Review: Contour Design iSee-video

by on January 5, 2006

Contour Design has been known to make good cases for iPods. The Showcase was our favorite case for older iPods, despite some minor shortcomings. WIth the latest crop of iPods, the Showcase has not been updated, but in its place, the somewhat awkward iSee has, although the latest version is quite nice.

For those not familiar, the iSee was a case for the original iPods, but disappeared for a few generations, reappearing for the fourth-generation models. Inserting and removing the iPod was often a pain (it required a pen or similar object to actually open the case), but the case had the benefit of protecting the iPod, while still letting it look like an iPod.

Contour iSee-Video
iSee-video + iPod

Contour iSee-Video
iSee-video Pieces

Contour iSee-Video
iSee-video (Back View)

The iSee-video changes the design once again for the latest iPods—rather than having the iPod slide into the case, the iSee-video consists of two polycarbonate plastic “halves” that snap together around the iPod, forming a solid shell. Four rubber feet can be attached on the back for when the case is used on a flat surface without the belt clip.

The case is available in two versions—one for the 30GB model and one for the thicker 60GB model. Other than that, both are the same. There are openings on the top for the hold switch and headphone jack and on the bottom for the Dock Connector. The nice thing about the bottom opening is that it is big enough for accessories like Apple’s Camera Connector or SendStation’s PocketDocks. Items that the iPod physically docks with are not compatible, however. The only other part of the iPod that is exposed is the Click Wheel.

Some might find the extra exposure a bit unsettling, but the corners and back of the iPod are fully protected, plus the iSee does not offer shock-protection. Essentially, the iSee is designed to protect against daily use and keep the iPod looking good, but don’t expect to save your iPod from being drop-kicked.

A matching clear belt clip fits on the back and keeps the iPod horizontally on a belt. You can reverse it depending on whether or not you want the headphone jack facing to the right or left. We thought this was a great little “feature”, and were also impressed by the lack of posts, clips, or other annoyances when the belt clip is removed. Also, removing the belt clip from the case when it is off your belt is the best idea, as the case could open up, causing your iPod to fall out (the belt clip attaches where the two parts of the case latch together).

In daily use, the iSee-video is great. It felt very secure, and did a great job of protecting the iPod. The case didn’t seem to scratch as easily as the iPod, which is also a benefit. Because of the simple, yet functional design, good looks, and decent price, the iSee-video has become one of our favorite cases for the newest iPods.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

Contour Design decided to redesign the iSee for the newest iPods and did a great job.

Pros: Solid protection, doesn’t take away from iPod’s appearance, reversible removable belt clip, compatible with some accessories
Cons: Case tough to open at times, more scratch-prone than cloth/leather cases, no shock protection
Rating: 9/10

The Facts

Product: iSee-video
Company: Contour Design
Platform: iPod (5)
Price: $25.95

This post has been filed in iPod, Mobile Devices, Reviews