The iSA micro Tough case from zCover is a solid entry in the silicone “skin” case field. Besides being made of durable, ruggedized silicone, it includes a number of features and options that make it a worthwhile choice.
Unlike many silicone cases, where you insert the iPod through the opening for the screen, the micro Tough has a full-width slit in the lower portion of the case’s back. You fold the bottom open and slide the nano up into the case, and the bottom of the case then slips over the bottom of the iPod, leaving the headphone jack accessible but covering the dock-connector port. Fortunately, this design allows you to just flip open the bottom of the case to access the connector or to place your iPod in a dock. There’s also a small opening in the top to get at the hold switch and a clear, hard-acrylic insert that you put over the screen once the nano is in the case.
The iPod’s Click Wheel is covered by silicone, slightly recessed so that it’s easy to find by touch. Each button also features a raised icon or text, making it at least somewhat possible to operate the iPod, or at the very least find the Click Wheel’s buttons, without looking at it.
For extras, the micro Tough includes both a removable swivel belt clip and a detachable lanyard; the latter threads through a silicone tube at the bottom of the case. The belt clip attaches to a pair of plastic posts that are in turn part of a soft plastic plate, itself removable. The belt clip assembly also features an alternate loop for the lanyard.
Although I have no concerns about the micro Tough’s construction, neither does the case stand out. Its price is somewhat on the high side for silicone cases and while some of that goes into the extras like the belt clip and lanyard, it’s a hard sell when there are so many good silicone cases available for less.–Dan Moren