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Photo Review: Sketchy's JKD case for Zune

Sketchy JKD Zune case

Today we have a special treat - our review of a homemade case from Zunerama member Sketchy62.

Before we get into the review, just who is the young genius behind this? Sketchy is 19 years old, and a 1st-year student at Pasadena City College in California. He recently started working part-time at a 3D laser lab in a college of design - and has been designing cases with Corel Draw and fabricating them with the laser. A Zunerama member since January, Sketchy has given us a glimpse into the design and fabrication process, through his diligent documentation of his research, design, and prototyping of Zune cases.

The result is his ingenious line of Zune cases, which includes the JKD 4 case that we're reviewing today.

Assembly. The JKD 4 case ships flat, and folds together origami-style. The case is made from heavy-grade paper stock. A layer of clear plastic is attached to the inside of the front face - serving as a screen guard and providing a bit of bump and scrape protection for the entire front of the player.

Sketchy JKD Zune case

The pre-creased folds are precise and well-defined - making the bending of the material into its case form a simple matter.

Sketchy JKD Zune case

The top of the case folds over the player's top surface, and is secured by a tab that slides into a slot in the back. It's a snug, precise fit.

Sketchy JKD Zune case Sketchy JKD Zune case

The final step in assembly is to remove the covering of the double-sided tape, to seal the bottom and side flaps.

Sketchy JKD Zune case Sketchy JKD Zune case

The final result looks great, front and back. Amazingly, this is probably the most precisely-fitting case that we have reviewed.

Sketchy JKD Zune case

Features and performance. Cutouts for the hold switch and headphone jack are nicely aligned. The case material is so thin that it does not obstruct even wide-profile headphone plugs. Operation of the hold switch is pretty much identical to that of an uncased Zune.

Sketchy JKD Zune case Sketchy JKD Zune case

The sync cable attaches through a crisp cutout on the bottom of the case.

Sketchy JKD Zune case

Operation of the Back and Play/Pause buttons is very responsive, through the clever springy coverings. These button covers give good tactile feedback.

The control pad is exposed through a cutout. That cutout is aligned with the control pad's outer bezel - not the control pad itself. This thoughtful design helps make control pad operation comfortable and natural-feeling, compared to cutouts that are sized to match the clickable part of the control pad.

Sketchy JKD Zune case

Summary. What a pleasant experience to get hands-on with this well-made, thoughtfully designed case. Here are some summary thoughts regarding this case:

  • We were frankly surprised to find this case comparable in precision, quality, and attention to detail with the better professional cases that we've reviewed. The precision of the cutouts and the fold lines is first-rate.
  • The unusual construction material is fun and novel. It appears to be a heavy paper-stock of some kind. Don't expect this to be as durable as a leather case (duh!), but it looks and feels reasonably resilient.
  • The case is not designed to provide cushioning for your player - it's more like a stylish paper skin.
  • Removing the case from the player is dicey. This is because the tab that slides into the slot in the back is a tight fit, and is hooked to prevent it from inadvertently sliding out. My impression is, though, that the hooks are not necessary and that the tab would probably stay in place without them - and be easier to pull out without damaging the case.
  • A variety of colors, doubleshots, and engravings are available - you can see pics from Sketchy here.
  • Sketchy tell us he plans to become a product design (industrial design) major, and ultimately to work in the consumer electronics field. Based on this review... I think he's found his niche.

    Sketchy JKD Zune case

    Summary.
      Company: Sketchy62
      Model: JKD 4 for Zune
      Purchase link: You can get purchase information and current pricing through this forum link.

    Zune accessory - Recommended by Zunerama

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