Pros: An artistic and visually interesting line of cases, available in many different styles. Comes with a detachable belt clip, lanyard necklace and screen protector; priced extremely well.
Cons: Covered Click Wheel mildly limits sensitivity for navigation. No protection for the Hold switch or Dock Connector.
As an update to the company’s earlier, excellent iJacket soft plastic cases for the first-generation iPod nano, Aquarius’s new iJacket for second-generation iPod nanos now comes with a fully detachable clear belt clip, plus a lanyard necklace and clear film screen protector. The major selling points here remain Aquarius’s incredible variety of art designs, which varies from sports to colored patterns and other interesting artwork, and the low asking price per case.
Like its predecessors for the original iPod nano and iPod 5G, iJacket for the second-generation iPod nano ($13) is a thin plastic shell with bright artwork on the nano’s face and off-white, slip-resistant material on the back. The iJacket is one of the most visually distinctive case designs on the market today, with a vast array of themes to choose from, including a psychedelic scull and bones, numerous flower patterns, and hip retro artwork.
The iJacket is made entirely of a soft thin plastic, molded in a contoured case that tightly encloses the nano, without showing seams. Its only holes are cut properly for the nano’s ports, and its integrated Click Wheel protector is aligned properly with the nano’s Click Wheel. Though the iJacket does easily show fingernail indentations, and the plastic can soften when left out in the hot sun – keeping your nano more tightly inside, though still retaining its shape – it snaps back to its original shape when it cools down.
iJacket did very well in the Ease of Use category. The Dock Connector and headphone port are both easily accessible and able to accommodate large and small accessories, such as headphones and FM transmitters, which we liked. However, users might find that the nano’s Click Wheel requires more pressure than normal to use, for which we deducted one point.
We gave the iJacket a total of four points for Special Features, awarding three points for the case’s designs, which at press time are being shown in 28 new art patterns, but only sold in 8 or 12. Though this isn’t as many options as were found in the prior versions – the reason for only two bonus points here – if history’s any guide, more versions are highly likely to be available in the future. Included with each case are a clear detachable belt clip and lanyard necklace, for which we awarded two points. The belt clip is an improvement over last year’s nano version, now sliding on and off the case at will.
Rather than including an integrated screen cover, the iJacket comes with a clear film protector, which can be easily added or removed, while the integrated play-though Click Wheel protector is incorporated into the case. When used with the included packaged protection, the iJacket completely covers the nano, with the exception of the headphone port, Dock Connector and hold switch, leading to a raw score of 6 for protectiveness. That’s augmented by two points for the thickness and resilience of the included plastic.
When we looked at the last version of iJacket, we noted that we were impressed by the low asking price of $16; this year, they’ve become available for an even lower asking price of only $13, a great deal by iPod case standards. Overall, we liked the wide variety of colors and designs that iJacket offers the consumer, and though the complete range of different art cases might not appeal to everyone, there are enough options here that any person will find something to appeal to her or his sense of individual style. We think is is a great case as is; a little added protection and a more sensitive nano Click Wheel are all we’d improve going forward.
Company and Price
Company: iJacket/Aquarius Industrial
Model: iJacket nano 2G
Compatible: iPod nano (2G)