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IvySkin Xylo Touch-Thru-MacWorld


While hard-plastic cases often do a good job of protecting your iPod or iPhone from the harsh conditions of the outside world, oftentimes they add bulk to their sleek design, or look tacky. IvySkin’s $35 Xylo Touch-Thru Original for iPhone admirably fulfills the task of providing robust protection for the entire iPhone without compromising its design.

The Touch-Thru is composed of two parts, a front and back. The front looks a bit like the iPhone itself, featuring a black border around the transparent panel that covers the screen. There are openings on the front for the earpiece, Home button, and ambient-light sensor; on the top for the headphone jack and Sleep/Wake button; on the side for the volume buttons and Ring/Silent switch; and the bottom of the case has a slit for getting at the iPhone’s speaker, microphone and dock-connector port.

The bottom of the case is actually attached to the front panel of the Touch-Thru, so you pop the phone into that part before sliding the back on. The back panel is transparent, with a hole for the iPhone’s camera, and a tab that slides into the front piece in order to keep the case secure. Overall, the Touch-thru is pretty resilient; the polycarbonate is solid, and the case stays together well.

But the coolest thing about the Touch-Thru is the built-in screen protector. Made from slightly-flexible, transparent material, the protector allows full viewing and access of the iPhone’s screen while keeping it safe from scratches, drops, and falls. IvySkin says it operates by “ultrasonic waves” that are transferred from the panel to the screen—it sounds like voodoo, but in my tests, it works like magic.

The Touch-Thru comes in clear plastic, but is also available in black, yellow, red, blue, or a chrome finish for an extra $5.