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iPod Accessory Reviews: Cases

JAVOedge iPod nano Cases

Reviewed Feb, 2006 by Jacob Spindel, Chief iPod Correspondent

"Not Another Case Review!"

With so many iPod cases available, even just for the nano, some case reviews have admittedly become a bit formulaic:

1: Remove iSkin Duo from nano and add new case
2: Make a few remarks about the new case's strengths and weaknesses
3: Switch back to iSkin Duo.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I took a look at some of the latest offerings from JAVOedge for the iPod nano—so much so, in fact, that I may be pushing my iSkin Duo aside for good.


The JAVOLeatherCase is a respectable leather case, at an affordable price ($29.99). Available in about 8 quadrillion colors (okay, nine), it is a simple fold-over type case that snaps closed with a magnet-based connector. It is stylish and easy to open, and you can quickly flip it open and start using your nano—but since it leaves the sides of your nano unprotected except for two clips, and since a nano already inside another case won't fit inside the JAVOLeatherCase, the protection provided by this case is somewhat limited—in fact, the screen and click-wheel are completely unprotected while your nano is in use.

leather case
back of leather case
side of leather case


Editor's rating (1-5):

Pros: Provides easy, quick access to your nano; many colors available; stylish.

Cons: Limited protection, especially since it can't be used simultaneously with the JAVOSkin (see below) or other products.


If it's a hard case you seek, the $26.50 JAVOShield is a great choice. This aluminum case has a metallic back with a partially transparent front, with a large opening through which you can access the nano's click-wheel. Still, it would've been nice to have click-wheel protection instead of just screen protection, and the case seems like it could've been just a little smaller. Fortunately, unlike with some hard cases, it is very easy to insert the nano into this case and remove it again.

JAVOShield Case
back of JAVOShield


Editor's rating (1-5):

Pros: Durable case provides strong protection.

Cons: Still no click-wheel protection.


The JAVOScreen works best as an accessory to one of the other cases, or even a case from another brand. But once you see how invisibly these two pieces of transparent film protect your nano's back and front—including the screen, but not the click-wheel—you will wonder if all those large screen protectors made of hard plastic (like the iSkin Duo has) are really necessary. Installation is simple, especially when using the provided "credit-card" type applicator, which works in the same way as the ones included with WriteRight screen protectors and other, similar products.


Editor's rating (1-5):

Pros: Extremely thin and virtually invisible; provides good protection for screen and other areas of nano.

Cons: STILL no click-wheel protection. Argh!




Stop the presses! These other products are nice, but the the JAVOSkin is when I started realizing that the iSkin Duo is not unbeatable. At first, the JavoSkin looks like "just another silicone case," and at $10.25, you may think it is not even one of the better ones.

However, once you start using it, you realize the tremendous advantages provided by the JAVOSkin's ultrathin form factor, even thinner than its competitors, and its completely open bottom edge. When combined with the JAVOScreen, the JAVOSkin still provides a strong level of protection, comparable to other, thicker models, without placing as much bulk in your pocket or making your nano seem way bigger than it really is. But here's the really cool part: access to the Dock connector works better than any other case I've ever tried. Other cases allow you to connect Apple's sync cable without removing the case—and that's about it. But with the JAVOSkin, I was able to Dock my nano into two different speaker systems, as well as the XtremeMac AirPlay2, all without removing the case. Wow!

JAVOskin case
back of case


And if you should need to remove the case, the bottom access also makes it very easy to remove the nano from the case, though there is still no risk of the nano falling out by accident. By contrast, removing the iSkin Duo from a nano can sometimes feel like performing surgery.

Like the JAVOLeatherCase, the JAVOSkin is available in nine colors. It also features a built-in lanyard that allows you to put your nano on your keychain, if you wish. The obligatory detachable belt clip is also included, but it is also much easier to remove than the iSkin Duo's clip.

Editor's rating (1-5):

Pros: Slim, sleek design; many colors available; inexpensive; good protection level; easy to remove; DOCKABLE!!

Cons: STILL no click-wheel protection!! So the iSkin Duo is still the only nano product I've tried that actually does protect the click-wheel. Sigh...


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