I got this case for my Kubik Evo free when I bought the MP3 player in question, though this promotion no longer seems to be on. The case normally has an rrp of £9.99 which is quite a lot considering the players range from £27.99 to £33.99 depending on the memory. That's the equivalent of paying around £50 for a case for a £150 iPod. The thing is, unlike with iPods there's not a massive range of cases for the Kubik Evo. In fact this one (available in pink or black) is the only one to my knowledge. To sweeten the deal a little you can get this case for just £4 if bought at the same time as the player from a specific merchant on Amazon though I am not sure if this is a permanent promotion.
This case is made from leather. At first I hoped it was 'pleather' but all the official information assures me it is "genuine, soft leather" even though it lacks that distinctive smell. For some people the fabric may be a selling point. For me, it's off putting. I don't have leather shoes or bags, and I certainly don't have a leather jacket. As a 'proper' vegetarian (i.e. no gelatine, no marshmallows, no parmesan, none of the good stuff) I avoid leather where possible. However, this was a freebie. The cow had already been, in the words of Phoebe Buffay, knocked on the head and ground up, and so although I could have made a stand and thrown it away, that wouldn't change the facts or bring back the beast. And so, because it was a gift of sorts, and because it could be useful, I kept it, though every time I see it I wonder whether I'm more wishy washy on my principles than I like to think.
So, brutal fabric aside, what is this case like? It is designed specifically for the Kubik Evo and has the brand name embossed on the front. Mine is the pink version (as I have the white player with pink detailing) and it's a sort of bubblegum pink, a little brighter than a pastel.
The case is tiny. The player itself is quite small, and the case really doesn't add much to it. It extends by maybe 1.5mm above and below the player and by about 3mm to each side. The area that is most changed is the depth as is almost doubles the original dimensions in this direction. The player is very easy to put in your pocket on its own, and not much harder to carry when it's in the case. It doesn't slip in quite as easily but this could also be because the leather creates more friction compared to the smooth surfaces of the player.
The case opens a little bit like a book, with the player slotting in to the back bit and the front opening like a cover. When opened it is easy to access all the controls and see the detail on the screen as the straps are clearly designed to lie over the unimportant bits, like the edge of the screen. Special cut outs also allow you to insert a memory card, plug in headphones, or connect the player to a computer's USB port, all without removing it from its case. When you shut the cover it clicks shut with a concealed magnet which I think was a great choice on the part of the designers - it holds firm but doesn't require too much effort to open it like with some poppers. It also protects the keys from accidental presses - useful as the player doesn't have a key lock option.
My main criticism of this case is something I think about every single day. Although the player slides into the case easily (with straps at the bottom to ensure it doesn't fall out the other end), there is nothing on the top to secure it in place. This is fine if you always keep the player and case right way up, but I often pop mine in my bag which can lead to it lying on its side or even being upside down causing the player to slip out before you've realised. There is absolutely no resistance to this - if you tug on the headphones that can also lift the player out of its cradle, leaving it exposed. This player is quite flimsy - I look at it out of its cover and can't help but think it would be super easy to snap - and so the protection of the case is vital (and one of the reasons I kept it). When the player is in place properly the case offers excellent protection as the front and back are stiff and supportive, but the way the player just slides in and out so easily negates this somewhat.
Any other, more minor niggles? Being a pale colour, it is prone to marks. Mine often gets ink on it from uncapped biros in my bag, though the shiny leather finish helps as you can wipe most off quite easily.
Also, the radio reception is not quite as good when using this cover as when the player is on its own, but this isn't the feature I use very often so I'm not so bothered by this. Obviously other features like playing music or videos or looking at photos are unaffected.
Finally, and I know this is petty, the pink of the cover does not match the pink of the player. This is probably because one is plastic and one is leather, so dyes don't work the same way, but still it's something I can't help but notice especially as the two were designed to go together.
You can see clear photos of this case here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Genuine-Leather- Kubik-Video-Player/dp/B004G6T1WC/ref=sr_1_2?ie= UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1301511467&sr=8-2
I am in two minds about recommending this. Because it's not a uniform sized player, this really is your only choice as no generic case will fit it well. At the same time, it is by no means perfect and, at full price, I think is too much. Maybe if you have the player already you might consider it as an add on (especially when on offer) but if you're looking to buy a player and matching case and can chose any on the market, I would not necessarily recommend the Evo brand.