Pros: Simple handmade fabric cases for full-sized iPods and minis with cute and/or retro fabric designs. Flip offers the ability to open a lid and reveal the iPod’s screen and controls inside. Integrated rear belt loops.
Cons: As before, the simple physical designs are trumped on protectiveness and construction by many other iPod cases. Regular Peel leaves iPod’s sides entirely exposed, no access to iPod’s controls, screen, or Dock Connector port while inside; Flip has uneven inside and outside holes.
In an effort to catch up on a backlog of reviews that have slipped through the cracks, we’re providing a collection of capsule reviews today for cases and clips that we’ve passed on covering extensively earlier on. The cases that we’ve chosen for these capsule reviews are ones that aren’t breakthroughs, and don’t need a ton of extra explanation.
Earlier this year, we reviewed Canada-based Lime’s Peel Cases for full-sized and mini iPods – simple retreads of Apple’s early pack-in iPod cases, only with different fabric and a decidedly more handmade look. Now Lime has released two new cases, first an update of peel called Regular Peel, and second a case for iPod mini called the Mini Flip Case.
The Regular Peel ($24) isn’t much different from the okay case we reviewed before: Lime still uses a single wraparound fabric piece that’s internally reinforced by thin cardboard, and joined together at the sides by strips of elastic. The only differences this time are three: there are now two pieces of elastic on each side instead of one, offering a hint more protection; the back of each case has an integrated belt loop, and Lime has done away with the only top protection – a small Velcro tab – in favor of leaving the iPod’s entire top exposed. There’s actually one other difference, as well – the iPod mini version of Regular Peel, which we didn’t receive for review, has gone up in price from $18 to $24.
The Flip Case ($32.00) is a bit better. Rather than leave off all protection at the case’s top, Lime continues the fabric with a flap that wraps around the top and front of a mostly standard Peel design, holding closed at the bottom with an elastic ring that wraps around the Flip Case’s back. When opened, Flip reveals the face of the iPod mini with a thin clear vinyl screen protector and a large boxy hole for the mini’s face and Click Wheel. A similarly boxy hole at the top exposes most, but not all of the mini’s top, while the case’s corners are as open as they are in the Regular Peel design.
We use the words “a bit” because there’s a certain roughness to the design that you’ll either like or dislike – a lack of symmetry on the holes, the uneven way the iPod sits inside, and a bit of roughness in the edges of the fabric. On one hand, this is arguably part of the appeal of a handmade case, but on the other, we continue to prefer the more polished designs we’ve seen from other companies. We were on the edge of B and B- ratings for Flip, but ultimately went with the B only because people who know they’re looking for handmade cases may not mind the roughness of these edges; on a mass-manufactured case, we wouldn’t be as tolerant.
We hate to slag on these cases, but othere than the retro and/or cute artwork on each case’s front, there really isn’t a lot to recommend them over better similar options. Of the two designs, we’d pick Flip by a wide margin because of its optional play-through ability and slightly superior top protection, but we’d still want to see more protective and innovative designs before we can get really excited about these cases.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPod 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G/color/photo, iPod mini