Review: iSkin eVo³
With Apple’s release of the new batch of iPods, we had a tough time deciding whether or not to review the iSkin eVo³, the latest iteration of iSkin’s silicone cases for the full-sized iPods. Since there are millions of these out there (some still being sold), we decided to write up our thoughts on this case anyway.
The $35 eVo³ takes the same silicone case design as its predecessors, but also offers some improvements. First, the iPod’s Click Wheel is covered by a thin layer of silicone, and there is a piece of clear, hard resin that protects the screen and area around the Click Wheel.
Unlike its predecessors, the eVo³ does not officially allow use of bottom-mounted accessories unless they connect in a cable fashion or are a Universal Dock (remove any inserts). However, we were able to get a number of bottom-mounted accessories to work thanks to the oversized cutout for the Dock Connector. These include the iTalk Pro and some FM transmitters. Besides that, the case seems to be a complete redesign—a “microtexture” for grippiness, the aforementioned Click Wheel protector, the new resin scratch-protecting “VISOR”, and a few aesthetic tweaks to make the case seem less bulky.
Putting an iPod in the case is very simple, and instructions are included. Stretch the screen “opening” to fit the iPod in, and slide it down, dock connector first. Then, pull the other part over the top of the iPod until it’s snug. Finally, insert the VISOR in the grooves on the face of the case. Due to its design, it won’t move around.
Docking the iPod is fairly easy. If you have just the cable, it’ll fit on the bottom with no fuss. A flap covers the dock connector when a cable is not attached. If you have a dock, it must be a Universal Dock-style product (just remove any inserts), as you cannot stick the bottom of the iPod through the Click Wheel opening, since that doesn’t exist on this version. Alternatively, you can use a product, like SendStation’s Dock Extender.
Unlike its predecessors, the eVo³ did not seem to attract dust all that well, but a mild soap and water solution should clean up any dirt that finds its way onto the case. On the subject of marring, it seems that the resin VISOR is very scratch-resistant and won’t end up scratching your screen, like some, since no part of the VISOR comes in contact with the iPod. We thought this was an excellent design idea. Besides that, the entire iPod is covered, save for the headphone jack, ventilation “pores” on the back, and the Dock Connector flap.
The belt clip is much like the previous incarnations, which iSkin refers to as the RevoClip, where it is a 2-part affair. One disc-shaped piece fits inside the case before you put your iPod in, and the other locks in place. Unlike previous versions, the inner part is silicone-coated, to prevent movement and scratching. However, just as the previous iterations, the belt clip is still on the flimsy side.
Overall, the eVo³ is a solid evolution of iSkin’s primarily-silicone case line for iPods.
In our extensive usage for the last month and a half, we’re happy to say that it has easily become one of our favorite cases for fifth-generation iPods. Although it is on the more expensive side for iPod cases, it’s worth the money to keep your iPod pristine. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be compatible with the iPod Classic.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The iSkin eVo³ is a great iPod case with few drawbacks and offers quite a bit of protection.
Pros: Better protection than predecessors or other silicone cases, easy access to Dock Connector, some bottom-mount accessories work, fully-removable belt clip.
Cons: Belt clip still questionable, a bit on the pricey side