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.
Nude has been around for several generations of iPod touch, but the most recent is SwitchEasy’s best take on it yet—and one of the best basic plastic shells we’ve seen. Coming in five colors matching the anodized aluminum back of the iPod plus white, clear, and translucent black, Nude is available in both soft finish and glossy finishes. It’s impressively protective for a shell. Once snapped onto the device, it covers pretty much everything it can be expected to. This means the top and bottom edges don’t have long openings exposing the aluminum; rather the bottom only has indentations for the headphone port and Lightning port, while the top has none.
This is because SwitchEasy incorporated button protection into the plastic case, something that’s rarely seen. The Sleep/Wake and volume buttons are covered by plastic tabs extending from the shell’s body, without sacrificing their tactility or responsiveness. Five small holes expose the speaker, while there are also cutouts for the loop button and camera setup. For even further protection, SwitchEasy includes two screen films, one back film protector, a microfiber wipe, a squeegee, and a pair each of Lightning and headphone port covers. Fully installed, the only thing missing is a protective lip.
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