that declare to guard our treasured gadgets from every kind of bodily trauma.

Some firms, similar to OtterBox, take this mission to the restrict. They provide extremely sturdy circumstances that certainly defend iPhones and iPads, but in addition add a big quantity of thickness and weight to the merchandise. Moreover, these case types usually utterly enclose the system, making eradicating the case for no matter cause a little bit of a chore (as a former Apple Retail Genius, I hated seeing clients strategy the Genius Bar with an iPhone in an OtterBox cowl as a result of I knew I must spend the following 5 minutes prying the telephone get out).

Different firms are taking a extra balanced strategy by providing circumstances with elevated safety that don’t add a lot weight and might be simply eliminated if essential. One such firm is NewerTech, which is the personal model of the outdated Apple equipment firm Different World Computing (OWC). Earlier this yr, OWC launched the NewerTech NuGuard KX case for the iPhone, a product that acquired rave evaluations. It featured a glossy design that protected the hooked up iPhone with a layer of “X-Orbing” gel to offer cushioning from drops and bumps.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPhone

The NewerTech KX collection seeks a compromise between type and performance.

Now OWC is able to carry the identical know-how and design to the iPad mini. We obtained a preview of a NuGuard KX for iPad mini case and, after spending a couple of week with it, now we have some hands-on impressions to share.


The NuGuard KX for the iPad mini has an analogous design to that of its iPhone-focused sibling. The one-piece building includes a tender however grippy rubber exterior mixed with the padded “X-Orbing” gel inside. The entire case itself is sort of versatile, which permits it to soak up the power of an impression.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

There are entry factors and across the edges of the case buttons for all operation and enter of the iPad mini options. The headphone jack, microphone, rotation swap, digicam, audio system and Lightning connector port are all accessible via the offered openings within the housing, whereas the lock and quantity switches have a built-in buttons that bodily move a person’s press to the iPad button beneath.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

The again of the suitcase options a sexy fashionable sample together with the NuGuard KX emblem. Nonetheless, the design sample goes past seems to be and is textured to offer further grip when holding.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini


Putting in (and eradicating) an iPad mini from the NuGuard KX is actually a breeze. Merely insert one nook of the iPad into the corresponding nook of the NuGuard KX, then press the remaining corners. Pressure retains the iPad firmly in place. When it’s time to take away it, simply pry one nook again till the iPad is uncovered and flip out the remaining corners. It’s a design that ought to be acquainted to most iDevice house owners who’ve ever used a third-party cowl, and you may insert and take away the iPad mini in seconds.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

As soon as the iPad mini is positioned within the case, you’ll discover that the NuGuard KX, at simply 8 ounces, provides no noticeable weight. It provides some bulk to the iPad mini, however far lower than many different circumstances that publicize an analogous stage of safety. In actual fact, we typically discover the iPad mini a bit too skinny; tough to carry and straightforward to drop. With the NuGuard KX, we felt that the iPad was a lot simpler to carry. The little bit of additional thickness and the sturdy again made all of the distinction.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

Throughout the day-to-day use of the iPad mini within the NuGuard KX, we didn’t encounter any vital usability points. The digicam gap didn’t hinder taking pictures and movies and the audio system sounded the identical as with no cowl. The rotation lock swap was accessible, though these with massive fingers could have some problem reaching it within the recessed state. Additionally the built-in passthrough buttons as a result of the lock and quantity do work, however it’s important to hit them from a extra direct, perpendicular angle. Urgent them in from an angle, as you may be capable of do with the iPad’s native buttons, doesn’t all the time produce a response from the system. In others phrases, by hitting the switches of the iPad and buttons with no case is unquestionably simpler, however the expertise with the NuGuard KX is satisfying given the advantages the case gives.


OWC has a number of movies demonstrating the NuGuard KX’s safety in addition to the capabilities of the X-Orbing gel. The corporate advertises that the checks carried out on the NuGuard KX meet navy normal necessities (MIL-STD-810G).

We didn’t have a big concrete staircase to check with, however we did a collection of drop checks from a peak of about 5 ft onto a hardwood desk.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

Our iPad mini has handed all checks with out scratches. Based mostly on our testing and the checks carried out by OWC, we’re assured that our iPad mini will survive many of the falls that we’re more likely to encounter in our each day travels.

A degree of concern, nevertheless, is the show. The NuGuard KX doesn’t present full safety for the iPad’s display screen, which a number of the bigger circumstances do. This omission was a essential trade-off for the lowered thickness and weight of the case. Moderately than full display screen, the NuGuard KX has a noticeable rise across the fringe of the iPad’s display screen.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

This elevation, or lip, retains the iPad’s display screen off the floor when going through down. This could present enough safety for the most typical eventualities the place the iPad falls onto a flat floor, similar to a concrete ground or tarmac car parking zone. Nonetheless, if the bottom is uneven, similar to a rocky path whereas strolling, it’s certainly attainable {that a} protruding rock or different object will hit and injury the display screen. Potential consumers must weigh the advantages of a case just like the NuGuard KX towards their possible unintentional fall eventualities.

consumers involved about scratches may pair the NuGuard KX with certainly one of plenty of film-like display screen protectors, that are totally appropriate with the NuGuard’s design.

Check falls apart, the case stored our iPad mini shielded from all different hazards throughout our testing and the case itself, though dirty because of the textured floor, was retained up lovely and straightforward to scrub with a easy damp material.

It is available in black

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini

We normally favor darkish coloured equipment, however the NuGuard KX for iPad mini could not go well with everybody’s design style. Not like the NuGuard KX for iPhone, which is available in quite a lot of colours, the iPad mini model is at present solely provided in an nearly black shade referred to as “Darkness”.

Whereas we wouldn’t advise individuals searching for brilliant designs to keep away from the case altogether, if shade is mostly a high precedence, you most likely received’t be proud of the present choice for the iPad mini.

All in all

We now have to confess, despite the fact that we watched the OWC drop movies repeatedly beforehand, we have been nervous about operating our personal drop checks with our private {hardware}. Once you first unpack the NuGuard KX and see and really feel it in particular person, it’s laborious to consider that such a comparatively skinny and light-weight case can present as a lot safety as the corporate claims. However after taking our personal checks, we’re believers.

The duvet not solely protected our iPad mini, but in addition made it simpler to carry. Whereas the display screen stays unprotected from direct assaults, it’s reassuring to know that our iPad is protected towards the most typical trial and error.

The buttons and switches weren’t that straightforward to function in comparison with a unadorned iPad, and we want the case have been out there in additional colours, however these are minor shortcomings of a superb case. If in case you have an iPad mini (or another iDevice) then it’s best to undoubtedly contemplate a case, and we’ve but to see a case for the mini that provided a robust stage of safety in a skinny and light-weight bundle. At $ 40, it’s a smart funding to guard your $ 329 + system.

The NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad mini is obtainable beginning immediately from OWC for $ 39.99. It has a full 30-day return coverage and a lifetime substitute assure.

NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPad miniNuGuard KX for iPad miniProducer: NewerTechVogue mannequin: IPDMKXDKValue: $ 39.99Compatibility: First era iPad miniPublication date: January 2021

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