When it comes to silicone skins for the iPod, there are more options than you can shake a stick at. So what sets any one apart from the others? Well, if the case is the ifrogz for the iPod nano then it’s the customization options that really make it shine, despite a few small annoyances.
The complete package for the ifrogz is composed of three parts, hiply named with ‘z’ festooned monikers: screenz, wrapz, and bandz. The wrapz are the silicon cases themselves, flexible sleeves with an opening for the iPod’s screen, Click Wheel, hold switch, dock port and headphones. The screenz are adhesive clear plastic overlays — longer, rectangular ones that cover the length and width of the nano’s front, and circular decals to decorate the iPod’s Click Wheel. Finally, the bandz resemble rubber wristbands; they fit along the edge of the nano, covering the dock protector and hold switch, but leaving a small circular opening for the headphone jack.
This hole is the source of the ifrogz’s most annoying flaw. Although the opening is sufficiently sized for the narrow headphone jack of the iPod’s standard earbuds, some bigger plugs (such as the L-shaped jack on my Sony headphones) will be too thick — you won’t be able to use those headphones with the bandz. In my case (no pun intended), I opted to forego the band completely; this works fine, but it does leave the iPod’s dock connector port exposed.
The reusability of the adhesive on the screen protector is also somewhat questionable, though you can shell out for additional screenz for $6. Then again, if you’re looking for a case to leave your nano in for the long haul, this may not be a issue.
But as I alluded to above, the ifrogz’s great strength is its customization. The wrapz and bandz can be ordered in a large number of color combinations; in addition, you can choose from hundreds of decals to decorate the Click Wheel, ranging from images of the Mona Lisa to logos of various branches of the military. Also nice is the fact that the ifrogz includes all of the tools needed to apply the screen protector, from a lint-free cloth for wiping down the nano’s front to a soft card used to smooth out any bubbles. Likewise, the application instructions are clear and concise, giving the impression of a well thought out product. If you’ve been searching for a way to put a personal touch on your iPod nano, the ifrogz is a tempting choice.–Dan Moren