First Look: Incipio NGP Matte for iPad
Now that case designers have had the opportunity to refine their earliest designs using actual iPad hardware, we're starting to see more interesting and polished options: Incipio's new NGP Matte ($40) is a prime example. Though the case is conceptually similar to its earlier silicone rubber Dermashot designs, NGP Matte uses tightly molded TPU plastic to produce a sturdier, thinner frame that is pliable enough to easily place on the iPad, yet firm enough to remain on without issues. The case notably does not feature the box-shaped Apple logo highlight shown in earlier renders on Incipio's web site -- no loss -- but does have a nice matte texture that feels "right" relative to glossy and sticky versions we've seen elsewhere. NGP Matte's tapered speaker, headphone port, and screen lock switch holes and button protectors are all spot-on, but the Dock Connector port hole could use a little extra space to accommodate Apple's iPad Camera Connector Kit and similarly wider-than-Apple-cable accessories. A screen protector and cleaning cloth will be included; multiple colors will, as always, be available.
On May 13, 2010, iLounge published The Complete Guide to iPad Cases and Protection, a multi-page comparison of over 70 different iPad cases and film protectors, sorted by genre. The following details were added to this piece by that comparison article; please click on the link above for additional comparative discussion of similar protective options.
As much as we really like cases that show sparks of inspired design, there’s something to be said for neutrality and simplicity. NGP Matte is that, providing the sort of button and bezel coverage we liked in Metrolpad and missed in Incipio’s Feather shell, while offering a bigger, better headphone port hole and a smaller, less third-party-ready Dock Connector hole. The button covers here are actually better than Macally’s as they’re not flush with the case, and though the matte plastic isn’t as flashy as Macally’s on the back, you have more color choices. And screen film in the package. But the price is higher, little imperfections in the molding are there, and you have to be okay with “plain” and “neutral.” If you are, this is a very good option. It’ll be available soon.