Review: Speck TechStyle-Puck

Strong, cute iPod Shuffle carry case (February 27th, 2007)

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Product Manufacturer: Speck Products

Price: $19.95 US

The Good

  • Well-designed. Hard shell. Clip for easy transport. Durable. More versatile than advertised.

The Bad

  • Ribbon tab could be stronger. Black only.

The tiny second generation iPod Shuffle is made to withstand a fair amount of abuse while in use, but transporting it is a problem. It is so small that it may slide to the bottom of a bag or pocket and get crushed by other contents. While some companies make slide on cases, those solutions do not remedy where to store the earbuds too. Speck Products has borrowed the popular round zippered case theme used for earphones by Shure and XtremeMac, and applied it to the whole Shuffle package.

Innovative Design

The black nylon TechStyle-Puck has hard molded PVC foam inside with a plastic insert in which to store your Shuffle. The earbuds wrap around this insert and can be secured in the side notches. The compact round package has a glued on rubber Speck logo on the cover. In addition, an orange cloth tab attaches an included powder coated metal carabiner clip.

Minor design issues

The well-secured zipper has a rubber pull that is the least impressive feature. All zippers have a kind of folded over tab in which the pull inserts, and over time, this piece of metal does bend. In the Puck I received, I think the space between the tab and the zipper foot is a bit too large for the thin metal on the pull. I recommend you take pliers and push the pieces together a little if you want to make sure the zipper pull stays put and does not slip off the case.

The orange cloth tab seems to be strong, but a stronger nylon tab would instill more confidence. If you choose to wear your carabineer on your belt or attach it to another object, such as a computer bag or purse strap, I recommend checking the fabric periodically for wear and fraying. I have not heard of these tabs ripping, but then again, the product is very new, so we should check back after a couple months of use.

Hard Shell

I definitely like this Shuffle case. The robust TechStyle-Puck withstands the weight of other equipment, if it slips into the bottom of your computer bag. It is perfect for keeping the Shuffle and earbuds separated from the rest of the items and out of harm's way. I think most iPod cases are overpriced, and a $5 reduction of the Puck would fit my budget better, but it is handy nonetheless.

Versatile

The TechStyle-Puck is very versatile. I carry a number of iPod accessories in an unprotect pocket in my shoulder bag, and the Puck solves that problem. Now, I also use it to tote my 4th generation iPod Photo accessories. The case perfectly fits my Belkin Voice Recorder (product #F8E462), a speaker and headphone splitter, earbuds, and spare earbud foam, in a nice compact package. The Voice Recorder just fits into the iPod shuffle plastic shell.

Speck Products probably did not design the case for more than shuffle shuffling, but it certainly has a variety of uses beyond its original intent.

by Ilene hoffman, Reviews Editor


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