MEGATech Reviews – iSkin Vibes Slim Case for the BlackBerry Bold Stephen Fung August 30, 2009 MEGATech Reviews My BlackBerry Bold has been getting some extra stares since I put on this new iSkin Vibes case. This slip on case made of a unique Microban material that resists staining and odor causing bacteria, also comes in a range of colors from business black (aka “carbon”) to hot rod red (they call it “blaze”) as shown. The question is, does it perform as good as it looks? Let’s find out! Getting My Vibes On Putting the iSkin Vibes on was as easy as putting on a glove. In fact, the fit after installation was just as formidable. Everything lined up and I really appreciated the fact that iSkin kept one of the things that makes the BlackBerry Bold unique: the leather pattern on the back. The material is also fairly grippy, making it quite secure in your hand. iSkin also provides a screen protector that gives your Berry just a little more added abrasion resistance on the screen. It applies easily without any adhesive or application solutions. Just make sure that the screen is clean and dust and smudge free before applying. The iSkin Vibes in the Field Not only is the iSkin Vibes case secure, but it overcomes one of my annoyances with many aftermarket cases for the BlackBerry. Typically, you’ll find that on many cases, even RIM’s own silicon version, the edges raises up just enough to impair your typing on the outer edge of the keyboard. The Vibes’ form fit and low profile design doesn’t impair the keyboard action in any way and I could fly through email replies like I normally would sans case. The only annoyances that I had with the iSkin Vibes was the fact that in its efforts to protect the sensitive ports and buttons on the device, it ended up a little overprotective. For example, I found the flap for the headphone jack to be too tight. I had to peel the case off on the side just to get it to flip out. At the same time, the USB port cover was somewhat dysfunctional as well. Whenever I would go to charge the device overnight, the cover would refuse to set itself back in place. I would have to peel the case off just to give it a bend or two so it wouldn’t pop back out. A simple solution would be to maybe mold a piece in that sticks into the USB port, giving it something to latch onto when shut. Did I mention the memory slot cover is completely off limits when in this case? Who Needs…Buttons? One last thing for people that like using the silent button at the top or the volume and voice command buttons on the side: you can’t. Although there seem to be spots molded in for these buttons, you can’t actuate them by simply nudging them with your thumb any longer. Finger nails will be required or even full removal of the case. I guess iSkin thought that they were doing your a favour by not making them so easy to actuate by accident but if you use them often, you will probably be infuriated. On the flip side, the button on the left of the device closest to the headphone and USB jacks works perfectly fine. I guess you could just remap the one you use the most? OK, how about not. I’m thinking quality control issue because it’s sort of silly to be honest. MegaTechie Good or MegaTechie Needs Improvement? The thing a case must do first and foremost is provide a decent amount of protection. The iSkin Vibes accomplishes this well with a bit of color, but seems to overdo it in some respects. Assuming that I won’t use any of the buttons except for one, often enough to miss them or need to access memory slot is just a little over the top. The protective flaps on the headphone and USB ports could really be reworked to be a little more useable. Where the iSkin Vibes shines is the fact that it doesn’t impair keyboard functionality unlike many cases I’ve come across for the BlackBerry. Since I’m typing on the device most of the time, this is where I appreciate this case the most. The fact that it doesn’t discolour or stink is a bonus thanks to the Microban material used in its construction. The colors are also sharp and definitely get your device noticed. Although I have started to grow somewhat accustomed to the cases idiosyncrasies, it definitely doesn’t excuse them. The iSkin Vibes would be so much better if it took these points into consideration and allowed full functionality of my BlackBerry Bold instead of just partial. It definitely needs a bit of improvement. The iSkin Vibes for the BlackBerry Bold retails for $29.99 US and is available directly from the iSkin Website. It’s also available for the Storm and Curve models. Share This With The World!