It’s kind of odd that TabGrip markets its product as “more than a case or stand”. In reality, TabGrip 2 for iPad 2 ($40) is not quite a case and not exactly a typical stand. What it really is is a cross-shaped plastic and rubber accessory designed to add stand functionality and some — but not much — protection to Apple’s second-generation tablet. Even when combined with the more protective TG Sleeve ($15), it is not a very desirable accessory.
TabGrip 2 is almost identical to the version for the first-generation tablet. Even though the company claims a whole new product, we’re pretty sure it’s the same accessory rebranded with some extra padding. The main component is a thin, flexible rubber cross that stretches across the back of the iPad 2. There’s a hole in the middle exposing the Apple logo—a design choice we continue to urge manufacturers to stop using. At the four ends there are plastic handgrips that hold the accessory onto the back of the tablet with tension.
Each grip has a flip-out stand built in. Fold a pair out and TabGrip 2 raises off the ground to your desired angle. The top and bottom grips each have a hole in their cores to allow connection of a Dock Connector cable, so TabGrip can be installed in either direction. This causes a bit of a problem though, as the legs only fold out one way. Put the cross on upside-down and the stands are too. While this won’t be a big problem with the mostly orientation-agnostic iPad 2, it may be troublesome with some apps. When installed correctly, the legs do provide a wide range of angles for viewing in both landscape and portrait, as well as for typing.
Needless to say, TabGrip 2 offers very little protection against drops and bumps. Almost the same percentage of the iPad 2 is covered as is not, and there’s absolutely no coverage for the glass touchscreen. While there may be those who truly appreciate the stand functionality, it is impossible to look past just how little this solution does offer as a case.
Available as an optional accessory, TG Sleeve offers more coverage than TabGrip 2 on its own. It is a thin, oversized neoprene sleeve that zips open three-quarters of the way. Unfortunately, it’s not tailored to fit either generation of the iPad well. Measuring 12” by 9.25”, there are extra inches in both directions, allowing the tablet to move around when encased. It seems clear that TabGrip knows its flagship product isn’t protective enough. We wish the company had a better solution to a problem they shouldn’t have anyway.
Overall, TabGrip 2 offers very little to like, and the price cements it as an all-around bad deal. While we do appreciate the creativeness demonstrated, it is certainly not worth any of the sacrifices that Tab Grip demands. We’ve seen much better stand-and-case combos for $40 that we’d recommend well before this one. Put simply, it’s not a good accessory. We don’t recommend it; it’s worthy of a D+ rating.
Company and Price
Model: TabGrip 2, TG Sleeve
Price: $40, $15
Compatible: iPad 2