Models: Icewear nano 2G
Compatible: iPod nano (aluminum)
Tunewear Icewear nano 2G
For years, we've liked Tunewear's series of silicone rubber Icewear cases, and the newest version - Icewear nano 2G ($13) - is one of the better members of the family. Having recovered from a few mistakes made with its first-generation nano predecessor, the second-generation nano version of Icewear recalls the best parts of the company's iPod shuffle version, without making the top, rear, and face protectiveness compromises that hurt the similarly-shaped iPod mini version two and a half years ago.
Though silicone rubber cases are a dime a dozen these days, Tunewear has established two trademark features for the Icewear series: an ice-like transparent frosted rubber just thick enough to look interesting on its own, and ribbed edges, which have varied in appeal mostly based on the shape of a given iPod’s side curves. Like the iPod mini, the second-generation nano’s fully rounded sides work well with vertical stripes, which blend in nicely with elevated edges around the nano’s screen and Wheel. As with prior Icewear cases, Icewear tends to look wet on the iPod surfaces it touches, and is a bit of a challenge to remove, but given the name and how nice it looks overall, you’ll probably want to keep it on.
Protectiveness is above average, but not fantastic: the Icewear case has four holes, one each for the Hold switch and entire nano bottom, and two total for the nano’s screen and Click Wheel. Though Tunewear provides screen and Click Wheel protective film, the latter is incomplete thanks to a hole for the center Action button; other companies have done quite well with thin, integrated Click Wheel and Hold switch covers, which we wish Tunewear had used here. They’re the only serious oversights in an otherwise great design.
Icewear nano 2G’s single most appealing feature is its price: for $13, you get a well-made, cleanly designed case that leaves your iPod easy to use, more interesting to look at, and protected well enough to be a net positive for most of the nano’s body. These features together contribute to an A- rating, and high recommendation. As simple as the case may look, it’s the result of years of iterative design, yet finally priced at an appropriate level given its competition.