There are hundreds, if not thousands, of silicone skins for your iPod on the market today, so when one comes along that breaks the mold, so to speak, it’s always a pleasant surprise. Fruitshop’s Bone Nano2 Link for the second-generation (2G) iPod nano is just such a case and, while it may not be perfect for everyone, quite a few iPod owners will appreciate its attempt to stand out.
At first blush, the Nano2 Link appears to be your run-of-the-mill silicone skin. The bottom is open so you can slide your nano in; there’s a square opening for the screen and a hole at the top so you can access your iPod’s hold switch. There’s also a small hole at the bottom-right corner for threading through a lanyard (not included), and a small, clear, adhesive screen protector.
On the back, though, you’ll find the Nano2 Link’s most distinctive feature: the company’s Bone iLink, a roughly 3-inch, flexible, USB dock-connector cable. (We review the Bone iLink separately on Playlist, as well.) The cables’ ends fit into two molded-silicone niches on the case’s back, making it a cinch to remove the cable and connect your iPod to your computer. Portable users especially will find this design to be a godsend, since they won’t have to go rummaging through their bag to find that errant iPod cable — and there’s always a place to put the cable when you’re done syncing or charging your iPod.
The Nano2 Link has some other nice features, as well. I like the textured circle that marks the iPod’s Center button, and the slightly raised writing on the Click Wheel covering makes it easy to find the controls without having to look at the iPod. I do wish, however, that the case included some more robust screen protection, and I also thought the Nano2 Link’s fit was a bit on the loose side — trying to use the hold switch often made my nano slide out of the bottom of the case a bit.
Overall, though, the Nano2 Link’s biggest attraction is the included Bone iLink cable, which is a great feature (and normally costs $13 by itself). You’ll pay a little more for this package, but not having to constantly look for your dock-connector cable just may make up for it. –Dan Moren