Although there have been a number of wood iPod cases over the past few years, Miniot’s new iWood for the iPod nano is the best yet in terms of fit and finish. Each iWood is cut from a single block of wood — currently, your choice of maple, mahogany, cherry, walnut, or oak — obtained from FSC-certified, managed forests. The two pieces of the case, top and bottom, are connected via a hidden steel hinge that makes the iWood function much like a traditional flipcase: When closed, everything but the nano’s headphone port is covered; when opened, you have full access to the nano’s dock connector port, Click Wheel, and screen. (Unfortunately, you can’t access the iPod’s hold switch without removing the player from the case, but doing so is easy.)
I was impressed by the iWood’s design and attention to detail. The top and bottom pieces fit together perfectly — a magnet holds the case closed — and all edges are smoothly rounded. You can even personalize your iWood: For an additional $12, you get a monogram on the front of the case, and for $12 more (or instead), you can choose a two-line message to be engraved inside the lid.
What are the downsides? For one, the iWood has no belt clip or lanyard attachments; you have to carry it in your hand or inside your pocket or bag. And the recessed headphone jack opening may not accommodate third-party headphones that have larger plugs. Finally, there’s no arguing that the iWood is very expensive: $90 for the basic case, and up to $24 more if you take advantage of both engraving options. But if you’re looking for unique case, few are more so than the iWood.–Dan Frakes