If you want to use one of the best features of the iVak, though, you'll need to detach the belt clasp, as beneath it sits a flap which folds out allowing you to stand the case at an angle on its side. You can probably guess that this is perfect for watching videos from YouTube or the BBC's iPlayer. While I have no doubt that relaxing in Starbucks at Heathrow Terminal 5 checking out Top Gear probably classes me as exactly the kind of plonker Andy was talking about earlier in the week, but damn the consequences, that's what you buy the iPhone and iPod touch to do - playing multimedia that is, not looking like a plonker.
On the subject of usability, there are a couple of small issues. For the most part the extra size added (the extra weight is entirely negligible) by the case isn't a concern. The volume, hold and mute buttons are still easily accessible, the home button is as usable as ever and both headphones and your dock connector have plenty of clearance around them for easy insertion and removal.
Saying that, there are a couple of small niggles regarding the protective plastic screen. Actually using my iPhone's touch screen through the extra film wasn't a major issue. I felt that it required a touch (pun, again, intended) more pressure than usual but Riyad, also an iPhone owner, didn't find that an issue at all. What we both did have a problem with was using the extreme edges of the screen, as the casing got in the way slightly.
On the iPod touch that isn't going to be an issue, you don't ever need to use that area, but on the iPhone it hinders typing speed every now and again when trying to hit the spacebar. In fairness to the iVak after a few days using the case I did start to compensate automatically, so it shouldn't be that much of an issue. Still, having the screen and case flush would be preferable.
When you take a look at the iVak's price, these small criticisms don't hold much sway. We found the iPod touch version for £15 online at time of writing (going by the RRP, the iPhone version should only be marginally more expensive), which seems a small investment for what is definitely the best hard case I've seen for an iPhone or iPod touch. Indeed, many of the tacky, horrible, garishly coloured silicon cases which I try so hard to avoid will set you back a similar amount and frankly don't warrant comparison.
All told there's a whole lot to like about the iVak and almost nothing to complain about. Put simply, if you‘re looking for a case for your iPhone or iPod touch then this is the one to get. It looks good, it does everything it needs to and the price is great. While personally I haven't been convinced that I would want or need a case for my iPhone, I know which one I'd be laying my cash against if I did.