Review: Fabrix Cases for iPod nano 3G, iPod touch, and iPhone
Only three months after the iPod touch's release, there are lots of fabric and leather case options out there, so we're moving through another collection of nine options today to help you acquaint yourself with the great, good, and nothing special offerings. Four of the nine cases also come in highly similar versions for other iPod models, which we detail briefly alongside them. This review is for Fabrix's Cases for iPod nano 3G, iPod touch, and iPhone.
All of the leather cases we reviewed today had something in common: as little as some of them may have been tailored to the iPod touch, none of them required you to actually remove the iPod to use it. By comparison, the Fabrix Cases for iPod nano 3G, iPod touch, and iPhone ($20 each) and DLO’s HipCase Nylon Case for iPod touch ($30) are what we consider to be maximally inconvenient cases: they transform your multimedia iPod or iPhone into little more than a music player unless you take them off.
Singapore-based Fabrix’s cases are very simple padded sleeves consisting of patterned exterior and solid soft interior fabrics. The company makes each case to fit the size of your iPod or iPhone, charging the same price for any design, and offering thirty-five different fabric options like the three shown here. Each case has a Fabrix logo tag on the side, as well as a nylon loop on the open side, ready to be attached to a hook, lanyard, or other clip—none are included with the case. Custom-sized versions of the cases are available for a $2 premium to fit non-iPod/iPhone devices; other than size, they look the same from case to case, with no special model-specific curves. It’s surprising that Fabrix is charging the same price for the small iPod nano version as for the bigger iPhone version; other sleeves of this sort have sold for less, even for larger iPods.
It goes without saying that at this point in time there are thousands of iPod cases out there, several dozen for the iPod touch, and plenty for other models, as well; their average selling price is in the $25 range, and at such a price, it’s not only easy to find a case with good protection and easy access to both the screen and controls, it’s common. It’s also almost vital. A recent iLounge reader survey suggests that most of our readers now use their iPods at least part time for video playback, which is completely precluded in fully or largely sealed cases like these. Put another way, buy one of these cases and you’re guaranteed inconvenience.
If you’ve been following iLounge reviews for the past several years, you’ll know that Fabrix’s offerings are based on the simplest possible iPod case design out there, which was not especially appealing when we tested it for pre-video iPods, and has even less to offer these days. They don’t have the belt clip functionality of the HipCase, nor are they especially stylish or interesting: anyone can wrap padded fabric around an iPod or iPhone and sell it as a case; talented case makers actually tailor the fabric to permit use of the iPod while inside, rather than just sizing it to fit bare dimensions and asking you to stuff the iPod in, exposing whatever parts of its body happen to be on the same side as its headphone port. The nicest thing we can say about the Fabrix cases is that they cover quite a bit of the iPods, but then, so do iPod Socks.
Whether it’s $20 for the Fabrix cases or $30 for the nylon HipCase, we’d expect more and better for the prices from these companies; thankfully, at least in DLO’s case, there are lots of other case offerings to choose from that do better for the dollar. These aren’t bad cases, but they’re easily forgotten.