By Tommy Ly on Wed, 12/11/2013
The new iPad Air is amazingly thin, light, and most importantly, fragile. Tylt aims to ruggedize Apple's new flagship tablet with the RUGGD case ($49.99), which does a bit more than simply protect your precious new tablet.
The RUGGD is composed of a hard outer shell made of plastic, vulcanized copolymer, and rubber, with its inner liner designed to absorb energy from drops or falls. The corners of the case are triple reinforced, but don't add too much bulk.
Weighing just under half a pound, the RUGGD doesn't add much bulk for a heavy-duty type of case. Of course, the case offers no protection to the iPad's screen, although it does extend over the front glass just enough to offer lay-on-table protection.
Lastly, the wow factor of the RUGGD comes from its built-in kickstand that snaps in and out of the back of the case.
With a case like this, it's nice to know the protection is there, but unfortunately it comes at the cost of losing the whole "Air" part of the iPad Air. It's a fairly light case for sure, but any added weight to the Air should be considered a compromise. That said, the rubberized edges of the RUGGD add a nice grip to the Air's smooth body and the volume button overlays don't reduce the tactility of the buttons.
The kickstand is a handy feature for watching movies and playing games, but only if you want your iPad in landscape orientation. Although the angles are somewhat adjustable, the overall range is limited, but should be fine for most desk setups.
The RUGGD's rubberized edges are somewhat of a double-edged sword. While the added grip is nice, the case didn't slide so nicely into any compartments in my bag. The portability of the iPad Air is one of its best features, but the added second or two of yanking the case-clad slab of tech from your bag reduces that understated quality of the Air.
• Solid protection
• Convenient kickstand
• Provides grip
• High price with no all-around protection
• Limited display angles with kickstand
• Reduces iPad portability
The RUGGD is a decent contender in the iPad case arena, but for the price you can find plenty of other options—many of which offer full protection of the iPad Air's screen and body. But if you have a stay-at-home iPad, or your iPad is heavily exposed to children, you can't go wrong with the RUGGD.