Review: ZenPod turns your AirPods case into a fidget spinner

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 31
ZenPod is a stylish way to add some rugged drop protection to your AirPods and also turn them into a playful fidget spinner.

ZenPod
ZenPod


There've been a few cases for AirPods thus far including a plain leather one from Air Vinyl Design, a Horween leather one from Nomad, and a clippable version from Twelve South. These, however, mostly just offer protection and style. ZenPod, on the other hand, covers both of those and tries to add an addictive twist.




Napa leather

Before getting into the spinning model, let's look first at the standard full-leather version that shares all its qualities with its suped-up counterpart.

The shell of the case is wrapped in "premium Napa leather" which does feel soft to the touch. Air Vinyl Designs has several different colors of leather available including pink, tan, and black.

Not much bulk is added by the shell, which keeps things very slim and light. The internal body is made of a durable polycarbonate -- i.e. plastic -- that is supposed to add some shock protection in the case of drops.

Leather AirPods case
Leather AirPods case


One thing that worries us after extended use, is the hinge. Or rather, the lack thereof. Just a piece of leather acts as the hinge between the top and bottom. Theoretically, not much stress should be on the hinge since the AirPods have a hinge of their own, but we do wonder how this will hold up over time.

There are minor defects gaps in the leather we noticed between the edges of the plastic shell because of how the leather is cut and wrapped. Most won't ever notice them, but they are unavoidable going with this style case. Nomad wraps its leather over the edges to help hide those seems, but Air Vinyl Design kept things thinner by not doing so.

This is one of the nicest looking and feeling AirPods cases out there on the market, and we do like the added protection and appearance of such a shell.

Spinner version

Aside from the leather version, Air Vinyl Design also recently dropped a modified version of the case that allows the AirPods case -- with or without the buds -- to act as a fidget spinner.

ZenPod
ZenPod


It is the same exact case, but with an aluminum disk on either side of the case that allows you to grip and spin the case. Each disk has chamfered edges which make it more comfortable to slip in the pocket, and have a stainless steel bearing to help it spin smoothly.

That said, this isn't the best fidget spinner we've ever played with.

The balance of the case isn't perfect -- obviously, the case wasn't designed to spin like this natively. That means it is impossible to spin the case on a single finger like an actual fidget spinner. The axis also doesn't feel perfect either, creating a bit of an off-center tilt to the case as it spins.

ZenPod
ZenPod


When it comes down to it though, only die-hard fidget spinner fans will even care about this for that aspect. For the rest, it is simply a protective case for your AirPods charging case, and a fun novelty.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Where to buy

You can grab the ZenPod case on Amazon for $30 or any of the leather models for $5 less.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    The one feature missing from all of these appealing cases is a way to put your name and contact info on them. In the event you lose your AirPod case, having your name & contact info readily apparent at least offers the hope that whoever finds your case will contact you to arrange a return. This actually happened to me when I left my case on a flight. My AirPods case is personalized with a strip of paper containing my contact info covered with clear tape wrapped around the case. Not pretty but it works. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 6
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,692unconfirmed, member
    The one feature missing from all of these appealing cases is a way to put your name and contact info on them. In the event you lose your AirPod case, having your name & contact info readily apparent at least offers the hope that whoever finds your case will contact you to arrange a return. This actually happened to me when I left my case on a flight. My AirPods case is personalized with a strip of paper containing my contact info covered with clear tape wrapped around the case. Not pretty but it works. 
    Years ago I suggested Apple rename "Find my iPhone" to simply "Find" and open the tech to every electronic.

    Surprised we don't have trackable AirPods and cases. Ridiculous we need to spell our names on them like Kindergartners.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    The one feature missing from all of these appealing cases is a way to put your name and contact info on them. In the event you lose your AirPod case, having your name & contact info readily apparent at least offers the hope that whoever finds your case will contact you to arrange a return. This actually happened to me when I left my case on a flight. My AirPods case is personalized with a strip of paper containing my contact info covered with clear tape wrapped around the case. Not pretty but it works. 
    Years ago I suggested Apple rename "Find my iPhone" to simply "Find" and open the tech to every electronic.

    Surprised we don't have trackable AirPods and cases. Ridiculous we need to spell our names on them like Kindergartners.
    So you’re suggesting they add GPS chips to a headphones case so people who lose them have something less to complain about while the price misers get something new to complain about?
    lolliver
  • Reply 4 of 6
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 708member
    Fidget spinners: quite possibly the most idiotic “invention” of the past decade. 

    Fools and their money are aoon parted. And, yes, someone is laughing all the way to the bank. 
    edited January 31
  • Reply 5 of 6
    I think they should add LED flashlight and small keys holder would be more useful. 
  • Reply 6 of 6
    anomeanome Posts: 1,304member

    Warning: Peak Hipster attained!

    Actually, despite their popularity with the norms, fidget spinners do serve a certain usefulness for people on the Autism spectrum, and those with other attention issues. Look up stimming.

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