Gadling Gear Review: G-Form Extreme Portfolio And Extremed Sleeve 2 For iPad

Last fall we favorably reviewed the G-Form Extreme Sleeve for the iPad, lauding it for its ability to protect our expensive devices while traveling. In developing that product, G-Form created new materials that are designed to stiffen on impact and absorb up to 90 percent of any impact. That ability was demonstrated very effectively with a video that shows a 12-pound bowling ball being dropped on the product from a height of three feet, leaving the iPad completely unscathed.

Since then, Apple had released a new iPad and G-Form has some new offerings of its own. The company has continued to refine its technology and now offers expanded options for other products as well. But the core of their business is still centered around their “Reactive Protection Technology” (RPT) and its ability to protect our gadgets while on the go. Here are a couple of those products that iPad users will find particularly interesting.

Extreme Sleeve 2
The Extreme Sleeve 2 is the evolution of the product we first reported on last October. It features a slightly larger interior that can accommodate both the new iPad and iPad 2 while equipped with Apple’s Smart Cover. In our previous review we noted that the Extreme Sleeve was too snug to fit the original iPad outfitted with Apple’s first case, and it had issues with Smart Covers and the second-generation tablet as well. Those issues have been addressed in the new sleeve, allowing iPad owners to travel with double the protection.

A larger interior isn’t the only upgrade to the Extreme Sleeve either. G-Form has also added an extra layer of their RPT material to the case and that layer now extends under the zipper, providing edge-to-edge impact protection for the iPad inside. The result is an all around better product for travelers who want to take their iPads with them without worrying about damaging it in transit. Those who like to travel light will be happy to hear that these new enhancements have not added weight or thickness to the product either.Extreme Portfolio
G-Form has also introduced a new Extreme Portfolio case that works with all iPad models or any other 10-inch tablet for that matter. Larger and thicker than the Extreme Sleeve, the Portfolio provides even more protection against external impacts while also offering functionality that isn’t available in the more compact sleeve.

Unlike the Extreme Sleeve, the Portfolio features a zipper that runs around three of its four sides. This allows for better access to the interior of the case, making it easier to take your tablet in and out as needed. The iPad is held snugly in place by rugged corner pieces, made out of G-Form’s proprietary RPT materials that enhance protection along the device’s edge. The front face of the case even includes an internal polycarbonate layer that adds yet another level of protection for the beautiful, yet fragile, Retina Screen. The result is a lightweight, yet tough, product that provides a satisfying level of security for tablet computers.

The Portfolio has a few other tricks up its sleeve as well. For instance, it includes a nice internal pocket for carrying important documents and folders. It also has the ability to act as an easel of sorts, standing the iPad up in either landscape or portfolio modes. This is a nice feature to have when watching videos on a plane, making a Skype call from your hotel room or giving a presentation at a meeting.

Both the Portfolio and Extreme Sleeve are water resistant, which adds yet another layer of protection for the electronics inside. This is good news for travelers, as the case easily keeps out liquids from accidental spills or surprise rain showers. Just keep in mind that they are water resistant and not waterproof, which means that while these products will repel a lot of moisture, immersing them completely in water probably isn’t a good idea.

I personally like to slip my iPad into the Extreme Sleeve before putting it into a backpack for travel. This gives me a good sense that my tablet is well protected while stuffing it under an airplane seat or in an overhead compartment. I think other travelers will appreciate that same sense of security when traveling with their tablets as well and considering the price of a replacement iPad, the $69.99 investment for the sleeve is well worth it. The Portfolio will set you back $89.99, but as indicated above, that case has a few extra features that could easily make it worth the extra twenty bucks.

Adventure travelers will especially appreciate both of these products as they allow you to take an otherwise fragile device with you to places you might not normally take it. For example, I can’t imagine visiting Everest Base Camp without the Extreme Sleeve and it would come in handy when trekking the Andes, climbing Kilimanjaro or cycling through the Alps too. If you’re visiting extreme places, you’ll probably want an extreme case to go with you. I recommend these two products.