Pros: Resilient, great use of leather, thin and quite protective of most iPod components.
Cons: Leather is second-tier – but by no means fourth-tier – and iPod buttons are left exposed.
Our favorite leather case is Marware’s C.E.O. Glove, a slim, smart design that does away with the flap-and-snap PDA case trappings of its competitors (including Marware’s other leather cases), yet manages to look cool and professional. To put our feelings in perspective, we’ve used and really liked leather PDA cases before, including Vaja’s high-end Argentinian designs, but we have a hard time seeing the iPod wrapped up in something with a big front flap that holds business cards and adds half an inch or more to the device’s thickness.
Marware’s C.E.O. Glove eliminates these issues. Though its black leather won’t be confused with the thicker stock used by Vaja or Piel Frama (see our separate reviews), the stitching, design and overall synthesis of materials distinguishes the C.E.O. from, say, cheap leather cell phone cases. Made in two sizes to fit both body chassis of 3G iPods, Marware’s Glove case includes an ear-to-ear zipper that opens to neatly slip the iPod inside. Inserting and removing the iPod is exceedingly easy, and the zipper’s inside path is covered by fabric to prevent iPod scratching. The fit and finish are handsome, and generally protective. Transparent plastic shields the screen and the residual parts of the unit’s front.
Unlike the eXo2, the C.E.O. Glove doesn’t cover the buttons or scroll wheel, but this won’t be a problem unless you keep both your keys and iPod in your pocket. A minor issue is that the Glove leaves the headphone port and hold switch open with slightly unflattering rectangular boxes that look to be hand-cut. We could imagine ways they’d look better, but it’s only a minor defect, especially considering that the C.E.O. Glove is the only case here that passed one of our pet peeve tests: you don’t need to remove the case to use the iPod with either dock or headphone port accessories. From iTrip to NaviPod remote control to Belkin Voice Recorder, accessories fit on top without a problem, and the zipper design lets you easily expose the bottom of the iPod to Apple’s dock or to in-car accessories. Marware scored big points for this.
Our only complaint is actually mixed praise: Marware includes an impressively strong belt clip that snaps firmly on to the Glove, but the connection’s so strong that we had trouble removing the clip, and nicked ourselves putting it on. We’d therefore advise that you only attach the belt clip if you’re planning to keep it on the case, which frankly, we think is the exact opposite of the way we’d prefer to use it. A case this slim can, and does, go into the pocket, and it looks pretty cool when it comes out, too.
Jeremy Horwitz is a consumer electronics fanatic who practices intellectual property law in his spare time. His recent book, Law School Insider, has been called the “best book about law school -ever,” and he continues to contribute to Ziff-Davis electronic entertainment magazines.
Company and Price
Model: C.E.O. Glove 3G
Compatible: iPod 3G