| Who's Online|
|There are currently, 11 guest(s) and 0 member(s) that are online.|
You are Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here
| Technology Bytes Random Photo|
| Radio Show Audio Archive|
iPod Case by Waterfield for 3rd gen iPods
To see a picture of this case - click here.
As any regular listener to the show knows, I am a computer bagand portability nut. Immediately after buying my 15 gig iPod, it wastime for the second-coolest task after getting new hardware - which isgetting a new case to carry it in.
Because Apple kept such a tight lid on the specs and releasedate for the third gen iPods, there were no third party casesavailable. The first redesigned cases to ship were from WaterfieldDesigns and it is definitely not a case of haste making waste.Waterfield's original iPod cases always showed up among the top ratedin my web searches. They were able to turn around the new case soquickly because their products are designed and built in the US.
There are several things that need to be addressed by any iPod case:
1) Protection - iPod scratch easily (especially thefront) and you also don't want your several hundred dollar investmentto drop on the floor without protection either.
2) Portability - does the case turn your sleek iPod into a porky brick?
3) Access to controls - when your mood changes or youwant a different playlist, your case shouldn't make you fumble aroundforever to get at the buttons.
4) Connecting to the Firewire/charger - the third gen iPods moved the charger/sync port to the bottom of the device.
5) Storage - the earphones (whether Apple's or 3rd party) need to go somewhere when you aren't using them.
So how does the Waterfield iPod case rate in these important areas?
The Waterfield case is made with serious quality - the materialis heavy black ballistic nylon with a colored insert on the sides. Itfeels good to the touch but is clearly tough. It offers a decent amountof padding in case it is dropped. There is a flap with a soft interiormaterial that covers the face of the iPod to avoid scratches. Everyseam and connection is of impressive quality.
This case is designed to clip on your belt and maintains theslim line of the iPod. It is somewhat thicker than the iPod by itselfbut not extreme so. The clip is removable (you have to click a buttonon the end of it - it won't come off if you don't want it to) and thereare other accessory clips available (lanyard, bicycle, car). If youtake the clip off, this case is still thin enough to fit in the frontpocket of a pair of men's jeans.
Access to controls
The controls are easily accessible. The flap that covers theface of the iPod is held firmly with velcro but opens easily with a tugon the loop of material at the bottom of the flap. The entire face ofthe iPod including all of the buttons and the full screen are exposedwhen the flap is open. There is a slit in the top of the case thatallows access to the Hold switch. When the case is new, the opening isfairly hard to open wide enough although it loosens with use. You willwant to use the hold button on your iPod because it is very easy toaccidentally turn it on (and drain the battery) if you don't pause theiPod and put it on hold.
Connecting to the Firewire/charger
The sync/charge connector has been moved to the bottom of theiPod (from the top) in this generation, and that is one of the biggestchanges affecting case makers. The Waterfield case has an opening inthe bottom that allows users to connect the charge/sync cable. On theprevious iPods this cable was a regular Firewire cable, but the newgenereation has a custom connector that is larger.
Apple offers a dock for the new iPod (included with 15 and 30gig iPods, optional for 10 gig). To access the slot on the bottom anduse the dock often requires that the iPod be removed entirely from itscase - which sucks. The Waterfield has a great solution to thisproblem. The iPod slides in from the bottom of the case and is held inplace by a flap with velcro. To put the iPod in the dock withoutremoving it from the case, you open the velcro and slide the bottom ofthe cover up slightly. Then the iPod fits easily into the dock tocharge or sync.
Keeping track of the iPod earphones can be a pain. The sleevecase that Apple includes with the 15 and 30 gig iPods has no place tokeep the earphones or the remote. The Waterfield includes a pocketinside the cover flap that has more than enough room for all of thecables for both! you do have to be careful so that the earbuds aretucked all the way in so that they don't get caught between the flapand the face of the iPod. I like to clip the remote to one side of thecase's flap so I have easy access to pause, skip a song or adjustcolume without even opening it up.
The Waterfield case is almost perfect. Using it is simple andintuitive, and all aspects of its materials and construction exemplifytop quality for a good price ($40).
I have only one suggestion (and it is a suggestion for animprovement - not pointing out a flaw): The case would absolutelyperfect if there was a better provision for using the remote that comeswith the 15 and 30 gig iPods. If perhaps there was an opening or slotwhere the remote could be attached to the outside of the cover flap orin a pocket inside it but accessible through the front of the flap withit closed, this case would meet all of my needs.
I strongly recommend the Waterfield case to anyone with aniPod. There is enough similarity between this case and the earlierversion that I also recommend the previous model case for earlier geniPods. If you find a case that you think is better - let me knowbecause I would really like to see that for myself!
Added: June 11th 2003
Reviewer: Peter Hughes
Related Link: Waterfield Designs
[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]