Without a real specification sheet or metrics for standard benchmarks, today's look at the NewerTech GripStand 2 and GripBase will be more like a show-and-tell. NewerTech is part of the same group that is also responsible for Other World Computers. Their products are sold at Macsales.com, one of the largest Mac specific e-tailers we've been able to find.
By now just about everyone who reads TweakTown on a regular basis knows OWCs for their solid state drives. Newer Technology has an even larger presents in the Mac accessories market. On the Newer Technology website we spotted several categories of products that range from memory to screen covers with everything in between available as well.
Being a long time PC fan I was pulled into the Apple world through another company, Pioneer Electronics. My Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT car audio/navigation unit uses an iPod Classic as a music storage device, my first Apple purchase. I'm a big Pioneer fan and love their products. In the home we have two Pioneer Elite SC-37 receivers for the main and upstairs floors that pump audio to the living room, back patio, master bedroom, master bathroom and garage. A Pioneer Elite SC-57 resides in the home theater and also pumps audio and video to my office adjacent to the home theater. As you can imagine managing remote controllers can be an issue with so many locations under the control of just three receivers. This is where the iPad comes into play. Pioneer Electronics built a very nice iOS remote control software package that provides control of everything through an IP interface, no matter where we are in the house. If you want to tame the kids in the living room from the kitchen, all you need is the iPad and within three or four seconds the volume can be brought to within reason.
Using one device to rule them all means that device is in constant use. Wear and tear is an understatement on regular remotes, but when one device acts as the remote for three receivers, two Blu-Ray players and a TV, our iPad gets a workout every day. This is where the NewerTech NuGuard comes into play for protecting the iPad 2 and it's also where we'll start this review.
NewerTech NuGuard GripStand 2
Macsales.com is offering the NuGuard GripStand 2 and GripBase together as a bundle. At the time of writing this package was available for $37.99. The standard price is $59.90, so the sale price offers significant savings.
The NuGuard GripStand 2 acts as the base for the bundle system and is available on its own for $23.99. The GripStand 2 is available in either black or white. This is a dual purpose system that can be used to prop your iPad 2 up on a desk or you can use the circular hook to hold your iPad 2 in hand.
The wrap around case grips your iPad 2 firmly with a gel like rubber. Before deploying the system for use in the house I held the iPad upside down while in the case and with the handle, then shook the unit violently over the couch to make sure the iPad wouldn't fall out even under this extreme of a test. The iPad 2 held in place just fine without even a slip or corner sliding out of place.
Attaching the included grip is quite easy. The two gray tabs on the side slide into the round ring in the middle of the iPad holder piece. You can position the grip in four different positions at 90 degree intervals. There is a positive stop lock at each position and you have to press the two gray tabs to move from one position to another. This allows you to move the iPad from landscape and portrait positions easily.
On its own the GripStand 2 does a good job holding an iPad 2 in place on your solid surface desk or workbench. Again, you can position the system in landscape or portrait positions, but the iPad is resting on the desk, so you'll have to look down on the unit. For casual use this is fine, but for power iPad users this could be an issue.
The NewerTech GripBase is a versatile tool that turns your iPad 2 into a convenient terminal style workstation. There are two main pieces that screw together to form the base. The actual base of the unit has a wide stance and is weighted to keep your unit from being tipped over. The gray middle spins for easy rotation.
The vertical standoff piece offers a few different positions for holding your iPad 2, vertical and horizontal in both high and low positions.
Here we see the GripBase together. The round "Grip" piece at the top is identical to the GripStand minus the round ring for holding the system. This is the high position, you can swivel the grip part under for the low position.
Here we see the high position with the iPad elevated from your desk.
Here we see the low position. Here the iPad is still elevated off the desk but is still very low to the desk.
In the base and in the high position you will want to use a Bluetooth keyboard or have something against the iPad on the back side. The swivel tends to make touch screen difficult to use when touching the outer edges of the display. The iPad swivels when you start pressing on the screen. This gets worse as you move further away from the center of the screen.
Not that the Newer Technology GripBase / GripStand 2 bundle isn't complete as we've shown so far, there is yet another option for mounting the iPad. Included is an automotive headrest wrap around. This allows you to mount your iPad 2 to your car's headrest for viewing movies or other content while on the go and in the back seat.
The Newer Technology GripBase / GripStand bundle is a very versatile unit that allows you to comfortably hold your iPad 2, prop it on your desk and even use it in your car to view content. Adding a Bluetooth keyboard and using the included base turns your iPad into a useful minicomputer for comfortably writing emails or surfing the web. The only thing I need in my very specialized application is a way to mount the system to a couch.
Aside from all of the mounting options the system also offers a certain level of protection for your iPad 2 as well. The gel like rubber that holds your iPad 2 in place also protects against shock. Without special testing equipment we can't give you a shock value for an iPad 2 with and without the holder, but it's easy to determine from the construction and feel that the holder would buffer a direct hit or in most cases a drop.
At just $37.99 from Macsales.com the bundle is good value considering everything that is included and the options it offers. At this point I couldn't imagine having my iPad 2 without the NuGuard system. Without either of the attachments the holder is a seamless extension of the iPad 2, one that you don't even notice since it doesn't add a significant amount of weight or bulk. The hand grip add-on doesn't do much for me since I don't walk around with the iPad 2 very often. It does make for an easy way to prop the iPad 2 up on the outside patio table.
The base accessory is bulkier than the stand and less portable. It does offer a wide range of viewing options. In the high position the iPad 2 is nearly eye level when sitting on a standard computer desk. The swivel built into the desk base station can be a bit of a pain when using the touch screen, but a keyboard takes care of that.
NewerTech includes a one year warranty and a 30-Day no risk, no hassle money back guarantee. If you purchase one I highly doubt you would return it for lack of features.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de