Sometimes you need to tone it down a notch in order to really appreciate the device you're using and have paid so much for. Often times the more simple the case is, the more satisfied you end up knowing you've got your investment covered and you haven't spent a arm and a leg doing so. Cue the Tuffwrap case made by XtremeMac. This simple, most basic form of case is made to fit the new iPad 3rd Gen with as much love and care as any other run-of-the-mill case. The full review, after the break!
As we've come to expect, the Tuffwrap is your basic protective case just about every brand has under its line of iPad cases. The Tuffwrap is made out of high-grade silicone, or so XtremeMac says. To me, it feels unmistakably like TPU (thermoplastic), which is much more stiff and less forgiving than silicone. Though that's not to say TPU isn't as good as silicone, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless. The two materials act and feel completely different.
XtremeMac's Tuffwrap isn't as well priced as we would have liked it to be at $35. And to my dismay, it doesn't even come with a screen protector. You'll find this case in six solid colors along with a completely clear version.
The Tuffwrap is flexible and easily installs on the iPad and can be easily removed as well. Once it's on, the Tuffwrap has a form-fitting snug fit, which is exactly what you should look for with these type of cases. It provides a decent lip that overlays the iPad's bezel which elevates the screen so that it cannot come in contact with any surface should you lay it screen side down. One gripe I have with this lip however, is that when holding such a massive tablet with one hand, I tend to grip the side of the bezel where my thumb would rest against the Tuffwrap's lip. Doing so easily stretched the sides of the case outwards resulting in a very annoying scenario to anyone who prefers a perfect and solid fit all the way around.
A criss-cross pattern that overlays the entire case plays a game of shiny vs. matte. I'm not a big fan of this particular style, but if you like plaid, this will be attractive to you. The Tuffwrap case is slim with well rounded, polished corners and edges making handling the iPad comfortable. I found that the Tuffwrap had given me plenty of grip not only with its grainy, grippy exterior texture, but these criss-cross grooves add additional surface traction for your fingers. Perhaps the best thing about this material is that it doesn't attract lint and dust like silicone and other tacky materials do.
When time comes to protect, the Tuffwrap will do good in protecting your iPad from light corner impacts, scratches and scuffs from daily wear and tear. It will not, however, let you use a Smart Cover and it's safe to assume that it could potentially bubble up select screen protectors.
Buttons remain responsive and tactile and the cutouts are all perfectly done except for the speaker holes. I like the idea of not completely cutting a speaker window like a lot of other cases, but there aren't enough perforations made so that some of the iPad's speaker audio doesn't come thru as freely as it should, albeit it isn't all that noticeable.
This far in the game of iPad cases, we feel like XtremeMac's Tuffwrap isn't what we consider to be a perfect TPU case at $35 being that it's simply too plain and basic for what it's worth. Although it comes with very few faults, it's worth considering if you aren't using a Smart Cover and fancy the Tuffwrap's not-so tough looks.