Iâ€™ve only been an iPod user for a short while, since I usually have access to multiple MP3 players and tend to just use what ever is knocking about in the lab. However, I came by a 4th generation iPod a few weeks back and have steadily been filling it up with music.
Now, when I bought a 3rd generation iPod for my wife last year, it came with everything you needed in the box, including a protective case. However, since Apple dropped the price considerably for the 4th generation models, luxuries like the docking cradle, remote control and carry case were sacrificed.
So, since starting to use my iPod, Iâ€™ve had to be very careful not to scratch it â€“ after all, I donâ€™t want it looking bashed and bruised like Bennyâ€™s. I had also been on the look out for a protective case to keep it safe, when out of the blue, I got a press release from PodGear about its new IceBox.
The IceBox is a clear, hard plastic case for the 20GB 4th generation iPod and to be blunt, itâ€™s utterly brilliant. The problem with most iPod protective cases is that they spoil the way the device looks, and considering a big part of the iPodâ€™s appeal is aesthetic, thatâ€™s not ideal. The IceBox on the other hand looks superb, perhaps even enhancing the design of the iPod rather than detracting from it.
The IceBox has a hinged flip-top door, into which you slide your iPod, then once your baby is snugly inside, you click the door shut. Thereâ€™s a round cut-out to give you direct access to the click wheel, but the screen is completely protected by solid clear plastic.
There are cut-outs in the flip-top lid to give you access to the headphone/remote sockets and the hold switch, while at the bottom is another cut-out for the dock connector. On the left hand side of the IceBox is a loop to which you can attach the supplied neck strap. Personally I think the iPod is too big and heavy to be hung around your neck, although this feature might work on the iPod mini version of the IceBox.
At the rear of the case is a mounting point for a belt clip. The belt clip is supplied in the box, along with a couple of fixing screws for it, presumably the second is a spare in case you lose one. Iâ€™m not a huge fan of belt clips, especially since this one makes the IceBox far bulkier than it should be. That said, I guess itâ€™s good to know that if I ever wanted to carry my iPod on my belt I could just attach it.
Compared to the average rubber or soft cases that you can buy for the iPod, the IceBox is a real cut above. It definitely makes me feel less paranoid about knocking or scratching my iPod, while the direct contact with the click wheel means that it loses none of its navigation usability.
At Â£21.99 the IceBox isnâ€™t the cheapest protective case on the market, but itâ€™s worth every penny. Not only is this the best iPod case Iâ€™ve ever seen, itâ€™s the best protective case of any kind that Iâ€™ve got my paws on.
A truly excellent protective case for your iPod that doesnâ€™t spoil its good looks or hinder navigation. What more could you ask for?