Models: Aluminum Metal Case
Compatible: iPod nano (with video)
PDair Aluminum Metal Case for iPod nano 3G
Having previously looked at the first collection of cases for the third-generation iPod nano (with video), today we're covering 11 additional options with brief capsule reviews. Five new cases - four leather, one metal - are from a company called PDair, one is leather from Noreve, one is neoprene from Marware, and four alternate between leather, neoprene, and rubber from Incase. Not surprisingly, there are a number of similarities between certain groups of these cases, so we're bundlng the like cases together for comparison, and looking at the other ones individually.
Early on in the iPod’s life, Matias ruled the aluminum case roost with its iPod Armor (later Matias Armor) cases, but virtually all of the aluminum cases we see these days are coming from resellers of generic Asian designs. Such is the situation with PDair’s Aluminum Metal Case ($25), which as the name suggests covers most of the third-generation iPod nano’s body with resilient aluminum, leaving cut-outs for its bottom ports, Hold switch, and Click Wheel. A clear plastic screen protector is built into each case, and a silver lanyard necklace is included with both case colors.
There are definitely things to like about the Aluminum Metal Case. Most positively, it does a nice job of protecting almost all of the nano: not only does the aluminum shell cover the nano’s most scratchable parts, but PDair also uses interior padding and nano side clips to keep the iPod from being scraped when it’s inside. The hinge and clip system used here isn’t sexy, and PDair doesn’t offer the variety of colors that a company like Core Cases has traditionally sold for prior iPod models, yet the cases look good enough to pass muster. Additionally, the case allows the nano to work in Universal iPod Docks, and we found other accessories easy to connect to both the Dock Connector and the headphone port on nano’s bottom.
On the less positive side, the Aluminum Metal Case’s Click Wheel hole isn’t perfectly aligned, such that while the nano’s Wheel is fully usable, it sits a little off to the right and bottom rather than dead center. As with PDair’s other cases, this one doesn’t include any sort of Click Wheel protection, either, and though the integrated screen protector looks good, it’s a little off, too, just overlapping the bottom of the nano’s screen while framing its black border on the other sides.
These small issues detract a little from what is otherwise a competent, decently priced case design. A few tweaks and more color options would make the Aluminum Metal Case more recommendable, but as-is, it’s worthy of our flat B, general recommendation.