Review: Shinnorie EZgoing Leather Pouch for iPod nano
Pros: A colorful array of leather iPod nano cases, each with a matching necklace and hand strap, plus cord manager loop. Leather is soft and nice on all cases except black version; colors are vibrant. Reasonable prices.
Cons: Lacks screen, Click Wheel, and four-corner protection for the scratch-attracting nano. Screen hole is cut a little too small. Included necklace and hand strap are only okay.
It’s easy to make an iPod case, but hard to make a really good one. Relatively new to the iPod market, Singapore-based Shinnorie has developed a series of leather iPod nano cases called EZgoing Leather Pouches ($22 each), which are distinctive for one reason: colors. The Pouch is sold in eight different color options - black, blue, green, orange, violet, red, white, and yellow - and with the exception of the black version, these cases are vibrant and identical in texture - smooth and soft, with a fabric internal lining. Shinnorie’s black case is comparatively grainy in texture, and doesn’t feel as soft to the touch. The coloration around the edges of the other cases is a little rough, but not terribly so.
Each case has the same general design: leather covers all of the iPod’s white or black plastic surfaces, as well as its metallic back, with the exception of its corners, screen, and Click Wheel. There are holes in all four corners, the only small (but unnecessary) one in the top right, with a snap-closed tab on the bottom holding the case together and separating the otherwise open left and right bottom sides. No screen protector or Click Wheel protector is included for the price; they’re just left open, and the screen hole is on the too-small side.
Shinnorie also includes two leather straps with each case - a hand strap and a necklace - which are unfortunately a bit too “do it yourself” for our liking. The straps both include two simple metal rings that you weave the leather through, forming a hopefully binding loop for your hand or neck, and the case’s snap-closed tab of leather has an eyelet in its center so that you can attach either strap to the case. It looks and feels like a cheap solution, but it works. There’s also a third matching leather fabric loop that can optionally be added to either strap to use as a cord manager for your nano, an add-on that we didn’t particularly like or want to use.
Our feelings on the EZgoing cases are simple: they look nice enough and are reasonably priced for what they are, but aren’t totally polished visually, and are so-so on protection and included extras. Given the nano’s scratch susceptibility, we really hesitate to give any nano case a rating higher than a flat B if it lacks both screen and Click Wheel protection, and that’s the situation here. Though some people will like the EZgoing cases for what they are, better straps, added protection and edge-of-case color polish, and an equally smooth black version would make them considerably smarter purchases.