Often times there are sites for a certain products (take the iPod or Zune for instance) that have massive review sections of every accessory you can think of. They take a real serious look at things like cases, FM transmitters and other random things you never knew you need. Unforgettably, something always gets left out. The cheap crap from China. You know the stuff. You can find millions of pieces of cheap crap from China on eBay and even in same cases on Amazon. Here is one such piece of cheap crap, the Crystal Clear case for the Zune 120 or Zune 80.
I wanted a case after I got my Zune just because I always like having a little extra protection on my music player. From my days as an iPoder I always had to have a case because the iPod got scratched if you looked at it the wrong way. While the Zune is no where near as fragile as the iPod classic is, I still thought a case wasn’t a bad idea. So here was my first purchase. I got this off eBay for 8 dollars with shipping included. Compared to the $30 dollars I would waste on an iPod case (sorry, I just thought iSkin made great stuff) this seemed like a deal.
Once I got the case I was presently surprised. For being cheap it was of decent build quality and fit the Zune rather well. I was really expecting the Zune to have too much room inside of the case and hear a rattle sound but that wasn’t a problem. The case covers everything except the Zune pad, headphone jack, sync cable slot and the hold button. With the case on I could easily hook up headphones, use the hold switch and hook up the sync cable. The only problem I had with connecting anything was into the headphone jack. With some cables I found the opening for the headphone jack wasn’t big enough. In my car I have a Monster cable that is too thick to fit into the hole the case provides. Besides that minor annoyance I found the case to be pretty well bit and fit most headphone or mini-jack cables.
The case appears to be a polycarbonate plastic. It does a pretty good job of avoiding finger prints, which really surprised me for such a cheap case. Because of the openings on the case dust does seem to find it’s way into the case fairly easily meaning that you will have to take the Zune out and clean the case from time to time. One other issue with the case, though one I fully expected, is that this is not going to offer any type of protection from drops. There is no silicon or soft edges to absorb falls. As I said that was fully expected, it’s a hard plastic case.
There are two buttons the case covers, the back button and play/pause button. I was worried that because this was so cheap it was going to do a crappy job of covering these buttons. Yet again I was wrong as the case does a admirable job. The buttons are covered with the hard plastic but are still easily pressed.
All things considered this case is decent. It’s a good screen protector more than anything. The Zune’s screen is naturally more scratch resistance than that of the iPod’s because the Zune’s screen is made of glass. But if you are always throwing your player around and end up scratcing it eventually, this is a good, cheap solution. You can get the case from various people on eBay, but I have also found it for under a dollar at Amazon.com. If you don’t need protection for drops and just want something to protect your screen and avoid fingerprints, this is pretty decent case.
My next planned case purchase is for the Dragon Tough Case. I walk to work during the summers and I like to have something I can grip. This case has gotten pretty good reviews and due to the lack of Silicon case options, this looks like my best bet. Check back in a month or so for that.