Review: iFrogz Treadz for 3rd Gen Nano

This tire-like tread case protects your iPod nano. (May 26th, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: ifrogz

Price: $14.95 US

The Good

  • Thick. Well-made. Good corner protection. Comes with screen protection.

The Bad

  • Attracts dust. Hold switch hard to reach. Screen protector may not adhere properly. Click Wheel cover sold separately.

Finally, I got a silver iPod nano. This lightweight and cute music player definitely needs protection from my world, although that won't help me misplacing this tiny little block; its needs a beeper attachment for that! After I loaded it with a library of AAC and MP3 encoded music, I set out to identify the best protection for it. My initial pick is the iFrogz Treadz, which is a nice little case, but falls short in a couple of areas.

The Treadz

This extra-thick polished silicone case offers good corner protection and covers the basic nano form. Don't let the extra-thick marketing fool you though, it is only 1mm thicker than other cases I tested, which means it's 2mm thick instead of one. Other users claim that the iFrogz Treadz does protect your nano from drops and flops, but I'm not going to drop it to find out - sorry.

The Treadz name comes from its tire-like pattern tread grooves that are reminiscent of my Nanking tire treads. As with my tires, the tread is mostly decorative and doesn't help a great deal with its intended purpose, to make the iPod easier to hold. The design isn't quite grooved deep enough to make a difference if you have slippery fingers. The iFrogz Audiowrapz, a review of which will be posted soon, uses the same design.

iFrogz Treadz


iFrogz 3rd Gen Nano Treadz Tread


The iFrogz Treadz ships with a hard plastic crystal-clear screen cover. While it is simple to apply, it never did adhere properly to my video screen. Two of the edges kept air bubbles that refused to deflate no matter how much smoothing I applied. Even with the poor seal, the videos were easy to view. There are also no removal instructions, but buried in the FAQ they say it leaves no residue when removed.

Dressing Up

To don the outfit, you slip the nano into the video screen opening. The case fits like a glove and the cutouts for the dock and earphone ports are exactly the right size; which means your favorite headphones may not fit well, especially if they have any sort of bulb at the end of the jack. The rubber is malleable though, so you may be able to push it out of the way. I had no problem with my iSkin Cerulean XLR earbuds or the V-moda Remix M-class Modaphones.

iFrogz Treadz Edge


iFrogz 3rd Gen Nano Treadz Port Openings


The opening for the hold switch is such a close fit that it is hard to access. You need fingernails to push the tiny switch, and I don't, so I found a slim plastic tool to use to push the switch.

Dust Issues

According to the site, the "Treadz case is treated to repel dust and lint," but it doesn't repel much. I live near a highway and dust abounds, and even after a canned air treatment, you can see specks of dust on the pictures above.

Recommended

I think the price is a little steep for a piece of silicone, but it is the same as most iPod nano cases. The attention to detail and perfect fit make it less painful to buy. I'm glad they included a screen protector, but find it a bit cheesy that you have to pay another $6.00 for a Click Wheel cover. To their credit, they have a huge assortment of great covers. iFrogz is offering 40% off the 3rd Gen Nano Treadz and other iFrogz accessories through May 27th, and $9.00 for this case is great. I totally recommend you also purchase the Vibez with this discount also. This review unit was supplied to MacNN by Dr. Bott LLC.



Photos © Ilene Hoffman, 2008

by ilene hoffman, reviews editor


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