Review: iSkin Mini
Ever since the iPod Mini was released, third-party cases were available. Although the Mini featured a tougher, less scratch-prone anodized aluminum shell, some people still wanted to personalize and protect their Mini with a case. Many wanted a silicone case, as those are quite popular with the regular iPod crowd. As iSkin released the eVo recently, owners of the iPod Mini were able to have a similar case, the iSkin Mini. Other than size, the Mini is almost identical to the eVo, so most of the same information applies.
iSkin Mini Being Docked
iSkin Mini + iTrip
The iSkin Mini, like the other iSkin cases, is a molded silicone “glove” that fits the iPod Mini quite snugly and protects it from everyday bumps, scrapes, scratches, and other marring. Thanks to new, small bumps on the top portion of the case, it’s easy to grip and feels good in your hand, not to mention that it doesn’t look tacky, like some cases- it’s an extension of the iPod Mini itself. Also, the click wheel is unprotected, unlike some other cases.
Installation & Docking
Putting an iPod Mini 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 included flexible plastic screen protector between the iPod and the case and you’re in business. Believe me, it’s a lot easier than it sounds, and the pictures in the documentation illustrate it very well.
Docking the iPod is fairly easy. If you have just the cable, it’ll fit on the bottom with no fuss. A slightly-tough-to-open flap covers the dock connector when a cable is not attached. If you have a dock, you must do the opposite of installation, only slide the bottom out through the opening for the scroll wheel. Supposedly, all this stretching and yanking on the silicone won’t hurt it.
The iSkin Mini includes a plastic belt clip, which does not require removal of the iPod Mini to change orientation. A vertical and 2 horizontal positions are possible (one with scroll wheel on the left and one on the right). The back of the belt clip is not as scratch-proofed as the eVo’s (the eVo has plastic tape to prevent hard plastic-on-chrome contact). This should not be a concern, as the back of the Minis are also less scratch-prone.
The screen protector is a small version of the eVo’s – a hard plastic square that fits comfortably between the screen and the case itself. Cushioned nubs keep the screen protector off of the screen, and prevent it from moving.
Finally, the silicon on the top of the case (where the headphone jack and hold switch are located) is thinner, to allow the use of top-mounted accessories, such as the iTrip and NaviPod.
The iSkin Mini is available in a multitude of colors, including some glow-in-the-dark ones. Glow-in-the-dark colors include lava (orange), vamp (purple), wasabi (green), and ghost (white). Other colors include arctic (white), sonic (blue), blush (pink), carbon (dark grey), and ebony (black).
The Mini attracts dust and lint easily, due to the nature of the silicone, although improvements cause dust and lint to not stick as easily as on previous models. Cleaning is easy; using water and a mild dishwashing solution (NO SOLVENTS!), will keep the Mini clean and looking good.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
iSkin Mini owners can now have cases as cool-looking as their iPod counterparts, and provide protection against scratches and bumps.
Pros: Durable screen protector, ability to use top-mount accessories
Cons: The Mini is a dust and lint magnet. The dock cover is a bit tough to open.