capsule review

XtremeMac TuffWrap 3-pack for iPod nano

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At a Glance
  • XtremeMac TuffWrap 3-pack for iPod nano

Can't decide which silicone "skin" color best matches your iPod nano? XtremeMac knows how you feel and offers multi-colored three-packs of its TuffWrap case at a competitive price point: A single white TuffWrap is $20; a three-pack costs only $5 more. That in itself is a compelling argument, but the case itself has some advantages, as well.

The TuffWrap is made of thick, tactile silicone, with ridged edges that prevent it from easily slipping out of your grasp. The case's best feature is that instead of using a thin plastic film to protect the iPod's screen, as many other silicone skins do, it includes a thick slab of hard acrylic that slip into place over the screen.

As with a number of other skin cases, I had a bit of difficulty getting the nano into the TuffWrap; the silicone is grippy and it took some working the nano back and forth to get it all the way in. I also wasn't sure whether I was supposed to put the screen protector in before or after I put the case on the nano (the nano slides in through the bottom); including instructions might help alleviate that confusion.

Once you get the case on, the TuffWrap feels solid and reassuring. There are openings for the hold switch and Click Wheel, and the dock connector and headphone jack are easily accessible via the open bottom edge. However, althought the Click Wheel is recessed slightly, it's left unprotected, which might make it vulnerable to damage. (XtremeMac's Web site claims that the TuffWrap includes a Click Wheel protector, but none was included in the case that I reviewed.) There's also the somewhat slim chance that, since the dock protector and headphone jack are left exposed, the nano's bottom might be vulnerable, but you'd have to drop it perfectly on that side. Finally, like many silicone cases, the TuffWrap accumulates its fair share of dust and lint, and surprisingly quickly at that.

Overall, though the lack of Click Wheel protection is a disappointment, the TuffWrap 3-pack is a sensible buy, especially for those who like a little variation. And at a price that many manufacturers charge for one case, you get three, which is likely enough to last the lifetime of your nano.
--Dan Moren

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At a Glance
  • XtremeMac TuffWrap 3-pack for iPod nano

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