If you’re on the prowl for a top-quality leather case worthy of your new iriver clix 2, premium accessory manufacturer Noreve has you covered (no pun intended) with its tradition leather case.   

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Is it right for you? Read on to find out.

Packaging

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Since I suffer from Accessory Addiction Disorder (AAD), an affliction that affects most gadget addicts, I occasionally award and deduct imaginary points for a case’s presentation. That said, Noreve loses a point here for its use of the plastic outer packaging I thought was reserved for drugstore toy displays.

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A fully functional high-quality box covered in what looks and feels like faux leather is right there inside the plastic, so I don’t know why the choice was made to unnecessarily cheapen the unboxing experience.

Contents

If you’re lucky enough not to be living with AAD, you probably won’t notice the packaging as you toss it aside. What you will take note of, however, is what’s included in the box.

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For an accessory, it’s actually quite a lot. There’s the case itself, a swiveling belt clip, its metal tab and screw, and a mini screwdriver.

Belt clip
The belt clip was actually exclusively designed for Noreve, who considers a case’s back to be as important as its front, so I think it warrants some extra attention.

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The clip is made of sturdy plastic and attaches to the case in a way that allows it to rotate a full 360 degrees.

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Installation is a breeze: just remove the decorative flat button that covers the screwhole, align the tab (the metal ring with the eight indentations; Noreve calls them "blockage points"), and secure it with the small screw.

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Then just slide the clip onto the tab until it clicks into place.

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I don’t even own a belt so a belt clip is something I only attach on gadget cases for review purposes. Maybe this just exposes my inexperience, then, but shouldn’t there be some sort of spring involved? As it is, there’s no way to easily "open" the clip so that it can be . . . well, clipped onto a belt or waistband.

Fortunately, removing the belt clip is quick and easy: just hold down the ridged "button" at the top and slide it off.

Design

Noreve’s offering is actually the first iriver clix 2 case I’ve used, but already I feel sorry for whatever is next in line. The exceptional build quality of this case sets the bar very, very high for any third-party company interested in accessorizing iriver’s exquisite new player.

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Just look at the painstaking attention to detail and you’ll see what I mean. Each stitch is in perfect position. The edges are even and rounded. The cushioned leather is soft and supple. In short, my ears are ringing from the volume at which everything about this case screams "Quality!"

Have a look for yourself.

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The case has a bookstyle design that makes it look a bit like a miniature organizer or day planner.

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The creases look troubling, I know, but don’t worry. There’s absolutely no evidence of them when the case is wrapped around the clix 2 (and that’s when it matters).

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The interior is lined with a soft fabric embroidered with the Noreve logo. I always associate premium companies with branded lining, so this is really just a materialistic bonus for me.

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To enable in-case use and easy access to the clix 2′s controls, the case relies on four strategically placed "tabs" to keep the player in place. The round-edged tabs hold it in securely while posing no threat to its glossy finish.

Fit

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More important than a case’s packaging, contents, or design is its fit. Even the most perfectly executed example of craftsmanship can be deemed worthless if it doesn’t fit the device for which it was designed.

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Clearly, the people at Noreve are acutely aware of this because the case it made for the clix 2 fits the clix 2. Quite perfectly, actually.

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Noreve doesn’t specify which way is right-side up, but the "correct" way seems to be so that the case flap opens above the player. I don’t know why, but this is just the way I naturally assume it’s supposed to work. The problem, however, is that the volume controls and built-in microphone end up being completely covered (and thus inaccessible) when the case is closed.

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The only workaround is to flip the clix 2 upside down so that the case flap opens below the player (above). In this position, only the hold switch is covered when the case is closed.

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Regardless of where you prefer the flap to be when you open the case, a button-snap closure keeps it closed.

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You’ll need to pull the leather strap a little to get it to snap shut at first, but it loosens up fairly quickly after that. It could probably stand to be a tad longer, though, as it lays differently when the case is empty (above left) than when the player is inside it (above right).

Conclusion

Noreve belongs to what I consider to be the top tier of companies that specialize in cases for portable gadgets and other mobile technology. Consistent with what I already knew and have come to expect from using its Creative Zen Vision:M leather case for the past 13 months, the tradition leather case for the iriver clix 2 is stylish, incredibly well made, and thoughtfully designed.

Handcrafted and offered in thirteen colors, the case is available now for $45.