Continuing on the quest to find the perfect iPod Nano case, I'll be taking a look at Zofunk's line of 1st Gen iPod Nano cases. They also make cases for video iPods and 2nd Gen Nanos, but I've only got a 1st Gen Nano to test them with. Previously, I have reviewed ifrogz' line of iPod cases. Zofunk sent me five of their cases to check out so let the review begin.
Look and Feel
One of the first things I noticed with the Zofunk cases was their unibody construction. The entire case is just one piece of molded anti-static silicone. I find this to be an advantage over two-piece cases. Taking my sister as an example, she quickly got annoyed with the secondary band around her ifrogz iPod case and often used the case without it. Zofunk solves this problem with the 1mm thin body. While not as thick and protective as other iPod cases, the Zofunk case doesn't add much bulk.
The stretchy and thin case provided a challenge when it came to putting it on my Nano. It took me the greater part of a minute to get it on properly. One thing's for sure, it's a snug fit and seems like its part of the iPod. As you can expect with a silicone case, it's rather grippy and is unlikely to slip out of your sweating hands while on the treadmill.
While the case is molded from anti-static silicone, I still found that some lint and dust particles from my pocket found their way to the case's exterior.
Utility and Performance
Charging or syncing your iPod doesn't require you to completely take off the case. The bottom end flips open and even works in your iPod dock. However, since the material is so thin I worry about how the case would hold up in six months. It seems like it would tear. I tried to test this hypothesis by pulling at both ends of the bottom flap with a small amount of force and well, see for yourself...
After that happened, I decided to benchmark the remaining and still intact cases with a "jeans test." In the jeans test, I put a Zofunk'd Nano in my relatively loose jeans pocket and tried to pull it out 10 separate times. My results indicated that 4 out of 10 times, the iPod was retrieved from my pocket looking like the picture below. The other 6 times it came out alright.
Completed with the jeans test, I decided to take off the case. Note to self: don't pull it off from the top...
If you're a very active iPod user, you might want to look elsewhere for a more rugged case. Otherwise, the Zofunk holds up well in casual use and the bottom flap opens up conveniently.
Zofunk provides a unique, design-oriented line of sleek iPod cases, but it seems as though function follows form. That is, it looks good but it could have been more rugged. Although, I am led to believe that Zofunk developed these cases with appearance in mind, with the website stating the design concept as "urban elegance" and sacrificed some performance for that look. On the upside, Zofunk includes a screen protector and cleaning cloth. Zofunk sells each of these cases for a retail of 24.95.
What do you look for in an iPod case - performance or appearance?