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Topic: Some (hopefully useful) feedback on the Xtrememac Xtremity case

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Old 10-24-2004, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Some (hopefully useful) feedback on the Xtrememac Xtremity case

I'd been stressing about which case to get for my 4G iPod, and thanks to the input I'd seen posted on these fora -- and in particular thanks to Eric Schwarz's review and also Macworld's review -- I'd decided to get the Xtrememac Xtremity.

There was one issue that tilted the balance in that case's favor: the overall good reviews from everyone on its superior auto mounting utility. For me, that seemed to be the biggest issue. I do use my iPod in the car a lot, and often enough with a passenger with me, and I liked having a good place to store the iPod where its track was visible and its controls accessible but not force the passenger to hold it. I also don't use an iTrip or any other top-mounted accessory currently, so I could do this while still having the cover on.

On a hunch, I went to my local Apple Store to see if they had them in stock so I could see them in person and query the sales staff on their experiences with them. They did, and here's something I found out:

The Xtremity that they were selling COMES WITH TWO DIFFERENT PLASTIC FACEPLATES. I'm talking about the removable faceplate that covers the front of the iPod. The one at the Apple Store came with the solid no-holes one (which had garnered some negative feedback from people who missed having access without exposing the full face of the iPod) AND ALSO had a second for 4G iPods with the hole for the scroll wheel.

As far as I can tell, this option was not available -- or was just not advertised -- on the Xtrememac website. The other difference (if it makes a difference to you) is that the automount clip and the belt clip were gray (matching the gray accents on the case) instead of black.

Now, some more feedback on the case itself:

It added more bulk to the iPod than it seemed to me on the website. When I compared to the Contour case, though, (I still have my 3G Contour) it seemed just a hair less bulky.

If you've heard feedback that it's very difficult to get the iPod out of the holster, believe it. It was VERY DIFFICULT to get mine out.

If you use a Belkin product that connects to your iPod via the dock connector, consider not getting this case. My friend at the Apple Store has used this case (he also has a Contour and prefers it) and he has a Belkin auto charger and he warned me that he had difficulty getting it to fit into the aperture. I also have a Belkin product: the Belkin Media Reader. Whereas my friend claimed to be able to get his charger into the aperture with a little jiggling (and that it's gotten easier as either he's gotten better at it or it's worn down a bit), I could confirm that the adapter on my media reader DOES NOT FIT AT ALL. It's close, but it's definitely no cigar.

This is a show-stopper, because I want to put it in its case and leave it there. As noted, it's too difficult to get out quickly in any event, which I don't consider a bad thing (I prefer to put it in and leave it in). I believe that Xtrememac, which offers some products that compete with Belkin's, designed the aperture to accommodate their own product's but not their competitor's.

I don't have any usability feedback to offer yet. These are first-impression notes; until I decide what to do about the Belkin issue I'm not keeping it in the case. Either I will get out a razor blade and gently work the opening to be more accommodating, or I will opt to return the product and go with the Contour Showcase.

It's a shame, because other than this issue the product has a feature set that really hits my own sweet spot.



EDIT ADDED LATER:
I decided to go ahead and use a razor blade and gentle sandpaper to widen the opening. All it took was a very little bit of work, and on only two of the four corners, squaring them off a little bit. The width of the opening in both dimensions was OK, it was just the corners, which on the aperture are rounded off and on the Belkin Media Reader are much more square. All it took was a small amount of work, and I was all set to go. Further review after I get some use in.


FURTHER EDIT ADDED:
One additional note on the two different flipcovers included with the Xtremity: the standard solid one (as shown on the website) is clear plastic. The additional one for 4G iPods (with the opening for access to the scrollwheel) is very slightly frosted, with a clear area for the display screen. This is probably to better camouflage any scratches that the cover picks up itself.

Last edited by lkalliance; 10-24-2004 at 10:04 PM.
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Topic: Some (hopefully useful) feedback on the Xtrememac Xtremity case

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