When it comes to the second-generation (2G) iPod nano, polycarbonate plastic cases seem to be all the rage. They let you show off your nano’s sleek exterior while keeping it safely ensconced. MCA’s Crystal’U RED features a transparent polycarbonate front and a red, shiny back. Rubber strips on the side help you get a firmer grip, and an included lanyard lets you hang the whole thing around your neck, should you so choose.
Your nano slides neatly in and out of the bottom of the Crystal’U; the case provides openings for the nano’s hold switch and Click Wheel. And, of course, since the bottom is open, you have access to the headphone jack and dock-connector port. The fit is snug; you won’t be able to dislodge the nano by shaking the case, though a firm push to the top makes it easy to take the nano out again. (Although in some cases it’s a little too easy: when I unplugged my headphones, my nano wanted to slide out of the case unless I held it in place.)
The case’s rubber side grips are a nice touch, but parts of the case’s construction feel questionable, particularly along the seam that joins the front and back halves. Your iPod’s Click Wheel is also exposed, protected only by virtue of being slightly recessed in the case. Overall, the Crystal’U is a decent case for everyday use, but if you’re looking for something with a more robust construction, you’ll probably want to check out other options.