Review: Noreve Tradition Leather Case
Pros: Good quality padded leather PDA-style case available in multiple colors, each with nice velvet lining and great detachable belt clip system. Nicely cut holes.
Cons: Exposes iPod’s corners and part of Dock Connector; pricey by comparison with other good options; old-fashioned in design and execution; doesn’t stand out from the PDA pack in any way.
Like another case we review today, Noreve’s aptly-named Tradition cases (€39.90, approx. $52*) for full-sized iPods and iPod photos offer another take on the well-established “PDA-style” design we’ve seen many times before: a flip-top iPod sleeve that opens and closes with a snap on its rear side, permitting iPod screen and control access only when the top’s open.
Tradition’s primary assets are its materials and construction: our (slightly off-iPod-tone) white review sample used padded quality leather for all of its external parts, with a soft black velvet lining on the inside. In addition to the white color we received, Tradition is offered in black, beige, pink, baby blue, red, ocean blue, and gray leathers. While not unique in offering this array of leather colors, Tradition is one of the more affordable cases to do so.
Clean white stitching looked good on the inside and outside of the beige case, forming loops around a hole nicely tailored to the iPod’s extended headphone port, and a small one around the bottom Dock Connector port, as well as the iPod’s screen and Click Wheel controls. Of these holes, the only one that gave us slight pause is the Dock Connector cut-out, which is soft enough to permit insertion of Apple and third-party connectors, but isn’t totally covered by the case’s bottom flap. The lack of interior screen and Click Wheel protection isn’t a major problem, as they’re not necessary with a flip-closed case. However, as with some (but not all) PDA-style cases, the iPod’s top and bottom corners are left exposed even when the case is closed.
A silver metal screw on Tradition’s back covers a screw hole that otherwise accommodates a detachable silver star-shaped metal nub and black plastic belt clip. As with the other components Noreve has selected, we were impressed with the quality of the belt clip and nub system. Though the clip doesn’t match the case’s color, this is typical of cases that are sold in numerous colors, and isn’t noticeable to other people when you’re actually using the belt clip.
If Tradition has any failing, it’s implied in the name: with so many other PDA-style cases out there, it’s not innovative in any real way, and if you saw it in pictures you’d hardly be able to tell it from competing products released years ago. More recently, Marware developed an attractive two-piece, more affordable PDA case in its C.E.O. Classic (iLounge rating: A-), and evolved the PDA case concept with the excellent and similarly affordable TrailVue (iLounge rating: A-). At around the same asking price as Noreve’s $52* Tradition, companies such as Vaja are offering beautifully colored “Classic” leather cases of their own, too.
[* = Note: Noreve’s $52 asking price is applicable to European customers because of local taxes. The price is reduced to $43 for non-European customers, but $8.50 is added in shipping costs to the United States.)
Given its similarity to previously released options, we recommend Noreve Tradition as a middle-of-the-road offering - built well enough, protective enough, and color-customizable enough to appeal to people looking for better than average quality leather goods. But they’ll pay for the privilege, and in this price range, we’d lean towards a Vaja Classic. Still, it’s impossible to ignore the Tradition’s good craftsmanship and attractive body. It’s a good case, if not quite the evolutionary step that most of its competitors are now offering.