Gripster Wrap Review

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Native Union Gripster Wrap

(Continued from: My Quest for the Ultimate iPad Air Stand)

By now, I had known for some time that the Gripster I knew and loved from my iPad 3 days had been redesigned for the iPad Air and renamed the Gripster Wrap. Now, instead of being designed to work with Apple Smart Cover, they had designed it with an integrated cover of its own. This new cover includes the magnets to turn the iPad off and on, but it has a different folding scheme than the Smart Cover,. Instead of folding into a stand, it rolls up and tucks out of the way, at the back of the case. I wasn’t too thrilled about the addition of a non-removable cover on the Gripster Wrap, but the redesign of the back grip/stand portion intrigued me.

The hinged and rotating grip/handle and stand portion on the back of the Gripster case was completely overhauled. It’s smaller (that’s good), less bulky (also good), and now includes a small elastic strap that you can put a few fingers through for one-handed use (interesting). The shell casing was no longer a shiny plastic, but a dull finish that did not show fingerprints as much as the old Gripster. It also wasn’t the “soft touch” rubberized material that picks up stains like the RooCase.

The Gripster Wrap is also available for the iPad mini and iPad 2/3/4. As I was researching this article, I also discovered that Native Union is now offering the “Gripster Original” for iPad Air and iPad mini. It offers all the advantages of the redesigned back shell grip and stand, without the annoying Wrap cover.

I spent about six week using the Gripster Wrap on my iPad Air and here’s what I liked and didn’t like.

I liked:

  • The grip/handle is comfortable for holding the iPad one-handed for long periods.
  • Offers a variety of hand-held positions for avoiding fatigue.
  • Finger strap secures the iPad when holding it.
  • Stand rotates and tilts to virtually any position, landscape and portrait.
  • Cover cleans easily.
  • Provides full-body protection for your iPad.
  • Back plastic does not show every fingerprint like the original Gripster.

I didn’t like:

  • Adds significant weight and bulk to the iPad.
  • Integrated cover can not be set aside and gets in the way often.
  • Rolling up the attached cover is annoying.
  • Few color choices (only gray was available when I purchased, and I hate gray!)
  • Cover leaves a lot of lines across the iPad screen glass.
  • iPad wobbles if laid flat on its back.
  • Rolled-up cover gets in the way when standing the iPad in portrait orientation. (You have to unroll it slightly and let it stick out from the side.)
  • Front of cover shows scratches and marks.
  • It’s expensive.

It’s a shame that Native Union had to redesign the back-shell-only Gripster into the full-body Gripster Wrap. I understand that they needed to remove some of the bulk, but the addition of an integrated cover was a bad move, in my opinion. And it seems Native Union has realized the mistake as they are now offering the “Gripster Original” without the built-in cover. I wish it had been an option three months ago! That said, aside from the color, I was fairly satisfied with my drab gray Gripster Wrap and probably would have gone on using it, if the Lynktec 360 Grip Stand hadn’t unexpectedly come to my attention.

Native Union Website

Next Up: Lynktec 360 Grip Stand

Table of Contents:

  1. Apple Smart Cover
  2. RooCase Origami Review
  3. ZeroChroma Solo Review
  4. Native Union Gripster Wrap Review (this page)
  5. LYNKtec 360 Grip Stand Review

Explore some unique iPad Cases featuring my Dad’s art.

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