What sets the Quad Lock apart is the 1. For some people, the biggest downside to the Quad Lock case is that the thickness of the mount point prevents wireless charging from working on some Qi chargers. For example, although several flat Qi chargers we tested worked fine with the Quad Lock case, the case did not allow charging with the one stand-style charger we had on hand. The company does sell its own wireless charger , however, which works with both its car and desk mounts and should resolve the problem.
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But this is a minor issue if the other features appeal to you. This is the same case, but for the iPhone 7 Plus. The Wetsuit Impact survived this test, and we saw no problems.
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That protector sits flat against the screen without any bubbles. The corners and curves are now closer to those of the iPhone inside, rather than being flat and boxy. We like the way the buttons click, and, most important, in our tests the cases successfully kept water out. We prefer built-in screen protection, but this case design is a nice alternative.
Because Apple makes the case, it has a few advantages over eventual third-party battery cases.
The 2,mAh battery provides an average charge of 80 percent to the iPhone 7, which is 13 percent less than the Smart Battery Case. Available in five colors, the Juice Pack Air houses a 2, mAh battery. Mophie has its own modular case system with the Hold Force line. We were also disappointed to find that the battery pack detached with a moderate shake. That would be a good thing, except that the sides of the case pull away from the body of the phone too easily, especially on the Plus-size iPhones.
We prefer a tighter fit that helps prevent dust from getting in between the case and the phone. Sena has long focused on luxury leather accessories. It felt sharp enough to cause discomfort, though not pain. The larger size is especially noticeable on the Plus-size version. This case body is identical to that of the Wallet Slayer—the only difference is the card holder.
The CM4 wallet area leaves more of your credit cards exposed, making it clear to anyone who sees the case that it holds cards or money. The CM4 is also more than twice the price of the Vault, without any true benefits other than aesthetics. Both models hold credit cards in pockets on the back, leaving more of the cards exposed than we like. The Snap-On holds only two cards, with the one closest to the phone difficult to install and remove.
The Lugano is simply too expensive and feels too bulky. Hidden inside the case is a compartment that can hold up to two cards. We found the door difficult to open, however, and cards difficult to remove. The price is particularly impressive considering that the case comes with two tempered-glass screen protectors.
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We like the way the case looks and feels, but some customers find the finish to be too slippery. However, in our testing, the case was particularly tight when sliding the phone in and out, something that will likely concern Jet Black iPhone owners because of the potential for scratches. Our pick. A sampling of the cases we tested in the fall of Also great. Caudabe's The Sheath for iPhone 7 or 8. Photo: Nick Guy Our pick. The Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol.
Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. The Spigen Ultra Hybrid for iPhone 7 or 8. Buy from Amazon. Speck Presidio Grip for iPhone 7 A more protective case for iPhone 7 or 8 For those who are more worried about drops, this is your case. Photo: Quad Lock Also great. The technology gets a bad rap, though, when the discussion turns to cutting aluminum. Plasma cutting has been around for decades, but the first plasma cutting machines were crude in terms of both the machine control and drive system, as well as the technology itself, said Al Julian, vice president of marketing for W.
Whitney, a division of MegaFab, Rockford, Ill. Manufacturers of plasma cutting systems have made improvements to the technology in recent years, but many end users still cut with the old machines or buy machines that don't have the most recent upgrades. As a result, some perceptions of plasma cutting are outdated, he said. It really is an educational issue. Cutting aluminum with air produces a rough edge coated with aluminum oxide.
And in those cases, you get weld-ready edges. Manufacturers of plasma cutting systems make machines that can cut at very high speeds per amp, and as a result the new machines minimize the amount of heat input into the cut edge, Brandt said. Despite misconceptions to the contrary, many aluminum components, such as doors for military vehicles, can be effectively cut with plasma.
Photos courtesy of W. When people say that plasma cutting systems can't meet tight tolerances, usually they're referring to machines from the s and early '90s, Brandt explained. This misconception isn't limited to aluminum cutting—people still have that misconception about plasma cutting in general, even on mild steel, he added. However, depending on part thickness and productivity requirements, the process usually can be optimized to meet the required tolerances.
Angle variation on aluminum is actually quite good, even compared to mild steel and stainless. Julian said that plasma cutting isn't as accurate as laser cutting, but many industries don't require tolerances that would necessitate a laser. New high-precision plasma systems can hold tolerances close to what a laser cutting system can, Fernicola said.
Unless the application requires tolerances within a few thousandths of an inch, plasma can cut it with good results. Like the porosity on the cut edge, surface condition also is a matter of gas selection, according to Fernicola. Lasers get their speed from an exothermic reaction when they cut mild steel. The exothermic reaction uses oxygen as the assist gas, but this leads to problems in processing aluminum.
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Oxygen can't be used to laser-cut aluminum—high-pressure nitrogen is needed instead. With the proper selection of gases, fabricators can produce a smooth cut edge on aluminum.
Laser cutting also requires a much higher investment in equipment, Fernicola said. Fabrication shops have to purchase the laser equipment itself, as well as protective enclosures. Unless the application requires very high edge quality or extremely tight accuracy, plasma probably is the most cost-effective process, he said. In addition, businesses usually calculate their operating costs in terms of cost per hour, but it makes more sense to calculate them in terms of cost per foot.
According to Brandt, most mechanized plasma cutting systems have controls that allow the machine to operate, maintain the proper standoff height, and control the motion of the machine automatically. Fernicola said an operator isn't required any more with aluminum than with any other type of metal, except in one specific situation: When aluminum is plasma-cut using a water table, the table needs to be designed in a way that prevents accumulation of hydrogen bubbles under the plate caused by molten aluminum dropping into the water.
Because aluminum has a high affinity for oxygen, it can dissociate some of the water and create the hydrogen bubbles.
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When determining which process to use to cut aluminum, fabricators should determine what results are most important.