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:
Model: Sapporo Folio
Compatible: iPod nano, iPod 5G
Just like Incase's earlier New York Landmark Folio cases for iPod 5G and nano, the company's latest Folio - the Sapporo model - commemorates the opening of a new Apple Store, this time in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, and is only available for purchase from that store. The front of this black case has a unique soft fabric texture with a subtle glossy black bear graphic - the bear is only visible when you hold the case on certain angles - and a more visible red fish, eaten by the bear. This art is supposed to be inspired by Hokkaido motifs and the indigenous Ainu people of that Japanese island. Each case opens with two silver snaps to reveal a black iPod holder with screen and Click Wheel covers, the latter frosted and with a matching black center dot.
Model: Armor for iPod nano
Compatible: iPod nano
Released by Matias, the pioneer of aluminum iPod cases, Armor for iPod nano looks highly similar to other metal nano cases we've previously seen: available in silver or black, it opens from the side, covers the nano's screen with clear plastic, and provides protection for most of its front, sides, and back. Similar to certain of the company's iPod mini cases but unlike the earlier, full-sized Armor, nano Armor exposes your nano's Click Wheel, Hold switch, and bottom ports at all times, with a small exposed area at the bottom back for easier nano removal. Each includes a lanyard necklace; the company sells Armor Clips (an adhesive nub with a detachable plastic belt clip) for $5 when purchased with nano Armor.
Model: Alumor nano
Price: $18 (via Vinko’s Treasures)
Compatible: iPod nano
Only vaguely similar in concept to the company's earlier Alumor Cases for 5G iPods, and apparently based almost entirely on its earlier Luxury Metal Case for iPod nano (iLounge rating: B-), Capdase's Alumor Metal Case for iPod nano features a micro-thin layer of anodized aluminum on top of a hard plastic two-piece shell. The aluminum comes in one of four colors - black, dark silver, blue, or pink - and the plastic in matching black or white, with a color-coded lanyard necklace. Clear plastic cord managers are also included, but puzzlingly, no screen or Click Wheel protection comes with the case.
Model: 4-in-1 Car Charger for iPod
Compatible: iPod 4G, 5G, mini, nano, shuffle
This seemingly simple combination of a car charger bulb and detachable iPod cable actually hides a few interesting features. The iPod cable, shaped to fit an iPod nano but physically compatible with all Dock Connecting iPods, includes a pass-through port on its bottom for use with other third-party accessories, such as FM transmitters. It can detach to let you charge any USB device, such as an iPod shuffle or cell phone, assuming you have the right USB cable. And the cable can be used indoors - including with an FM transmitter - while you're charging your iPod from a USB port or separate wall charger (sold separately).
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