Wednesday, November 25, 2015

G-Form iPad/Netbook/Laptop Extreme Sleeve Computer Cases

A year ago, COG reviewed the Pelican HardBack Laptop case. We thought the HardBack’s most bombproof available. See COG’s index.

Then last summer a Verizon tech rep stopped us along Outdoor Retailer’s Salt Palace’s far aisle. He handed us a Verizon smart phone streaming cool video. No protective case for this phone, we noticed.

“Drop the phone… no! Not on the carpet, on the bare concrete!” So from chest height, we drop the smart phone. After years of trying specifically not to do this, dropping a phone onto the floor is harder than you’d think.

The Verizon labeled smartphone bounces hard, edgewise off the bare floor. And the video’s still running.

Next, Verizon’s rep grabs the phone off the floor and tosses it into a fish tank…full of water. The phone’s twelve inches underwater now: And we can plainly see the phone still streaming video.

“So, how long have you been dropping and dunking this phone today,” we ask.

“This is my third trade show on this phone.”

COG should have seen that one coming. But we’re too stunned even to test phone performance. Check with Verizon: it’s too much for us and maybe too good to be true. Other reviews are “mixed.” Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE from Verizon.

But…not so fast!

The most extreme demo for hand-held, electronic-device impact protection we’ve ever heard about couldn’t be found on the main OR Show floor.

As usual, the COG team had to hunt up OR’s greatest gear at the new vendor’s pavilion. Outside. Around the corner.

This is the “back 40 (acres)” at OR: this outer circle of hell, a cyclical limbo where vendors new to OR await their turn for booth space on the main show floor: “Main Street,” the Salt Palace’s central selling-floor where we find retailer traffic most intense; retailer buying (“writing paper” in vendor parlance) fever pitched if not out-right frantic.

(A long digression here on “tent city”: So we fight our way out of the Salt Palace Convention Center, through downtown SLC traffic, across the street to the tent city sheltering the new vendors. We notice: why has the traditional, OR bouldering “wall” moved from the foot of OR’s Main Street, the Summer OR industry’s very heart, to the lifeless pavement outside the new vendor’s pavilion? Yes, we can see the bouldering area’s now cheek-by-jowl with the fly-casting tank and the SUP/Kayak tank. Clearly, management wants $ revenue from the casting tank, SUP tank and climbing wall floor space, formerly sited on the main floor…However, since “OR” first “demo-ed” itself as the SportsExpo, back hall of Vegas’ annual Ski Industries of America (SIA) show (early 1980s), the bouldering area’s “demos” have allowed gear makers and retail shop folks common ground. And, no! A demo day prior to the trade show doesn’t fill the same function. Authenticity is verified when SUP/Kayak tank, casting tank and bouldering wall physically “back” manufacturer sales folks on the sales floor: immediately adjacent to product display booths and “writing rooms” where those products actually “move” towards you, the end user. Shutting the “demo” gear/function out onto the sidewalk makes the trade show more profitable for show owners, no question. But the attendant reduced conviviality (let’s call that “fun factor”) on the trade show’s sales floor will function as a false economy: all parties will realize less $ over time. New OR Show owners…are you listening?)

Nevertheless, we’re wandering the new vendor’s pavilion wondering what could be cooler than the Pelican HardBack iPad Case. Maybe a smartphone too tough for a case?

We’re stopped dead in our tracks: some guys are dropping a 15-pound bowling ball four feet straight-down onto a concrete block. Between the bowling ball and the concrete block: the G-Form guys have placed an iPad streaming a movie. We couldn’t help but wince at the impact: hand-crushing blows.

But the iPad’s movie doesn’t skip a frame. The bowling ball just bounces “dead” against the iPad’s protective G-Form Extreme Sleeve.

What the…?

Bystanders wanted to stop the madness, but the bowling ball drops time and again. After each drop, the iPad streams faultlessly inside the G-Form Extreme Sleeve.

G-Form also makes pads for moto-cross clothing, extreme cyclists, roller derby. OK, maybe not roller derby. But these pads really deaden impact.

How much?

The Extreme Sleeve booth display continues on-screen, cinema-verite style. Outside; helipad; chopper waiting in the background. The iPad’s tips toward the camera, a movie streams (“Chinatown”) as the iPad slides into a G-Form case, then lands in the helicopter. The helicopter lifts away from the camera, straight-up, 500 feet.

You guessed it! The G-Form case falls free of the helicopter, 500 feet, back down to the tarmac. Without cutting away, the camera closes-in on the downed G-Form case. Hands reach from off-screen, pull the iPad from the sleeve: “Chinatown” is still streaming.

Or you could read G-Form’s tech blurb:

“Our athletic and consumer electronic products utilize RPT™ – Reactive Protection Technology. RPT™ is a combination of PORON®XRD™ material and proprietary G-Form technology that instantly stiffens upon impact and absorbs over 90% of the energy, offering state-of-the-art impact protection in a lightweight, flexible form.”

COG likes this better: 15-pound bowling balls and 500 foot free-falls. Your case or mine?
$70 / g-form.com

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