Pros: Fashion cases for full-sized iPods and minis with hip, modern looks.
Cons: Simplistic physical design is trumped on protectiveness and construction by many other iPod cases (fashion or otherwise), leaving iPod’s sides entirely exposed, no access to iPod’s controls, screen, or Dock Connector port while inside.
Before we look at new iPod and iPod mini fashion cases from Mississauga, Canada-based Lime, a reminder on our fashion case review policy is on order. Last year, in our review of Kate Spade’s mini iPod cases (iLounge rating: A-), we explained that:
“Because of the influx of a number of new fashion cases to iLounge – some from large designers, some from small designers – we are making a modest tweak to our review format solely for this type of product. In the past, our grades of all iPod cases have been objective and based on certain specific characteristics: overall protectivity, overall look, fit and finish, pricing, and value-added features such as pack-ins. Fashion cases don’t fit as neatly into some of these categories, because they’re designed mostly for looks, to appeal to the tastes and sensibilities of certain people – not everyone – and priced commensurately.
Therefore, our evaluations of fashion cases will be solely based on the construction and protectiveness of the finished products, and not their looks or pricing. You can decide for yourself whether you like their appearance and pricing, while we’ll strive to tell you how resilient they are, and how well they’re built overall.”
Like the handmade iPod Cozies cases we previously reviewed from Catherine’s Pita (iLounge rating: B), three new Peel cases from Lime are designed to appeal to younger, stylish buyers. Simply designed, these new cases for full-sized iPods and minis are light on protection but may be of interest to some people anyway.
Peels are available in three sizes: “mini” ($18) fits the iPod mini, while “regular” ($22) fits thin 10, 15, and 20GB 3G/4G iPods, and “XL” ($24) fits 30, 40 and 60GB iPods and iPod photos. They come threadbare, without belt clips or wristbands, and are apparently intended to be carried in a pocket or bag. We received and tested the “mini” and “XL” versions, and found that they fit their intended iPods without a problem.
Each Peel is made from a handful of components. Two total exterior and interior pieces of fabric are sewn together with card stock to form a single wrap-around sleeve that covers the front and back of an iPod; two small pieces of elastic hold the left and right sides of the sleeve together. The bottom of the Peel is entirely covered by the fabrics, while the top is sealed only with a fabric and Velcro tab that attaches to the case’s rear. Lime’s exterior fabrics include patterns from ghetto blasters to skulls, robots to women to florals and rainbows, while the interior fabric is black.
On the protectiveness scale, the Peels don’t fare too well. They leave the sides of an iPod almost entirely exposed, with far less elastic than in some comparably designed cases, and the top of each iPod is roughly two-thirds open, too. Unlike Kate Spade’s cases, which made efforts to provide screen and control access, and Catherine’s Pita’s, which sometimes had screen and control window access, or rear storage pockets, the Peels do not. And there’s no Dock Connector access, belt clips, loops, or wrist straps, either. If you want to use your iPod while inside, you’ll have to put it on a playlist or Shuffle mode, or keep popping it in and out of the case.
From the outside, the construction isn’t bad, but isn’t great. If the cases weren’t marketed as handmade, we would view them less charitably; they look as simple and personally crafted as they’re intended to be. Their insides are less impressive; each Peel’s card stock ripples unevenly in its front bottom portion, an issue that doesn’t affect the case’s protectiveness or appearance so much as its attention to detail. We suspect that this issue, and some others, will only improve over time as Lime continues to develop its iPod case business.
Overall, the Lime cases are okay. Looks and pricing aside, they’re acceptable but not fantastic iPod holders on protectiveness and construction, and not the most practical of the fashion cases we’ve seen. Lime has a distinctive style, and will surely attract interest for these cases (say nothing of its other bag and wallet products) – now it just needs to focus even more on the unique needs of the iPod’s body and users.
Jeremy Horwitz is Editor-in-Chief of iLounge.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPod 3G, 4G, iPod mini, iPod photo