Pros: Excellent design, protection, and versatility in a well priced package.
Cons: Tight fit may become annoying to those who frequently remove their iPod from its case.
We have all undoubtedly seen the original MARWARE C.E.O. Classic case; it was described as striking the perfect balance between style, protection, and functionality. The glowing reviews of the original C.E.O. Classic are what prevented me from purchasing any other case for my 15GB iPod. I waited and waited, and alas the day has come… I have received my 3rd Generation MARWARE C.E.O. Classic case. Was it worth the wait? Read on to find out.
Just like the original the 3rd Generation MARWARE C.E.O. Classic case’s exterior are made of soft, black, quality leather. The case encompasses the iPod completely along the sides and bottom, leaving a miniscule slot in each bottom corner exposed. The back of the case feels stiff and sturdy, probably due to a plastic insert of some sort. The entire inside of the case is lined with black suede (I think) which is very soft. It actually seems to clean up finger prints which was left on the iPod. It does not scratch the iPod at all. In addition, the plastic screen protector (which continues down to the bottom portion of the case, leaving exposed holes for the buttons and touch wheel) is tucked into 2 layers of leather so as not to scratch the iPod.
The lid is also made of the same soft leather, which is very pliable. However, the portion of the lid that covers the screen seems to have a flexible yet protective plastic insert, but it is not as stiff as the back of the case. In addition, padding has been placed between the insert and the leather to give it a soft “fluffy” feel. The entire back of the lid is covered with the same suede. The lid attaches with 3 buttons, 2 at the top and 1 at the bottom, and features a cutout which is perfectly sized for the remote. You can even open the lid while the remote is connected, although you cannot open it so as to fold it back. Some pictures on MARWARE’s website indicate that there is also a cutout for the hold button, but no such cutout exists on mine. There is a credit card pocket on the front of the case. The bottom ‘flap’ of the lid wraps around the bottom of the case and attaches to a button placed on the bottom of the back of the case. This ‘flap’ covers the cutout for the dock connecter so you do not have to worry about carrying the plastic covers provided with the iPod.
The only bad thing about having this button on the back of the case is that it makes it impossible to attach the belt clip when the iPod is in the case, and difficult to attach otherwise, as the button gets in the way and prevents you from sliding the belt clip up into position. Removing the clip is easy, and requires little effort (it can easily be done while the iPod is in the case). The clip seems very sturdy, however, the provided clip does not swivel. MARWARE’s Multiadapt clip system allows you to purchase other clips, some of which swivel. When the clip is removed, the stub left on the case is not noticeable, and you if you laid the case flat on a table, you would find that the lid makes the case sit higher than the stub. Putting this case in a cell phone mount (as many of you have in your cars) will not be a problem. All in all this case has all of the features which made the original MARWARE C.E.O. Classic a success.
Fit and Performance
Getting the iPod into the case requires some effort, but it is reassuring knowing that your iPod won’t slip out of the case. I could probably stand on the top of the Empire State Building with this case (without the lid) and shake it extremely hard upside down, and feel extremely confident that my iPod will not fall from the case. However, this does mean that it is difficult removing the iPod from the case. It is best that you push on the bottom part of the case to remove the iPod from the case, until the bottom of the iPod is accessible through the touch wheel cutout. Then just push it up from that hole. It is not something you are going to want to do for fun (Some of us have a habit of removing things from their rightful places… like the battery cover on remotes.)
After a week or two of use, inserting and removing it became MUCH easier and more natural while the iPod is still secured in the case very well.
The plastic screen protector is raised above the iPod. Since the screen protector doesn’t actually touch the screen, there is no risk of the screen protector scratching the iPod, and there is no water-effect (clear vinyl touching glass) while viewing the iPod. It looks clear, both during the day and at night when the backlight is engaged. However, this also might make the buttons a bit harder to press, but so far I have not noticed any difficulty navigating around my iPod. And yes, I did a very scientific test to make sure that I wouldn’t experience any difficulty… I played Breakout. I got the best score that I have ever achieved in this game with my MARWARE case on in fact; I kept playing until I got bored.
All in all, I too am in love with my MARWARE C.E.O. Classic. It easily adapts to your needs, via its removable lid and its Multiadapt interchangeable clip system, and is well constructed. The soft black leather looks outstanding… at times even better than my Coach wallet. With the flap attached, the case offers excellent protection against everyday mishaps (including the occasional drop), while providing easy access to all of the iPod’s functions. As the reviewer of the original MARWARE C.E.O. Classic case said: “About the only iPod owners, whom I think will not like the MARWARE C.E.O. Classic are those who dislike hiding any part of their iPod in an opaque case. Those people will still be better served by a Groove Jacket, iSkin or similar case.”
Company and Price
Model: C.E.O. Classic 3G
Price: $34.95 with belt clip
Compatible: iPod 3G
Note: Marware offers interchangeable clip options including belt clips, bike and car holders. See website for more details.