iLounge - First Looks

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

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: ZeroChroma

Website: www.zerochroma.com

Model: Folio Slide

Price: $70

Compatible: iPad mini

ZeroChroma Vario-Edge for iPhone 5/5c/5s + Vortex for iPhone 5c

Along with its Folio Slide for iPad mini, ZeroChroma introduced two new iPhone cases at the 2014 International CES. Vario-Edge ($40) is available in versions for the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 5c, while Vortex ($40) only comes in a 5c edition. Both incorporate the company's new Flux Stand, which appears to be a big improvement over the already impressive option offered in previous ZeroChroma cases. This stand rotates 360°, and offers a wide range of angles, with no set steps. Vario-Edge is a rubber bumper that includes button protection, with the round plastic stand attached about a third of the way down the back of the iPhone. While highly similar, Vortex offers the added protection of a criss-crossing rubber pattern along the back. Each of the cases will be available in February.

NRNot Rated

Company: ZeroChroma

Website: www.zerochroma.com

Model: Folio Slide

Price: $70

Compatible: iPad mini

ZeroChroma Folio Slide for iPad mini

Winner of our 2014 Overall Best of Show Award at CES, ZeroChroma's new Folio Slide for iPad mini ($70) bridges the gap between folio-style and playthrough iPad cases that has existed since Apple released the first tablet in 2010. It arrives with a front lid that slides into a groove on the left side, capable of automatically locking and unlocking the mini's screen as it closes and opens, but if you don't want to use the lid, you just pull it off. Folio Slide then becomes a substantially protective playthrough case with full screen, button, and port access. The killer feature is ZeroChroma's new Flux Stand, which replaces the awesome prior stand with a similarly rotatable and angle-adjustable alternative, enabling you to prop up the iPad mini on any choice of angles and orientations. Planned for February availability, Folio Slide will also come in an iPad Air version that we're also looking forward to testing.

NRNot Rated

Company: Olloclip

Website: Olloclip

Model: 3-in-1 Photo Lens

Price: $60

Compatible: iPhone 5c

Olloclip 3-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 5c

The most recent addition to Olloclip's lineup of add-on camera lenses for iOS devices is the 3-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 5c ($60). Offered in five different colors designed to match the hues of the plastic-bodied handset, it offers the same three lens options as the original iPhone 5/5s edition: wide-angle, fisheye, and 10x macro. The wide-angle twists off to reveal the macro lens. Also included in the kit are two lens covers and a drawstring carrying bag.

NRNot Rated

Company: Amzer

Website: www.Amzer.com

Model: Pudding TPU Case, SlimGrip Hybrid Case

Price: $4-$8

Compatible: iPhone 5c

Amzer Pudding TPU Case + SlimGrip Hybrid Case for iPhone 5c

Here's a quick look at two very affordable iPhone 5c cases from Amzer: Pudding TPU Case ($8, aka TPU) and SlimGrip Hybrid Case ($4, aka Hybrid). The former is a take on thermoplastic cases, similar in some ways to Incipio's NGP. Instead of a fully matte finish though, it's glossy on the sides and matte on the back. Eight colors are available, each of which skips button protection, something that's generally present on TPU cases. The openings along the bottom edges of our review units were slightly off-center. SlimGrip Hybrid Case is very much like Reveal from Griffin, or any number of similar cases. It fuses together an opaque soft border and a clear plastic back, exposing most of the rear shell of the iPhone. This one does include button protection.

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