capsule review

Power Support Crystal Film Cover Set

At a Glance
  • Power Support Crystal Film Cover Set

    Macworld Rating

We previously liked Power Support's Crystal Film and 3D Wheel Set as ways to protect your iPod's screen and Click Wheel, respectively, from scratches. In fact, we liked them so much that when the nano was released, we said to ourselves, "We need a Crystal Film that covers the nano's entire body." The folks at Power Support must have been thinking the same thing, because they recently released their new Crystal Film Cover Set for the nano.

The Crystal Film Cover Set includes three pieces of clear film: one to cover the entire back of the iPod nano, one to cover the front except for the Click Wheel, and a third that covers the Click Wheel itself. (Using separate pieces for the face and Click Wheel allows the Click Wheel to depress freely.)

As we mentioned when we reviewed the earlier Crystal Film, a number of companies make thin film overlays to protect iPod screens (and now nano bodies) from scratches, but most of these add-ons have two problems. First, they're generally soft and flexible, which means that over time they get pretty beat up -- they start to peel or rip. Second, because they're so flexible, they tend to be difficult to apply without leaving lots of little air bubbles. Power Support has taken a different approach by using a more rigid material, and in our testing this material solves both of these problems: The Crystal Film Cover Set is quite a bit more durable than some of the other films we've tested, and because of this stiffness, it's much easier to apply bubble-free. (However, it does take some practice to apply the front piece and the Click Wheel cover without overlapping them.) You can even remove, clean, and then reapply the Crystal Film Cover Set, which uses static cling rather than adhesive, to stick to your iPod.

In our testing, the Crystal Film Cover Set offered excellent scratch protection while being thin enough that the Film-clad nano still fit in every case and accessory we tried. The only caveat is that the Film Cover Set leaves the edges of the iPod nano exposed. That said, after several weeks of use with the Crystal Film Cover Set, our test nano's edges are scratch-free, so perhaps these edges don't take as much abuse as we expected. And by not covering the edges, the Crystal Film Cover Set remains nearly invisible when applied: When we showed our test iPod nano to other people, they didn't even realize it was "wearing" the Film -- only after we pointed it out could they spot it.

Overall, the Crystal Film Cover Set is a must-have accessory for the iPod nano, even if you plan on using a traditional case -- we'll be buying it for our own nanos. In fact, we're anxiously awaiting a version of the Set for our iPod with video. Now if only the Crystal Film Cover Set could remove the scratches we inflicted on our nano before the Film Set arrived...

(See our reviews of Power Support's Crystal Film and 3D Wheel Film for other iPods in our Accessories section.)--Dan Frakes

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Protects iPod faces from scratches.

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