Podstar Diablo – Unleashing the devil inside the iPod

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Podstar has taken the heart and guts of hell and the iPod and put them in a blender to create the Diablo series of iPod cases for the iPod Video and Nano range.

I had the pleasure of testing out the Splatterfest model finished in a striking red and complete with devil horns and tail. Never before has any iPod case manufacturer released such a product with this amount of bravado.

When I ripped away the packaging, what was revealed to me was a brown pizza-shaped box with the red fiery flames from hell and the outline of one of their cases.

Inside the box, was the product catalogue, featuring the entire range of iPod cases. I’ve never seen a manufacturer release a catalogue or product guide for their iPod cases. That’s probably because there isn’t a lot to talk about! Podstar on the other hand have gone to the trouble of creating a personality for each iPod case.

For example, mine was called Splatterfest. It’s described as 25 years old, raised in a highly-disciplined household and he compensated for his repressed upbringing by indulging in an endless stream of horror flicks, from classics like the Living Dead trilogy to modern slashers, and his tag line? Be afraid. Be very afraid. Or I’ll eat your brains.

The finish to the product guide is great and I love it for the care and attention that has gone in to creating such a concept. You’ll like it for that if not for its slightly wacky and over the top finish.

I thought it was worthy of mentioning because I’ve not come across it before, so on to the iPod case itself.

Hold on. Not quite there yet. There’s more. Inside the iPod box you get a few other bits and pieces. You get a sterling silver earring, hook for your belt, screen protector, 30GB slide in piece and the last part, a Podstar ID and Dog Tag. Again Podstar trying to create a limited collectible feel to the whole package. Each metal dog tag has its own unique serial number for your particular iPod case. It doesn’t add any functionality to your iPod, but you could, if you really wanted to, attach it to the belt clip part.

The 30GB piece helps 30GB iPod owners to fit their iPod in comfortably and this works perfectly well, fitting wise. Just saves them from having to produce two of each model and for you, if you ever change your iPod from having to buy a new case. Great idea!

The silicone material is similar to that you find on other iPod cases. The finish is entirely different with a striking red colour all over and then completed with unique art work around the scroll wheel.

The pointy ears or horns if you will and the little devilish tail at the back gives your iPod a completely new look. It certainly achieves its ‘cheeky’ look if anything else.

Ok, so finally, on to the most important bit. The case itself of course!

The silicone material provides durable protection and acts like a second skin to the iPod. The only entrance to get your iPod in is through the cut out for the screen. This means that the case itself is a complete suit that will provide the best all round coverage of the entire iPod. The silicone material will provide an element of weather proofing for your iPod. This only works to a certain extent with the earphone socket, hold switch and click wheel exposed for convenient access. There’s also a nicely made flap at the bottom so that you can access the data port only when needed.

Each Podstar case comes in two colours, black or red. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the red Splatterfest for the iPod with Video and the Crimson Avenger for the iPod Nano. Although I didn’t get to try the black version, I have a gut feeling it would have suited my taste and style more so than the red version. I think I would have preferred the red to be a bit darker to give it more of a serious and more devilish of a look. However, other than that it’s hard to say that there’s anything wrong with these range of cases. It takes the tried and tested formula of a silicone case and put it through the meat grinder and splashed it with personality.

I’d like to see more personality in future models. Whilst the art work on each case is great and unique, I’d like to see more of it covering the case and more colours. The colours work well on the black versions but I think the red ones could do with more contrasting and matching colours.

Podstar have created a truly unique iPod case with each case featuring its own customised personality complete with a range of cool accessories like the dog tag, really gives the case a premium limited collectors finish.

The Podstar Diablo range gets the TechCast Recommended Award but it won’t be scaring me any time soon.

2006-08-23 Onwah Tsang

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