iPod protectors continue to be the most popular accessories out there, so in the weeks that follow the release of new iPods, the first truly new accessories we see are always protective cases and stickers. This week, we’ve been checking out the first products in each category for the new iPod nano and iPod classic: Uniea’s U-Suit for iPod nano 3G ($30) is the very first case available for the squat new video-ready nano.
Of these products, Uniea’s U-Suit is the most stunning—not because of anything incredible about its design, but rather because of the speed with which it appeared. Uniea announced the hard-reinforced leather case before the third-generation iPod nano was even released, and began shipping it the day after that iPod arrived in stores. Amazingly, our four review samples all fit our new nanos perfectly, fully exposing the nano’s screen and Click Wheel for easy access, and providing almost complete nano bottom access as well.
Standard and mid-sized earphone plugs and Dock Connector accessories have no trouble fitting in Uniea’s wide bottom hole, and though it’s not able to fit on top of Universal or other iPod nano docks without being removed, we found that our oversized headphone plugs worked with only slight necessary adjustment. The nano’s bottom Hold switch is also exposed, and as easy to use with the case on as when it’s off.
Like so many of these relatively inexpensive reinforced leather cases, U-Suit’s issues are familiar: the top and side corners of the nano are completely exposed, its screen and Click Wheel have no anti-scratch protection, and the build quality is slightly suspect: the interior padding in one of our samples is already showing signs of fraying, and the leather exterior doesn’t have the feel of supreme quality that more expensive leather designs from Vaja and others have offered. That said, Uniea’s price isn’t anywhere near a comparative Vaja iVolution, and though its four color choices (black, white, purple, and red) are both more limited and less than ideally suited to the colors of the new nano, they’re not bad.
By past iPod nano case standards, the new U-Suit is a little overpriced—we’re accustomed to seeing good cases for the small nano at $25 or less—and also a little bit underimpressive in all but the speed at which it appeared. Added protection, superior build quality, and/or a lower price would have made it a stronger case, but it’s a better than decent first entry, and worthy of our limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: U-Suit for iPod nano (3G)
Compatible: iPod nano (video)