Griffin’s Center Stage is a hard-plastic case for the 5G iPod (with video). Made of two plastic pieces, the front of the case is clear while the back section is slightly frosted. Attached to the front, and surrounding your iPod’s Click Wheel, is a piece of aluminum that rotates down and away from the Click Wheel, coming to rest in the back of the case to act as a stand for watching video and slideshows on your iPod. I found the stand to be very stable.
When not in stand mode, the aluminum flap — which is available in silver, blue, black, or pink — rests flat against the front of the case. The one downside here is that once locked into place on the front of the case, the flap doesn’t provide a tab or other place to grab it, making it difficult to rotate the flap towards the back of the case.
The back and front pieces of the Center Stage aren’t easy to separate, but that can be a good thing when it comes to protection. The bottom of the case provides a large opening for your iPod’s dock-connector port, minimizing the need to take your iPod out (although bottom-mounting accessories, such as microphones, and dock-cradle accessories won’t work with the case on). Large openings on top make it easy to access your iPod’s hold switch and allow you to use most third-party headphones.
If you’re in the market for a case with a stand, Griffin’s offering is solid and attractive.–Derik DeLong