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: iPod nano
Officially licensed by Collegiate Products, these new leather-like wallets from Incase feature exterior logos from some of America's top undergraduate institutions, suede interiors, and rubber logo keychains. Our review samples from the University of Texas, Duke University, and the University of Washington bear their names on the inside, and team logos (Longhorns, Blue Devils, and Huskies) on the back. The case design is identical to the Incase Nano Wallets we've previously reviewed.
Model: Auto Kit (Black)
Compatible: iPod 3G, 4G, 5G, mini, nano
We generally don't revisit old products just because they've been re-released in new colors, but for Belkin's Auto Kit, we're making an exception. This particular car audio and charging accessory has continued to be one of our favorites over the past two and a half years, allowing the user to adjust the Kit's gain to match the Dock Connector output levels of various iPods, and their choice of cassette adapters or line-out cables (sold separately). Though we've since seen great alternatives - TEN Technology's FlexibleDock, for one - Auto Kit remains a strong performer, and now can be had in glossy iPod black.
Model: TuneDok for iPod nano
Compatible: iPod nano
It's been many a moon since we've played with a TuneDok - Belkin's plastic cupholder mount for full-sized iPods and minis - and now there's a version for iPod nano. Like the others, this one includes a screw-in iPod holder that changes height based on how deeply it's screwed in to the base, and three plastic cups that can be paired up to adjust for different cupholder depths. In addition to offering two cup thicknesses - one standard, one large - the new TuneDok also includes a rubber cuff that can go around the outside of a cup, thickening it while adding a bit of Griffin iSqueez-like flexibility. This TuneDok is also the first we've tested in a glossy black color, which matches the company's Auto Kit, and of course black iPod nanos.
Company: Matrix Productions
Price: $13/1, $24/3
Compatible: iPod 5G, nano
Other than their distinctive artwork, these new "protective skin wraps" for the iPod 5G and nano are unique in that they actually include separate clear screen protectors; they cover most of each iPod's face, back and sides, including the Click Wheel. Non-adhesive, the WraptorSkinz are touted as re-usable, and can be applied with an included hard plastic "squeegee" that helps you to remove air bubbles. They're sold individually for $13, or in 3-packs for $24.
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