Review: Belkin Clear Acrylic Case for iPod classic
In the early days of iPod cases, hard plastic was far from the most common available material: developers found it hard to precisely match Apple's curves, and used softer fabric and rubber designs instead. Today, thanks to sophisticated 3-D modeling and molding techniques, iPods and iPhones alike are routinely encased in shells made mostly from hard plastics. We're briefly reviewing seven very different options today for the iPod nano, classic, touch, and iPhone 3G, and if you read all of their reviews, you'll see that there are huge differences in their approaches to protection and value for the dollar. This review covers Belkin's Clear Acrylic Case ($30, aka Remix Acrylic) for iPod classic.
The single biggest challenge facing the Clear Acrylic Case is that it enters a fairly crowded pool of previously released clear plastic shells for the iPod classic. Like this case, most cover the classic’s entire back, all of its face except for its Click Wheel, and all of its top, bottom, and sides except for its ports and Hold switch. They’re designed to show off all of the iPod’s body while protecting it from damage, and typically only fail at the Click Wheel and Dock Connector ports; still, better companies such as Power Support include covers for these parts.
Belkin thankfully falls mostly on the side of greater protection. Like its earlier Remix Metal case for the iPod classic, the Clear Acrylic Case actually has an integrated Click Wheel cover, which we had no issue using to simultaneously control and protect the classic inside. The clear front face plate provides screen and body coverage, as well; Belkin has, however, left openings for the Dock Connector and headphone ports that are big enough for most but not all plugs out there, as well as Universal Docks. You should anticipate potential issues with certain full-width bottom-connecting accessories, and the largest headphone plugs, but not the most common accessories, which will work without issues.
Notably, the Clear Acrylic Case follows a trend of most of its competitors, offering only a single back shell that’s sized for the 80GB and 120GB iPod classics, not the thicker and now-discontinued 160GB iPod classic. Users of the current and past thinner classic models will find the fit to be perfect, but 160GB classic owners shouldn’t even attempt to stuff their iPods in; the case won’t fit.
Ultimately, the only real issue we have with the Clear Acrylic Case is its pricing. Competitors such as Griffin offer cases that are a little less protective for $10 less, while competitors such as Power Support offer cases that are at least equally protective and more functional—video stand, belt clip, or the like—for the same $30 asking price. We’d call this a very good case overall, but it’s not aggressively priced; seek out a discount and you’ll be more satisfied with its value.