Review: rounding up and testing driving early iPad accessories
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Review: rounding up and testing driving early iPad accessories



Various accessories for the iPad are beginning to roll in, and you can expect to see critiques of them over the next few days. But first up, let's check out Newer Technology's NewerTech Accessory Line for iPad, consisting of case and screen accessories.

The US$9.99 NewerTech NuVue Screen Protector is designed to keep the iPad screen clear and scratch-free without sacrificing performance. And it does as it says -- IF you can apply the thing and manage to eliminate air bubbles. Which I never accomplished.

The NuVue Screen Protector is custom fit for the iPad, and offers a smudge and glare resistant screen protector that's "peel-and-stick." NewerTech says it's easy to install, but it wasn't for me (though I may be the exception to the rule).

Rating: 6 out of 10 for me (9 out of 10 for those who can apply it with no air bubbles).

The $39.99 NewerTech NuVue Screen Protector & Privacy Screen is the Screen Protector's bigger brother. It keeps the iPad screen clear and scratch-free while preventing others from viewing your screen.

It has all the features of its younger sibling, but is designed for open, high-traffic environments where data privacy can be compromised. The NewerTech NuVue Privacy Protector presents a dark, blank screen to others around you without blurring or distorting your direct view. The goal is to let you view your email, private data, and surf the web free from prying eyes while retaining the ability to turn your iPad horizontally and share presentations, videos, and photos viewable from any angle.

I had the same problem with the Privacy Protector as I did with the Screen Protector: a devil of a time applying it with no visible air bubbles. Also, I rarely need to block others from seeing my iPad screen. You may not either if you spend much time showing off pictures and/or videos to others.

Rating: 5 out of 10 for me (8 out of 10 for those who can apply it with no air bubbles).

My favorite of all the NewerTech iPad peripherals is the NewerTech NuGuard Soft Silicone Protective Case. The $17.99 case is available in six colors and offers good protection for the iPad with its silicone cushions. And it does so without bulking up the iPad. It's also removable, which is good as I found it easier to connect the iPad to the Apple Keyboard and Dock with the NuGard removed. The crowning touch is the ergonomically designed side grooves that improve your grip of the Apple device.

I can't vouch for its ability in this regard, but NewerTech says the NuGuard keeps you virus-free as its silicone material doesn't support microbiological growth. The NuGuard Soft case is an excellent example of a simple product with a simple goal that accomplishes that goal well.

Rating: 10 out of 10

I was less enamored of the $24.99 NuGuard Hard Shell Polycarbonate Case, which is a tougher protective shell available in clear or bycast black leather. The transparent polycarbonate shell offers more impact resistance than acrylic shells for maximum protection against scratches, dirt, and oils while showing off the gorgeous looks of your iPad. It's a snap-on case that installs without any tools.

With it on, you have easy access to all ports and controls, including the dock connector port, headphone jack, Micro SIM card tray, volume, screen rotation lock, power and home buttons. The NuGuard Hard Shell does what it promises. However, I prefer the soft case because it offers protection plus enhanced grip.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

All of the announced NewerTech Accessories for iPad are available for ordering from NewerTech's exclusive distributor, Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com/ipad).

Tomorrow we'll look at some accessories from Apple, Fabrix and Hard Candy.

-- Dennis Sellers

 
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