iLounge - First Looks

First Looks

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:

NRNot Rated

Company: Belkin

Website: www.Belkin.com

Model: Auto Kit (Black)

Price: $40

Compatible: iPod 3G, 4G, 5G, mini, nano

Belkin Auto Kit for iPod (Black)

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.

Belkin Auto Kit for iPod (Black)

NRNot Rated

Company: Belkin

Website: www.Belkin.com

Model: TuneDok for iPod nano

Price: $30

Compatible: iPod nano

Belkin TuneDok for 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.

Belkin TuneDok for iPod nano

NRNot Rated

Company: Matrix Productions

Website: www.Tunetattooz.com

Model: WraptorSkinz

Price: $13/1, $24/3

Compatible: iPod 5G, nano

Matrix Productions WraptorSkinz

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.

Matrix Productions WraptorSkinz

NRNot Rated

Company: EBCases

Website: www.Ebcases.com

Model: eNOVO Video

Price: $50-53

Compatible: iPod 5G

EBCases eNOVO for Video iPod with Clip (30G/60G)

Available in black, brown, orange, and red, this simple leather case design resembles Vaja's iVod 5G cases, but lacks padding and screen or Click Wheel protection. In addition to being custom-fit to the 30GB or 60GB iPods rather than one-size-fits-all, versions with ($53) and without a non-detachable belt clip nub ($50) are available; the included black plastic belt clip uses a locking system to prevent accidental detachment.

EBCases eNOVO for Video iPod with Clip (30G/60G)

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