capsule review

Kiwali Nanoki

At a Glance
  • Kiwali Nanoki

If you like your iPod case to elicit "oohs" and "aahs," punctuated with words like "precious" and "darling," Kiwali's Nanoki for iPod nano may be just what the exceedingly cute doctor ordered: Each of the ten versions of the case comes with a Hello Kitty-esque embroidered figure on the front. I was lucky enough to get a white one emblazoned with a panda. Everyone loves pandas.

As far as cases go, the Nanoki isn't anything special: a leatherette flipcase for the iPod nano with a hole in the bottom for headphone access. The front flap is secured with a metal snap; open the flap to slide your nano in (or out). Inside the flipcover is a plastic protector for the nano's screen and an opening for its Click Wheel. As with most flipcases, the screen and controls are inaccessible with the case closed. The Nanoki also includes a lanyard and wrist strap for securing your nano around your neck or arm.

Cuteness aside, on our review sample a veritable spider web of loose threads inside the case were stuck to the interior of the screen protector; they could be brushed aside with my finger, but I wasn't impressed by the lack of fit and finish they exhibited. And unlike most flipcases, there's no access to the nano's dock connector port; you have to take the nano completely out of the case if you want to use Apple's dock connector cable (or an iPod dock). Also, although the case's leather-like material is suitable for preventing incidental scratches, the case is flexible and unreinforced, so it doesn't provide serious protection. Whether these shortcomings are compensated for by the case's adorableness (what the product's website refers to as "CQ" or "cuteness quotient") is something each panda-lover will have to decide for him or herself.
--Dan Moren

At a Glance
  • Kiwali Nanoki

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