Speck Products FlipStand

Review

posted 2/15/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
Platforms: PC
Even if you’re not in with the times you’ve no doubt heard of Apple’s iPod, an ingenious MP3 player that combines simple functionality with supreme elegance. You’ve also probably heard of the exorbitant price tag that each one of these puppies carries. It’s no surprise that a strong contingent of iPod owners is looking to 3rd party manufacturers for means of protecting their pricey investment. We’ve been examining a number of cases in the recent weeks and today we check out Speck Products’ FlipStand which is, for our money, the best case that your money can buy.

As far as I’m concerned there are two different types of cases on the market; ones that offer your iPod protection at the sacrifice of style (typically hardcases) and ones that offer you style at the sacrifice of protection (gel-based solutions). I’ve always been a fan of the hardcases as I’m more about protecting the device than about showing it off to a bunch of complete strangers and making myself an easy target for theft. While the FlipCase probably isn’t as stylish as the iSkin Exo2, I’d say that it’s the most visually appealing hardcase on the market today. What’s more is that it’s highly functional and does little, if anything, to detract from the unit’s beauty.

What makes this case so attractive is its simple elegance. From the start you’ll notice that the entire case is clear, allowing you to fully showcase your iPod. If you own the smaller 10Gb version of the iPod you’ll have to put in the included softpad so that the unit rests snugly into the unit, but even then you can still get a full view of the iPod. Putting in the iPod and taking it out is pretty simple thanks to the case’s flip top. Simply flip the case up, slide the iPod in and then close the top. There are holes cut into the top that give you access to the headphone jacks. What I liked about this case was that the opening was large enough to accommodate for a number of the 3rd party add-ons available on the market. So if you want to use the Griffin Technology iTrip you can snap it right onto the top of the case and continue on your merry way. The belt clip is also one of the best of its kind. Its only weakness is that it can only be utilized vertically but let’s be honest here, who wears the thing horizontally anyway? To access the scrollwheel or utilize the included dock (a nice buy for people who purchased the 10GB model) you’ll have to flip open a small covering. For some people this would be a godsend because it offers a level of protection for the scrollwheel area. However, for me I found this to be pretty difficult to deal with as I wasn’t able to adjust the volume when the unit was in my pocket.

If you’re a clumsy fool like me you’ll be happy to know that the case is sturdy enough to protect the iPod while maintaining its integrity. I’ve dropped the iPod numerous times while it was in the confines of the Speck FlipCase and it returned unscathed. Not only that but it managed to keep my iPod free of scratches due to its snug fit. Other cases, such as the aforementioned iSkin2, scratched the unit and its screen because of the relatively loose fit. I didn’t run into any of that nonsense here. I even felt comfortable enough with the case to wear it while I was enjoying a game of racquetball.

If there’s a prevailing weakness in the case it’s that the button openings are a bit too deep for those with large fingers. All of the beveled openings are wide enough to accommodate most index fingers but the depth of them is what really makes them debilitating for some. I’ve had a number of friends complain that their button presses weren’t registering with the iPod, forcing them to actually remove the unit from the case. Personally I didn’t run into such problems so it just might be limited to those with large hands.

Other than that I can’t really find much fault in this case, it offers a supreme level of protection while offering a nice level of elegance. If you’re looking for a case that doesn’t sacrifice looks for protection then this is your puppy. It may not look as nice as some of the gel-based cases out there but for out money, it’s one of the best ones on the market.



A
It doesn't get any better than this. It's highly functional, looks great and the included dock brings 10GB owners onto the same level as their richer brethern.



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