The NuGuard GripStand/GripBase Bundle from Newer Technology is a combination base (the GripBase) and iPad case/stand/handle, bundled into a single package. This version is specifically for the first generation iPad – if you have a second generation iPad, you can assume the GripStand 2 version is essentially identical to the version reviewed here – except it will actually fit the iPad 2. This version will not fit the second generation iPad, and visa-versa. In either case (get it?) the GripStand/GripBase combo provides a lot of options for holding or standing up your iPad. You can use the pair together to create a media display, or just the GripStand for a more portable carry/prop combo – or even just the GripStand “case” portion for heavy duty drop protection.
The GripStand (also sold separately, if this is all you want) consists of a rubbery-lined hard shell case that covers the back and sides (and extends every so slightly over the front edges) of your iPad. There is a large hole in the center where a grip/prop/ring thing slots in while the GripStand is on your iPad. If you leave it out, you’ll be able to see the Apple logo on your iPad.
Getting the iPad into the shell is a simple matter of gently working it in. There is enough give around the edges that the shell flexes out and then the iPad just “snaps” in. Once in, it wants to stay there. You release it by working your way around from any of the larger port/button openings (I found the bottom by the dock connector to work best) until you have one side out, then you can just pull it out. Not hard to do, but not something you’d want to do many times in a day.
Here’s a closer look at the inside and back of the GripStand cover. The review unit shell came in black plastic, but you can also get it in white. In either case, the interior rubber is that gray color. The dense rubber extends through the plastic shell at the corners of the back, giving your iPad the ability to sit still when placed on slick surfaces. These pads also help to give the iPad some grip when using the GripStand as a prop-up system.
The ring/stand thing simply slots in with a pair of spring-loaded clips, to hold it securely on the back. The same mounting system is used by the base to attach the GripStand to the GripBase. I found the tabs quite easy to squeeze in, yet they provided a secure connection. I wasn’t able to shake it loose even with fairly determined effort. No iPads were harmed in the test.
With the ring attached, you can (if your hands are just a hair slimmer than mine) comfortably hold your iPad sort of like you’d hold a clipboard, which keeps your hand off the edges and (again, if my hands weren’t so wide) might be more comfortable for extended one-handed use.
Before we leave the GripStand, let’s have a look at the cutouts for the various ports and whatnot:
The mute/rotate switch and volume controls:
Speaker and Dock/port:
So, even when wrapped in the GripStand, all of the ports are accessible as you would expect. You can see also in those photos that without the ring attachment, the iPad sits level as you would hope – with the added benefit of staying put thanks to the rubber feet on the back.
With the ring/stand attached, you can stand it up, thusly:
The GripBase is identical for either the iPad or iPad2 GripStand. The GripBase consists of a weighted base with a rotating center, and another one of those spring-loaded connectors on a hinged arm. Perhaps a picture would help explain things:
The assembly here consists of screwing the arm part into the base:
This gives you a base that weighs significantly more than the iPad itself which is a feature – you don’t want the thing wobbling around if you poke at the iPad while it’s perched on it. The combination of 360 degree swivel and 180-plus degree hinge at the top gives you the ability to adjust the iPad display pretty much any way you need to, when the GripStand and GripBase are attached. This would be typical for browsing, or working:
Perhaps you prefer to hang from the ceiling while watching something on the iPad? No problem:
Silliness aside, even at that extreme angle the combination was rock solid. I was able to tap fairly hard on the iPad screen and it felt secure. It’s possible to attach the iPad in either portrait or landscape orientation (either via the ring/stand, or the base) so you’re covered in whichever orientation you prefer. If you want to change orientations, you do need to compress the locking tabs, and re-clip them in the new orientation. I’d consider that a feature, since that’s one way the connection is made so robust.
Gripping Final Words
If you’re considering a stand for your iPad (or iPad 2, just be sure to get the GripStand 2) this is a very versatile, stable, and secure combination. If you’re using the iPad in an environment where you’d need to quickly transition from “stand” to “carry”, to “prop” then this combo would give you the flexibility to do that without having to extract the iPad from the GripStand case. My concern when reviewing this product, and trying to use it over several days, was that for a lot of the day I use my iPad naked. I might keep it in a carrying case to protect it while it’s flopping around in a backpack, but when it’s time to use it I personally prefer to just slide it out of whatever case it’s in and use it. The GripStand isn’t really made for that kind of use, so I found I dreaded the extraction/insertion process, which eventually lead to me only rarely putting it in the GripStand.