I love cases for my electronics almost as much as I love the gadgets themselves. Before I received my iPad on April 3 (thank you, Julie!), I had been scouring the internet for leather cases and bags. Once I held the iPad in my hands, I realized that its size and shape might not work well in the book-style leather cases I usually prefer. Since Apple had already announced a delay in shipping their case and since most manufacturers don’t have cases for new devices for a few weeks after release, I resigned myself to using a “naked” iPad. I didn’t have to suffer case-less for very long, though.
My husband, Butch, was seized with a sudden case of iPad fever after seeing mine, and we made a trip to the local Apple store that Saturday afternoon. They not only had some iPads still in stock, they also had a variety of iPad cases and accessories. I decided on the Belkin Grip Vue case in clear.
The Belkin Grip Vue looks similar to those silicone cases that cover the back and sides and leave the front of the device uncovered except for a small “frame” around the screen. The Grip Vue isn’t made of silicone, though. It’s made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) material that’s impact-resistant and dense enough to protect the back and sides of the iPad from damage. It feels very sturdy, and it even comes with a one-year warranty.
The case adds a little to the size and weight of the iPad. The Grip Vue weighs 8 oz, which brings the iPad up to 2 pounds. The dimensions are 7.75” X 0.7” X 9.75”, so it adds about 0.2” in thickness and length and almost 0.3” in width. The TPU material is stiffer than the silicone cases I’d seen in the past, so it took a little effort to get it on the iPad. Once it was in place, I didn’t notice the extra weight or size.
The case doesn’t feel sticky, but it does greatly improve my grip on the iPad. The back of the naked iPad is slippery enough that I was afraid I’d drop it, but the Grip Vue case gives me confidence that it won’t slip out of my fingers. I even tried holding it in one hand and waving it around a little bit (a few inches above my soft bed, because I’m not stupid!) without it slipping out of my grip at all. And since it’s not sticky, the Grip Vue doesn’t pick up lint like the silicone cases I tried in the past.
I chose the clear case because I wanted to be able to see the metal back of the iPad. The Grip Vue isn’t as clear as polycarbonate cases. It’s translucent and adds just a slight milky look to the back of the iPad. I don’t mind this at all. It reminds me of my first glossy white iPod.
All controls and ports are accessible while the iPad is in the Belkin Grip Vue. The power/sleep button and volume rocker are covered by raised “bumps” in the TPU. I found both buttons operate flawlessly through the case. There are openings for the headphone jack and microphone at the top, an opening on the right side for the screen lock switch, and openings for the speaker and dock connector on the bottom. I’ve had no problem using any of these openings. The microphone works well, and the speaker doesn’t sound any different to me with the case on. I easily access the screen lock switch, and I can charge the iPad using its charging cable. I don’t have a dock, but I don’t think the iPad would fit in a dock wearing the Grip Vue sleeve.
I recommend the Belkin Grip Vue case in clear. It doesn’t add much more in size than a skin, but it offers more protection than a skin would. I consider it my $50.00 insurance policy for the iPad. I got mine at the local Apple store, but you can also order them from Apple online or directly from Belkin.