When Apple released the first U2 Special Edition iPod, Incase followed it up with one of the best full-size iPod cases we’d seen, the Folio for iPod U2 Special Edition. Now that the 5G iPod is available in a U2 version, Incase has updated the Folio to match. The new Folio improves on its predecessor in some ways, but doesn’t match up in a couple others.
The Folio is a flipcase, but, one that opens to the side rather than vertically: you slide your iPod into the case’s inner “holster” — a leather front piece connected to the main case via elastic on the top, bottom, and right side — and then two protective leather flaps fold over the front of the case and snap shut.
The leather front piece inside the case incorporates a flexible, clear-plastic window to protect your iPod’s screen, as well as a silicone Click Wheel protector. Although you can use the Click Wheel through this protector, the sensitivity of the controls are significantly reduced; given that the Click Wheel is completely protected when the case is closed, I would have preferred the approach taken by the original U2 Folio — leaving the Click Wheel exposed when the case is open.
Like its predecessor, the new Folio is made of black Napa leather with red stitching and lets the back of your U2 iPod — and its signature (no pun intended) engravings — show through a clear back panel. But the new version has a couple additional U2-specific features. The outside of the Folio features red-and-black-stripe trim, designed in the spirit of U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album, and the suede leather lining the inside of the case is embossed with a similar stripe design. You also get a small black cloth for cleaning the case’s clear windows.
The new Folio actually protects more of your iPod than the original: Both sides are completely protected, with the bottom and top edges covered partially by elastic straps; you can still access your iPod’s hold switch, headphone jack, and dock-connector port. However, the new holster inside the case doesn’t fit its iPod quite as snugly as the original did its own. Still, this is a solid case, and although the clear PVC rear window reduces the impact protection for the back of your iPod, this remains the only case that lets you show off your U2 iPod’s most famous feature. –Dan Frakes