capsule review

Das Blau Versa2

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At a Glance
  • Das Blau Versa2

When we reviewed Das Blau's Versa case for fifth-generation (5G) iPods last year, we liked it quite a bit. The company has since released the Versa2, which improves on the original in some ways but also falls short of its predecessor in at least one way.

Like the original Versa, the Versa2 is a unique variation on the iPod flipcase. Like many of the nicer flipcases, the Versa2 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.

What sets both versions of the Versa apart from other flipcases -- besides style -- is that the Versa is 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.

It's on the inside where the two versions of the Versa differ. The original Versa includes 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 Versa 2 includes a similar leather cover, but one that covers the entire face of your iPod, save the Click Wheel and the screen.

This would appear to be an improvement, and in some ways it is. For example, the top edge and corners of your iPod are better protected thanks to this larger face protector, and because there's a longer strip of elastic on each side, the Versa2 holds your iPod a bit tighter in the case. However, the drawback, and what makes me rate the Versa2 lower than the Versa, is the new screen protector. Das Blau has included a flexible-plastic window to protect the iPod's screen, which, again, should be a good thing; but the plastic is too thin, resulting in a "wavy" surface with various patterns of glare. The case's emphasis on helping you watch video on your iPod makes this glare especially unfortunate.

The two elastic straps on the bottom of the iPod protector are similar those found in the Versa; but in the Versa2, the opening between them is large enough for Apple's dock cable to fit easily. When the case is closed, a leather strap -- actually an extension of the belt loop -- snaps the case shut.

Like the Versa, the Versa2 is an attractive and well-made flipcase. However, because of the poorly-designed screen protector, I recommend the original, which is still available.
--Dan Frakes

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At a Glance
  • Das Blau Versa2

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