capsule review

Tunewear Prie Ambassador for iPod nano

At a Glance
  • Tunewear Prie Ambassador for iPod nano

    Macworld Rating

My initial impression of Tunewear's Prie Ambassador wasn't positive. I'm not sure why -- maybe I was just in a bad mood when I first picked it up. But every time I attempted to concoct a genuine reason for said antipathy, the Ambassador would prove me wrong (diplomatically, of course). In the end, with but one exception, I found using the Ambassador an overwhelmingly pleasant experience.

The most distinctive feature of the Ambassador is the large metal hook attached to one end of the case. Otherwise, the Ambassador is a basic leather case. You slide the nano into the bottom of it, then position a little tab over the dock connector and snap the bottom closed. The only parts of the nano left exposed are the headphone jack and the hold switch at the top. The dock connector is easy to access with the tab unsnapped, though you'll have to take the nano out to place it in a dock cradle. Both the Click Wheel and screen are accessible through rugged, clear-plastic windows and, as a bonus feature, the Ambassador includes a third window on the back, just in case you've had your nano engraved. (In the absence of any decoration, the back of the nano makes a surprisingly good mirror.)

The aforementioned hook is reassuringly heavy and it feels solid when you clip the Ambassador onto a belt loop. I was prepared to mark the case down for the fact that the hook is so heavy it ought to be detachable, but it turns out (to my embarrassment) that, of course, the hook is indeed removable. The design of that particular feature is clever, as well, since it doesn't compromise the sturdiness of the hook.

As I said upfront, I have only one complaint about the Ambassador. Besides the hook, the case includes a removable plastic belt buckle for extra security. But the buckle feels cheap and it's hard to attach to the case (you have to slide it through a leather loop on the back) and even harder to remove once you have it attached (I had to pry it out with the help of a screwdriver). Moreover, the clip attaches the Ambassador to your belt sideways, which is convenient for those perhaps looking to use it while jogging, but in some ways it seems redundant with the vastly superior hook present.

This fault aside, the Ambassador is a well-made case. I'd thought there might be a problem using the touch-sensitive controls, something I've experienced with other models using protective windows over the Click Wheel, but in my use I ran into no such issues. The Ambassador is a great option for those who want protection and accessibility but are looking for something a little more chic than a silicone skin. --Dan Moren

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At a Glance
  • Tunewear Prie Ambassador for iPod nano

    Macworld Rating
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