CM4 Catalyst Nintendo DSi XL Cover Review

Protecting your portable device is of prime concern to anyone who has ever shelled out cash for a PSP, Nintendo DSi or iPod. There are plenty of options both high and low-cost, but often those options are visually unattractive. CM4′s Catalyst line of covers makes an earnest effort to bridge that gap, offering an attractive outer cover for your games along with some impact protection.

The CM4 Catalyst line literally covers the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL, Wii Remote and Sony’s PSPGo. We reviewed the DSi XL model and immediately found the product above its competition. While protecting the device, the snap-on outer shell was also comfortable to hold. The DSi XL is a bit larger than its peers but offers elegance and some protection as well.

Attaching and removing the Catalyst is simple. The DSi XL version arrives as two snap-over pieces and leaves access to  the charging and accessory ports and camera on the back and top of the unit.  Removal and replacement is a three-second process. Once covered, the shell held snuggly and did not slip or shift at all. The cover also stayed on the DSi XL when I tested dropping and sliding it from gentle heights.

While the DSi XL is not a system that’s prone to obvious scratching and nicks, like the PSPGo, the surface of the cover is durable as well as supple. Even when holding the unit for an hour,, the soft covering was pleasant and did not feel slimy or sweaty from the oil in my hands like I had expected. The Catalyst’s inside features a softer felt-like lining that cushions the handheld devices against minor impacts. This would not save a DSi from a great fall or one with much force. However, it is sturdy and padded enough to minimize some of the falling risk  from a reasonable height.

Price and wear over time the leather-like finish will wear are my only two concerns. The cover is well-built and seems very durable. There are other alternatives to the CM4, but none really had that sense of class. Plastic is not equal to elegant in my estimation. Aesthetically, there might also be an issue if you put this stylish accessory on your custom bright pink DSi. The effect would be jarring, to say the least.

After using the cover on my DSi for a short time I noticed two things – first, the addition of the cover makes my run-of-the-mill DS look a bit more classy, and second – I didn’t like the idea of taking it off. Along with all the other reasons mentioned above, I recommend the CM4 Catalyst for the DSi XL.

The Catalyst DSi XL comes in two color options – Black Onyx and Slate Gray and sells for roughly $30. The Wii Remote cover offers two additional colors: Coral Red and Pink Sapphire and sells for $20. You can shop for the Catalyst online through CM4′s website.

The Verdict: Buy It!

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2 Comments on CM4 Catalyst Nintendo DSi XL Cover Review

chuck taylor

On August 10, 2010 at 11:03 am

…really doesn’t look that great. i’m going to stick with the < $10 versions out there.

Shawn Sines

On August 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

Fair Enough, I was of the same mindset till I got used to it on my DSi.