Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
Compatible: iPad Air
We weren't exactly shocked by the arrival of OtterBox's Defender Series Cases for iPad Air ($90) and the iPad mini with Retina display ($70). After all, the company has been putting out variants of the case for several generations of iDevices. But here they are: the plastic and rubber options for Apple's most recent tablets remain super protective, combining a hard plastic frame and integrated screen protector with an anti-drop rubber outer layer. They're quite similar to past models, although each adds a second microphone hole for the rear port. The Air version has an unfortunate large circle over the Apple logo on the back, while the mini version does not. Each includes a detachable stand capable of maintaining typing and video viewing angles.
Slite Card Case for iPhone 5c ($30) is the first totally new design we've seen from CM4 since it first introduced its Q Card Case. The leather is gone, now replaced by an entirely soft plastic design, with a rear wallet pocket that can hold up to three cards at a time. Button coverage is built-in, and the bottom is left open, allowing increased compatibility with docks and related accessories.
Model: Foldable iDevice Stand
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones
First made available as a pack-in with the company's Multi-Sync Keyboard, Kanex is now offering its Foldable iDevice Stand ($18) as a standalone item, coming in a two-pack. The identical plastic stands fold flat when not in use, measuring about 3.25" by 2.75". They then fold out, and can hold your device at 63°, 69°, or 75° angles. Rubber lines the base where the tablet rests, and four feet prevent slipping.
Company: Heckler Design
Model: Headphone Stand
Compatible: Over-the-Ear Headphones
It's a rare category of accessories, but headphone holders do indeed exist. One year ago, Just Mobile debuted HeadStand, and now Heckler Design has an alternative called Headphone Stand ($29-$49). Made entirely from scraps left over from producing its Windfall Stand, Headphone Stand is a piece of metal with round segments sticking up on either side. They're sized to hold the earcups using only tension, at about the width of a head. Five colors are available at the lower price point, with a polished stainless steel version coming in at a premium.
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