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Review - ScubaMP3 Suit (5G)
Thursday, April 20th, 2006 at 11:00 AM - by
When a company that has built its reputation on anything but technology products enters the ever-crowded iPod accessory space, I can't help but wonder whether they have done so because they truly feel they are bringing a better product to the market or because they simply want a piece of that potentially lucrative pie, even if it means selling something identical to what's already out there.
BodyGlove ScubaMP3 Suit (5G iPod)
Such was the case with the surfing outfitters at Body Glove, better known for their gear that wraps surfers and swimmers, not cell phones. But I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the company's ScubaMP3 Suit line of iPod cases, which is one of the coolest looking and best designed I have yet to come across.
Body Glove begins by using neoprene as the primary material for the ScubaMP3 Suit, resulting in a case that's just 2mm thick and has a durable synthetic rubber exterior and soft fabric lining on the inside. The black matte finish has silver accents and looks very sharp while its smooth tactile feel is superior to silicone and the interior lining makes it a breeze to insert and remove your iPod, something that can't be said for other rubber cases.
Cut-outs for the hold switch, headphones, click wheel, dock connector, and screen are all precisely executed; the stitching that marries the flexible screen protector to the case is similarly very clean.
Your iPod slides in to the case from the bottom and an integrated snap keeps things secure. Protection-wise the ScubaMP3 Suit is good but not the best: the bottom corners remain slightly exposed, meaning a drop of your iPod at just the right angle could mar its finish.
Body Glove scores extra points for integrating both armband loops (an armband is included) and a low-profile belt clip into the design. You might think feeling the belt clip against your arm would be uncomfortable but it's also coated in smooth neoprene and results in less of the iPod coming in contact with your arm, providing better breathability than other designs.
The Bottom Line
Apart from the exposed corners, which is a relatively minor design limitation, there's not a single thing we didn't like or wished was different about the ScubaMP3 Suit. At about $30 (closer to $20 from some stores), the price is also completely reasonable and even a bargain compared to those more expensive, less well-designed cases. If we could only take one iPod case with us on the go, this would be it.
Body Glove offers ScubaMP3 Suit cases for the 4G iPod, iPod mini, and iPod nano. The case we evaluated for 5G iPods will be available online and at Wal-Mart stores in May.
Just The Facts
Pros: top-notch materials, excellent build quality, great feel, integrated low-profile belt clip and armband support
Cons: bottom corners remain exposed
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