We linked to Gadget Centre’s review of the Gear4 iPod leather jacket a while back – just as, by coincidence – our very own review sample dropped though the postbox. I’ve been using it for almost a month now and have become quite appreciative of its easily detectable whiteness in the crowded confines of my crumpler.
The Gear4 White Leather Jacket is composed of one long strip of stout leather wedded by the kind of sturdy white elastic you’d expect to find in Captain Kirk’s corset. The lining is a suede-effect affair which if nothing else gives your 5G pod a much needed polish on its rare trips in and out of the case. The front flap is slightly padded, affording a degree of protection when the player is in crowded gadget bags alongside hazardous power supplies. I was too timid to actually drop test my iPod but by chance upended my laptop bag and sent contents (including iPod) tumbling a heart-stopping couple of feet to a wooden floor. Not a very scientific test, but nevertheless a test that the Gear4 case passed with flying colours.
I was concerned that the white leather exterior would scuff and discolour in normal use but so far that seems not to have been the case. Even the area around the touch wheel is still brilliant white. There’s a credit-card sized inside pocket although it’s not clear what purpose it’s expected to serve: Maybe somewhere to keep your iTunes store card? Unlike some other 5G cases there’s no attempt to integrate a kickstand to facilitate video viewing. How much of an issue that would be depends on how often you find yourself watching videos on your iPod. For 5 minutes of French Maid TV it’s not too onerous to grasp the whole thing in your palm, a whole episode of Lost might be a different issue.
The rear of the case plays host to the neat magnetic clasp (better than a simple stud, because it precludes placing too much pressure on your iPod), a D-ring for the included lanyard, and a not very aesthetic but solid enough button attachment for the belt clip. Although the belt clip is removable you’re stuck with the button, which is a shame if you, like me, don’t really care for belt clips and would prefer not to be reminded of them.
The closure wraps right around the bottom of the unit, offering a degree of protection to the otherwise always-open dock connector. The dock connector aperture on the review sample was a tiny bit too narrow, entailing a rather unseemly struggle to insert the cable resulting in a mildly unsettling ‘half-connected’ state at one point. Not ideal, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Other than that little quibble this is a well-constructed alternative to the rather basic sleeve that’s shipped with the 5G iPod and at around twenty quid it’s an alternative well worth investigating.