Zune 80 Case Review
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The Microsoft Zune team has introduced the first ever 1st party leather case for Zune. It's designed to fit the 80gb device and is available at most retail and online locations.
The actual color of the leather is a cross between brown, black and burgundy.
Currently there are no other colors available.
The leather is thick, and lined with a special Zune themed fabric on the inside. Although the top has access to the headphone jack and lock switch, the bottom has no opening for a sync cable.
Instead of cutting openings for the play and back buttons, they are covered. This is good because the buttons can be pushed right through the leather. The Zune pad (known as squircle) has an opening. However, the leather is thick and can get in the way of chubby fingers. Swiping is not bothered much, but clicking is a bit more difficult because the leather forms a rim around squircle.
One unique characteristic of the case is side loading. This makes it easier to insert and remove the Zune, but there is drawback. The Zune often drifts to the left while the flap is open.
The flap has magnets to help keep it closed, and these can also be used to keep the magnetic premium earphones in place, although the attractive force is weak.
The official Zune 80 case has a MSRP of $49.99.
The overall "wallet" style is very attractive but key features are missing. It could be improved with a belt clip, clear LCD cover, and opening for the sync cable. If looks are important this is the case for you. If functionality and features are what you crave, wait for a third party case to come out.