iPodstreet Metal Case for iPod nano
Pros: A simple hinged metal case for the iPod nano with detachable belt clip and nub, available in 3 colors.
Cons: Exposes nano’s Hold switch, Click Wheel, and bottom ports, only too narrowly on headphone port. Wider, thicker, and more expensive than simultaneously released competing product.
If you took Core Cases’ Aluminum Case for iPod nano (iLounge rating: B+) and made a few not-as-smart changes, what you’d wind up with is iPodstreet’s Metal Case for iPod nano ($30). Haven’t seen the other case’s review yet? Go look. You’ll notice that Metal Case is $10 more expensive and offers no benefit over the Aluminum Case, hence our less than stellar feelings and rating above.
The three case colors offered by iPodstreet are silver, black, and red - a different and less orange red than Core’s - without other options at present. Also unlike Core’s case, each Metal Case includes a right-mounted hinge, which enables the front face of the case to flip open, giving you a place to put the nano, then snap the case closed on its left side. This design has some satisfying aspects - no two pieces to juggle when the case is opened - but it’s also wider as a consequence than the Aluminum Case.
Then there’s the case’s back, which uses a screw, a metal nub, and a detachable black plastic belt clip instead of the simple alligator clip on the Aluminum Case. Not only do these parts bulk up the Metal Case when attached, but the case is actually thicker than the Aluminum Case when they’re detached, as the screw and nub require a place to rest inside the back. Core’s design is smarter, easier on the user, and likely cheaper to produce, as well.
But these differences aside, the cases are mostly similar. They both leave holes for the nano’s Click Wheel, Hold switch, and bottom ports, and cover its screen with a hard clear plastic protector. Their metal shells are covered inside with a thin layer of anti-scratch neoprene, and your nano’s about equally safe inside. The only other noteworthy difference is iPodstreet’s smaller headphone port opening, which is just big enough for Apple’s plugs, not most others.
When two similar products come out at the same time with markedly different prices, and the cheaper one’s better in a couple of other ways as well, we’d have no reason to recommend the pricier one to our readers. The Metal Case isn’t bad, but it’s nothing special, either: it’s okay, the definition of an average, C-rated accessory.