I've had several Creative media Zen MP3 players over the years and they've been great little machines. As such, I've always tried to protect them and keep them in tip-top shape. That's paid off too as a couple of them are still working beautifully after a decade or more of use. One of them is the Creative Zen Mosaic, and this review is about the carabiner case that was specially designed for it.
The case, like the MP3 it was made to hold and protect, is predominately black. It's made of a fake leather material with an equally fake velvet overlay but the velvet(-ish) has been laid on with a kind of chessboard effect so that, thematically, it resembles the pattern of the Zen Mosaic machine itself. It's a lovely touch and shows the quality of workmanship to come out of the criminally overlooked Creative Labs.
I rarely use my MP3 player indoors, it's sole purpose for me is listening to books or music on the move whether that's a commute to work, going for a run or just a peaceful walk in the country. This cover is designed for that. It has a lovely brushed aluminium carabiner fixed through a loop on the top of the case and that, as is the case with carabiners, can clip onto anything you want. Belt loop, rucksack, work bag, piece of string around your neck... whatever. It clips easily and securely.
The only issue that I do have is how the MP3 player fits into the case. It just slips in. Now being built with the Zen mosaic in mind it's a perfect and exceedingly snug fit. There's no way the player is going to fall out of the case without some excessive jiggling, but if I'm on cross-country run then that's exactly what it's going to get. True, it's only ever once fallen out in ten or more years, but it still seems as though a little bit of velcro to fasten the top would have been a better design. Also there are no holes, gaps or vents in the case at all. It's just a pouch that's open at one end; the top. Seeing as the earphones plug into the bottom of the Zen then it has to go into the casing upside down. That's fine, but then you can't access the screen or the controls once it's in there. It's a minor irritation but, again, something that could have been easily rectified.
I think that this is a great little item, probably due to its association with the fantastic Zen Mosaic player rather than as a case on its own, but it could have been even better with just a few tweaks. Still, seeing as the Mosaic is no longer for sale and this case was taken from the shelves years ago, I guess not many people will be that bothered.
I have a Creative Zen Mozaic, mainly to use when I am out and and about and don't want to take my expensive iPod with me. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but if I am hiking around the woods and having fun with my kids, then the Mozaic sometimes goes with my, I just love my iPod too much.
Cases need to be functional and at the same time, I like the simpler designs. The Carabiner case is certainly simple, just a slip in pouch, but for a tenner, it adds a little usefulness too. The very top of the case has a simple loop, and the nice brushed finish carabiner clip slots into this and then securely clips onto your belt loop, or even onto a lanyard that can hang around your neck. Mine also has an extra use... sometimes I put my Mozaic into a rucksack, which has a loop inside, so I can actually secure it inside the rucksack, so if someone does happen to dip their hand in their, it cannot be stolen.
The case is very well made. It has a velvet feel to is, with leather effect piping around the edges. The velvet part of the case has some square patterning on it to compliment the design on the MP3 player. The fit is very good too. It could maybe do with being a little bit tighter, but for the money, this is a good value slip-in case.