Decalgirl.com Skin review (initial impressions)

Discussion in 'iPod' started by mrgreen4242, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #1
    Well, my nano came this morning, finally, and as I've had my decalgirl.com skin for it for a few days now I of course immediately applied it. Since everyone and their brother has reviewed the nano already, I will be focusing on the skin and my initial impressions.

    I unpacked the nano with a microfiber cloth so as to not get any fingerprints or scratches on it before I applied the skin. After unwrapping the iPod I carefully applied the vinyl skin and then plugged it into my computer where I got the usual iPod friendlieness.
    Application and Fit
    The application of the skin was fairly easy. The fit is good, but not great. This is a clear vinyl covering for the front and back of the iPod, but not the sides. Each piece of the kit covers either to front or back with no overhang at all. The front piece fit very nicely, but the back was actually just a tad smaller than I would have liked and leaves a few millimeters uncovered on either the top or the bottom of the iPods metallic back. Overall, the skin fit well, but not perfectly.

    The adhesive used for the backing of the skin is advertised as reusable and and non-residue leaving. I had to apply the back piece a few times to get positioning that I liked, and so had a chance to reapply the skin. No residue was left, but I didn't let it sit on the iPod very long before I peeled it off, so I am not 100% sure the adhesive won't eventually stick to the iPod. It is however reusable and non residue leaving in the immediate term.

    When reapplying I would recommend that you remove the whole skin and then replace it. Peeling up part of the skina nd then laying it back down leaves some slight "bubbling" between the vinyl and the iPod that is not present when the the whole skin is applied.

    Durability
    I've only had the iPod and the skin for a couple hours, so I can't report on long term sturdiness, but I did try a few things on it while the iPod is syncing. First, I cannot scratch it with my nails or keys. I haven't tried cutting into it very hard yet, but rubbing it with the sharp side of some keys had absolutely no effect. It also does not seem to hold fingerprints at all, which is nice as it keeps it clean looking. See the next section for more about this. I will ecpand on this portion in the future as I have a chance to see how it holds up to daily use.

    Asthetics and Usability
    If I spelled that wrong I will fix it when I get home to my Mac (why can't every browser have a built in spell checker?).

    The skin is clear, and looks 'ok' at best. There is some slight texture to it, so the iPod looses that smooth as glass look. There is also some definate rainbow effect on the screen. Bubbles were pretty easy to keep out, but very small airpockets are what I think are responsible for the small rainbows and discoloration caused by slight texture imprefections on the surface. The manufacture recommends that you use a hairdryer for a few seconds to smooth out the appearance of the skin, so I expect that will help quite a bit. I'll try it as soon as I get home, and report back. (I have high hopes for this as it looks like the skin will flatten out nicely with some effort).

    Overall the look isn't bad. Plus marks for being clear and showing off the nano's sexy self, and also for slight texturing being preferable to scratches and finger prints. Negative marks for the rainbowing and not perfectly glass smooth look. If blowdrying it slightly helps significantly, I'd take this catagory from being a wash to a definate positive.

    The top and bottom are completely uncovered, so the dock port, headphone, and hold switch are all unobstructed. The touch wheel seems nicely sensitive, but the clicking of the center buttons and the sides of the wheel seems to be stiffer and offer less tactile feedback than the iPod mini does. I'm not sure if this is the skin or the nano's extremely thin nature, though. So, for now I won't hold it against the skin.

    Overall
    So far the skin seems to be a decent buy. The price was under $6 shipped, and came quickly and as described. It does lack coverage on the sides, but the main face and back are completely protected, which are obviously the most important areas. It does what it claims to do, but isn't overly spectacular.

    With the wait time so long on nano's (4gbs anyways), and the case and skin selection being limited, and the price being so reasonable, I would definately recommend that people ordering a nano also spend a few extra dollars to get this product as a temporary protection solution until better cases come to market. It may turn out to be a good permanent solution as well, but only time will tell.

    Rating:
    3.5 out of 5
     
  2. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    Although I don't think this is something that I would personally do to my iPod, I would love to see some pictures. I looked on the site, and they don't show any real pictures...just renderings of what the skins look like.

    Could you humor me with some pictures? :)
     
  3. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #3
    Sure, I will try and get some after I get home to my camera abd blowdry it (I'll try to show it after I have done everything the manufacture recommends to make it look nice, so as not to give an unfair bias). I'll also have to try and find my battery/charger... went on vacation and haven't seem it since! :eek:
     
  4. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Kellogg IA
    #4
  5. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #5
    Heh, the GC skin is pretty cool. Also, my first update to the review:

    It is possible to scratch the skin. I put a nice long one in it with a credit card edge while trying to smooth it out more. I'll see if I can get it to show in the pics I take. However, I peeled the skin back and the surface of the iPod was perfectly untouched, so the skin did do it's job. I'm assuming there was some kind of small dirt particle under the edge of the CC while I ran it accross the iPod. It did help smooth it out some, however, and it's on the back, so it's not an eyesore.
     
  6. tangerineyum macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, CA
    #6
    Ive had a decalgirl skin on my shuffle for the longest time. i think i got my shuffle a month after they came out and had the skin on a month after that. And it's still going strong, the shuffle goes with me on my jogs, workouts and short trips. So i will give durability a thumbs up. And will add that i dont have a solid piece the way i think the nano skin would come. it comes in about 4 pieces.
     
  7. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #7
    I should described the skin better in my review. I will improve it when I get home, but briefly, it comes in two pieces, one for the front and one for the back. I'll also post some pics to help show this.

    Good to hear about the good experience with longevity.
     
  8. d00kie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    #8
    I just got my skin today, so I'll just tag along:

    Air bubbles, I felt like I was at war with them in the past half an hour or so. After plenty of reapplying, I finally got both sides of Decalgirl.com's Ipod nano shield correctly placed and without any air bubbles.

    I believe that the adhesive is the cause of the texture, which pretty much ruins everything from the screen to the chromed back. On the color screen, there is a lot of JPEG-noise whenever there is a concentration of white. Once the backlit goes off, it looks likes some moisture got into the screen. On the back end, the engravings and other letters behind hardly stand out as they used to and the it doesn't reflect like a mirror anymore.

    Unfortunately, it only covers the front and back sides of the nano. But due to the curved edges found on this device, I got a feeling that eventually, the protruding edge might catch onto something and force it to start peeling.

    Nevertheless, this thing is should deliver it's promise of protection. The shields easily withstood my credit card going across every inch of surface multiple times. They should be up to the standards of everyday abuse. Like I mentioned, I've reapplied both sides multiple times to get them in the correct position. They don't leave any residue as claimed on the website, but the back had absorbed some of the print from the Apple logo and the engraving when I removed it. However, I don't see any damage to the print itself.

    The front shield is one whole piece, which I think is not a good thing. I was originally using the protective sticker that came with the nano and air bubbles would surface around the edges of the clickwheel. And they're starting to show up on Decalgirl.com's shield.

    Pros:
    Solid protection
    Inexpensive
    No residue

    Cons:
    Adhesive causes an undesirable texture
    Sides are not protected

    I'm going to stick with this for awhile until I see a nano case/cover that I like.
     
  9. dan-o-mac macrumors 6502a

    dan-o-mac

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  10. d00kie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    #10
    Yes, the entire front side will cover the screen and the clickwheel.
     

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