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Speck Products mini ToughSkin

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At a Glance
  • Speck Products mini ToughSkin

Speck's original ToughSkin for 4G and photo iPods was the first "skin" case we were really enthusiastic about. Unlike many skins, which protect against scratches but don't provide much shock protection, despite their bulk, the ToughSkin provides significant protection against scratches, bumps, drops -- pretty much everything except for water. Now that Speck has released a version for the iPod mini, we have a new favorite for that model.

The mini ToughSkin is even bulkier than other silicone skin cases, but that's due to thick rubber "bumpers" that provide significant shock protection on the corners and sides -- it's one of the few cases in which we felt comfortable dropping an iPod several feet onto a desk or floor. The soft, tough rubber also provides a great grip.

The ToughSkin's protection isn't limited to a thicker skin; although the headphone/remote jack, hold switch, and dock connector port are exposed via small openings, your iPod's screen and Click Wheel are protected by hard plastic covers. (The Click Wheel cover swivels out of the way when you want to access the controls.) And the ToughSkin also includes a removable belt clip that addresses one of our case pet peeves: If you never use it, you can remove the protruding post.

Just as they did with the original ToughSkin, Speck got nearly everything right with the mini Toughskin. If you're looking for excellent shock protection in a case that still provides access to the iPod's controls and connectors, you can't go wrong with the ToughSkin. It's earned a spot as one our most recommended cases.--Dan Frakes

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At a Glance
  • Speck Products mini ToughSkin

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