Last year we tested out the Agent 18 Shield for the original iPod Nano, which was prone to scratches, and were quite pleased with the results. Agent 18 was kind enough to provide us with their brand new “NanoShock Kit” (hardcase) designed specifically for the second generation (aluminum) iPod Nanos. Although the new iPod Nanos are more resistant to scratches, they are still pretty flimsy and purchasing a case is good investment.
Protection – 4/5 stars
The two-piece shield snaps onto the back and front of any 2nd generation iPod Nano. The case protects all parts of the iPod, including the entire screen. The case does a good job of protecting the nano; however we wish Agent 18 included some extra material to protect the exposed click-wheel. The top and bottom aren’t protected with what is provided in the NanoShield Kit, however rubber ends are provided in the slightly more expensive NanoShock Kit.
Usage – 5/5 stars
The case was designed well and leaves openings for the hold button, touch-wheel, connector port, and headphone jack for easy use. Agent 18 also provides a special Universal Dock Adapter, shaped to fit the Nano while in its case, for use with standard iPod accessories. The touch-wheel is also is easier to use now that the case surrounds it with a thick border.
Style – 4/5 stars
The polycarbonate case looks pretty good on any 2nd generation Nano and allows to color to bleed through with ruining the look. Except for the clear plastic on the screen (and logo), the rest of the case has a “blurred-look” making scratches less visible. Overall this is one of the best looking hard cases we’ve seen, however it doesn’t look as hot if you plan to use the rubber ends provided for shock absorption in the NanoShock Kit.
Value – 5/5 stars
Agent 18 currently offers to models, NanoShield ($20) and NanoShock ($30). The NanoShield comes with the actual 2-piece Polycarbonate Case and Dock Adapter. However for an extra $10 Agent 18 throws in a belt clip, armband, and rubber ends for shock protection. Both packs are very reasonable compared to cases made by other vendors. Agent18 has started to ship these cases and it is available for order from their website.
As we mentioned previously, we have been satisfied with all their products including iPod VideoShield and the original Shield for Nano. If you are extremely worried about damaging your iPod you may want to purchase the $30 model which includes the rubber ends. However the case itself does provide a pretty good amount of protection. We recommend this case since we haven’t had any issues with it other than the fact that the touch-wheel has been left exposed. If anyone knows of a case better than this one, please let us know by replying in the comments.