Review: Agent 18 iPod touch cases

Clear, eco-friendly, or patterned, Agent 18 cases work for your iPod. (December 30th, 2008)

MacNN Rating:

ratingratingratingratingrating

Product Manufacturer: Agent 18

Price: $24.95 US

The Good

  • All cases include adhesive film screen cover. All cases include a Dock insert.

The Bad

  • See each case description.

Agent18 makes a variety of iPod cases for almost every iPod ever made, and unlike some companies, still sells cases for older iPods. Instead of reviewing different cases for different models, we look at their full range of cases for the iPod touch. The materials used, basic design, and fit for each iPod are the same, so you can assess their other cases from the descriptions below also. I've included individual pros and cons and star ratings for each of the three cases individually. The Touch ClearShield (G2) is my favorite for the iPod touch, but I've talked with many who love it for all their iPods.

Touch ClearShield (G2)

MSRP: $24.95 US
4.5 Stars

The hard plastic Touch ClearShield (G2) case comes in two pieces that clip together. The exposed volume and on/off buttons make using the iPod touch easy, but you sacrifice a little button protection. The hardness of the case once it clips together gives the iPod another level of robustness that most probably protects it if you accidentally drop you iPod touch.
Touch ClearShield

The sides of the Shield cases have rivets on each side that make the grip solid. This case is equipped with a twist-off corner, in which you use a coin to separate the sides. The case withstands repeated opening and closing of the two parts with no sign of wear.

Pros

Perfect fit for the iPod.
Material slightly different from EcoShield and has a better strength and flexibility.
Coin slot opening.
Side rivets for an easy grip.

Cons

Shows dirt and smudges on iPod because it is clear.

Touch EcoShield (G2)

MSRP: $24.95 US
3 Stars

The Touch EcoShield (G2) comes in Black, a rosy Pink, and Purple. I tested the violet-purple version. This case is also a back and front that clip together.

Touch EcoShield

The volume and on/off buttons are exposed in the EcoShield, which is similar to the ClearShield case, but not the Vest case. When I unclipped the two pieces to removed the iPod I slightly bent the plastic because it is so thin. This case and the ClearShield fit the home button and the screen openings exactly. This case also features the coin-operated twist separation mechanism for each half of the case, but the plastic seems similar to that used in plastic models, which isn't very robust. If you remember those snap together models you may have made were little - the pieces snapped off of a tree-like grid and the plastic turned white when it was bent. The EcoShield was reminiscent of those snap-off pieces. I don't think it would survive long-term use and is over priced for the weak plastic used. Sometimes eco-friendly isn't better.

Pros

Perfect fit for the iPod.
Coin slot opening.
Side rivets for an easy grip.

Cons

Less favorable material that seems stiff in a bad way.
Could lead to a crack when removing the case.

Touch FlowerVest (G2

MSRP: $24.95 US
3.5 Stars

The Touch FlowerVest (G2) comes in purple with pink flowers or dark blue with sky blue flowers. They're aimed more for women, but I used blue case anyway.

Touch FlowerVest

This case slides onto the iPod. The volume and on/off buttons are not exposed, but you can press the button through the case just fine. The case is just short of the length of the iPod, so that the bottom of the iPod is slightly exposed and the home button is partially covered, which gets in the way of using it. I like the rubber-like silicon material of this case because it doesn't slip around in your fingers like the EcoShield case. The flower decoration on the back of the case protrudes slightly which also contributes to being able to clutch it. This case doesn't have side rivets like the other two cases, but the rivets aren't as important because the raised flowers make the case easy to grip. The material is also sufficiently flexible so that it won't rip when you slide it on or off the iPod. If the case was slightly longer, it would deserve a higher star rating.

Pros

Decorative design.
Buttons still work great even though they are covered.
Comes it two color schemes.

Cons

Does not fit the iPod exactly.
No side rivets for fingers.

Summary

The most important things about these cases are whether they help you hold the iPod, protect it, and whether they have the look you want. The EcoShield and ClearShield have a simple look, but the ClearShield has a superior grip. The FlowerVest certainly has the strongest design, but may not have the look you want. I like the raised design, which integrates creativity with the function of the case. The FlowerVest helps you grip the iPod but I think the material used in the ClearShield is best. It's too bad the ClearShield doesn't come in different colors or designs but it is certainly the best case. The FlowerVest is a good case, but the fact that it leaves the bottom of the iPod a bit more exposed is undesirable. I don't really think these cases are needed to protect the iPod Touch, because this solid iPod feels less fragile than my iPod nano and video, but they do help prevent scratches. If you are going for grip, look and protection, my pick is the ClearShield.

by Marcus Sholar


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