Danls92 Reviews: CoreCases Aluminum Slider Please Register or Log in to view images Introduction: What I'm going to be reviewing is the Core Cases Aluminum Slider iPod Touch 1st generation case. It is an aluminum, two piece case that lock together to protect the iPod Touch. How I Review: This review is broken up into 3 major categories (Design Overview, Protection Supplied, and Misc. Comments) with a final wrap-up at the end. I have never liked the method of reviewing involved the arbitrary assigning of numbers to quantitatively express a feeling because it is so subjective. Due to this, I will not be giving my opinions a numerical value, instead I will be using the words excellent, good, neutral, bad, and horrible. For a brief description of what each means: Excellent- Either perfect or just barely missing it. Something will receive an excellent rating if it is the best it could possibly be. Good- Possible to improve, but by no means bad. This is the verdict I would give something that is good for what it is, but has several things holding it back. Neutral- Neither good nor bad, I don't have any strong feelings. If I feel ambiguous about something it would receive this rating. Bad- The unfavorable outweighs the favorable aspects. If something is not well designed, or poorly implemented this is what I would rate it. Horrible- Unacceptably poor. If something impedes the thing it is meant to assist, or is completely useless I would say this about it. With that being said, let's start the review. 1) Design Overview Core Cases is a fairly prominent case maker for the Apple line-up, specializing primarily in aluminum models. Their long experience making cases is evident when you try this case out. It is a two piece case, a front portion which covers all but the screen itself and the home button, and a back portion which covers everything except the Wi-Fi antenna. The front piece also has a cut out for the ambient light detector. The first thing that you'll notice when you remove the case from its packaging is how light it is. Being an aluminum case, I had expected something a bit heavier and bulkier so I was pleasantly surprised. Another nice feature was that the inside is lined with EVA foam, which prevents the case from scratching either side of the case. It fits the iPod securely enough though, that you won't have to worry about the iPod shifting throughout a normal day. The nice thing about the sliding design is that the case does not have to suffer the additional bulk of a hinge or connector, as is generally the case with metal cases. The front piece slides over the bottom piece and clicks into place on two small buttons on either side. The one downside to this design is that if you hold the front piece only (which wraps around to the sides of the iPod) and push down firmly on the power button, the front portion of the case will slide off. I never experienced this during normal use and luckily it was easy enough to avoid once I became aware of it, but it is inconvenient. I would probably regard this more disapprovingly if I hadn't discovered it while testing it out upon initially receiving it, but it is the sort of thing where once you are aware of it the danger is minimal. The entire bottom of the iPod is exposed, so it should connect easily enough to any device that requires the bottom jack, but I'm not sure how well it would work with docks as I don't have one to test it on. The two pieces clip together on the top of the case, but on either side the Power button and Wi-Fi antenna are exposed. This is a thoughtful touch, as aluminum could hamper the iPod's connectivity. It does take some getting used to that the antenna is completely exposed, and I probably would have preferred it to be covered by some sort of clear plastic, but I'm not sure about the feasability of such a change. The only small problems that I encountered were mostly cosmetic. The Aluminum looks very sleek, but it also attracts finger prints like no other. Also, the front piece is very snug on the iPod, but has just enough room between the edges and the foam for dust and lint to get stuck. If you don't mind wiping it off once in a while, these shouldn't be a problem, especially as the back part covers the scratch magnet of the iPod's chassis. Rating- Good Generally speaking, this case is an extremely attractive option to somebody looking for a good basic case to keep their iPod protected. The few small cosmetic grievances that I had, along with the problem with the power button's depression causing the case to slide apart are all holding this case back from the excellent category. If you are presented with this case, and don't mind a no frills design, I would definitely recommend this case. Please Register or Log in to view images 2) Protection Supplied This is truly a solid case. For it's light weight design, it seems suprisingly strongly built and could definitely absorb a good deal of shock from a fall or being knocked against something else. If I weren't so cautious about my iPod, I would have supreme confidence that my iPod equipped with this case could stand a fall of several feet onto concrete with only my quiet whimpers as evidence that something had happened. I'm not sure how well the case itself would fare, as just normal use in my pocket with a collection of mildly sharp objects of the pen and key variety has caused a small collection of scratches, but I can't envision the damage being any more than cosmetic. The case features the more or less standard design of extending a millimeter or so from the iPod's most valuable asset, the screen, so that if dropped face down there is a diminished chance of a crack. It also covers all except the screen and home button, meaning that the edges of the screen are completely covered. It would be nice if Core Cases included something to cover the bottom ports when not in use, but this isn't a standard accessory so it can't be held against them. The one somewhat surprising exclusion is a screen protector, which most companies gladly throw in with a case like this. It seems that the 2nd generation case, which will be released 12/15/08 includes one, but us legacy iPod Touch users are left without one. Still, a screen protector is something of a convenience so I'm not going to hold the lack of one against them. Rating- Excellent Out of all of my cases, I would probably vote this one most likely to take a hit and keep going. The thing but durable make lends itself to people who handle their iPod roughly or want to be extra secure. The iPod is held firmly in place, and the inner foam lining keeps the aluminum from scratching the iPod's case. The buttom ports, and Wi-Fi antenna are left exposed, but only for the obvious reasons of compatibility and superior signal respectively. Please Register or Log in to view images 3) Misc. Comments I don't have much to add here on the product itself, but I'd like to give my opinion in regards to the company itself. I would like to thank Corey for all of his help in making this review happen, and CoreCases itself for providing what would be my first review unit. What I found to be most remarkable was when the case itself came, and I found not only the case but also a small bag of pop-rocks. At first I was confused, thinking that they must have fallen in from somewhere between my openning of the box and my removal of the case. Realizing that the box was in the middle of my desk with no jumping point for a curious bag. I contacted Corey, and he told me that in every online purchase a small suprise is included so that the consumer has a little something special to look forward too along with the case. You can take what you will from this, but I personally thought it was a brilliant sentiment and a strong statement about CoreCases' loyalty to their customers. Also, this is directly from their website rather than any corespondance, but I thought this was a good place to mention that if you put the code THEMANTLE in when purchasing a case, it will give you an additional $5 off. 4) Overall Rating: Good- Excellent I debated over this one for a while, but I finally decided to put it squarely between a good and an excellent. I know that this slightly contradicts my scale of rating above, but I figure that it's my review so I might as well go for it! Simply put, there it isn't perfect enough for an excellent nor mediocore enough for a good. There's a lot going well for this case, but there are just a few small but important things holding it back. As I said above, if you're presented with this case and don't mind a slightly simplistic case this is pure gold. If you're looking for more frills, you'd best look elsewhere. What you get with this case is exactly what is advertised, a sleek and protective case. For it's price point, it is a serious contender for anybody looking to protect their iPod.