We’ve been fans of Pacific Design’s flipcases for various iPod models, and the company’s latest case, the Grandstand for the 5G iPod (with video), builds on the previous models in this line by adding the ability to use the case as a stand for watching video on your iPod.
Like most flipcases, the Grandstand includes an internal pocket into which you slide your iPod; elastic bands on the sides stretch to fit either the 30GB or 60GB iPod (with video). A clear Lexan (flexible plastic) cover protects your iPod’s screen while the iPod’s Click Wheel is exposed for easy access. When you close the case’s flipcover, which is attached at the bottom rather than the top, the face of your iPod is completely protected, while a hole at the bottom provides access to the dock connector port; the top edge of the iPod, along with a small patch of the upper left and right sides, are exposed. You fasten the flipcover closed via a magnetic clasp on a thick top flap that’s almost big enough — over two-thirds the width of the case itself — to be a second flipcover.
This “second flipcover” adds bulk to the case, but it’s also to thank for the case’s most unique feature: Flip it around to the back of the iPod, then swing the main flipcover back to meet it; the two flaps connect to form a stand that keeps your iPod upright for watching video. We’ve seen several “stand” cases for the iPod (with video), but based on my short-term testing, the Grandstand’s approach is the sturdiest. The Grandstand also uses the same approach to the headphone jack as other Pacific Design cases: Instead of a hole, there’s a large cut-out. This makes it easy to use third-party headphones with large plugs, and it also means you can open the case’s flipcovers without having to unplug your headphones. Finally, on the back of the case is a belt loop which closes securely using Velcro. Thankfully, this strap is thin enough that it doesn’t add much to the already-thick profile of the case.
The Grandstand is available in several color combinations, all using Pacific Design’s now-familiar “racing stripe” design. If you like the retro look, the pink, blue, or green models will be right up your alley. I personally found the brown model with a tan strip and tan stitching to be one of the more attractive iPod cases I’ve seen in a while. (Interestingly enough, the different models are made of different combinations of materials. For example, the brown/tan model uses brown leather with tan imitation leather; the pink/white model is all imitation leather.)–Dan Frakes