Review: Targus Slide Case for iPod mini
Pros: Solid two-piece leather case for the iPod mini with belt-friendly slide-open design, strong integrated belt clip, nice looking and feeling leather. Easy to open and put your mini in; very good concept on protectiveness. Includes an iPod mini screen protector.
Cons: Leaves top + bottom of mini exposed to possible damage. Belt clip can’t be detached, making this a case best-suited to those who actually wear iPods at waist level.
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 finish 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.
Yesterday, we looked at and liked a novel case from Targus called the Flip Case (iLounge rating: B); today there’s another Targus offering called the Slide Case for iPod mini ($29.99). These cases share three primary characteristics: they are made from black leather, open into two halves, and expose most of your iPod mini’s top and bottom. Additionally, each case includes an iPod mini-sized adhesive screen protector, if you want to attach it. The designs differ mostly in how they open, and how you use your iPod once that’s done.
Slide Case uses two separate halves to hold your iPod: the larger half includes a non-detachable belt clip that you wear at all times, and a soft fabric interior that will come into contact with your iPod mini’s face. You insert the iPod mini into the smaller half by sticking one of its sides underneath a reinforced, form-fitting leather and fabric rounded edge piece, and then slide the other side of the iPod mini in so that both of its metallic side surfaces are covered. Tiny lips at the top and bottom of the smaller half hold the mini in place, vertically.
Once the iPod mini’s in the small half, you slide the small half into the large half, and voila, you’re ready to walk around and listen to your music. Another lip at the bottom of the large half keeps the small half from sliding out while you’re moving, and the two lips together provide a small bit of drop protection if the whole case falls on its bottom. They don’t, however, cover the majority of the iPod mini’s bottom, and like the Flip Case provide enough space for you to connect Apple’s cables to the Dock Connector port without removing anything. They also expose almost the entire top of the iPod mini, and don’t provide a second lip worth of coverage up there.
The design passes both the ease of use and general protectiveness tests: if you need access to the mini’s controls, just slide the small half out and hold onto it - unlike the Flip Case, your iPod won’t dangle upside down on your belt, a feature of the Slide Case that we liked. And though your mini’s top and bottom are mostly open, the sides and body of your iPod mini are covered quite well, better than in the Flip Case.
On looks, both cases are good, not great. We prefer the interesting-looking sides and trimmer body of the Flip Case by a bit, but the Slide Case is attractive enough - mainly because of its use of the same (and good) quality black leather, and not detracted from significantly by its somewhat bulkier sides. It says something that the most interesting part of the Slide Case visually is its back, a part that’s never intended to be seen, and only then because of an embossed Targus logo.
Our main criticism of the Slide Case is a carry over from the Flip Case: because the large, nicely made belt clip is non-detachable, and because the top and bottom of your mini are so exposed, this isn’t the first case that you’d want to toss in a bag or a briefcase, though it’s not entirely out of the question if you don’t mind risking scratches. Even absent a higher degree of stylishness, the smart two-piece sliding design alone would have catapulted this into our high recommendation level if there had beeh a detachable belt clip and more top and bottom protection. As-is, this qualifies solidly for our standard recommendation, and should be one of your top options if you’re looking for a case to wear on your belt.