capsule review

Speck Products ToughSkin for iPod with video

At a Glance
  • Speck Products ToughSkin for iPod with video

    Macworld Rating

We previously reviewed Speck's ToughSkin cases for 4G and mini iPods; they were among the few 5-Play cases we've reviewed -- although many "skins" add bulk to your iPod without providing much shock protection, the ToughSkin add significant protection from drops and bumps.

Speck has recently released a version of the ToughSkin for 5G ("video") iPods which features an updated design.

Like the original ToughSkin, the version for 5G iPods features thicker, tougher silicone rubber than most other skin cases, along with even thicker corners and edges for additional protection; the rubber also provides a great grip. However, the 5G model uses a design with angular grooves that looks quite a bit different than the previous version; I still haven't decided which I like better. The ToughSkin also includes a clear plastic cover for your iPod's screen, and in an improvement over the original ToughSkin, the 5G model's screen protector has a thin rubber ring around the edge that keeps it from actually resting on your iPod's screen -- and thus prevents the screen protector for accidentally scratching your screen. Small openings provide access to your iPod's headphone jack, hold switch, and dock port.

On the other hand, the 5G ToughSkin provides slightly less protection than the original: It no longer includes the plastic, flip-over Click Wheel cover of the older model. When I asked Speck about this omission, I was told that they made the change based on customer feedback -- many people didn't feel the Click Wheel guard was necessary and thought it just got in the way. I can understand this position, but it does make the ToughSkin less of a "complete protection" case. (One other difference is the 5G ToughSkin accommodates the thinner 30GB iPod using a thick rubber spacer rather than the original's hard plastic insert. Although this reduces the case's rigidity, it also means the 5G version doesn't add quite as much bulk to your iPod as the original.)

The ToughSkin also includes a removable belt clip that thankfully allows you to also remove the belt clip post -- one of our case pet peeves.

As with Speck's earlier ToughSkins, I really like the 5G version. It gives you the benefits of traditional "skin" cases while adding significant shock protection. The absence of the original's Click Wheel protector means this version isn't quite as protective as its predecessors, but it's still the most protective skin case I've yet seen for the iPod with video.
--Dan Frakes

At a Glance
  • Speck Products ToughSkin for iPod with video

    Macworld Rating
Related:
Shop Tech Products at Amazon