UAG Lucent

Review: UAG Lucent Series for the 2020 iPad Air

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UAG Lucent
I’ve reviewed several cases from UAG over the years, including their new Mouve case for the iPhone 12 Pro Max a few weeks ago. I’ve also looked at their Metropolis cases for a few different models and sizes of iPad, as well as the original Surface Go. While I really like that case design, I was happy to see a new and different model available from UAG for Apple’s recently released iPad Air.

The Lucent Series offers the kind of protection I’m used to from a UAG case in a thinner, lighter and more interesting looking package. That combo is well-suited to the slim iPad Air and it’s new color options.

UAG Lucent Back

As you can see in the photo above, part of the back and all sides of the case are clear, showing off my iPad Air’s Sky Blue finish. I really like the contrast of the iPad’s color with the black material that covers the rest, including the iPad’s screen.

I will mention here that I got the Black/Ice version of the Lucent Series case. UAG also has a version in Aubergine and Dusty Rose. I haven’t seen that model up close, but it looks like will not be completely clear.

UAG Lucent Front

This material is also is also interesting in both its design and feel. It has a unique texture that is created by small patterned indentions across the surface.

These indentions also give the black material a cool look, as well. This material is soft and when you combine that with the indentions, it feels much more like cloth than a synthetic. I’ve used and reviewed many thin and light tablet cases made from synthetic materials over the years, and many come off looking and feeling cheap. These small touches give the Lucent Series a more premium look and feel.

While the Lucent Series is thin and light, it still gets the job done when it comes to providing protection. The case is reinforced at the edges and has additional material on the corners to protect them from drops.

UAG Lucent Bottom

UAG Lucent Corners
Combined with a raised edge around the screen and the built-in screen cover, I feel good about carrying my Air around in the Lucent Series. Even though it’s thinner and looks quite different than my previous UAG tablet cases, I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything in terms of protection.

The Lucent Series has a fairly straightforward design, but there are a few additional features worth mentioning. It has a magnetic flap that secures the screen cover when carrying the case.

UAG Lucent Magnetic Flap

The magnets are strong and hold very securely.

Combined with a built-in Apple Pencil holder that keeps it securely in place while charging, you don’t have to worry about holding the screen cover in place, or that your Pencil can easily fall off while carrying the Air in this case. Everything stays exactly where it’s supposed to be.

UAG Lucent Apple Pencil Holder

As much as I appreciate how thin and light Apple’s Magic Keyboard is, this is its biggest design drawback in my opinion. The Apple Pencil is exposed when you carry it and it often falls off when I carry it in my laptop backpack. The Lucent Series’ design prevents this from being an issue.

The Lucent Series’ screen cover doubles as a stand for the iPad, like many other cases with this fairly common design.

UAG Lucent Stand

The underside of the screen cover has three sets of indentions on the sides to hold the Air at different angles. The case’s reinforced corners fit into the these slots and stay in place as long as they are on a flat surface or a steady lap. These are small things, but I believe that an important element of good design is sweating such small details.

Along those same lines, the Lucent Series’ screen cover has the very familiar wake on open feature that immediately turns the iPad Air on when you open the case and off when you close it. This is nothing new, as every Apple tablet since the iPad 2 has included it and most cases that cover the screen take advantage of it. However, Targus’ Pro-Tek Rotating Case for the iPad Air, which I would consider to be a direct competitor to the Lucent Series in both price and features, doesn’t have it.

I was going to review that case and ended up taking it back to the store because I found it to be pretty mediocre. The wake on open feature is a small on, but that being missing was a real head-scratcher for me. Why would you cut a feature that all iPad users expect to save a couple of bucks? Again, it’s the little things that make the difference between accessories that stand out and those that fall flat. One reason I keep coming back to UAG is because they consistently nail little details like this.

I only had one very small complaint about the Lucent Series in my testing. When you open the screen cover and fold it back, there is nothing to hold it place and it can flop around a bit. However, the screen cover is creased just off center, so I found it was easy to just fold it over and keep it all together in under hand.

UAG Lucent Fold

Like I said, it’s a very small complaint. Everything else with the Lucent Series is spot on. It’s thin and light. It shows off the iPad Air nicely and has an interesting design that dresses things up a bit. Most importantly, the Lucent Series brings the protection and the features you expect from a quality iPad case. If you are looking for a new case that doesn’t completely hide your iPad Air, you can’t go wrong here.

The Lucent Series for the 2020 iPad Air is available from UAG for $59.95 in Black/Ice and Aubergine/Dusty Rose colors.

The Lucent Series case for the 2020 iPad Air was provided for review on iPad Insight by UAG. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the About page.

 

 


James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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