CM4 recently sent me a package that contained a variety of different technological accoutrements. Amongst them were two cases for Nintendo DS systems, the 3DS and the DSi XL. Other products whose reviews are forthcoming are their Wii Remote jackets, and the Q Card Case for iPhone 4S. Though I already have ZAGG’s InvisibleSHIELD maximum protection on my 3DS, I installed the CM4 Slim Cover and have been using it with great satisfaction since the day that it arrived.
The CM4 Catalyst Slim Cover cases are composed of aluminum and a very soft fabric that feels similar to suede. It is made to fit the edges and contours of the DS consoles very snugly, and allow some of the beauty of the original device itself to shine through. On my 3DS, the case fits very securely. It was extremely easy to install and is not easily removed. While removal is entirely possible and achievable with a little bit of effort, it is nice to have the peace of mind that the case does not easily come off. There is no interior coverage with this case. It clips only to the exterior surfaces of the device, so a snug fit is crucial and reassuring.
The feel of the fabric that was chosen to cover the aluminum is incredible. It feels like the highest quality, softest leather. This makes the grip on the device somewhat “sticky”, providing a great grip for extended periods of gaming. I would find that in certain positions, such as lying down and playing with the 3DS held above my face, it was easy to lose my grip on the smooth surface. This is no longer a worry with the CM4 case covering it. Holding the device is now infinitely more comfortable and much less slippery.
The case covers the front and side edges of the 3DS, as well as the top and bottom. Careful attention to detail is obvious when looking at this product. Full access is provided to every feature of the 3DS. There are two holes to accommodate the camera in the top of the case, on the left side the SD card slot and volume controls are fully accessible, and the 3D slider and wireless switch are left open on the right side. On the front, the headphone port is open, and there is even a cut-out square so that the power indicator light shines through. The back hinges are left unfettered and the L/R bumpers and game card slot are completely open. The case adds very little bulk to the 3DS. I have not measured it exactly but I estimate that it adds a mere 4mm onto the exterior of the 3DS.
With added comfort and durability, the CM4 Catalyst Slim Cover is a great choice for protecting your Nintendo DS. The aluminum encased in soft touch fabric is durable and does not feel at all flimsy though it is incredibly thin. The fabric that envelops it is soft to the touch and allows a comfortable, easy grip. I have been using this case on my 3DS for about a week now and I am extremely happy with it. The only criticism that I can offer is that perhaps in future designs the company could try and work in a way that the case also covers parts of the back of the device, such as the upper right and left corners, as not everyone will be installing their case over InvisibleSHIELD scratch protection. I give this product 4.5 out of 5 gears.