As far as neoprene cases are concerned, the industry’s moving targets these days are Incase and Marware: now XtremeMac has a very Incase-like neoprene and microsuede case for the fifth-generation iPod, called MicroGlove ($25). Available in five color combinations – each with a black neoprene base – the MicroGloves include integrated screen and Click Wheel protectors, plus detachable metal carabineer hooks, their biggest departure from Incase’s Neoprene Sleeve (iLounge rating: B+). They fit 30GB and 60GB iPods equally well.
That’s not to say that MicroGlove is a total clone of the Neoprene Sleeve, but they’re very familiar, and if we had to pick one on looks, Incase’s design is nicer-looking in literally all the particulars, front and back; MicroGlove is a little more ragged around the edges. Incase’s Sleeve also has a belt clip, which MicroGlove lacks. But MicroGlove is actually more usable thanks to a more tactile Click Wheel cover, and more protective thanks to full-time Hold switch coverage. XtremeMac’s headphone port hole is also on the very small side, but unlike Incase’s, it flexes open to permit even oversized headphones to work without an issue. However, its Dock Connector hole is almost pointlessly small, compensated for by a flap that’s easy to open on the case’s bottom.
Overall, the choice between these options is essentially a draw – Incase wins on appearance, MicroGlove on usability. Neither one will light the world on fire, but if appearance wasn’t a concern, we’d pick MicroGlove first for our day to day needs.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPod 5G