Review: Pacific Design iPod nano Flip Wallet
A few years ago, we occasionally had to include multiple iPod-specific ratings in our reviews, but we haven't had to do that in a while. Pacific Design's iPod nano Flip Wallet ($25) requires that unusual treatment: it's a flip-closed wallet supposedly designed to fit first- and second-generation iPod nanos, but it doesn't do a good job of holding the slightly thinner second-generation nano in place -- a disappointment given how attractively designed the case is.
As its name suggests, Flip Wallet is a wallet-style case that holds your nano on the left side, cash or credit cards under the nano, and one or two ID cards on the right side with a clear display window. Four distinctive color and style combinations are available; our sample case has a distinctively embossed faux leather black exterior and a largely blue interior. Two of these cases are held closed with elastic straps, while the other two—including our sample—use magnetic tabs. Each case has a strap in the center to manage your earphone cords once the iPod’s inside.
When Flip Wallet’s closed, the Hold switch and part of the nano’s top are exposed, along with the entire bottom save a small bit in between the Dock Connector and headphone port. A small amount of the nano’s top left corner also sticks out on the side, but otherwise, it’s protected by the faux leather on all sides. When opened, the case provides full access to the nano’s screen and Click Wheel, as well as the ID card off to its right.
With any plastic and chrome first-generation nano inside, the case works just as it’s intended to. But with aluminum second-generation nanos, opening the case almost inevitably leads the iPod to slip out of the holder, either partially or entirely. Because of the case’s center groove, it’s thankfully unlikely that the nano will fall on the ground when Flip Wallet opens, but still, there’s no reason for any iPod to be so loose inside—it’s just sloppy design.
Our 31-point B rating of Flip Wallet recognizes that this is a good and recommendable case design for first-generaton iPod nano owners, while the 26-point C+ rating for the second-generation iPod nano—points deducted for fit and value—indicates that this case isn’t a wise purchase for newer nano owners. Pacific Design surely has the aesthetics of iPod case design down pat; a little extra work on the fine details would make this a better case for all iPod owners.