Targus’ first iPod case uses a fairly unique design. Like most flipcases, it protects most of the iPod’s body, with a flipcover that provides easy access to the iPod mini’s screen and front controls. When closed, the mini’s headphone/remote jack and hold switch remain accessible, and a hole on the bottom of the case lets you connect Apple’s dock connector cable to your iPod.
However, unlike most flipcases, the case’s “hinge” is located at the bottom of the case, and the belt clip is attached to what you would normally call the front — the side covering the iPod’s screen and controls. In other words, the case is designed to be worn on a belt so that to access the iPod’s controls, the back of the case and the iPod mini itself fold down, away from your body. This is a useful feature that makes it easy to see the iPod’s screen and controls without having to contort your body into unnatural positions (or remove the case from your belt). The only downside is that the case leaves a bit of the sides of the iPod mini, near the bottom, unprotected. (On the other hand, the entire body of the Targus case is rigid, providing better protection, overall, than many flipcases.)
Also unlike most flipcases, Targus’ case doesn’t fasten closed via a snap or Velcro strip. Instead, it uses six curved tabs (visible in the picture above), four of which are on the back of the case to hold your iPod in place, and two of which are on the front of the case to hold the case closed. These tabs provide a surprisingly solid grip on the iPod and keep the flipcase from opening accidentally. A stiff tab on the top of the case gives your thumb something to grab onto when you want to open the case; a necessary addition, given how well the case stays closed. Unfortunately, this tab precludes the use of top-mounted accessory such as FM transmitters, remote receivers, or Nyko’s iTop.
The construction of Targus’ Flip Case is solid, with nice leather on the outside and a soft lining on the inside. And the rigid skeleton provides good protection for the screen and Click Wheel. However, the unique design of the case makes it most appropriate for those people who want to clip their iPod mini to their belt. If that’s how you like to carry your iPod, this is a case to consider.
(Targus also makes versions of their Flip Case for full-size iPods.)–Dan Frakes