Shells are among the simplest “cases” available for iPads, iPhones, or in this case, iPods. The one-piece plastic protectors are light and thin, but usually lack significant protection and generally come at a cost higher than their actual value. For better or worse, some of the earliest case options for the fifth-generation iPod touch have been in this style. Incipio’s Feather ($20) and SwitchEasy’s Nude ($20) cost the same amount, but one is certainly a better value and actually elevates the shell design about as high as it can go without evolving into a full-fledged case.
Incipio has had Feather around for years now, so it’s not a surprise to see the line make it to the new iPod touch. It’s worth noting that Incipio’s website lists a screen protector, cleaning cloth, and applicator card as included with the case, but our review sample did not come with those accessories. Feather comes in a variety of solid colors, and each version is matte plastic. It easy snaps onto the back of the device, latching around the sides but leaving the top and bottom edges fully exposed.
This means there’s nothing blocking your access to the Sleep/Wake button, headphone port, Lightning port, or speaker, but at the same time, the aluminum surrounding them is not protected. There are better tailored holes for the volume buttons, camera and flash, and loop button. We would have strongly preferred that Incipio applied this more protective tailoring approach to the rest of the case; at this point, it seems silly not to. Feather doesn’t form much of a lip, but it does rise ever so slightly above the display, which may be enough to prevent screen damage in some circumstances.
Although they’re both relatively inexpensive options, we’d sooner recommend SwitchEasy’s Nude over Incipio’s Feather. For the same price, you get a more heavily protective case plus extra pack-ins, without sacrificing thinness or weight. The color options are just as impressive, if not more so. We’re still not totally sold on the shell style though, especially when these thin pieces of plastic are being sold by SwitchEasy for the same price as a much larger iPad mini shell. Nude is good enough to merit a general recommendation; at a lower price, it would be more attractive. By comparison, there’s no real reason to prefer Feather except if you really want one of Incipio’s color options. It’s a fine shell, but not as impressively designed or equipped, and worthy of a limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPod touch 5G