Company: Better Energy Systems Ltd.
Model: Tread Cases
Price: $35 and up
Compatible: iPod 5G, nano, and MacBook Pro/PowerBook 15”
Better Energy Systems Tread Visor, Pocket Rock ‘It and MacBook Pro/PowerBook
Following up on its earlier Tread Ellipse III case for the iPod nano, which pioneered the concept of recycling truck tires into iPod cases, Better Energy Systems has delivered three new Tread cases: play-through designs for the iPod nano (Pocket Rock'It) and 5G (Visor), and the Tread Handcrafted Leather Sleeve for MacBook Pro and PowerBook. The play-through designs combine Ellipse III's rubber tire body with a a clear screen protector, fabric Click Wheel protector, and snap-closed design that doesn't need a front flap. Like Ellipse III, you can stow your iPod earbuds in either case's back when they're not in use.
[Editors’ Note: On November 1, 2006, iLounge published The 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide, with more than 30 brand new, capsule-sized product reviews - only for products we considered to be amongst the very best we’ve seen throughout the year. The short review below is excerpted from the Guide, which you can download here.]
Like Better Energy’s earlier Treads, but better, the environmentally friendly Tread Visor is made largely from recycled truck tires, but also has cool plastic and fabric accents that provide added protectiveness and features. Colored earbud slits on the back let you store Apple’s earphones while not in use; a completely protective front, back, top and bottom design shields the iPod against any sort of harm. It’s eco-smart, and reasonably priced, too. The only thing you should look out for: the top headphone port hole of this 5G case is only sized for Apple’s earbuds, but the case’s use of a generous top flap lets other earphones work without an issue.
Originally announced at this year’s Macworld Expo, the Tread Handcrafted Leather Sleeve for MacBook Pro and PowerBook ($100) is a beauty - a Best of Show 2006 winner. With an outer shell made from big pieces of recycled tire, each one unique to the buyer, the case opens to reveal a soft red lining, and zippers closed with two Tread-tagged, heavy-duty zippers. The company’s web site suggests that the $100 model is at least water-resistant; a $150 model is being billed as water-proof. It’s sold in a 15” size only at the moment, and properly fits the 15.4” MacBook Pro notebook computer.