iSkin’s Duo line of cases are highly regarded, and for good reason: They combine the slim profile of a silicone skin case with the resilient protection of plastic hardshells in one attractive package. The Duo for the second-generation (2G) iPod nano is no exception. With a bevy of useful accessories included, the Duo has a little something for everybody.
Decking your iPod out in the Duo is a layered process that requires you to first slip your iPod into the silicone interior skin, and then clip the plastic faceplate onto the front. A removable rubber protector for your iPod’s dock-connector port and headphone jack is also included. With all of these pieces in place, the only opening in the entire case is a small slit on top for accessing the iPod’s hold switch.
The design of the Duo is big on usability. The Click Wheel protector features a colored dot in the middle that is also slightly raised, letting you easily find the nano’s center button without looking. Likewise, slightly raised text on the four directions of the Click Wheel make it simple to navigate those by touch. The headphone-jack side of the bottom protector folds back to keep the dock-connector port protected while jamming away on your headphones.
But it’s the assortment of bundled accessories where the Duo truly shines. Besides the case, you get a removable, rotating, plastic belt clip, an adjustable lanyard that secures to your nano’s dock-connector port and, most brilliant of all, a dock adapter for Apple’s Universal dock design that lets you dock your iPod while it’s in the Duo. Very slick.
What gripes I have about the Duo aren’t deal-breakers. For one thing, the plastic belt clip feels a bit on the flimsy side, especially the mechanism for clipping it to the case; I also disliked that it doesn’t rotate completely. Somewhat more annoying was that the hole for the hold switch is very small and not perfectly aligned, making it difficult to flip the switch on and off.
Otherwise, the Duo is an excellent case that offers solid protection, a sleek eye-catching look, and a design that doesn’t add a lot of bulk to your slim nano.–Dan Moren