Review: Tunewear Prie Uni for iPod nano
Flip-closed iPod cases? We've seen lots of them, each highly similar to the rest except for a few small changes. Tunewear's Prie Uni ($40) is the latest such offering, relying on two modest tweaks and Nappa leather to distinguish itself from the pack; regrettably, issues with its fit, finish, and value take away from an otherwise nice design.
Promoted primarily for the second-generation iPod nano, but compatible with first-generation versions as well, Uni comes in three versions, each black with colored (green, blue, or purple) stitching - the case’s most noteworthy aesthetic distinction. Though supple on the outside, the black leather on each case feels thin on the inside, bulging where rectangular magnets have been inserted to hold the top flap closed. Similarly, its tailoring isn’t especially impressive; when used with second-generation nanos; our sample unit’s screen and Click Wheel holes skewed off a bit to the right, and the leather fell a millimeter or two short of fully covering the nano’s bottom face. The bottom face fit was fine on a first-generation nano, but the hole alignment was off with this model, too.
Other than the stitching, Tunewear’s novel feature here is a detachable, excellent silver metal carabiner clip, just like the ones packaged with earlier Prie Ambassador cases. Thanks to a sturdy, impressive metal design, it’s easy to attach the clip to a loop on the bottom of the case, then use the spring-loaded mechanism inside to attach the case to a bag, belt loop, or other piece of clothing. Though they’re unnecessary given the case’s front shield, the company also includes simple film screen and Click Wheel protectors, the latter with a hole in the center; you can leave them off or attach them if you prefer.
All in all, Prie Uni’s not a bad case - if you can look past the issues in its leather interior, you’ll find its outside mostly impressive, and its clipping system to be enviably well designed. For the dollar, we think Tunewear’s Ambassador series is still the company’s best combination of features and design.