Longtime Palm PDA users have likely come across the RhinoSkin name; the company is known for its form-fitting, metal cases for Palm handhelds. RhinoSkin has recently released a similar case for the iPod (with video), the iPod Video Aluminum Hardcase. However, the case’s name is somewhat misleading, as the entire face of your iPod is actually covered by a clear polycarbonate plastic (save the Click Wheel, which isn’t covered at all). Although this plastic is shatter- and heat-resistant, it scratches easily — even with a fingernail.
Your iPod is kept secure in the solid enclosure by a series of little rubber nubs that works well. The design doesn’t make it difficult to insert or remove your iPod, but significantly reduces the possibility of it being jarred loose. The entire top of your iPod is accessible, allowing easy access to the hold switch and the headphone port. The dock connector port on the bottom of the iPod is also left exposed, allowing syncing and charging without having to remove your iPod from the case.
An elastic lanyard is included with the Hardcase, as well as a belt clip. The clip has two parts, a small screw and the plastic clip; when attached to the back of the case, the screw leaves a small nub to which the belt clip attaches. This design lets you quickly release the case from the clip and also lets you remove the clip completely with no “nub” left behind. An added bonus is a StuffBak Loss Protection Service label which can help you recover your iPod should it get stolen.
The RhinoSkin iPod Video Aluminum Case is a tough, well designed case. The only real downside is how easily the face scratches.–Derik DeLong