Contour Design’s Showcase Review

If you are looking to lessen the wear and tear, add stylish protection, preserve the beauty of your iPod, then Showcase it!
If you are looking to lessen the wear and tear, add stylish protection, preserve the beauty of your iPod, then Showcase it!
If you are looking to lessen the wear and tear, add stylish protection, preserve the beauty of your iPod, then Showcase it!

Highs

  • Screen protection
  • unhindered access to hold switch
  • ease of inserting and removing the iPod
  • snug fit
  • good overall protection.

Lows

  • Mediocre belt clip
  • white rubber can easily get dirty
  • latching mechanism durability.

DT Editors' Rating

Home > Product Reviews > Portable Music Player Accessory Reviews > Contour Design’s Showcase Review

Summary

With the Contour Showcase, Contour Design has introduced an elegantly and ergonomically designed iPod case that offers solid protection. The only problems we have found with the Showcase are that detachable belt clip is less than spectacular and the questionable durability of the latching mechanism over time. In our opinion, the Contour Showcase offers iPod users the perfect blend of an ergonomic design and quality protection, and all while keeping a slim profile and being flexible to fit most users needs. If you are looking to lessen the wear and tear, add stylish protection, preserve the beauty of your iPod, then Showcase it!

Introduction

The Apple iPod accessory market has as much competition as the Apple iPod does in the portable audio market. Protection for the Apple iPod, which comes in the form of cases, has been the one of the most popular forms of accessories by both consumers and manufactures. Contour Design, in keeping pace with the active iPod accessory market, has recently released the highly anticipated Contour Showcase. With the Contour Showcase, Contour Design aims at enhancing the users experience by providing iPod users with an elegant and ergonomic form of protection all while preserving the beauty of the iPod.

Features and Design

When designing the Showcase, Contour Design utilized shock-absorbing rubber as the main form of protection. The white rubber can be found along the top, bottom, back, and on both sides of the product. While offering all-around shock-absorbing protection, the white rubber also helps preserve the clean look of the iPod.

The second form of protection that Contour Design implemented into the Showcase is impact-resistant plastic; this plastic is used to protect the iPod screen and to allow access to the buttons and scroll wheel. With the plastic protection, the buttons and scroll wheel of the iPod are now recessed, which may aid in the reduction of accidental button and scroll wheel touching. The same impact-resistant plastic can also be found in the middle portion of the back of the Showcase. This allows users with 30GB and 40GB models to show off the shiny metal back of their iPods. Users with the smaller 10GB, 15GB, and 20GB models have an optional foam pad to use inside of the case, but use of the foam pad will block the clear plastic on the back of the Showcase.

Along the top and bottom of the Showcase are openings that allow access to all of the proper ports. The bottom opening allows access to the dock connector while the top opening allows access to the remote connector, headphone jack, and the hold switch. The last set of openings can found on the back of the Showcase. The two openings allow for the attachment of the removable plastic belt clip.

To safely secure the iPod into the Showcase, Contour Design chose to use a latching mechanism, which is found on the right side of the case. Once inside of the case, the iPod either rests on feet found on the back of the product or on the included foam insert.

Use and Testing

As stated earlier, the white shock-absorbing rubber is the main form of protection with the Contour Showcase. Other than providing protection, the rubber also helps the user in gripping it, and also prevents sliding along tabletops and other slippery surfaces.  The only downfall that we have come across with the white rubber is that it can get dirty easily.

The impact-resistant plastic, which covers the screen of the iPod, works well in conjunction with the surrounding rubber. Both have protected the iPod from continuous abuse in our backpacks and duffel bags. The only signs of wear and tear we were able to find were faint scratches on the plastic that protects the screen and small dirt marks on the white rubber. In our opinion, we would rather have the case get scratched up and dirtied instead of the iPod.

One non-protection feature that we praise Contour Design for including in the Showcase is the inclusion of a wide opening at the top of the case. The opening allows users to have unhindered access to the iPod’s hold switch, headphone jack, and remote connector. We believe many users will be delighted to know that access to the hold switch is not hindered in anyway, as the hold switch is accessed numerous times throughout the day.

Also included with the Contour Showcase is a detachable belt clip. Being detachable gives owners the flexibility of how they want to carry their showcase; on their belt, in a backpack, or even in a pocket. Even though the belt clip adds additional usability to the case, we feel that that belt clip came a little short on quality. The belt clip actually feels durable, but during testing it does not clip well to belts, pants, and straps. With very active movement, the clip has the potential to easily slip off of the belt. For those who jog or plan to constantly move, you may want to consider alternative ways of attaching the case to yourself. But for those who plan on using the case/clip combo for casual use or while walking, you may not experience any problems with the case/clip at all. Overall, we believe that the clip is durable and will take most users through everyday use.

Another feature we believe users of the Showcase will like is the ease of inserting/extracting the iPod. Once the Showcase is opened, the iPod can easily be placed in or taken out of the Showcase without any interference from the case. We are also glad to note that we have not found any scratches on the iPod that were caused by the Showcase. As many times as we have inserted and extracted the iPod to and from the case, we expected to see a decent amount of scratches.  To our delight, it doesn’t seem that the Showcase scratches the iPod.

Once the iPod is in the case, the latching mechanism holds the case together securely.  We are again delighted to note that we have not had a problem with the latch coming undone accidentally during use. It actually takes a little bit of effort to undo the latch to open the Showcase. The only problem that we anticipate users might experience from this latching mechanism is breakdown after time and heavy wear and tear, especially since the latch is attached to the case by plastic. As long as users do not exert excess pressure on the latching mechanism, no break down should occur. Forceful use of the latch may lead to future cracks in the plastic.

Conclusion

With the Contour Showcase, Contour Design has introduced an elegantly and ergonomically designed iPod case that offers solid protection. The only problems we have found with the Showcase are that detachable belt clip is less than spectacular and the questionable durability of the latching mechanism over time. In our opinion, the Contour Showcase offers iPod users the perfect blend of an ergonomic design and quality protection, and all while keeping a slim profile and being flexible to fit most users needs. If you are looking to lessen the wear and tear, add stylish protection, preserve the beauty of your iPod, then Showcase it!