Review: iSkin Duo for iPod nano 4G + Duo touch for iPod touch 2G
Duo for nano 4G
As evolutions of the company's earlier Duo cases for the iPod nano and iPod touch, iSkin's new Duo for iPod nano 4G (3-Pack, $35) and Duo touch for iPod touch 2G ($35) both use a combination of silicone rubber cases, hard plastic screen protectors, and clear film to protect the iPods inside. Duo for iPod nano 4G is sold in three different three-case sets: you get either clear, black, and purple cases ("Chill Pack"), clear, pink, and red cases ("Cruise Pack"), or clear, white, and black cases ("Groove Pack") in one box, with one clear hard plastic screen shield, one piece of Click Wheel film, three color-matched Dock Connector covers, a detachable rear belt clip, and a Dock Adapter. Duo touch, by comparison, is a single two-tone rubber case in your choice of clear, red, blue, or black -- each with a black front frame -- plus film and hard plastic screen covers and a cleaning cloth. Duo touch features an integrated Dock Connector cover rather than the detachable ones found in the nano 4G version.
Price aside, there’s a lot to like about Duo for the iPod nano. Headphone port aside, it protects the entire nano while giving you a variety of color options in each package, and the option to use or leave off the included belt clip. The layering of Click Wheel film alongside a rubber body case and a clear face protector is entirely logical, and works well to make the screen viewable, the Wheel usable, and the body safe from scratches. Of course, there are less expensive cases that do the same thing, but they don’t include the variety of colors you get in this package.
iSkin did a good job with the original version of Duo touch, which was called iSkin touch for the first-generation touch model. Oddly, Duo touch comes with less in the package and sells for a higher price, the only reasons for its lower rating. iSkin touch shipped with screen film, a case, and a detachable belt clip, while the new version lacks the belt clip and instead substitutes a comparatively useless hard plastic screen cover. This piece isn’t touch-through, and does nothing but add another hard surface in front of the iPod’s glass screen; we didn’t like it when it appeared in an iSkin iPhone case called Revo, and don’t like it now. Thankfully, it can just be left off the case, which otherwise covers the entire touch save for its headphone port hole; you can pull the Dock Connector cover back to connect accessories or dock the touch.
Though iSkin’s cases continue to skew towards the higher end of the price scale even while competitors continue to develop impressive, more affordable designs, there’s no doubt that the Duo cases take iPod protection—and good looks—seriously enough to merit some premium. These are good case designs with somewhat superfluous pack-ins designed to justify their higher prices; if the extra items appeal to your personal needs, they’re worth considering.