Being averse to the traditional bulky cases that are so popular for carrying your mp3 player, I decided to go with the vinyl skin option.
For the iPod, I went with a gelaskins cover. They’ve got an amazing selection of art and the skins are very well made, thick, and precision cut. They also include a “hard” or “crystal” screen protector. They cost a little more than some of the other places, but the thickness of the skin along with the screen protector make it well worth it. So far the skin has been extremely scratch resistant and hasn’t shown any signs of peeling up at the corners.
I would’ve like to go with gelaskins on the zune, but they don’t currently make anything for that application. So I went with decalgirl. The decalgirl skin is about half the cost of the gelaskins equivalent, but doesn’t include a screen protector. The skin itself is well made although the printing doesn’t seem to be quite up to the same level of quality found on the gelaskins. There are areas on the decalgirl skin that look a little low res. Although the colors look quite good. The decalgirl skin is also thinner than the gelaskins, and has taken a couple of scratches, nothing that has broken the skin, just little dents in the skin itself. The cutouts for the large center button is well done, but the smaller play/pause and back buttons aren’t cutout at all, and the buttons must be pressed through the skin. Which isn’t difficult, but does make the feel of the buttons a bit mushy. Overall it’s not as nice as the gelaskins, but it is an acceptable alternative if gelaskins doesn’t make a skin for your device.
Since the decalgirl skin doesn’t include a screen cover, I decided to go with an Invisible Shield from zagg.com. This is the same material used on the leading edge of helicopter blades to protect them from um… whatever damages helicopter blades? The point is, it’s a very tough, resiliant piece of material. They make designs that provide complete coverage for many devices, but since I have the vinyl skin already I chose the screen only option. The material itself is soft and because of this reflects light differently than the naked screen or even a “crystal” screen protector. It is extremely scratch resistant, it’s been on my phones screen for several months now, which I carry in my pocket, and it looks as good as the day I put it on. On the zune, the Invisible Shield provides coverage for the whole screen, and since the decalgirl overlaps the screen a bit on the edges where there’s no image I’ve got some overlapping of the vinyl skin and the invisible shield. It looks good like this and despite the doubling up, no bulk was added to the front of the device.
I think that the invisible shield will outlast the vinyl, and wish I had put it on first, with the vinyl covering it instead of the other way around. As it is I will need to purchase another screen protector if I ever feel the need to change skins.All 3 skins/covers went on very easily and at the moment show no signs of pulling up at the corners and so far I’m quite happy with the results.