It’s a tradition: every new iPod quickly winds up with a large assortment of new silicone rubber cases, and the fourth-generation iPod nano is no exception. Today, we’re reviewing nine new rubber nano cases from seven different companies — as well as a few related second-generation iPod touch cases from the same companies — picking the great, good, and OK options from the collection. As all of the cases cover the nano’s sides and back, we’re going to focus largely on key differentiators in other aspects of their protection, style, and pricing. This review covers Incipio’s dermaSHOT cases for the fourth-gen nano ($13) and the second-generation iPod touch ($18).
Screen Protection. Incipio includes fine, but thin film protectors for the screens of both devices. The iPod touch version covers everything except for the Home button and the area immediately under it, while the iPod nano version covers solely the screen.
Click Wheel and Button Protection. Whereas the dermaSHOT for iPod nano includes no Click Wheel coverage, the iPod touch version has coverage for the side and top buttons, lacking only Home button coverage.
Top Protection. Like all of its competitors reviewed today, dermaSHOT for the nano has a hole at the top for the Hold switch; it’s a fine size and tapered for easy access. The iPod touch version provides complete top coverage but tops at the point of the device’s black screen bezel, where the screen film takes over.
Bottom Protection. Both cases and are fully compatible with Dock Connector accessories, Universal Docks, and headphones. While the nano version initially looks mostly open, the iPod touch version of dermaSHOT interestingly has a headphone port hole with rubber protection off to its sides, and more rubber protection on the left bottom side than most cases. Incipio actually includes rubber Dock Connector port covers that are detachable, if you want to use them; given how much surface area they cover, the cases are consequently amongst the most protective we’ve yet seen.
Style, Colors, and Bulk. The only knock on these cases is that they are almost as generic-looking as rubber cases come; apart from their tapering, they’re almost indistinguishable from the myriad Chinese cases that show up at cell phone kiosks. But they both feel well-made, if very smooth to the touch, and come in multiple colors: the nano in six different colors, the iPod touch version in five. They do not add a lot of bulk to the devices.
Other Pack-Ins. Both cases also include screen cleaning cloths and film applicator cards as components of an Incipio “vanity kit.”
Pricing. Incipio’s $13 asking price for the iPod nano version of dermaSHOT is the second most aggressive we’ve seen; you get screen and very substantial body protection, save for the absence of Click Wheel coverage, in your choice of a fair number of colors, plus a design that’s not striking, but not problematic, either. The iPod touch case at $18 is better appointed than many of the options we look at today, and though we’re not big fans of its soft, open front design, the scope of protection is quite good for the price. Both of these cases are legitimately good, and worthy of our B+ rating based on their appealing pricing and overall packages.
Company and Price
Company: Incipio Technologies
Compatible: iPod nano (4G), iPod touch (2G)