Review: Belkin Grip Swell for iPad

by on January 31, 2011

Although iPad cases are literally the new iPhone case, every once in awhile one comes across our desks that is just a little different from the me-too variety, but still very familiar. We’re not really sure if the play on words was intentional with marketing or not, but one of Belkin’s many forays into the iPad case world is the Grip Swell, a $40 (sometimes as low as $10) silicone iPad case.

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The Grip Swell is a relatively straightforward case—no screen protectors, no stands, and nothing but a basic case. Comparing this to other cases from other manufacturers in the same price range, the Grip Swell seems a little on the skimpy side.

The case fits around the iPad and protects all of the buttons and has cutouts for the Dock Connector, headphone jack/microphone, speaker, and orientation lock switch. Even the home button is covered. The back of the case features sweeping clear patterns offering a nice contrast from the black case. These ridges also provide a function—grip—they make the iPad less slippery. Many companies have been moving away from silicone for iPhone cases, due to the fact that they often are difficult to remove from pockets. An iPad is much larger and often carried in a different manner (naked or in a briefcase, backpack, or purse).

With the possible negatives from the price and the lack of accessories, the Grip Swell does serve its purpose and offers quite a bit of protection. The fact that it seems like a good idea, but a little bit on the poorly-executed side, especially for $40 retail is a good reason to drive someone away. That being said, the case is often found discounted, and is arguably better than a lot of cheap silicone rubber options out there for lower price points. If that is the case, the Grip Swell is a great $20 case, but for its full asking price, you may want to look elsewhere.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

The Grip Swell is a basic, form-fitting, silicone case for the iPad that offers adequate protection.

Pros: Simple design, excellent grip, selling at discounted prices at a number of places

Cons: Retail price is on the expensive side for what else you get with it—nothing

The Facts

3/5Product: Grip Swell
Company: Belkin
Platform: iPad (1)
Price: $39.99

This post has been filed in Cases, iDevices, iPad and Reviews