Axio’s Deluxe Case for the iPod nano is a new twist on the old “skin” favorite. It’s a rugged case with good shock absorbency, but one major flaw may make it unusable for many an iPod user.
The Deluxe Case is a two-part affair. First, there’s a firm but flexible clear-plastic face plate that covers the front and sides of the nano, with a hole cut out for the Click Wheel and notches for the hold switch on the top and the dock connector and headphone jack on the bottom. With the iPod in place, you slide the plastic face into the second part of the case, a silicone jacket that covers the back and sides with its own holes for hold switch, dock connector, and headphone jack. The bumpers on the side of the silicone are thick and rugged, providing good protection against drops and damage. The back of the case also has two slits that for threading a belt through, and there’s a hole for a lanyard at the bottom right of the case (no lanyard is included).
Sounds good so far, right? Unfortunately, when I grabbed the case from my house for a subway trip, I was on my way out the door before I realized that the the plug on my headphones was too large to fit through the hole in the case. The thickness of the silicone meant that the plug would not seat firmly in the jack. In order to use the case, I had to peel the bottom of the case open and insert the plug directly into the nano, seriously compromising the case’s protective capability. The plug on the iPod’s stock earbuds is smaller and fits fine.
That problem is enough to ruin the case for me, which is a shame, because the case is otherwise a nice balance between usability and protection. Those who never plan to deviate from the iPod earbuds may be happy with the Axio Deluxe Case, but users of third-party headphones (and I imagine there are a lot of you), will want to at least try their headphones before buying, if possible. –Dan Moren