Company: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO)
Model: Relaxed Leather Cases
Compatible: iPod 4G/photo/color (20/30GB)
DLO Relaxed Leather Cases for 4G iPod
Pros: Distinctive “relaxed” or “distressed” leather cases with belt clips or hand straps, using metal clasping mechanisms to stay closed. Reasonable pricing given looks and build quality.
Cons: Cases don’t close with thicker iPods inside, sides are partially open to allow scratches to iPods, bottom Dock hole is on small side, looks are better for some than others.
We’re catching up today on a number of case accessories for discontinued iPods, and for that reason presenting shorter than normal reviews. This review covers DLO’s Relaxed Leather Cases for 4G iPods ($35-40). Because of their discontination, these cases may become available in the near future for lower prices than those listed here, but we’ve reviewed them based on the most recent pricing information available from their manufacturer.
Released right before the discontinuation of the 4G iPod, these PDA-style cases are made with relaxed - aka distressed - leather, which looks different from case to case. One case has a metal ring in its center, two-toned tanned, rough brown leather, and a belt clip; another is made from softer, stitched brown leather and a belt clip, and the third is black with studs, a star pattern, and a small blue stone in its center. The last one lacks a belt clip, and instead comes with a hand strap for attachment to the case’s right side, and a leather and elastic loop at the back to hold the strap when not in use.
Though the pieces of leather are different, they feature almost identical body designs from case to case. There’s a hole on each case’s top for iPod headphones of any size, a very small hole at the bottom for Apple’s Dock Connecting accessories, and two holes on each side at the corners, the top holes much larger than the bottom ones. Leather and elastic are used together on the sides to allow the cases to expand, at first appearing to accommodate even thick 40GB/60GB color-screened iPods. But they don’t; magnetic clasps in each of the case’s fronts won’t seal shut with thick iPods in, contrary to what DLO’s site says.
If they fit your thinner iPod, and you like the style, give them a try. At $35-40 a piece, they’re not objectionably priced given their designs, and though they’re out of sync with our tastes, we think they’ll meet other people’s fashion needs better than ours. Just be aware that their side protectiveness in particular doesn’t ideally suit them for use in a bag, and that their bottom hole won’t work well with larger bottom-connecting accessory connectors.