capsule review

Contour Design iSee mini

At a Glance
  • Contour Design iSee mini

The iSee mini is the latest entry in Contour's line of clear plastic cases that protect your iPod without obscuring its aesthetics -- this one for the iPod mini. However, unlike the iSee models for full-size iPods, the iSee mini is a two-piece "shield" design rather than a one-piece case. You first slide your iPod mini into the wraparound front piece, which attaches securely and protects much of the mini's front, sides and bottom. (The Click Wheel remains exposed and accessible.) You then snap on a rear piece to complete the case. Once the iSee is in place, the body of your iPod is protected from scratches and bumps, while you still have access to the Click Wheel, top controls and jacks, and the dock connector port. And like the standard iSee, because the top of the case is flush with the top of your iPod, you can still use top-mounted accessories such as FM transmitters, voice recorders, and the receivers for remote controls.

The iSee mini doesn't include a belt clip, but its unique design accounts for this omission: The case's back piece is identical in size and shape to the iPod mini's own belt clip, so when you want to carry your mini on your belt, you simply remove the iSee's back piece and then snap on the iPod's own belt clip in its place. Your mini is just as protected as before. This also means that you can use the iSee mini with any other accessories that use the iPod's belt clip, such as Apple's iPod mini Arm Band. (The iSee's back piece also provides a lanyard attachment, although a lanyard is not included.)

Like the full-size iSee models, the iSee mini is a good case for those who want their iPod to look like an iPod even when it's being protected. It doesn't offer complete protection -- the Click Wheel is exposed and there's no cushion to protect against drops -- but it prevents the scratches and scuffs most people worry about.--Dan Frakes

At a Glance
  • Contour Design iSee mini

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