Given the thinner-than-ever nature of the new second-generation iPod nano, there’s a challenge in coming up with a case that protects the iPod without significantly enhancing its bulk. zCover’s iSA micro 2 for iPod nano — one of the first cases available for the new model — does a pretty good job of this. The silicone skin hinges open just above the bottom of the case, allowing you to slide the nano in. The only other openings are for your iPod’s screen and headphone jack. Once the nano is in place, you pop in a hard acrylic screen protector, which sits snugly under a lip of silicone. The hold switch of the nano is also encased in silicone, though there’s a slight nub indicating where it sits under the case. The sides of the case are textured with small bumps, which makes the case easier to hold in your hand without slipping. There are also two holes in the back of the case for attaching zCover’s belt clip (sold separately). The bottom of the case features a small loop for attaching the included lanyard.
The iSA micro 2 covers your iPod’s Click Wheel in a thin, recessed piece of silicone, which keeps the controls protected but still accessible. The case doesn’t add much in the way of heft to the nano; obviously, an encased nano is somewhat thicker than the nano alone, but it’s still small enough to fit comfortably in your hand. The hinged bottom part of the case makes it easy to get at the dock connector; you can even dock your nano with the bottom of the case flipped off.
The silicone of the iSA micro 2 attracts a fair amount of dust and lint, as do many cases of this variety. My major complaint with the iSA micro 2, however, is that the hold switch is difficult to operate through the silicone. I eventually did get it to work, but it was frustrating to do so, sometimes taking two or three tries.
In the end, the iSA micro 2 is a solid case, albeit with a few minor flaws. For those looking to keep the shiny aluminum exterior of their iPod pristine from the get-go, this is certainly a good option. –Dan Moren