Review: Macally Icesuit Protective Sleeve for iPod nano | iLounge



Company: Macally


Model: Icesuit for iPod nano

Price: $20

Compatible: iPod nano

Macally Icesuit Protective Sleeve for iPod nano

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Category: Cases - iPods + Accessories, iPod nano

Pros: A super-slick silicone rubber case with attractive colored accents added through a double injection process, resulting in precise detail and high resilience. Available in two color options, each with a nice integrated iPod earbud cord manager and protector on the back, which we liked.

Cons: No screen, Hold switch, or bottom protection, no other pack-ins typical of rubber cases.

Thanks to unfathomable quantities of junk in the marketplace, the number of rubber cases reviewed by iLounge is taking a dramatic nose dive, and we’re only planning to spotlight the ones that are truly impressive in some way. Macally’s new Icesuit Protective Sleeve for iPod nano ($20) is one of the exceptional ones. The company has used colored accents and a surprisingly cool rear earbud cord manager and protector to distinguish its design from all of the generic rubber cases out there, causing us to take notice.

Though it’s not totally surprising, we’re impressed by the fit and finish of Icesuit, which properly fits the iPod nano and tailors its holes as tightly as possible to fit its screen and ports. The finish is actually especially impressive in that the colored accents used to highlight the nano’s Click Wheel labels, naturally obscured by the integrated rubber protector, are actually precision-detailed on a level we haven’t seen in any two-tone rubber case before. This is apparently due to a double injection process that happens to have been extremely well-executed here. And like most silicone rubber cases, this one does a good job of resisting scratches and strains, forming a resilient barrier against the elements.

Though it’s accomplished at the cost of protectiveness, Icesuit enables you to use all of the iPod’s ports, plus its screen and Click Wheel, while inside. The integrated Wheel protector preserves appropriate tactility, and the precision-cut holes are appropriately sized to permit anything to access the Hold switch, Dock Connector port, and headphone port, including oversized third-party accessories.

It’s rare these days to see a rubber case with anything “special” going for it, but Macally’s new design has both visual innovations and a better-than-normal cord manager to brag about. Each of the two Icesuits - white or black - is accented on its front with colorful markings. The white case has a green outline and Click Wheel marks; the black case orange markings. Macally’s logo appears inoffensively at the top of each case’s back. A sculpted rubber cord manager allows you to easily wrap your cord around a groove in the case’s extended back - nothing new - but the company has also left holes in the rubber to hold Apple’s earbuds and, if desired, their headphone plug. It’s a better-looking solution than many we’ve seen, and though not all people will use Apple’s earbuds, this case adds a nice protective benefit for the many people who do. On the flip side, we’ll mention only briefly that the case lacks many of the pack-ins we’ve come to expect with rubber cases - lanyard, belt clip, etcetera - but in truth, we really don’t mind their omission at all.

Icesuit’s only weakness is its level of protection: the case leaves the iPod’s screen, Hold switch, and bottom ports entirely exposed, and though the silicone rubber is thick enough to qualify for one strength point, it’s not super-strong. It was possible to offer a bottom flap, thinner Hold switch coverage, or a screen protector here; they’re just missing.

By iPod nano silicone rubber case standards, Icesuit’s $20 asking price is entirely fair, and augmented by one point of reviewer’s tilt for looking and feeling as good as it does. We actively liked this case quite a bit, and wouldn’t hesitate to pair it with a piece of protective screen film and actually use it. That said, we think there should have been film in the package - the reason the case doesn’t get a second tilt point - as it would make this case almost completely protective, and not force the users to take on this burden themselves.

Overall, Icesuit for iPod nano is one of the very nicest nano cases we’ve seen, and would have rated quite a bit higher had it been as protective as it is attractive, well-built and easy to use. A couple of extra points from screen protection alone would have pushed this clearly into our highly recommended category - here’s to hoping Macally adds it in a subsequent version of the case.

A Note From the Editors of iLounge: Though all products and services reviewed by iLounge are "final," many companies now make changes to their offerings after publication of our reviews, which may or may not be reflected above. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.


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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