As iPod cases have become too numerous to even count, fewer stand out from the pack as examples of good or even interesting design. Design house Harodesign, makers of the Axio line of bags, previously released a series of me-too, PDA style iPod cases that were eye-catching only because of their artwork. Thankfully, the company went back to the drawing board for two new and substantially more distinctive case designs: Thump and Deluxe, the former capsule reviewed here.
If you’ve seen XtremeMac’s TuffWrap (iLounge rating: B-) or TuffWrap Accent, you have some idea of what Thump ($20) offers: it’s a two-tone rubber sleeve for the iPod nano that entirely covers the iPod’s sides and back, and mostly covers the top and front with one color of rubber, with a second color accenting the front and back, and holes left on the top, front, and bottom.
A clear adhesive screen protector fills one of the holes; the iPod’s Click Wheel, entire bottom, and Hold switch remain exposed. There’s also a small hole at bottom right for attachment to a wrist strap, if you have one; the case is thick enough on its sides not to rip, and will absorb a light accidental drop without incident.
What’s unique here is basically the case’s shape and use of color: the accents are used to highlight ribbed sides that feel good in your hand and make the iPod nano feel a little tougher and stronger than it was before. Unlike the TuffWraps, whether you’re looking for something like Apple’s original color scheme – jet black or white with gray – or want something brighter, like one of two blues, green, orange, pink, yellow, or red – there’s a version of Thump for you.
At least nine different color combinations are available.
Thump’s only omissions are small ones: unlike the TuffWrap, which evolved after our review to include a Click Wheel protector, Thump leaves that portion of the iPod nano uncovered, along with the top and bottom components we mentioned above. There’s also no belt attachment solution, making Thump a case you’ll have to bag or pocket rather than wear unless you’ve purchased lanyard headphones separately.
We’ve made this point in many prior reviews, but companies such as iSkin have developed more comprehensively protective, eye-catching nano cases such as iSkin Duo, though they often come at a higher price, and may not look the way you want them to look.