Review: Case Logic Trend Cases for iPod nano, classic + touch
There are two ways to truly impress oversaturated iPod users with case designs these days: beauty and functionality. Beauty is the key asset behind several of Case Logic's latest releases, including two reviewed now -- the Trend cases for iPod nano ($20), iPod classic ($25), and iPod touch ($30), and the Traditional Tins for iPod nano and classic (reviewed separately) -- as well as the Folio, coming later today. But not for their good looks, we'd be unenthusiastic about all of these cases, as they use lids that obscure both the iPod's screen and controls unless you remove them.
Whereas Folio is a sophisticated flip case that uses a combination of metal and real leather in a way we haven’t seen before, Trend is a me-too faux leather, fabric, and cardboard-reinforced design that looks and feels a lot cheaper. Trend uses either semi-hidden magnets (iPod classic) or snaps (iPod nano, iPod touch) to keep its lid shut, placing the magnets on the one iPod with a hard drive and the snaps on the two without. Where these cases go right is in their bold, kid-friendly interiors, varying external accents, and in their inclusions of square ringlets for attachment to a hook or strap, regrettably neither of which Case Logic packs in.
To start with the positives, Case Logic’s “Satin Stripe” versions of Trend are available in three colors with tan canvas comprising most of each case, and bold two-tone satin stripes in green, purple, or pink running vertically from front to back. The inner microsuede lining matches the outer stripe, a nice touch. Then there’s the “Pop Flower” version of Trend, which is available in a brown, yellow, and red mix that has inked on and felt-stitched flowers, as well as stitched-in stripes in matching colors.
Less impressive is the standard “Fitted Case” version, shown here for the iPod touch, which is nothing more than a plain artificial leather shell with a microsuede interior and a book-style lid design. This case is frankly is almost as plain as these cases get—not much better than the OEM cases we receive from lesser companies. Interestingly, the black version of Trend here has a neutral gray interior, unlike the black Case Logic Folio, which opens to reveal red insides; the choice to add a bold splash of color to the classier Folio rather than the more kid-friendly Trend strikes us as a mistake, but at least there’s one black and gray option in the company’s lineup.
All of these cases expose the iPod’s headphone port and corners, with the classic and touch versions also exposing the Dock Connector port to various degrees—the touch case’s bottom is entirely open, thankfully with enough side reinforcement not to let the touch slip out except under extreme shaking—and the classic one with a small, Apple cable-sized hole. The iPod touch version also leaves the Sleep/Wake button open, even though it could have been covered with the adjacent microfiber and just pressed through. Additionally, none of the cases is Universal Dock compatible, but all three can accommodate any size of headphones, and the iPod touch book-style design can work with other bottom -connecting accessories without a hassle.
With hundreds of flip-style cases on the market and none of them especially convenient for frequent users of current-generation iPods’ video features—or their touch-sensitive controls—the only reasons to consider these Trend cases are their small visual tweaks. We genuinely liked the stripe and flower accents on the cases, but can’t say that we’d ever recommend these over the Folios given the latter designs’ far superior protection, classier looks and materials. Consider these to be slightly better than OK cases for their prices, and worthy of purchase only if you’re really into their looks.