Incase Meta Slider for iPhone 5
Incase's Slider case has been around, in pretty much the same form, since the first iPhone. Now, with Meta Slider ($35) and Shock Slider for iPhone 5 ($50), it's branching out, evolving the style into new options. These two new cases are still sliders, but add extra levels of protection that make them more appealing. Compared to the most recent Slider Case, they're certainly more interesting, although we'd say only one is worthy of your consideration.
Meta Slider is not unlike Pro Slider Case for iPhone 4. Instead of just hard plastic, the body is augmented with co-molded rubber around the front edge. This includes protection for the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons, a valuable addition. The bottom cap looks pretty much the same, although when you remove it you’ll realize that the back support has been elongated, and runs a full four inches up the back of the iPhone 5. It’s lined with a pad of microsuede for protection, and slides securely into a matching recession. Along the bottom edge is just a single opening for the ports and grates, which isn’t the most protective design, but does ensure adapter compatibility. The case is a step up from the standard Slider, while maintaining the same price.
Shock Slider is an even greater departure from the style; it’s not all that different from Incase’s recent Systm Vise in its design, although it doesn’t come with a belt clip and is slimmer. This one comes as three pieces instead of two; there are the standard hard plastic sliding components, as well as a rubber skin. That’s the layer that fits directly around the iPhone, and Incase says it can be used as a standalone case. It incorporates the same kind of button coverage as Meta Slider, as well as a raised protective lip. Coverage is more thorough along the bottom, where there are three openings—one for the speaker, another for the Lightning port, and the last for the microphone and headphone port.
Two aspects of the case make it more protective than others. The first is the Poron XRD foam lining the back of the rubber case. This material helps absorbs shocks, and protect your iPhone. Then, of course, there’s the slider. The soft-touch plastic fits snugly around the rubber. It leaves openings for the Sleep/Wake button, iSight camera, volume buttons and silent switch, and the I/O along the bottom, without adding too much extra bulk. Shock Slider is certainly slimmer than Vise.
Compared to Slider, both of these cases are more protective options. Meta Slider maintains essentially the same footprint and design, while adding button protection and rubberized edges. Both are features we appreciate, as is the fact that the price is the same. It’s enough to earn Meta Slider our general recommendation. Shock Slider, on the other hand, is also quite nice, but it’s about $10 too expensive. If it were to fall into a more reasonable price range, we’d be more impressed. As it is, we like the fact that it’s really two cases in one, and the use of the Poron XRD is something we’re happy to see. It’s worthy of a B- rating. There are more distinctive and protective options for that kind of money, but this is still a good option.