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Oodles of cases from Speck

Speck launches a plethora of new cases for all your mobile gear.

Every day is like Christmas around here: it seems I'm always opening a package or three. This does somewhat take the shine off of the actual holiday, but I can't pretend it's not fun trying to guess what's in each nondescript box. Imagine my suprise at opening one such oversized package from Speck products and discovering that rather than a correspondingly large product, the box contained many, many small ones. Cases, to be exact. Lots of them. Indeed, it appears that Speck has created a protective sleeve for every variety of mobile gadget. This is, of course, a gross exaggeration--there's not a truck big enough to ship a box of that size. But the company has managed to cover some popular choices, and I have 11 of the products in hand, all of which are a part of the Spirited Cases line that was announced at CES 2007.

The new line includes two choices for the Blackberry Pearl and the Treo 650. There's the TechStyle Classic case, a stylish brown leather model with contrast stitching and a removable holster. Clear plastic covers the screen, but the keypad and other necessary switches/ports are left unfettered. The case is lined in a rather Burberry-esque beige plaid. Then you have the utilitarian SeeThru case, a hard plastic model that won't add much bulk to your device but will still protect it from short drops and the like. The SeeThru comes in graphite gray and includes a removable swivel-style belt clip.

And, of course, we can't be expected to leave our music players exposed to the elements...or, er, our sweat. To that end, Speck has new fitness-friendly cases for the iPod Nano, the Zune, and the Zen V (Plus). The ActiveSport Lite includes a form-fitting neoprene case and a detachable armband, which can be adjusted to fit arms 8- to 23-inches around. (Those with twiggy arms like mine will need to double over the strap.) Continuing on the Nano tip, we have two ultradurable cases: the SeeThru Lucid--a sleek, hard plastic model that lets your player's natural beauty shine through--and the ToughSkin 2Tough--"half rubber, half polycarbonate, and half chrome tubing." Hmm, something doesn't add up. Well, suffice it to say that this is one tough-looking case--it has rubberized corners to absorb shock as well as chrome side tubes reminiscent of a roll bar. Both models include a removable belt clip. And Speck has two more cases for the Zen V (Plus) as well. First, a ToughSkin--the name says it all, and I'm not sure how necessary this is for the Zen V since it's fairly durable on its own. Finally, there's the TechStyle Cargo, a rugged canvas case that seems well-suited to the urban jungle. This olive-colored case includes a belt loop for attaching it to your pants or bag and a rather handy earbud pocket.