You’d be hard-pressed to call carrying an iPod a sign of uniqueness these days; everyone from the pope to the president has one. So what can you do to make your music player stand out? Well, if you’re looking for a truly unique case, you could consider Magpie’s Nano Outfits. Though there are six different patterns available, no two cases are exactly alike because of how they’re cut from the material.
The Magpie Nano Outfit is made out of a reinforced vinyl that reminds me of tablecloths we had at my house when I was a kid. You put the nano in the case by unsnapping a flap at the bottom of the case and sliding the nano in. The Click Wheel, display, and hold switch are covered in clear plastic; the only opening on the entire case is for the headphone jack, which is left uncovered by the bottom flap. The top of the case features a reinforced metal grommet with a detachable keychain clip, and the back has a metal belt clip.
The look and feel of the Nano Outfit will appeal to many, but my favorite aspects of the case are the included belt clip and keychain attachment. The belt clip is oriented so that the iPod will hang upside down from your belt, making it much easier to read the screen; the keychain is easy to clip on and off and it’s removable if you don’t want it constantly jingling around. And despite the fact that your iPod’s dock-connector port is covered by the bottom flap, it’s a snap — literally — to open up the flap and plug in your dock-connector cable.
I appreciate that the Nano Outfit covers all of your iPod’s surfaces, but the plastic covering for the hold switch makes it very frustrating to operate. And although the vinyl of the Nano Outfit is quite resistant to dirt and ripping, it’s also very thin, so it may not protect against drops and impact as well as a hard case or silicone skin. Still, the full coverage means that the iPod is well-protected from everyday use, scratches, and even minor spills. That and its inclusion of both keychain and belt clip features make it a decent entry in the case market. But it’s likely to be the uniqueness of the exterior which makes this case stand apart. –Dan Moren