Review: Krusell Music Multidapt for iPod mini
Pros: Leather PDA-style case for iPod mini, featuring Multidapt clipping system and vinyl mini-holding sleeve inside.
Cons: Exposes top corners of the mini unnecessarily, bottom corners a bit. Fit and finish, especially of edges, and of vinyl holder’s Click Wheel hole, are not impressive. Interior pockets not useful. Same general design has been done better by others.
Since the early 2004 launch of the iPod mini, we’ve reviewed over 50 different cases tailored to the unique size and shape of Apple’s mid-sized iPod. Today, we begin a series of quick looks at eight additional cases that range in materials from rubbery plastic to leather and felt, and in place of origin from Sweden to Germany, Japan, China, and the United States.
No matter what we think about the company’s individual Music Multidapt cases (iPod mini version reviewed, $27.99), we very much like the concept behind Krusell’s Multidapt clip and mounting system – it presumes to create a huge collection of well-made, detachable holders appropriate to people’s different mounting applications, including cars, boats, different types of belts, and so on. One universal mount – called the “Multidapt female�? - is used on the back of compatible cases, which often come with one “typical�? clip like a belt clip, and you buy the additional clip or clips you need for various situations. Each of the clips is well-made, resilient, and detachable via a unique locking system that requires a pen tip to pop open.
When a good iPod accessory uses the Multidapt clip, it’s therefore able to be mounted in all sorts of different places, expanding its possible appeal far beyond pocketing, bagging, or belt-wearing. Marware, for example, has incorporated Multidapt clips into many of its iPod products, and generally benefited from their inclusion.
But when a mediocre or bad iPod accessory uses Multidapt, it hardly matters at all that you can mount it in two dozen places – you probably won’t care to buy it at all. By comparison with Marware’s often superb leather and fabric case designs, Krusell’s own Music Multidapt cases are nothing special. We’ll actually go further and say that we were only a step shy of really not liking the iPod mini version, which we found to fit the iPod mini only a bit better than its overly tight, larger brother for full-sized iPods.
Because the iPod mini is essentially a single-sized product regardless of capacity, color, or generation, it’s not hard to make an iPod mini case that fits properly. Similarly, there are so many leather and PDA style cases available at this point for the iPod that you need to do something to stand out from the pack. Music Multidapt is very middle of the road – the classic PDA case designed generically for use with many devices and tailored after the fact to an iPod. It’s made from a combination of Nappa leather and clear vinyl, the Nappa forming a traditional front-opening flap and back outside shell, joined together at the top with leather that covers two-thirds of the iPod mini, and at the bottom rear with a snap-closed flap that covers the entire Dock Connector.
We didn’t have any major issues with the leather body, besides the fact that the stitching and tailoring at its bottom didn’t look as tight and clean as many cases we’ve seen. It’s internally reinforced with cardboard on both sides, and feels firm enough; a metal Krusell logo on the bottom of the front flap is simple.
Black and white versions of the case are available, and we tested the white one, which was not as bright as some white cases we’ve seen, but wasn’t bad either. Interestingly, inside the front flap are two slits in the leather, which Krusell describes as “pockets for bills, memorycards etc.�? – they’re so tiny as to be difficult to open and essentially useless, another mark of a case designed for other devices and then scaled down to mostly fit an iPod.
We say “mostly�? because the one key ingredient of the Music Multidapt is its interior clear vinyl iPod holder, which is permanently attached to the case’s rear leather surface and holds the iPod mini in place. As with some (but not all) of these cases, the mini’s top corners are exposed in the holder, as are small parts of its bottom and its Dock Connector, though the Connector is covered when the unit’s flap is closed. The vinyl otherwise covers the mini’s face, sides and screen, but leaves a hole for the Click Wheel.
Initial insertion of the mini into the vinyl is a bit of a challenge, but after a few uses, that goes away – something we didn’t find to be the case with the company’s full-sized iPod version of Music Multidapt. But even when the iPod mini fits inside, the Click Wheel hole buckles in the center and doesn’t look quite right when the case is open. We sort of expect this – though we don’t like it - when a case is designed to fit different thicknesses of iPods, but not when a case is made for the iPod mini. It’s just one of a few cheapening touches that take this case out of our B-category and make it forgettable.
As suggested at the beginning of this review, the redeeming feature of these cases is their Multidapt clips; the iPod mini version of this case comes with a very small but firm, detachable plastic Multidapt clip called the “Mini Clip,�? which is adequate for small belts but not as good as the Spring Clips used on larger Music Multidapt cases, and third-party designs such as Marware’s cases. We wouldn’t worry about this clip breaking, but depending on the belt you’re using, it might or might not fit. Then you’ll need to shop for another Multidapt, which might be part of the point. In our view, and ironically, Marware’s current case designs and new packaging do more to sell Krusell’s Multidapts than this case does - the benefits of having a good partner.
In our view, Music Multidapt for the iPod mini is an okay design overall - not great by comparison with other cases we’ve liked. Marware has done a better job with both traditional leather and innovative fabric PDA-style cases, which we continue to prefer for those very few situations in which we’d consider a PDA case over something better tailored to the iPod mini’s body. Still, this isn’t a bad case, and if you want something that will adequately protect your iPod mini, and prove compatible with a wide number of mounting accessories, give it some consideration.