GelaSkins are thin-adhesive pieces of vinyl that adhere to the front and back of your iPod to keep it free of scratches and minor dings. They come in a variety of eye-catching designs, ranging from impressionist art to hipper, more modern graphics. As of this writing, they’re available for fourth-generation (4G) iPods, iPod minis, fifth-generation (5G) iPods with video, and both first- and second-generation iPod nanos. I tested models for the 5G iPod and the first-generation iPod nano.
Each GelaSkin comes in five pieces: covers for the front and back of the iPod, the Click Wheel, and the Click Wheel’s Center button, as well as a clear-adhesive protector for the iPod’s screen. Aligning all these pieces can be difficult, especially if, like me, you’re not the most coordinated of people. Even once the decals are applied correctly, there may be small gaps in coverage (for example, between the Click Wheel and the Center button). I also found that the front sheet didn’t quite reach the edges of the iPod nano; the iPod video fared slightly better, though the included screen protector didn’t seem to be quite big enough for the 5G’s large screen. The design also leaves the sides of the iPod exposed.
Removing a GelaSkin is not difficult, but you may find that it gets a bit mucked up in the process; although the adhesive allows for removal and reapplication, the material can easily get crumpled or torn if you’re not gentle with it.
GelaSkins are really suitable for only the barest of scratch protection; they won’t hold up to serious abuse. (Although they’re thin enough that you can use them in a conjunction with another case.) Like iStyle’s skins, they’re mainly a way to give your iPod a new look.