AVA’s Lava case for the iPod nano might look a little different from the silicone “skin” cases that you’re used to. The case foregoes a rectangular profile for a gentle, concave look reminiscent of a dog’s chew toy. Despite that, it’s far from unattractive and it fits comfortably in one’s hand.
Even though it has a somewhat unusual shape, the Lava is in most other respects your standard silicone case. Besides the skin itself, it features a hard-acrylic screen protector. Each corner of the screen protector features a small nub that helps the protector stay in place under the lip of silicone around your iPod’s screen. The Lava has a notch in the top for getting to the iPod’s hold switch, an open bottom to access the dock-connector port and headphone jack, and, of course, an opening for the screen protector. You slide your nano into the latter and then put the screen protector in place.
The Lava doesn’t have an opening for the Click Wheel — it’s covered in silicone — but it does have a recessed, circular area that makes it easy to find the controls by touch. The text or icon for each button is also raised slightly to aid in this. The Click Wheel controls all work through the silicone with no problems.
I don’t have any significant complaints about the Lava. AVA is a little sparse with the extras: The case includes a magnetic cable grip, but no lanyard or belt clip. Still, this helps cut down significantly on bulk and cost, so it seems a fair trade-off. And the case itself is very well made, which goes a long way towards assuaging any concerns about protection. The only thing I noticed was that the silicone did have a fairly strong odor when I removed it from the package, but I imagine this would dissipate with time. It’s certainly not something that would prevent me from recommending this excellent case.