Review: G-Form Extreme Edge for iPad/iPad 2/iPad (3rd-Gen)
We've seen some slightly strange cases from G-Form before, but Extreme Edge ($45) crosses right over that line -- it's the first case in recent memory that left us actively wondering whether the sample we received was even put together properly. The open-faced case is generic enough to fit any iPad along with a number of other 10" tablets, but it's not a good choice for any of them, a weak concept made worse by poor execution.
Extreme Edge can’t really be described as a case: it’s a panel of the company’s distinctive shock absorbing material with military grade ballistic nylon on the other side. Were it not for the molded camera hole and nylon parts, Extreme Edge would look as if it was assembled from scraps of G-Form’s Extreme Sleeve and other, similar products. The same combination of materials is used to cover the four corners of the tablet, which are Extreme Edge’s only restraint system.
We received a unit for testing that had the foam material on the inside, which struck us as odd considering some press shots showed it on the outside. Further research revealed that two styles are available, explaining the incongruence. Oddly, Extreme Edge’s product page on G-Form’s web site allows customers to choose the color but not the style; we’re not sure how a user is supposed to make his or her desires clear during the ordering process.
Regardless of the version, all Extreme Edges come with RPT protective material inside the comers and nylon facing out. Inserting the iPad takes a little bit more effort than we expected, although the fit is snug enough that the tablet will stay in place. Instead of proper openings that would allow you to change the volume or turn the iPad off, the case simply has the aforementioned iSight camera opening, with another in proximity to the headphone port. Move the case around a little and you should be able to get straight and narrow plugs connected; otherwise, the Sleep/Wake button, side switch, and volume rocker are totally blocked.
As awkward as an iPad may look in Extreme Edge, it’s even more difficult to hold and use. The case is bulky and doesn’t fit the iPad particularly well, making the entire experience unpleasant. Not only does it make the iPad taller and wider, but it bulges in the back too. Between the shape and the materials, it just doesn’t feel right.
Like all of G-Form’s products, the concept behind Extreme Edge is that it’ll protect your device from drops and falls—an idea that has worked for its past sleeves, but not for this playthrough case. Not only is it unattractive, but it doesn’t properly fit any one device, and doesn’t feel great, either. It’s a clear miss from a company that’s nobly trying to expand its offerings, but doing so with a limited array of materials. There’s just no reason to pick this one up, but if G-Form keeps iterating on the theme, it may come up with something worthwhile.