Review: XtremeMac MicroWallet Accent, Leather and Pastel for iPod nano
The MicroWallet family for iPod nano encompasses three variants on the same theme; each has a front lid that folds closed to cover your nano's face. MicroWallet Accent ($20) uses a two-tone, canvas-like nylon exterior, an integrated belt clip, and a thick rubber band to keep itself closed. Leather ($30) is a classier version of Accent, made with one of four colored leathers, save for its fully metallic belt clip and matching rubber band. Pastel ($30) is a leather-like case sold in green and pink without the rubber band; instead, it shuts with a snap and includes a metal carabineer hook. Each case has a microsuede lining and plastic iPod nano clips.
We’re not big fans of front-flapped case designs to begin with, and though they’re different in materials, these three cases all take the same approach : your iPod is held in place inside by two hard plastic rails, and either the rubber band or snap is intended to provide enough tension to keep the iPod in place. The concept works, but looks cheap, especially when the cases are opened up, and also exposes more than a bit of your nano’s sides and corners. You can do better on iPod nano protection for sure, but admittedly, these cases stand up better to common scratches and scrapes than most we’ve seen; we couldn’t easily damage them.
The biggest thing we’d point to as something we liked about these cases is XtremeMac’s variety of leather options. We’ve really been impressed by the leathers across multiple Xtreme cases, and the one in our MicroWallet Leather sample was no exception. Unfortunately, it’s cheapened by the use of a rubber band to hold the case closed, one of several design touches that relegates the MicroWallet family to a limited recommendation across the board. Each of the three cases has one thing (Accent: price, Leather: leathers, and Pastel: hook) worthy of a bonus point in one category or another, but none of these would be near the tops of our lists of great iPod nano cases. They’re good enough that some people will like them, but in our view, simply shrinking the more stylish MicroFlip 5G design would have been a smarter choice here.