Over the past two weeks, we’ve been flooded with clear hard plastic iPod cases — eight for the third-generation iPod nano alone. Highly similar from product to product, we’re covering all eight in comparative reviews today, pointing out their few differences as appropriate. In the order we’re covering them in, there’s DLO’s Shell ($20), Griffin’s iClear ($20), Tunewear’s Tuneshell ($20), DLO’s HybridShell and MetalShell ($20 each), Speck’s SeeThru ($25), Gecko Gear’s Ice Case ($25), and Contour Design’s iSee nano V3 ($25).
DLO’s Shell is this comparative review’s starting point because it is the most basic, and typical, of all of the designs here.
It consists solely of two pieces of clear hard plastic—one for the third-generation nano’s face, and one for its sides and back. They snap together with four clips, two each on the left and right sides, and like all of the other cases here, the completed Shell covers all of the nano except for its Click Wheel and bottom, which provides full access to the nano’s Hold switch, Dock Connector, and headphone port.
The case is fully compatible with Universal Dock-equipped iPod accessories, as well as oversized headphone plugs, but does not work with other Dock Connecting accessories that have larger plugs than Apple’s own USB cables.
DLO’s HybridShell and MetalShell are Shell, only with different front or back pieces.
MetalShell preserves Shell’s back, but adds to its front a glued-on piece of rich blue or red metal that covers the nano’s natural face color while exposing its screen and Click Wheel.
The HybridShell instead preserves Shell’s clear face, but replaces its back with a textured silicone rubber-coated piece that includes grip dots. You can choose between a white back or black back; both obscure the nano’s mirrored rear metal surface.