capsule review

iSkin Claro

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At a Glance
  • iSkin Claro

iSkin's Claro case is really two cases for your 5G iPod (with video) in one. On the inside, it's a silicone "skin" case. iSkin have mastered silicone skins, as that's been their primary business for a number of years now, and what makes this particular skin stand out is how thin it is. This of course makes the skin less effective than some others for protecting against sudden impacts, but that's where the second component of the Claro comes in. The outside of the Claro is actually a separate, clear-plastic hard case. The face of this outer case slides on and off along a groove, making it easy to place the skin-encased iPod inside.

The outer case provides an opening for your iPod's Click Wheel, but those controls remain protected by the silicone case inside. There's also an opening in the silicone skin for your iPod's screen, but that remains protected behind the hard-plastic face. (The stock skin case is white, but three-packs of alternate colors can be purchased separately: red, purple, and pink; and black, blue, and white.)

The top of the Claro provides holes for your iPod's hold switch and headphone jack; however, the standard size of the latter opening means that larger headphone miniplugs may not fit. A large dock-connector-port hole will accommodate nearly most dock-connector cables, but not those accessories that sit flush against the bottom of the iPod, such as microphones or dock cradles. The back of the case hosts a large belt clip. However, this isn't just a belt clip; a portion of the clip separates from the rest, rotating out to act as a stand for watching video on your iPod. This is a feature whose utility appears to be underestimated by most case vendors; a few minutes with the stand and you'll wonder how you lived without it.

iSkin's Claro is a great hybrid design. You end up with essentially two cases; the skin alone is a decent silicone case, and together with the plastic outer case, the Claro offers robust and complete protection.--Derik DeLong

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At a Glance
  • iSkin Claro

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