Review/comparison of two popular clear cases for New 3DS XL

Discussion in '3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by H0thTr0n, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. H0thTr0n
    OP

    H0thTr0n Advanced Member

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    Always being protective and well caring of my toys through most of my life, to the point of being somewhat anal, which I guess comes with having OCD. Needless to say, I wanted a good cover to protect my first 3DS XL I've ever owned as soon as possible, especially rare edition like at first my Pokémon Solegado/Lunala edition and then breaking down a few days later and getting a Fire Emblem edition that had glorious dual IPS panels after the first one only had 1 IPS, 1 TN panel.

    Thus, I only wanted a clear case so I could easily see the sexy FE design but also keep it safe from the vile, dangerous world of scratches, dings and fingerprints

    So of course, much Amazon searching ensued and from reviews and popularity, it eventually came down to two different models.

    HORI Duraflexi Clear Protector
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RZ7TC6Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    TNP New 3DS XL Case - Ultra Clear Transparent Hard Shell

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018DM48BS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    In short, the TNP is a full hard shell case and the HORI is a softer rubber/silicone like case. Let’s try em both out, see the pro's and con's and see who is the winner!

    NOTE: NEITHER of these cases are designed to protect your 3DS XL from a high drop onto a hard surface!

    HORI soft shell is on the left, TNP hard shell is on the right. You can easily see the clarity difference of the TNP plastic vs the softer TPU material of the HORI

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    HORI Duraflexi Clear Protector is up first as it was the first one I was able to get shipped to me due to backorder of the TNP model


    Pros:

    1. Very easy to slip on and off, supremely easy.
    [​IMG]

    2. The softer rubber material is more resistant to scratching, ensuring the case look better longer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    3. The rubber/silicon like material is slightly better at absorbing hits on hard surfaces. As such, it will also not crack or break under a hard impact.

    4. Officially licensed by Nintendo. If you care about such a thing. Guess that’s why includes flashy retail packages vs TNP was just wrapped in plastic.


    Cons:

    1. Does not attach firmly to 3DS, especially lower section near controls. The siding slips off easily with slight hand/finger pressure during usage of 3DS which could result in scratching of 3DS surface as well as easier access for debris to get in between case and 3DS covers
    [​IMG]


    2. During usage, the 3DS can begin to "slide" out of the case at times as show on lower portion here
    [​IMG]


    3. Case was yellowing out of packaging and likely only to get worse over time due to UV rays, drying out of rubber and usage. Looked bad on black Pokémon 3DS, slightly less worse on white FE edition IMO
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    4. Due to nature/design of the case from soft rubber, fitment of the case, at least for mine, resulted in some gaps between case and 3DS. For mine, the back part would not sit flush no matter what I did
    [​IMG]


    5. Case begins to get slippery with finger oil, dirt and sweat. You will be wiping this unit down constantly to remove finger prints and oil and all junk that collects onto it, it gets kinda gross.

    6. The soft rubber is somewhat cloudy and thus, it reduces the clarity to enjoy the visuals of your special edition 3DS vs the plastic of the TNP model. If you care about such things that is

    HORI
    [​IMG]

    TNP
    [​IMG]

    7. Vs the TNP, the HORI case is somewhat thicker all around and is semi "sticky" due to its rubber nature. As such, it may prove more difficult to put into more secure carrying cases as it will be a tighter fit and make it more difficult to remove. I have no experience as I have no larger carrying case, so I cannot comment on this, but it’s worth noting for those who put their 3DS's in large travel bags with pouches.

    8. Slightly more expensive. $13 via Amazon in USA vs $10 of the TNP


    All in all, not a bad case other then the drawbacks mentioned earlier. It will do a decent job of protecting a 3DS, just be wary of its shortcoming in its design and usefulness. With that said, let’s look at the next contender!



    After a week of using the HORI protector and having a good idea of its perks and cons of usesage, my box containing the TNP UltraCrystal Clear hard shell case arrived at last, so let’s take a look it!

    Pros:

    1. This case is also easy to install. However you will need to bear in mind that this hard shell design has several small clips which need to be checked that they are properly seated to ensure the case is on snugly. Once they are, this case CANNOT easily come off vs the HORI design. The clips do a real good job of securing the case to the 3DS. There is no wiggling or rattling at all, it feels like a real piece of "armor" protecting your beloved 3DS XL rather then the slip on "sleeve" like effect of the HORI design. As such, there is almost danger of "internal" scratching of your 3DS if debris does get in between the case and 3DS panels as the TNP does not shift at once all clips are in place

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    2. Due to the completely clear plastic, your designs/color/pattern/decals on your 3DS XL will show through much better with the TNP vs the HORI case. How much this matters to you is personal preference but for me, it’s nice to be able for me to see and enjoy the lovely Fire Emblem pattern of my 3DS XL without having to remove the case.

    Again, side by side comparison. HORI is on the top, TNP is on the bottom
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    3. The tighter fit and finish of the TNP case looks better all around. No large gaps of any kind and no remnants of plastic burs from the factory, smooth all around.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I do wish however that the lower case part had some more plastic tabs to protect the rear of the bottom half the 3DS XL a bit more. Not a huge deal, but worth noting
    [​IMG]

    The HORI has a bit more rear back protection.
    [​IMG]

    4. The TNP case vs the HORI is a bit slimmer and with the smooth, glossy plastic and thus, it should fit into almost every 3DS's carrying case with no issue and come out easy as well. It's also easier to grip, especially if you have oily hands vs the rubber HORI.

    5. Slightly cheaper vs HORI at $10 via Amazon vs $13. We all want to save money don't we?


    Cons:

    1. Being a hard, clear plastic and not polycarbonate, this cases major drawback is that it will scratch easily. I in fact accidently ran my thumb nail across the top of one while I was removing protective film and wallah, its first scratch before I even put the thing on. With that said, with regular use and time, this case will slowly start to cloud up from miniscule scratches and not look as good vs its new condition and thus, may start to look like crap, especially on dark colored 3DS's.

    2. Another drawback to the hard plastic vs the softer HORI rubber is that if this case takes a hard impact, it very likely will crack and or break. At which point, you will have to decide if the cracking is bad enough to warrant replacement due do it looking like hell and or pieces falling off depending on the extent of damage. The HORI will take a licking and keep on ticking from multiple hits vs the TNP will just eventually fall apart.

    3. The hard edges of the TNP feel much rougher on your palms vs the soft rubber of the HORI. It doesn't hurt or anything like that, but you will certainly feel the plastic in your palms/fingers as you use the 3DS vs the HORI's rubber. The tradeoff is that the TNP will not move at all during usage, were the HORI shifts around as mentioned earlier. After a few hours, I began to notice the plastic TNP edging less until I just ignored it. Your preferences may vary
    [​IMG]



    Phew! Who woulda thought so much work for a basic case for a Nintendo toy? Owell, I was not able to make up my mind looking online, so I decided to buy both of these cases and try them out myself and keep the best one I felt for my needs to protect my lovely new Fire Emblem 3DS XL. I felt that posting my results and comparison of these two competing 3DS protection cases may help some others in deciding which case will fit their needs rather then pouring through hundreds of Amazon reviews which hit and miss quality in my findings.

    Any question or comments, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer. For my standards and needs, I felt the TNP pretty much took it all the way home, so thus I consider it the winner in my book!


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by H0thTr0n, Dec 3, 2016
    NekoMichi likes this.
  2. zenamez

    zenamez GBAtemp Regular

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    Personally, I use the Skinomi N3DS Matteskin.

    Adds no bulk like a transparent case would (I've got one on my O3DS and it cracked/hinge holding bits broke off from use) and keeps your 3DS safe from scratches.

    Bit more expensive than a transparent hard case but definitely worth it, especially if it's a limited edition N3DS (I use the Matteskin on my Hyrule Edition N3DS).

    Still, really nice reviews OP. Wish I'd seen this back when I first got a hard case for my O3DS. Would have saved quite a few headaches...
     
  3. H0thTr0n
    OP

    H0thTr0n Advanced Member

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    Ironic as that's the same skinomi I just bought for my friends new majoras mask 3ds for Christmas as he prefers that

    The bulk is hardly noticeable for me and for me, I like having a full cover with a case which can take basic impacts instead of the 3ds chassis
     
  4. astrangeone

    astrangeone GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I have the n3DS model of the TNP one. Pretty good for what I'm using it on - a white n3DS with Pokemon plates.