Review: Proporta Alu-Crystal Case for iPod nano (Second-Generation)
It's JAVOedge's AlloyVision ($26)! No, it's Proporta's Alu-Crystal Case (£15/$29)! As with many of the cases we've seen from JAVOedge and Proporta, the same Asian second-generation iPod nano case design - a somewhat interesting fusion of a clear hard plastic front shell with a polished metallic back shell - has been released by two companies under different names, with different colors and pack-ins. Because of the pack-ins and the slight difference in pricing, they receive separate reviews, but really, they're the same product.
At first glance, the cases look entirely identical: they both feature rubber sides and inside back foam piping, the latter to grip your inserted nano and prevent scuffs or scratches to its rear surface. They also both have half-moon cut-outs in the metal around the nano’s Hold switch on the rear shell, enabling you to easily pop your nano out whenever necessary. And there’s a hole on the rear bottom of each case for insertion of an included lanyard necklace, should you want to use it to wear your nano around your neck.
The differences start with that lanyard. Proporta’s Alu-Crystal Case comes with a cheaper-looking, fluffy white one, while JAVOedge’s AlloyVision includes a slightly nicer-looking dark gray one. Most buyers won’t care, but we’d give the edge here to JAVO. More substantial differences are found in the rear casing. JAVOedge’s version comes in four colors - black, red, green, and silver - while Proporta’s only comes in silver. These two silver versions look identical but for the presence of a white engraved JAVOedge logo on the back of its case, which is missing from the Proporta version.
More importantly, JAVOedge includes a couple of things that Proporta doesn’t: a package with JAVOScreen 2.0 Screen and Click Wheel protector film, plus a cleaning cloth. Though the Wheel protector’s not great - it has a cut-out for the nano’s center button rather than full protection - it adds some protectiveness absent from Proporta’s take, and the cleaning cloth will help you keep the case looking shiny. While neither case covers your nano’s bottom at all, they both are designed to permit attachment of virtually any headphone or Dock Connecting accessory you may have, save for those specifically contoured to the nano’s unencased, thin shape.
Both of these cases are recommendably good, but JAVOedge’s version - a little more protective (not enough for a full point’s difference), a little better in color options, and a little less expensive, at least for our U.S.-based readers - is the smarter pick for the dollar.