Belkin Kickstand Case for 30GB & 60GB Video iPod (5G)

Reviewed by: Howard Carson, January 2006
Published by: Belkin
Requires: 30GB or 60GB Apple iPod (5G)
MSRP: $69.95

So my urgent need these days is for a quiet place to eat my lunch. Why? Because a quiet restaurant is the best place to settle down for lunch and a movie. A movie you ask? Yes. I mean after all, since everybody on the planet (including me) seems to own (or want to own) one of the new fifth generation (5G) iPods (30GB or 60GB, photo, video, podcasts, music, etc., etc.), what the heck good is one of those things if you can't find a quiet place to fire it up and watch a movie? The problem with watching movies on a 30GB or 60GB iPod has nothing to do with the small screen size. It has to do with propping up the iPod in just the right position on the table so that you can munch your lunch and watch your movie at the correct viewing angle. I tried everything: balled up napkins (the iPod kept falling off), the edge of a book (the iPod kept sliding down), my hand (numb and cramped), the flap of a flip front case (the iPod falls down or slips out), and a variety of other makeshift, useless contraptions. So I marched into my local Apple Store and went over to the Genius Desk to ask the inevitable question. One of the genius desk nerds looked at me for a moment or two, blinked myopically, walked over to the accessory rack and pointed at one of the blister packs. "Here," he ordered, "buy this." So I did.

The innovative Belkin Kickstand case for 5G iPods helps you get the most from this new music, photo, video and personal information device. The case provides what appears to be a carefully tailored fit constructed out of premium quality leather. The case is lined to protect sensitive iPod outer surfaces. The Kickstand case is also supplied with Belkin's lifetime warranty.

The Kickstand case is a clever design. It's composed of two sections, upper and lower, hinged at the back by a flat, reinforcing rubberized plastic bar which also has two embedded snaps. Slip your iPod into the case through the bottom, then cinch closed the opening using the attached snap strap. It's the snap strap that makes the whole thing work. When you want to watch a movie unimpeded by the protective plastic cover, unsnap the strap, pull the iPod down far enough to bend back the upper half of the case. Push the iPod back up. Use the snap strap to retain the upper half of the case to form a short A-stand. Presto! A nice, stable stand which holds your iPod at about a 60 degree upward angle, perfect for viewing movies.

The black leather case is very nicely stitched—straight and even from what I could see during my examination of the twenty units hanging on the rack at the Apple Store. Edges are cleanly finished and polished, with no stray thread ends or rough leather visible anywhere. The rubberized plastic hinge on the case back is designed for extensive use. After bending it back and forth over 300 times as a spontaneous test, I couldn't detect any wear or damage of any kind. The case appears to be built to outlast the iPod. Good news.

Cons: The round protective transparent plastic case window which protects the iPod scroll wheel is almost useless. Using the scroll wheel while pressing on the stiff plastic does nothing to improve your control and I recommend (carefully) cutting out the plastic in the Kickstand case. Because I use the Crystal brand Clear Protectors on all my phones, PDAs and iPods, I also had no need for the transparent square upper case window either, so I cut it out as well. There's no belt clip, belt loop or arm strap for the case. The addition of a belt clip at least would make the case darn near perfect.

Pros: Quality of construction, fit and finish are very good. The clear plastic windows are definitely more durable and scratch resistant than the iPod surface if you decide not to cut them out in favor of Crystal Clear Protectors. The snap tabs are securely and firmly mounted in a rubberized plastic hinge which means they're not going to fall off or come loose any time soon. The upward angle of the Kickstand seems to have been designed to avoid reflections from ceiling lights and other typical distractions, and the chosen angle seems to work well in a variety of environments. The case uses very strong, premium leather which remains very durable while adding very little bulk to the slim 5G iPod. The lower retaining strap is easy to move out of the way when attaching a synch connector. I love this case. If you own a 5G iPod, you also owe it to yourself to give this case a look. Highly recommended.

Comments? Questions? Qualms? Technical problems? Send an e-mail!





© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | hot news | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe