Pros: Solid two-piece leather case for the iPod with belt-friendly slide-open design, strong integrated belt clip, nice looking and feeling leather. Easy to open and put your iPodi in; very good concept on protectiveness. Includes an iPod screen protector.
Cons: Leaves top + bottom of iPod 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.
A couple of weeks ago, we looked at two black leather iPod mini cases from Targus; today, we look at the full-sized iPod versions of both cases, starting with the Slide Case ($29.99). We update the text of our earlier iPod mini review only to note the differences between different product sizes and fits, which for this case are few in number.
As it turns out, Slide Cases are sold in three sizes, “mini,” “small” and “medium,” each tailored to different iPod models. Small cases fit all past and current iPods and iPod photos 30GB or lower in capacity except for the third-generation 30GB iPod, while medium cases fit all past and current iPods and iPod photos 40GB or higher in capacity, plus the third-generation 30GB iPod. All of the Slide Cases are made from black leather, open into two halves, and expose most of your iPod mini’s top and bottom, and each case includes an iPod-sized adhesive screen protector, if you want to attach it.
A 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’s face. You insert the iPod 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 in so that its side surfaces both are covered. Tiny lips at the top and bottom of the smaller half hold the iPod in place, vertically.
Once the iPod’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’s bottom – in fact, they leave the vast majority of it exposed. They also expose almost the entire top of the iPod, 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 iPod’s controls, just slide the small half out and hold onto it – unlike Targus’s Flip Case, your iPod won’t dangle upside down on your belt, a feature of the Slide Case that we liked. And though your iPod’s top and bottom are mostly open, the sides and body of your iPod mini are covered quite well, better on the bottom corners than in the Flip Case. However, the Flip Case protects far more of the mini’s bottom than the Slide Case does.
On looks, the Slide Case is 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.
Company and Price
Model: Slide Case for iPod
Compatible: iPod 3G, 4G/color/photo