Review: Power Support Silicone Jacket for 5G iPod (with video) | iLounge

Review

B+Recommended

Company: Power Support

Website: www.PowerSupportUSA.com

Model: Silicone Jacket for 5G iPod

Price: $30

Compatible: iPod 5G

Power Support Silicone Jacket for 5G iPod (with video)

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Category: Cases - iPods + Accessories, iPod 5G (with Video)

Pros: A strong, conservative-looking silicone rubber case for the fifth-generation iPod, including crystal clear screen and full Click Wheel film, available in two colors (translucent and black), two sizes.

Cons: Click Wheel film leaves visible air bubbles. Top of iPod remains partially exposed; Dock Connector port (while shielded on its sides) is still open. Price remains higher than most rubber cases, no extra frills in package.

For the most part, we’ve decided not to review the billions of identical silicone rubber cases we’ve received for the fifth-generation iPod; so many of them are cheaply made that we haven’t felt they merited coverage. Power Support’s new Silicone Jacket for 5G iPod ($30) is an exception - and for the price, it should be. As with previous editions, the Jacket includes three pieces, namely a rubber case and separate pieces of screen and Click Wheel protective film, which provide nearly comprehensive coverage for the iPod 5G’s body. Two colors (translucent and black) are available, as are two sizes to fit 30GB and 60GB iPods.

As always, Power Support’s rubber build quality is impressive by comparison with cheap iPod cases: the attention to detail on each Silicone Jacket’s holes, corners, edges and seams is of a higher level than we’ve seen from other rubber cases, and the quality of the company’s silicone rubber remains top-notch. It’s surgical grade, not the easy to tear or distort rubber most low-end companies use, and fits each iPod to a T without showing damage. Similarly, the company’s film protectors are crystalline and made from good plastic - sturdier and more resilient than some of the thin stickers we’ve seen, and based on static cling technology rather than adhesive, so they can be removed, washed, and replaced. They shouldn’t be bent, though.

Our one and only gripe about the build quality is that despite our best efforts, we couldn’t remove the “wet” look shown in these photos from our Click Wheel film; it fits and covers properly, but its elevated central button protector always keeps some air bubbles inside. This is a small issue, but one worth noting.

It’s no surprise that Silicone Jacket 5G scores perfectly on ease of use: Power Support provides full-time access to the iPod’s screen, Click Wheel controls, headphone port, Hold switch, and Dock Connector port. More notable is the fact that the company has accomplished this with a greater than ever before degree of protectiveness, as noted below.

Though the Silicone Jacket doesn’t score any points for special features - Power Support doesn’t include a belt clip, lanyard, or other bonus item in the box - it does get two points for pioneering the inclusion of screen and Wheel film, which today have become increasingly common and important alternatives to rubberized protection of one or both parts. The company’s film continues to be some of the best we’ve seen from any company.

This Silicone Jacket does very well on protectiveness - better, in fact, than its predecessors. Not only does it include fully protective screen and Click Wheel film - earlier full-sized iPod jackets didn’t cover the Click Wheel’s center button - but its top and bottom holes have been narrowed significantly. The bottom Dock Connector hole now uses a tapered design that covers every millimeter of the iPod’s bottom save the actual port, and the case’s top hole is coming closer and closer to the thin slit we think would be optimal. This is a very protective silicone case.

Faced with competition from innumerable companies now producing rubber cases, Power Support has repeatedly explained that its philosophy is “you get what you pay for,” and though it’s certainly true that its cases command a bit of a premium over similar products, we have to agree that they’re worth it. Imperfect only in small ways, the rubber and film is certainly better than most of what we see from other companies, and your iPod retains its good looks while inside either colored version of the jacket - we still prefer the translucent one. While not the best “deals” we’ve ever seen, these components pretty much merit their added cost in our view.

Overall, the latest Silicone Jacket is a very good iPod case - quite substantially protective, attractive, and well made. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a resilient silicone rubber iPod case that’s neutral and classy rather than showy.

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.

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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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