Pacific Design’s Flip Case for the iPod mini — available in green, blue, orange, and pink — is one of the nicest mini cases we’ve seen. Aesthetically, its leather-like material and white “racing stripe” give the case a retro appearance that drew a number of comments from passers-by as we carried the case out and about. (We say “leather-like” because Pacific Design says the case is actually polyurethane; you could have fooled us, as it looked, felt, and even smelled like real leather!) And even with the additional girth of a flip clover, the Pacific Design model is suprisingly thin for a leather case — a welcome attribute in a case for the iPod mini.
In terms of functionality, the case offers full-body protection for your iPod mini while still providing access to the dock connector port and the remote/headphone jack. (Flipping the cover open exposes all of the controls and jacks.) One of our favorite features is that the remote/headphone opening is a notch inset from the side of the case, rather than a hole, which means you can open and close the cover without having to unplug your headphones or remote. (Unfortunately, this feature only works with small headphone plugs; larger plugs, like those on larger headphones or on models like the Ultimate Ears UE5, which we’re currently testing, are too big for the notch to fit around. You’ll need to unplug such headphones to fully open the flip cover.)
The Pacific Design case also features a unique design for closing the flip cover: Instead of a wraparound fastener, the bottom edge of the flip cover contains two small magnets that “latch” to corresponding magnets on the case’s face. The cover closes securely and perfectly without a bulky latch, which can’t be said for many flip cases.
Although the case doesn’t have a built-in belt clip, it offers the next best thing: the ability to use the iPod mini’s belt clip. You just slip the belt clip over the back of the case — it’s designed to fit the clip snugly. The only drawback to this approach is that it adds a significant amount of bulk to the overall package.
If you’re looking for a stylish and protective case for the iPod mini, the Pacific Design Flip Case is highly recommended.–Dan Frakes