Saturday, February 16, 2008

NERF DS Case product review

First ever product review! Watch out, folks...

NERF was first created back in 1969 as a safe-for-indoors softball for kids to play with. The soft, rubbery ball was hard enough to be thrown and grabbed, but light and soft enough so as to not damage anything it hits.

But what if NERF were used to protect what was within it, and not what's outside of it? Pelican Accessories has answered this question with their NERF case for the DS Lite. As seen above, the case does a pretty good job of covering up the entire unit. The bottom is a solid layer of the foam-like substance, as seen below.

The bottom of the case

A GBA cartridge does protrude slightly from the protective range of the casing, but not by enough to really cause any trouble. But just to be safe, I recommend sticking with the filler cartridge when you aren't playing.

Removing the stylus from its slot is pretty easy, thanks to a large cut-out of foam surrounding the hole. I have big fingers, and I can still reach in and pull out the stylus easily. Ejecting the DS cards and swapping GBA games works smoothly as well.

The front of the case

As you can see above, the volume slider and headphone/microphone jack are both easily accessible, but only when the DS is open. When it's closed it's a little too small a space.

The back of the case

The hinges of the case match up perfectly with those of the DS, making opening and closing the case incredibly smooth. It's so well aligned that it feels like it was always there, as if installed on the DS in a factory. But it's just a snap-on case!

Actually, the snap-on part is where things go a little down hill... It's real easy to get the case on to the DS, but taking it off is a somewhat different story. First, you have to pop the hinges on the case, separating the top and bottom halves. The upper half of the case should fall off. Then pop the DS out of the bottom half by pressing up through the stylus or cartridge holes.

It's not too hard once you figure it out. But that's just it: You have to figure it out on your own. There's no instructions on how to remove it from the case. Nothing in the package but the case and a piece of cardboard with ads printed on it. I was afraid to crack off the top half of the case, but there didn't seem to be any other way.

Removing the DS from the case is almost a puzzle

I repeated the process of removing and replacing the DS a few times, and there didn't seem to be any problems. So while it's a little awkward to remove the DS from the case, once you figure it out it's no big deal. It just would've been nice if they included instructions of some sort to prevent users from accidentally damaging their DS or the case.

Well, now for the most important part: How well does it protect the DS? Well, I've dropped it onto tiles and thin carpet from a foot or two in the air with no troubles. I dropped it from about four feet once, and the only thing that happened was the game card shifted outwards a bit. No biggie. The DS itself remained unharmed through all the testing, no matter on what angle it was dropped.

The NERF does, of course, make the overall package bulkier, with about an inch or more of padding covering almost the entirety of the DS. It's not quite as pocket-friendly this way, and it won't fit in any standard console case. It looks like it would be great if you keep your DS in a backpack or something like that.

One more thing it ads is a bit of comfort. The squishiness of the NERF feels pretty good when you're gripping the DS, and it ads some padding so you won't have any corners digging into your hands. The added size also makes it more suitable for big-handed folks, but the extra bulk may be too much for those with smaller hands (For example, young children).

The last problem I could find is the added bulk to the upper half of the DS can cause some problems with how precise you can angle the top screen. If it's too close to the "click"* of the hinge, it tends to drop down to the widest angle (Without passing the click). Here's a video I recorded to demonstrate this problem (No sound):

As you can see, this sort of make the hinge a little less accurate when it comes to getting the angle just right. This isn't much of a problem for me, as I always keep the DS angled at the click. But if you prefer having the screen at a 135 degree or so angle, well, you'll have a problem with this.

*The "click" is the point at which the hinge makes a clicking sound. Passing this point is not recommended as it may damage the hinge.


Ease of use: 8.0/10
Getting the case onto the DS is no real problem, but getting it off can be a bit of trouble. It really would have been nice if they told us how to do it.

Appearance: 7.5/10
The NERF case looks pretty good on the DS Lite, although it does take away greatly from the sleekness the bare unit has. The traditional NERF design helps a bit with balancing this out, though.

Performance: 9.5/10
The NERF case does an excellent job of protecting the DS from drops. It absorbs the shock almost entirely, with minimal effect on the DS itself. All the buttons and plugs on the DS are perfectly accessible through the casing.

Value: 8.0/10
You can find the NERF Case at many game stores and electronic sections around the country, and it'll never cost you any more than $15. It's a fair price, but any more and it wouldn't be worth it.

OVERALL: 8.25/10
The NERF DS case looks and feels great, plus it does an excellent job of protecting the console. Removing the case is a little clunky, and it does mess a little with the hinge, but otherwise it works perfectly. Definitely worth the buy for any gamer on the go.

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The Duck Has Spoken.


Rawful said...

I always wondered if those things were kool or not.
I suppose I
should probably get a DSL first, eh?

Naomi Knight said...

Heh, it wouldn't be much use if ya don't have a DS Light XD It seems nice if you're rough on your consoles... but I think I'll stick with my naked Pink DSL, and just continue to handle it very gently.

... I like pink, dang it.

alexanderpas said...

doesn't it fir in a DS phat case?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! We LOVE our nerf case but after a year, the case bottom came unglued. We could not figure out how to get the darned thing out of the case. We tried everything before finding your info. Your instructions were clear and worked perfectly! I will be purchasing a new nerf for it tomorrow. Great for kids...protects from being dropped AND being sat on!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When I removed the top of my Nerf cover, I discovered that my DS Lite have white spot discolorations that are permanant. I don't know how it got there, could someone please elaborate and clarify this to me?


Anonymous said...

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Sorry for offtopic

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, DUCK! YOU SAVED THE DAY! My granddaughter has tried to remove the case for around 3 months unsuccessfully. Thank you, again, so much!

A Nana that loves THE DUCK!

Anonymous said...

omg getting the thing off is a nightmare! the hinges actually tore into the frame of my dsl! wish i had found your instructions earlier. by the way, a screwdriver was required.

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