capsule review

DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano

At a Glance
  • DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano

DLO's Action Jacket for the iPod nano is a black neoprene case with a large clear plastic window that covers both the screen and the Click Wheel. The nano's controls are easy to use through the plastic, though you need to make sure you're pressing down enough that the plastic makes contact with the Click Wheel.

The back of the Action Jacket has a spring-loaded plastic belt clip that is also used to attach the case to the included armband (the armband includes an elastic loop specifically for sliding the clip through, a nice addition that makes it even more secure). The clip ends in a small hook to prevent it from flying off your belt, and the whole clip assembly turns 180 degrees in either direction, though I wouldn't vouch for its security while rotated, given that the clip is longer than the nano is wide.

My only significant gripes with the Action Jacket are the added bulk from the belt clip, which isn't detachable when not needed, and the difficulty of accessing your iPod's hold switch. There's a small notch in the top of the case for the switch, but between the hole's small opening, the thickness of the neoprene, and the switch's own small size, it's somewhat tricky to actually use the swith while your iPod is in the case.

It's easy enough to get the nano in and out, though a slight extra push might be needed to make sure the whole Click Wheel is lined up correctly. A small velcro flap covers the bottom of the iPod but leaves the headphone jack available; opening the flap lets you plug in Apple's dock connector cable. (To place your iPod in a dock cradle, you'll need to remove it from the case.)

If you don't mind the added bulk of the clip and the difficulty of using the hold switch (or if you have longer fingernails than I have), the Action Jacket is a solid "active" nano case that manages to straddle the thin line between usability and protection.
--Dan Moren

At a Glance
  • DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano

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