Review: Contour Design iSee | iLounge

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B+Recommended

Company: Contour Design

Website: www.ContourDesign.com

Model: iSee Case for iPod 5GB and 10GB, iSee Case for iPod 20GB

Price: $24.95, $29.95, respectively

Compatible: iPod 1G, 2G

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Contour Design iSee

Author's pic

By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Monday, December 2, 2002
Category: Cases - iPods + Accessories, iPod 1G + 2G (without Dock Connector)

Pros: The hard clear plastic case turns out to be a protective and stylish case for iPod. Want to be different? Get an iSee case. It’s practical and functional for everyday use. Not recommended for the active lifestyle. The iSee fits all iPod models.

Cons: It will get scratched, but better your case than iPod. It just means the iSee case is doing its job.

When I first started reviewing cases for iLounge, I had wondered about a hard case for iPod. I even drew some concept sketches of my idea of what an iPod hard case might look like. There’s no need to wonder about it any longer. Mac peripheral and accessory manufacturer, Contour Design has developed and brought to market the first hard case for iPod. And from my initial impressions this hard case is well designed and well made and showcases the iPod for all to see, and not hidden inside an ordinary case.

iSee Fits iPod

Constructed from injection molded, high grade, clear ABS plastic (the same plastic used in Macintosh G4 tower handles and case), the iSee case is made with tight tolerances for fit. Placing your iPod in the case is as simple as sliding the front panel up and out. Pop in the iPod and slide the cover into the side rails and your iPod is now incased in a hard, clear cocoon. The fit is perfect, just enough give so as not to be too tight. The case is like an extension of the iPod exterior, complete with rounded corners, making it appear as if the iPod and iSee were separated at birth.

Functional Hard Case

Contour Design developed the iSee case with full functionality in mind. There is an access hole for the scroll wheel (touch wheel), FireWire port, audio port and “Hold” switch.

The back of the case has a unique mechanism to attach a belt clip if you wish to do so. The white plastic belt clip is attached to the back panel by inserting it 90? perpendicular to the length of the case and turning it down. I was a bit weary about its reliability, but remember this case is not meant to withstand the rigors of jogging or working out in the gym. There are other, better cases suited for the more active lifestyle. For day-to-day use, the belt clip will do fine.

I’d also like to mention on the back panel of the case, there are four small, non-slip rubber nubs in each corner to act as feet to rest the case on. The rubber feet will grip any smooth surface and give stability when having to recharge or sync your iPod.

As an added bonus feature, Contour Design has also included a milky white “pod” to pack your earphones into. This “pod” can be attached to the bottom of the case by sliding it from right to left. It’s a tight fit, so give it s good push.

For All Practical Purposes

Do you need the iSee case instead of a regular soft case? It all depends on your lifestyle. The iSee case is best suited for everyday use. I wouldn’t using the iSee belt clip while jogging or biking, unless you stow it safely inside a backpack.

Will the iSee case get scratched? Our review case has several hair scratches and with time I’m sure there will be more. But, better the case than your iPod. Will the case scratch your iPod? I did not see any significant scratches due to my iPod being inside the iSee case. Contour Design had mentioned their early prototype models did scratch the iPod, but they have since worked out the problem before releasing it to the public.

Will the iSee case protect my iPod in a fall? I dropped just the case without iPod from waist high onto a wood floor. The front panel popped off, and there were no signs of cracking. I have to admit I was a bit squeamish performing the next test. I popped my iPod 5GB into the iSee case and dropped it from my waist again. The iPod and case hit hard against the floor. The case faired well and suffered a surface blemish on the bottom edge. My iPod was still inside, but the front panel had popped off again. All was well with both the iPod and the iSee case.

The Last Word

You just bought an iPod, your in need of a case and you want everybody to be able to see that you have the world’s best MP3 player and it’s protected for those days in the office, at home or in your car. Get yourself an iSee case, it’s stylish, practical and functional. It also makes a great second or third case for those who have a silicone rubber case and/or neoprene or leather case. You see, iSee we all see iPod.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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