capsule review

iFanatic Gamefacez for iPod nano

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At a Glance
  • iFanatic Gamefacez for iPod nano

If you're the kind of person who goes to every home game for your favorite college athletic team while decked out in sweatshirts, headbands, and face paint in your school's colors, then iFanatic's Gamefacez for the second-generation (2G) iPod nano will be right up your alley. Gamefacez are thin, silicone skins adorned with the logo of your favorite college team. (As of this writing, you can buy cases supporting 31 different schools.) But those for whom school spirit is not a priority in iPod cases will probably want to look elsewhere.

Like most silicone skins, the Gamefacez include an opening for your iPod's hold switch and screen, as well as an open bottom for accessing the dock-connector port and headphone jack. The silicone on the Gamefacez is pretty thin, but it's still thick enough that, like most skin cases, you can't put your encased nano in an iPod dock cradle. (You can use Apple's dock-connector cable while the nano is in the case with no problem.) iFanatic also includes a clear, adhesive screen protector, as well as a pair of silicone "earcaps" for the iPod's earbuds.

The Gamefacez is not the most impressive silicone skin I've ever tested. Although the design on the front is attractive, the silicone is thin and not very rigid. I had trouble getting the nano into the case smoothly; it seemed like the bottom corners of the nano kept getting stuck on sides of the case. The opening for the iPod's hold switch is a bit small, making the switch tricky to operate. And since the front of the case completely obscures the Click Wheel, it can be difficult to find the controls by touch, or even by looking at the case. Finally, the thin screen protector is somewhat less robust than I'd like.

Overall, the decision on whether or not you should buy a Gamefacez is going to come down to how import the branding is to you. You can certainly find better silicone skin cases for less money, but if you want an iPod case that shows off your school pride, your options are pretty limited.
--Dan Moren

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At a Glance
  • iFanatic Gamefacez for iPod nano

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