Review: DLO VideoShell SE
How many hard plastic cases for iPods can we review? Apparently not enough. DLO’s latest entry in this field is the VideoShell SE, a $25 case ($30 if you want two faceplates) made of plastic and features a metallic faceplate.
Unlike many cases, including DLO’s own “regular’ VideoShell, the SE version features a metallic “face” in a variety of colors: Purple, Silver, Pink, Green, Red, and Blue. Also interesting is that the screen and Click Wheel cutouts are protected with a thin piece of plastic. Although it does not provide as much protection as hard plastic in front of the screen, the thin layer does ward off minor scratches.
Installing the case is rather simple, as one must snap the two halves together. The same case can be used with both the 30GB and the 60GB/80GB models, as there is a plastic spacer that can pick up the slack if you have a thinner iPod. Unlike Griffin’s iClear, owners of “thin” iPods are penalized.
The main feature of the VideoShell SE is the kickstand located on the back. When popped out, the kickstand allows the iPod to sit at a 45-degree angle, great for watching videos. Unfortunately, the build quality of the kickstand feels cheap. The kickstand is held in place with two small nubs. After just a little bit of use, a bit more play is present. Although we can’t guarantee anything long-term, only after a few months, the kickstand does not look too promising.
Our only other major gripe is that the VideoShell SE’s headphone jack and hold switch openings are rather small. Some headphones, such as certain models from JBL might be a snug fit. Also, the bottom is not as exposed as some cases, meaning that you’d still have to remove the iPod if you want to use a Dock Connector accessory that does not connect with a cable.
Still, the VideoShell does look nice, and sells for a little less than many other alternatives. Because of this, keep in mind that it’s more of a “you get what you pay for” idea, and is better than a case-less iPod.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The VideoShell SE has some nice design ideas, but the execution could have been better.
Pros: Protects iPods well, interchangeable faceplates, kickstand, Click Wheel protection
Cons: Questionable build quality of kickstand, some areas hard to access