iSkin Claro

Last time we reviewed a clear polycarbonate case for the 5G iPod was when I looked at the XtremeMac MicroShield back when this whole site started (some 18 months ago). So for those who have since joined the 5G iPod club, perhaps it’s time to introduce another case with a slight difference this time.

The Claro from iSkin offers a dual system of protection for the 5G iPod with a silicone inside and a polycarbonate exterior offering double the protection that millions of other cases normally offer. This not only prevents scratching of your iPod by giving the polycarbonate shell a soft lining it also offers the ability to swap the inside ‘skin’ for a different colour, depending on the mood your in.On first touch, the first thing you’ll notice about the outer shell is the thick quality plastic they’ve used, much more substantial than other cases that I’ve handled before. The body of this shell covers the entire iPod including the screen but leaves the scroll wheel, audio jack, data port and hold switch free and open for access.

Now having shopped around, typically these silicone case packs are quite expensive to buy when you factor in the cost of about £20 for the main outer shell. I found these 3 pack cases to be around £15 making it an expensive accessory…for an accessory.

I guess that is the price you pay for fashion these days and the iSkin Claro is no exception.On its own, the Claro is good value and in line with what other clear polycarbonate cases come in at so don’t let the price of the additional skins put you off, because if you’re not bothered about them, the Claro will work just fine with the silicone case it comes with. Although the ‘ghost’ option in the Chill Pack does glow in the dark – definitely a tempting option.

As for durability, the Claro comes out tops. It’s either some kind of magic or a very good coating applied at the manufacturing stage that makes it extra durable and resistant to scratching. After a months worth of good usage and being shoved in to my pocket with my keys on occasions, the Claro has survived unscathed. There are virtually no scratches that you can see unless you really look closely and only at certain angles will you see them.

I only experienced one issue with the design of this case and that has go to be the problem in connecting a larger jack to the headphone socket. Whilst the cut out hole for access to this jack is quite generous it’s still not enough to fit the oversized jack that is on my Belkin tape adapter. Admittedly I no longer use that having switched to the Kensington FM Transmitter (which does fit with this case on) it may be worthy of note for those of you who have either headphones or an adapter that has a large 3.5 mm jack.

iSkin have designed the Claro to have no hinges so to get your iPod in and out of the polycarbonate shell, the front portion of the shell slides off very easily so you can pop your iPod in and out as you please. At first it’s quite difficult to line the front cover up to slide it on but after a few attempts it does get easier and offers a secure way to keep your iPod completely covered in an all in one enclosure

It’s safe to say that your iPod will be able to survive a few severe knocks and drops whilst it’s inside this case. With the double protection system of the outer shell taking on the brunt of the scratches knocks and the inner silicone cover taking on the vibrations, the Claro does a very good job at looking good whilst it protects your oh so fragile iPod. With a comparable price to most other clear iPod cases, the iSkin Claro should be a first choice with its tough and durable build, the Claro screams quality. It’s marred by a few minor flaws and the Skin packs are obvious attempts at milking the consumer but bottom line is, this case means business.

2007-05-11 Onwah Tsang

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