Review: XtremeMac Deluxe (New & Improved)
Pros: The same as the first review: A well-designed case that offers accessibility on the go, a cover flap for protection, and lots of optional mounts for your belt, car and desk - all at a great price.
The best just got better. A look at the revised Xtrememac iPod case.
A few months ago, I reviewed the Xtrememac Deluxe iPod Case - the best iPod holder that I had used to date. But since then, Xtrememac has made some small but ultimately impressive improvements to their original design. While these changes have not been highly publicized, they solve some of the minor problems people had with the first series, as well as improving some things that most people didn’t even realize needed fixing. Note: This update should serve as a supplement to my original review, which can be found here. I will be covering only those aspects of the case that have been changed since that article came out.
No More Fuzz
The only real complaint that anyone ever reported about the Xtrememac case was that it would leave a little bit of fuzz on the outside of the iPod. Personally, I saw this as little more than a minor inconvenience, but others thought it could become a major problem if the fuzz got into the iPod’s scroll wheel or Firewire port. Though I have yet to hear of a single case where the fuzz actually caused a problem, Xtrememac fixed the problem anyway. The new material on the inside of the case looks almost identical to the original, but it leaves literally no fuzz whatsoever. You’d think that the team at Xtrememac would have stopped there, seeing as no one had any more gripes, but they went ahead and kept on improving.
The original case was tight and fit snugly around the iPod, but the edges were fairly rounded, and it took a few days to really “break in” the case. However, the new revision offers one of the best fits that I have ever seen in a case. The new version has more defined edges than before, and they perfectly match the iPod. The leather also feels a bit thicker than with the previous model - it feels as though there is a bit more padding inside. By comparison, the original (which impressive at the time) now feels just like a piece of cardboard, whereas the new version feels thick, sturdy and protective. Also of note is that Xtrememac has reduced the prominence of its logo on the case. Originally, the logo was on the front flap of the case, but now it is more subtle - smaller and on the back.
Charging on the Road
A few months ago, Xtrememac also began shipping the Premium iPod Car Charger, which many enthusiasts had been eagerly awaiting. Let’s just say it was worth the wait. First off, the adapter works just as you’d hope. Plug one end into your car’s cigarette lighter, the other into your Firewire port, and you’re charging your iPod. But don’t let the device’s simplicity fool you - it is one of the most useful tools you can have when driving. On a recent 10-hour drive, I left the adapter plugged in for the entire trip, and I arrived with a fully-charged battery even though I had listened to about eight hours of music. And because the adapter uses a coiled cord, it stays neatly tucked away whether you keep your iPod on your dashboard or in your backseat.
Sometimes the smallest changes are the most important. Because the Xtrememac case was so popular initially, the company began mailing them to customers in relatively simple padded envelopes. However, now that they’ve caught up to the huge demand, they are shipping the cases in extremely professional, attractive plastic boxes. While you should never “judge a book by its cover,” I’ve always believed that if a company does a good job packaging its product, then it’s probably done just as well - if not better - at making that product in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Several iLounge readers have emailed me over the past few months asking me what I considered to be the “best” iPod case. While I have not tested every single case on the market, the Xtrememac case is by far the best I have ever seen. Prior to receiving it, I tried out half a dozen, and they all had their flaws. But this case was the one that made me stop my search, and I have used it every day since. This case has worked in literally every environment that the average iPod will face: crammed inside a backpack, in a car, in a pocket, and on a belt clip. Its versatility is truly unparalleled, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an iPod - no matter where and how you will be using it.