Pros: A new concept in iPod case design – a fabric case that can be ironed on to a piece of clothing or carried in your pocket. Comes in your choice of colors, and with or without Swarovski crystals.
Cons: Thin fabric and poor protection make this more of a partial nano sleeve than a true case; user must iron-on crystals and place nano upside down inside case to prevent things from falling entirely off or out. Not as easy to use Click Wheel as we’d have liked.
Claimed to be “the first and only embroidered case for the iPod nano,” the PodDress case by the same-named Austrian company – which incidentally claims to have a registered trademark on the word – has a couple of novel features. You can peel off its backing and iron it on to a piece of clothing, or attach it to a button with a tab in the bottom center.
PodDress is a relatively new idea in the iPod nano case category. Claiming to be “[t]he first and only embroidered case for the iPod nano,” PodDress is an iron-on or pocketable sleeve made mostly from a washable fabric. It’s currently marketed as compatible with the first and second generation nanos, and sold in different colors and styles, including the Night Star, Glamour, Crystal, TripleGang and Classic – black, white, blue, pink, green, and Swarovski crystal-covered variations. Each crystal case sells for 30 Euros, while packs of three non-Crystal cases sell together for the same price.
PodDress is designed to be used in one of two ways: as a case or as an iron-on addition to your clothing. But when it arrives, it seems to be falling apart: the back, and in some cases, the Swarovski crystal front, aren’t bonded to the rest of the case. While we understood why the back was loose – it can be peeled off to reveal a glue surface for your clothing – we still have no idea why the Swarovski crystals have to ship less than fully bonded. Regardless, for our testing, we followed the manufacturer’s instructions and ran a hot iron over several cases to bond their surfaces, including attaching two to a 100% cotton t-shirt. The ironing process improved the bonding, but didn’t make the case’s somewhat stringy fabric or crystals totally immune to coming off during use, for a two point deduction.
We did like the fact that when used with the first generation nano, PodDress’s screen cut-out was properly tailored; however, we were disappointed with the small misshaping of the screen with the second generation nano, which resulted in another point deduction here.
We were somewhat disappointed by the PodDress’s interference with the performance of the nano’s Click Wheel; fabric completely covers it and noticeably reduces its responsiveness. Additionally, the Hold switch is not accessible unless the nano is completely removed from the case. On a more positive note, both the Dock Connector and headphone port are easily accessible and can accommodate larger plugs and adaptors.
Although iron-on decals are not absolutely new, they are new to cases, and so we were at least intrigued by PodDress’s unique iron-on concept, which received one Special Features point because it was innovative in concept, but poorly executed in quality and design. Even though we followed the manufacturer’s instructions, the iron-on decals did not bond especially well to our test shirt, and proved very easy to remove. PodDress is also available in nine different colors, for which we awarded one additional point, and we added one final point because of the Swarovski crystal option, which is interesting, if not especially great given how small and cheap the crystals look.
PodDress scored a low 3 for overall protectiveness. The thin fabric case provides coverage on the back, top and sides of the nano, but falls short of covering the entire face: a small gap leaves the nano’s face exposed more than we would have liked to have seen. Although the Click Wheel and Hold switch are both covered, the screen, Dock Connector, headphone port, and bottom corners were completely exposed. The company claims that the case is worthwhile for sports, but by that, we’re thinking that it’s best suited to an intense game of checkers. Putting aside its lack of screen protection, because of the open bottomed design, we found that the nano was not secure on clothes or in pockets unless the case was placed upside down; otherwise, it will slip out.
There are two ways to buy PodDress: in three packs of fabric only cases, or as single Swarovski-crystal cases, each sold through the manufacturer’s web site for the same 30 Euro ($38) price, plus shipping. For the price, we were not overly impressed with the crystal PodDress versions, as their Swarovski stones are so tiny as to be indistinguishable from the glitter people could buy at stores for pennies – $38 per case seems steep given the overall quality here. By comparison, the same-priced fabric-only three-packs are a better deal, and more reasonable given what you’re getting. Overall, we weren’t really impressed by the PodDress pricing or cases, and settled here on a value rating of 4, with an overall rating of C. While this isn’t a bad idea for a case, we’d like to see one that’s more protective, less likely to lose its crystals or grip on your clothes, and better tailored to the iPods (namely the second-gen nano) it’s marketed for.
Company and Price
Model: PodDress for iPod nano
Price: 30 Euros
Compatible: iPod nano