Review: iSkin Vibes - tokidoki

iSkin vibes give good fashionable iPod protection. (June 1st, 2007)

MacNN Rating:

ratingratingratingratingrating

Product Manufacturer: iSkin, Inc.

Price: $ 24.99 US

The Good

  • Good protection. Stylish and fun. Innovative.

The Bad

  • Hard to remove case. No screen protection. Must remove case to dock or use FM transmitter.

The iSkin Vibes featuring tokidoki are a range of iPod cases that sport designs from Italian artist Simone Legno. The two-layer case includes an art-decorated hard shell and a thin silicone wrap that offers extra iPod protection. These limited edition cases showcase the philosophy behind tokidoki and the expertise of iPod case manufacturers, iSkin.

tokidoki

tokidoki, the Japanese word for "sometimes," reflects the artist's passion for everything about Japan. His background story, included in the press release, covers how he was asked to move from Rome to LA. To pour your passion, soul and energy into something that you believe in and then see it discovered, and shared with the world is a living dream.

It's nice to know that the product you're using has some personal history to it; that it's not from some corporate designed assembly line. The tokidoki cases aren't manufactured by themselves unlike the many fashion accessories available from their web-site (www.tokidoki.it), instead they've teamed up with iSkin to celebrate the success they've had with a limited edition set of their cases.

Each design has its own name from Adios Flowers to the Cactus Party model, with exclusive distinctive styling, unique and special in its own way. You can stay ahead of the latest fashion and buy all eight of these Japanese-themed anime characters. Some of the designs are quite cheery and happy while others are grimmer, with one of them featuring a cartoon version of death on the scroll wheel area. I tested three of these eight cool designs with my 30GB 5G iPod video.

two-layer protection system

iSkin Vibes are not only fashionable, but protect your iPod by with a two-layer impact protection system that helps absorb shock and prevent cosmetic damage. These cases are available for the iPod nano 1G and 2G, iPod mini, 1st Gen iPod shuffle, and the video iPods.

The outer shell is made of two types of plastics. The front exterior has the glossy painted tokidoki design and the rear has a textured element for enhanced grip. Included in the package is a very thin silicone case, designed for added protection for your iPod while it is in the main case. No screen protector ship with the 5G-model case, but the 2G iPod nano case does come with one. This is the one critical element missing from the design and has resulted in my iPod screen suffering scratches while testing these cases.

Button/Port Access

The outer hard shell completely covers the scroll wheel, but the plastic is recessed and thinner than the rest of the case, so the touch sensor on your iPod still recognizes the pressure from your finger. This makes the all in one enclosure much more appealing, plus affords the designer to highlight his artwork fully.

The iPod's top edge is left exposed by the outer hard shell, but the silicone case still protects your iPod and you have access to the headphone jack and hold switch. The iPod dock connector is also exposed. Don't expect to dock the iPod on a speaker system or use an FM transmitter though, because the case, simply will not allow it. I use a tape adapter for playing music in the car with my iPod but the 3.5mm jack is too large to fit in the headphone jack because of the case. This seems to be an issue with many cases. I wish I didn't have to remove the case when I want to listen to my iPod in the car.

The internal silicone protection, makes sliding the iPod out of the outer hard shell difficult, because the grip that the silicone adds to its surface area. This is good because your iPod won't slip out, but bad and somewhat annoying when you want to remove it quickly.

Needs Screen Protector

The iSkin Vibes affords good protection without adding excessive bulk to the iPod and does it in one of the most stylish ways that I've come across yet. The eight designs may not appeal to everyone but you should find one that suits your taste. The price is good considering that the iSkin Vibes offers both protection and a choice of fashionable limited edition designs.

My main criticism is the lack of a screen protector, which is required for any 5G iPod. My experience in using it has demonstrated that the iPod screen is exposed to scratching, so make sure you purchase some kind of screen protection, such as the invisibleSHIELD. While the case only rates 3.5 stars because of the issues outlined above, the designs are worth more stars than our rating system allows.

Related Product Reviews:

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http://reviews.macnn.com/review.php?id=302

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Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Onwah Tsang


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