Review: Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPod video

by on February 2, 2006

Over a year-and-a-half ago, we reviewed Marware’s SportSuit Convertible. Since then, iPods have had color screens added and then video capabilities. Marware’s newest version of the popular case (with slightly different capitalization) has been redesigned for the newest iPods.

Unlike previous models, the Sportsuit Convertible for iPod video is only available in black, blue, or grey, and runs for $35. The case is made of Orca-finished neoprene and a clear piece of vinyl to protect the face of the iPod (but not the buttons).

Sportsuit
Sportsuit Convertible

Sportsuit
Sportsuit Convertible w/Cover

Sportsuit
Sportsuit Convertible Accessories

Also included with the case are a number of accessories, including a matching cover, a hand strap, a belt clip, and an armband. The cover features a small pocket for earbuds or other accessories.

iPods slide easily into the Sportsuit Convertible, and snugly fit inside. Gone is the velcro tab and hole at the top, replaced with a flap that also keeps the Dock Connector protected. Some bottom-mounted accessories, such as iTrips should have no trouble being used with the case.

Everything except the scroll wheel of the iPod is protected by this decently-padded case. The case itself hides the iPod almost completely, and adds a bit of bulk, but not as much as its predecessor, as long as you don’t use the optional cover. Although using it with the cover provides more protection, the tradeoff of safety versus size is up to you.

Speaking of the cover, it protects the entire face of the iPod when used, and attaches in a rather strange way. Unlike previous versions, it does not open from the top nor use velcro. Rather, it opens on the left side and requires the belt clip or armband to be used to hold it in place. A bit complicated and hard to attach, but these seem to be the only times that you’d really need the cover—the normal case is pretty protective as it is.

Our only other gripe is that the clear plastic that protects the screen gives a “wet” appearance, since it is not hard plastic. Because of this, watching videos or looking at photos can be a bit distracting.

Overall, we found the most of the changes to the Sportsuit Converible to be for the good. Although it does have its downsides, it is a very solid case with plenty of features, justifying the higher price tag compared to other cases. If you’re looking for a case to keep your iPod safe and tend to be quite active, this case might be a good choice.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

The Sportsuit Convertible for iPod video is even better than before, and offers very little on the downside.

Pros: Well-made, thinner than previous models, includes lots of accessories, useful design, protective.

Cons: Cover adds more bulk and is hard to use, can’t be used with the dock, plastic leaves “wet” appearance on screen

The Facts

4/5Product: Sportsuit Convertible for iPod video
Company: Marware
Platform: iPod (5)
Price: $34.95

This post has been filed in Cases, iDevices and Reviews