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Review - Leather iPod Video Case
Wednesday, February 8th, 2006 at 11:30 AM - by
Most of the leather iPod cases that have graced the iPodObserver's desks have failed to impress us. Sub-par craftsmanship, including shoddy stitchwork and poor cut-outs, is the most frequent shortcoming of many of these cases. Leather cases also tend to favor the flip case design, which increases protection at the expense of extra bulk and impaired access to the screen and controls.
Case-Mate iPod Video Leather Case
The leather cases from Case-Mate, formerly Case-ari, completely reverse this trend. Thirty dollars or less scores you a first-rate case with plenty of extras. Constructed from soft nappa leather, Case-Mate's cases feature hidden stitching, significantly improving the overall appearance of the case. The cutouts for the dock connector, click wheel, and screen are also perfectly precise, the likes of which are surprising to find at this price point.
Your iPod slides in and out through the top of the case, with soft fabric lining the entire inside to prevent scratching during everyday use. Case-Mate also includes an adhesive-free two-piece clear plastic protector for protecting the face of your iPod from scratches, as well as a microfiber cleaning cloth. Some places sell these pieces alone for up to $10.
Rounding out the list of features is a fully removable belt clip. To use the belt clip, you simply screw a metal thumbscrew into the back of the case and slide the rotatable belt clip over it. Removing the belt clip is a little trickier than some designs, but by no means a shortcoming.
In fact, Case-Mate's leather cas has no real shortcomings whatsoever. There are a couple points prospective buyers will want to keep in mind when considering one of these cases, however. First, like most leather cases, this one bumps the dimensions of the iPod up a fair bit, adding about half an inch in width and length and doubling the thickness of our 30GB iPod. Second, and more importantly, the top of the case is completely open. While there's enough friction to keep the iPod secure when holding the case upside down, the iPod can pop out from the case a bit when dropped, leaving it vulnerable to damage if it comes in contact with a hard or rough surface.
Case-Mate's leather iPod case is by far the closest example we've found of a perfect leather iPod case at the $30 price point. Provided your demands don't require maximum protection from drops, in which case a flip case may be more appropriate, you will be hard pressed to be disappointed with this product.
Just The Facts
Pros: excellent leather, several colors, hidden stitching, separate face protector included, completely removable belt clip
Cons: open top design leaves iPod exposed and more vulnerable to damage if dropped
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