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March 10, 2011 • Reviews

iPod Touch 4th Generation Accessory Review: Infinity Carbon Texalium Silver Case

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Judie recently reviewed the Infinity Carbon 2×2 Carbon Fiber Twill Case. She loves it. The review started with this:

We spend a fair amount of time reviewing accessories here on Gear Diary because all of us enjoy using products that enhance our gear experience. When I buy a new smart phone or tablet, the first thing I generally do is order an anti-glare screen protector for it … and immediately afterward I start looking at cases. The screen protector serves two purposes: much as wide tape placed across a window will help strengthen it during hurricane, I’ve learned through experience that a screen protector helps when the device is dropped. A matte screen protector also helps hide fingerprints and face-grease that inevitably wind up on a touch device’s screen. The case search, on the other hand, is not even fueled by a worry that I will drop the device; it is more because I want something that will keep my device from looking like everyone else’s.

I could not agree more with the importance of using accessories as one way to distinguish my devices from all of the others. For me, however, there is an additional reason I like to use a case on my new devices as quickly and consistently as possible. My reason is because I have a tendency to purchase devices and use them for a set amount of time, and then I’ll sell them in order to upgrade or try something new. Having devices in as pristine condition as possible is key to getting top dollar on eBay or some other sales site. When the fourth-generation iPod Touch came out last fall I purchased one, but I didn’t follow my own cardinal rule. I began using it without a case, and within a few days scratches began to appear on the back. This meant that I would not be able to sell it for the amount that I was hoping when the upgrade comes next fall.

As luck would have it that iPod Touch failed, and Apple was kind enough to replace it. Yes, I got a second chance, and this time I wasn’t going to let the iPod Touch get marred up. It’s for that reason that I was thrilled to find out that Judie had asked Infinity Carbon to send me one of their carbon fiber cases for the iPod Touch. So here we are with the review of the Infinity Carbon Texalium Silver 2×2 Twill for the iPod Touch fourth-generation.

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From Infinity Carbon:

This case fits the Apple iPod 4th Gen models and features 2×2 twill weave Texalium. Designed to add very little size and weight, the case is a one piece design that snaps on from the back and is held in place by a small lip on the inside. Precision cutouts ensure all of the buttons are easily accessible. Our unique blend of composite materials virtually eliminates signal loss as common with other carbon fiber cases on the market. Handmade in the USA from real Texalium and industrial strength resin and finished with automotive grade clear coat for UV protection and a high gloss finish. All logos are embedded in the clear coat for a smooth surface.

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Here’s what the company has to say about the specific features of this particular case:

Handmade in the USA with great attention to detail

Made with real 2×2 twill weave Texalium

Clear coated inside and outside for UV protection

Decals are imbedded into clear for smooth surface

Ultra slim design adds only 1.5mm thickness

Super light, weighs under .8 oz

Precision fit and finish installs in seconds and requires no double sided tape

Signal strength not affected

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When the case first arrived I was surprised to find that the packaging was remarkably simple. Basically it consisted of the carbon fiber shell and that’s about it. I was also immediately surprised by how incredibly light this shell is. I know that Judie spoke about this in her review, but you can’t really appreciate just how light the company’s products are until you have them in your hand.

I was also impressed by how rigid the structure is. This is an incredibly strong shell which is a great thing, since the goal is to protect a relatively delicate device.

Unfortunately I ran into some issues with the shell when I first tried to use it, and I was in the process of e-mailing the company to find out what I should do with what I initially perceived to be a “flawed” product. What was that flaw? For the life of me I could not figure out how to get the shell to stay on the iPod Touch. I tried pressing the iPod Touch into the shell and working my way around its perimeter, but that didn’t work. I tried sliding it in from one side and then pushing on the last side to enter but that didn’t work either. I even went so far as to place a soft cloth on the desk, place the iPod Touch face down and push the case on to the iPod Touch hoping that with even but strong pressure it would make its way into the shell and stay there.

Nothing seemed to work. “Clearly there’s something flawed about this particular shell,” I thought to myself and prepared e-mail. I was about to send the email when I decided that I would take one last try. After all, if there was something small and simple that I was doing wrong, I really didn’t want to look like a complete and total idiot. I’m glad I waited and tried one last time because for some reason the iPod Touch slip right into the shell of the show clipped around it and I was good to go.

I went from thinking I had a flawed product to being incredibly impressed by it.

[I have found that the easiest way to insert the Tab or the HD2 (I also have an infinity Carbon shell for it) is to put the side of the device with buttons in first, and then press the other side of the device down into the shell. The fit is tight, but this method seems to work every time. I also remove the devices in the same manner: lift up the side with the buttons and once it’s lose remove the device. – Judie]

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As you can see, the shell protects pretty much everything along the sides except for those points that require some degree of access. So, for example, the space around the volume buttons is open but the rest of that side is completely protected. Because of the design of the iPod Touch and of the shell accessing the volume buttons is completely unimpeded when you’re using this particular form of protection.

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That is true of the sleep/awake button and the camera/microphone space on the back of the device. They are open and accessible while the rest of the area is protected. One of the benefits of the shell is that it makes the camera lens even more recessed than it is on the naked iPod Touch. That offers some protection when placing the iPod Touch now face up.

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One of the things that does surprise me a bit about the shell is that there are some points along the perimeter where the shell and the iPod Touch’s screen are flush with one another but at the top and at one point along the side the shell does not completely come up to be flush with the iPod Touch screen and therefore leaves it a tiny bit vulnerable. I have to attribute this to the fact that each case is handmade. That gave me pause for a few moments when thinking about using it going forward, but the shell is so light, rigid and protective in every other way that I have continued to use it and will likely do so until this touch makes its way to eBay.

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Going back to Judie’s initial point that using a case is a way to have your device not look like everyone else’s device, here is a view of the iPod Touch in all its glory while wearing the shell. It looks fantastic, and it feels even better in the hand. It adds a little bit of bulk to the iPod Touch but not too much. It also adds a little bit of weight to the iPod Touch but, again, not too much. This is one method of protecting the fourth-generation iPod Touch that you will forget you are using after a short while.

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While the shell gives the iPod Touch a unique look from the back, when looking at the iPod Touch from the front it really doesn’t look like there’s anything protecting the device; I like that.

If you are particular and need your case to fit with absolute perfection, then this may not be the case for you. As I noted earlier, with close examination there are some spots along the side that the case doesn’t rise up to be flush with the screen. But every other aspect of this case is so gorgeous that I don’t see wanting to use any other case, at least for the foreseeable future. This is handcrafted, and as a result it’s going to have its own unique qualities. If you want absolute perfection, then you should get some cookie-cutter case that rolls off an assembly line. If you want something that you’re going to look at and say “this is so awesome!”, then this may well be the case for you.

The Infinity Carbon iPod Touch 4th Generation Texalium Silver Case may be ordered directly from the company website.

MSRP: $79.95

What I Like: Strong but light protection; looks beautiful; feels great in the hand; doesn’t add too much bulk or weight

What Needs Improvement: It took numerous tries for me to finally get the iPod touch to sit properly in the shell; once inserted, I noticed that the shell was not completely even around the edge of the iPod; not inexpensive

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