Can’t decide if you want a slim leather case or one with a flipcover? Like the convenience of a belt clip, but don’t like the added bulk? If indecision like this is routine for you, you might be a prime candidate for Griffin’s Trio for iPod nano, which bills itself as three cases in one.
In reality, the Trio is one case with two interchangeable covers. The form factor for the base case, available in either leather or a synthetic substitute, depending on the color, is a familiar one. It has a firm back with a flexible-plastic window for the screen, an opening for your iPod’s Click Wheel, and an opening on top for the hold switch. You slide the nano in from the bottom of the case. Of the two available materials, the leather feels softer and more supple, but the synthetic is a little stiffer; other than that, the cases are more or less identical.
The two covers, which attach to the top of the case via embedded magnets, fold over the face of the iPod and secure to the bottom of the case with a metal snap on the case’s back. One of the two covers is flat and unadorned while the other provides a belt clip.
This versatility means that the case has different strengths and weaknesses, depending on which configuration you’ve adopted. For example, using it with the belt clip gives you the added use of — obviously — a belt clip, but comes at the cost of the case’s slim profile. On the other hand, leaving the covers off altogether offers the least bulk of all, but the Click Wheel ends up unprotected. That you have a choice at all is the Trio’s major advantage, and why, in the end, I recommend it. Protection-wise, the only flaw I’ve noticed is that slightly more of the corners of the nano are exposed when in the case than I would prefer. (I was skeptical of the strength of the magnet and snap in securing the case, but the combination of the two seems to be adequate.)
In the end, the Trio’s sure to offer a configuration to please almost everybody. Its versatility more than makes up for its few shortcomings; it’s a solid entry in the flipcase field. –Dan Moren