XtremeMac Iconz and MicroFlip

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I’m back again with XtremeMac this week with some more of their iPod cases and a kind thanks to my contact there for providing me with the following items for review.

If you don’t know who XtremeMac are then here’s a brief summary:

XtremeMac are based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and have been around since January of 2002. It’s a company that originated in the garage which eventually grew in to an international company. You’ll find their products in most of the popular online retailers as well as high street retailers around the world. With current growth and success they’re now moving in to areas such as speaker dock systems, in-car accessories, cables and wireless systems exclusively for the iPod range.

Batman Iconz

Their company image reflects that of the passion that exists for products such as the iPod. I don’t think theirs many other companies out there who are devoting the same level of inspiration and enthusiasm for such a market. Granted it is a big market but I think XtremeMac have managed to capture the essence of the iPod philosophy and produce products which either match or exceed the quality expected to be connected with it.

I’ll start with the Iconz and Iconz Sports range which features different artwork on each case. They’re limited collector’s edition and as far as I know the only iPod case manufacturers that are featuring this kind of pop art. Please note that these are only available in the U.S.

We had the pleasure of spending a few days with the Superman, Batman and New York Yankees versions. Other styles they do are Homer Simpson, Star Wars, Tweety and Speed Racer. They also have the Sports range with the art work of your favourite U.S baseball and NBA teams. Check out the different styles out at www.xtrememac.comNY Yankees Iconz

The material consists of hard plastic and provides complete protection apart from the bottom part which is where the case slips on to the iPod. The usual ports are exposed for easy access and convenience. My initial concern was that the iPod might slip out but this was not the case. The iPod slides in and can be quite a tight fitting but this ensures that iPod does not accidentally slip out.

With the scroll wheel being covered you wouldn’t think you’d still have access to the functionality of it. You’d be wrong to think that. You can still operate the iPod despite it being covered by the hard plastic. It takes some getting used to when the case is fresh out of the box but after some use it becomes the same as using it without. The back is translucent but none the less fully protected from scratches and stains and there is a screen protector built in which again doesn’t obstruct the quality of the screen.MicroFlip

The second range of cases they sent me is called the MicroFlip. A luxury leather case which offers extensive protection for your iPod. The inside is finished with a textured rubbery material, soft to the touch and although I don’t think it really adds any extra protection, credit does go to XtremeMac for the quality stitching and finish of the whole case. The design offers very easy and quick access despite it being a clam shell design. The tab and post closure keeps the lid from flipping open randomly and proved to be good enough to be kept in your pocket or bag without it accidentally flipping open. You also have the sturdy built in belt clip for those occasions where you just got nowhere to put your iPod.

The usual ports such as headphone jack, hold switch and data port are left exposed for convenient access but because the leather case is substantial enough, these ports and the iPod itself remain protected.MicroFlip

The scroll wheel and screen are covered with a soft plastic material. I did experience some troubles with the scroll wheel access due to the material of the cover. It wasn’t a rigid material like on the Iconz range so it was difficult to get the iPod to respond sometimes. Throughout the days usage however things did improve and it’s probably safe to assume that things would improve more over time. The screen used the same protective plastic material and this did present some glare/reflection to the picture when in outdoor conditions. It wasn’t a big issue; you could see the picture but just not as clear as you would normally do. In normal indoor lighting conditions, picture quality is as excellent as the iPod screen can be.

If you’re a fan of any of the art work Iconz models then I suggest you get one as soon as you can as they’re only available for a limited time. If you’re looking for that extra quality and high-class finish, then the leather MicroFlip range is right for you.

2006-03-17 Onwah Tsang

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