Gripcase is a thick foam surround for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation iPads, and iPad Mini. The case features a handle that allows students to grip the iPad from any angle and easily transport it without fear of damage.
Gripcase is made of EVA foam (the same material that trainer soles are made from) which gives the case a durable feel while still having adequate flexibility to cushion even the most violent falls. Because of this the case will take a good amount of abuse from students — imagine an iPad surrounded by a dog toy and you have a good idea of the durability of Gripcase.
As an experiment we tried to damage an already faulty iPad by throwing it hard onto a classroom floor several times. The Gripcase protected the iPad brilliantly from any damage and the device lives to tell the tale. It's safe to say that even if your school undertook a policy of throwing iPads from the trolley to the students (still not recommended!) they would come to little harm.
Imagine an iPad surrounded by a dog toy and you have a good idea of the durability of the Gripcase.
The Gripcase features holes for the iPad's speaker, docking connector, wake button, volume buttons, and headphone jack, so nothing is obstructed from use and easily accessible to students.
The case is great for students to just grab an iPad from a trolley and march happily arms swinging back to the classroom. The surrounding handles are raised above the surface of the iPad's screen, so unless it is dropped directly face down on a small jagged object it is very difficult to cause any damage to the iPad.
Inserting the iPad into Gripcase
It's very difficult to insert the iPad into the Gripcase, in fact with at least two of the seventy cases we tried we acutally had to give up for fear of putting too much stress on the iPads screen and ended up returning the Gripcase to the supplier. This appears to be a minor manufacturing error as other Gripcases from the same batch worked perfectly well.
What this means, however, is that the device is held exceptionally securely in the Gripcase. You never have to fear that the iPad will come free of the case and drop to the floor but also means that taking the iPad out of the case regularly is not a good idea.
Storing Gripcase in an iPad Trolley
Gripcase does add a good couple of inches in both height and width, and maybe an inch in depth to the iPad. As a result storing Gripcase in a trolley designed specifially for iPads may be an issue and, as I mentioned before, this isn't a product you want to be taking in and out of the case regularly.
We did find that trolleys like the Lapsafe Unocart, which also take laptops, fit a Gripcase equipped iPad perfectly well.
A Rainbow of Colours…and Black
Gripcase is available in black, red, purple, and green. While the black looks fairly sophisticated the other colours are bright and most suited to primary school use. For secondary students I would recommend a more “grown-up” iPad case solution along the lines of the Apple SmartCover but for primary school students the Gripcase is a simple and safe way to keep your iPads intact.
As a solution to for primary schools students, Gripcase is the best we've come across. It's durable, solid, and the Gripcases handles make using iPad much easier for little hands. For older students Gripcase may be too bulky and a little childish.
The cheapest price we could find Gripcase for was £29.99 per case, which may seem a touch expensive, but when looked at as an investment to repair costs it is, in my opinion, a price worth paying.