As a clone of Griffin’s Elan Form cases, Case-Mate’s new Dockster for iPhone 3G ($30), iPod nano 4G ($15), and iPod touch 2G ($30) is a plastic shell with a thin layer of leather covering part of its exterior surfaces. The Dockster name comes from its ability to slide its bottom half off for easy use with form-fitting docks — not that they’re common for these devices — as well as other potentially incompatible accessories. Case-Mate includes protective film for each device’s screen and controls in the package, along with cleaning cloths and squeegees.
While Griffin’s versions of these cases didn’t look very expensive, the Case-Mate ones are a step or so below in overall quality, coming across as cheap on the iPod touch and iPhone versions, despite possessing identical pricing. From the bigger rear camera hole on the iPhone case to the mediocre application of the leather to the plastic on both of these cases corners, they fall below the standards we set for general recommendability. But the iPod nano version, which sells for half of Griffin’s price and includes a Click Wheel protector, is a little better. It has fully open top and bottom parts that mightn’t be protective enough but are fully accessory compatible, and the leather application on our sample unit was better than on the others. While the nano version rates a general recommendation on the basis of its value for the dollar, the others fall into “okay” territory; they’re nothing special clones of a case that was on the fine edge itself.
For iPod nano 4G
For iPhone 3G/iPod touch 2G
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 3G, iPod nano 4G, iPod touch 2G