capsule review

Das Blau Versa

At a Glance
  • Das Blau Versa

Das Blau's Versa case for 5G iPods is a unique variation on the iPod flipcase. Like many of the nicer flipcases, the Versa is made of high-quality leather with complementary stitching; the inside surfaces are covered in stylish fabric -- businesslike pinstripe or one of a number of attractive designs. When you open the bottom-hinging flipcover, you discover a leather Click Wheel protector, attached via four elastic straps, that holds your iPod in the case. (The top half of the iPod is unprotected when the flipcover is open.)

The two straps on the bottom of the iPod leave an opening for the iPod's dock connector port; unfortunately, the opening isn't big enough for Apple's dock cable to fit without a bit of effort to push the two straps aside. Thankfully, it's easy to remove your iPod from the Versa for charging/syncing. When the case is closed, a leather strap snaps the case shut, and a leather loop -- actually an extension of the same piece of leather that keeps the case closed -- lets you attach the case to a belt or strap.

What sets the Versa apart from other flipcases -- besides its style -- is that it's specifically designed to let you watch video on your 5G iPod: The bottom of the Versa's belt loop unsnaps from the case; when you flip the case's cover all the way down and back so that it's horizontal, the belt loop acts as a stand so your iPod can stand upright. You choose the iPod's angle: three slots in the flipcover's face accommodate the end of the leather strap, placing your iPod at an angle of approximately 75, 65, or 50 degrees. Alternatively, you can snap the strap into place for a more secure stand that puts your iPod at a 40 degree angle. The strap is thick enough to hold your iPod, although I suspect that over time, as it "breaks in," it won't offer quite as much support and your iPod will lean back a bit more.

The Versa doesn't extend much beyond the iPod's top edges, so the upper corners of your iPod could conceivably hit the ground if you dropped a Versa-clad player. And your iPod's sides and top edge are exposed. On the other hand, its thick leather is sturdy and offers a bit of padding against drop damage.

The Versa is an attractive and well-made flipcase for 5G iPods. And if you watch a lot of video on your iPod, it's one of the best cases we've seen.
--Dan Frakes

At a Glance
  • Das Blau Versa

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