Speck’s Portfolio Skin is an interesting case: The company has taken the silicone material (which it calls polymer-Kraton) from its well-known “skin” cases and melded it into the form of a small portfolio-style notepad. In other words, it’s a flipcase made of silicone. Although it looks a bit odd, it addresses one of the limitations of most traditional skin cases, which leave your iPod’s Click Wheel, and possibly its screen, unprotected.
Your iPod slides into the case from the left side, and a thick cover folds over the front to protect the face of the iPod. When closed, holes provide access to the headphone/remote jack, hold switch, and dock connector port; when you flip the cover open, the iPod’s screen and Click Wheel are accessible. Like many portfolio notepads, the Portfolio Skin provides a strap — in this case, also made of silicone/Kraton — to fasten the cover closed.
The Portfolio Skin is designed to fit all full-size, Click Wheel iPods (i.e., 4G and photo models). This means that thinner iPods, such as 20GB 4G models and 30GB iPod photos, don’t fit quite as snug as 60GB iPod photos. However, Speck claims that the case is designed to have a bit of extra space in the back to store cash, ID, and/or credit cards; thinner iPods just have more space than thicker ones.
Overall, the Portfolio offers very good protection for your iPod. The silicon/Kraton is thicker than most skin cases, and extended “lips” around the top, right, and bottom edges offers additional cushion if you accidentally drop your iPod. (The left edge is covered by the flap.) The only minor flaw is that the end of the strap, which fastens onto a small nub on the back of the case, protrudes a bit, making it easy to accidentally unfasten it.
The Portfolio Skin is available in solid pink or translucent “clear.” Each version includes four straps of different colors: The clear model comes with blue, orange, green, and black straps; the pink includes green, pink, black, and solid white straps.–Dan Frakes