Pros: An original “turn your iPod into a little devil” case design that’s also practical for everyday use, including complete clear film protection for the classic/5G’s face and a rubber body that includes horns, tail, and your choice of face graphics. Each case includes a carabiner hook, numbered dog tag, and funny collector’s card. Reasonable price for the overall package of items and original design.
Cons: No Click Wheel protection, Hold switch is exposed. Devilish theme won’t appeal to everyone.
Like last year’s innovative version for the iPod nano (iLounge rating: A-), Podstar Diablo for iPod video gives you the chance to protect and dress up your fifth-generation iPod like a little devil. Eight different takes are available – plain red or black, or the same colors with 3 different “faces” a piece. Each case comes with a screen protector, metal carabiner hook, a trading card, and an insert that properly sizes the case’s interior for 30GB or 60GB iPods. We continue to really like this design, and strongly prefer it to the lame “costumes” we’ve seen other companies selling for iPods. [Editors’ Note: In December, 2007, Boomwave provided samples of its renamed Boomwave Diablo for iPod classic, which does away with the Podstar name, is now re-branded for the iPod classic models, loses the dog tag and ID card, and sells for $20. We have elected not to update our rating or review of the product, but think that the new price is more reasonable than before, and that the losses from the prior package justify the price drop.]
Late last year, we were impressed by Boomwave’s Podstar Diablo for iPod nano (iLounge rating: A-) – this year, the company has updated the same case for the 5G iPod with nearly identical benefits. Podstar Diablo for iPod video ($33) gives you the chance to protect your fifth-generation iPod with a silicone rubber case that makes it look like a little devil. Eight different versions are available – plain red or black, or the same colors with 3 different “faces” a piece. Each case comes with a screen protector, metal carabiner hook, a trading card, a dog tag, and an insert that properly sizes the case’s interior for 30GB or 60GB iPods. [Editors’ Note: In December, 2007, Boomwave provided samples of its renamed Boomwave Diablo for iPod classic, which does away with the Podstar name, is now re-branded for the iPod classic models, loses the dog tag and ID card, and sells for $20. We have elected not to update our rating or review of the product, but think that the new price is more reasonable than before, and that the losses from the prior package justify the price drop.]
As before, we have no concerns about the build quality of the Diablo cases: Boomwave has done a good job of making the cases look and feel professional in all regards, with everything from clean front detailing to textured sides, firmly secured horns, and a good-looking rear tail, none of which are likely to break unless substantially abused. The holes properly line up on 60GB iPods, and using the included rubber insert, with 30GB iPods as well. By rubber case standards, these are certainly amongst the best we’ve seen, though it merits a note that 30GB iPod owners may find the one-size-fits-all case a bit larger than those made specifically to fit that thinner iPod model.
The Diablo cases provide full access to the iPod’s 5 key parts – screen, Click Wheel, Dock Connector port, headphone port, and Hold switch. While the headphone port and Dock Connector port holes are on the small side, the rubber can be stretched a bit to accommodate larger connectors; we deduct only a single total point for the slight inconvenience.
In addition to offering eight different styles of this distinctive case – the flat black and red Darkside and Crimsomniek, the evil-faced Nightstalker and Garou, the open-eyed Sideshow and Big Top, and the bloody Click Wheeled Reaper and Splatterfest – Boomwave packages each case with the aforementioned carabiner hook, which attaches to the case’s integrated metal rear ringlet, a dog tag, and a trading card that we’d actually rate as funny. The overall package is amusing, and makes you feel like you’re doing more than buying a piece of rubber that covers your iPod. It’s worth a brief note that the flat black and red versions of Diablo include a single silver earring on their right horns, a cute added touch.
There’s only one major missing component in Diablo: Click Wheel protection. This time out, rather than including a full face shield with air bubble issues, Boomwave uses a superior hard plastic screen protector, and leaves out Click Wheel coverage – a bummer. However, the company partially compensates by adding superior, part-time Dock Connector coverage in the form of a pop-open flap. The Hold switch is still entirely exposed, and a little too much so, in our view.
In our view, the overall value equation of the Podstar Diablo package is pretty solid. Though you’re essentially getting a silicone rubber case with some additional decoration for $33, this design transcends most others in its category by using humor, paint, pack-ins and unique molding to create the best “fun” iPod case we’ve seen overall – a far cry from the offensively bad fabric patch-and-cape Halloween iPod costumes we’ve seen for sale. The dark theme might not be universally appealing, but since we don’t rate cases on appearance, you can decide for yourself whether the look is right for your needs. In any case, Podstar Diablo for iPod video is so well-executed in the particulars that we think it’s highly recommendable overall, and worthy of serious consideration if you like the concept.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPod 5G, iPod classic