Similar but not identical to similar iSee inked cases from Contour Design, Griffin’s new iClear Sketch ($25) also starts with a clear plastic iPod nano 4G shell and adds an inked pattern that runs from the front of the case to the back. Here, the patterns are translucent white rather than black, and unlike Contour’s somewhat odd detached screen protector, Griffin integrates screen coverage right into its front shell. No other items are in the package, so the Click Wheel is left exposed, as are almost the entire bottom of the iPod nano, and the Hold switch at the top. Two versions, “Baroque” and “8-Bit,” are available, both with patterns that run over completely crystal clear cases rather than the frosted rear casings of standard iClear cases.
After testing Sketch against iSee inked, we prefer Griffin’s more subtle visual approach and bottom design, which is Universal Dock, oversized headphone plug, and bottom-connecting accessory-friendly; Contour’s version has a wider variety of patterns in its corner. You can choose which you prefer cosmetically, but expect Griffin’s case to work a little better with non-Apple accessories, and have fewer parts to worry about during assembly. Is it worth a $5 premium over the standard iClear? You can make up your own mind; in our opinion, this is a fair price for a clean-looking art case.
Company and Price
Company: Griffin Technology
Model: iClear Sketch
Compatible: iPod nano 4G