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 mini, nano, 5G
Sold in iPod nano ($45), iPod mini ($35), and iPod 5G ($75) versions, these heavy-duty machined aluminum iTank cases split into two pieces - one a deep rear shell, the other a shallow front shell, each with soft padding. You drop your iPod into the rear shell, put the front shell on, and use an included wrench to tighten six screws around the case's sides. Once assembled, the cases are claimed to be virtually indestructable, with clear Lexan screen protection and enough aluminum to absorb iPod drops or person-on-iPod drops. A detachable carabiner hook is included with each case for easy carrying; no belt clip is used. A couple of caveats: the headphone ports are too small for larger-than-Apple headphone plugs, and our sample cases arrived with some fairly significant front scratches.
Company: H2O Audio
Compatible: iPod 5G
Designed to be used with the company's Waterproof Housing for iPod (with video), which is sold separately, the H2O Audio Swimbelt wraps Velcro-adjustable neoprene around your waist so that you can surf or swim without wearing the Housing's included armband. A clear soft plastic window provides visual access to the 5G's screen, and a hole gives you access to the case's mechanical Click Wheel cover.
Company: H2O Audio
Compatible: iPod 5G
Highly similar in design to the company's previously released Waterproof Housing for iPod nano, the new Waterproof Housing for iPod (with video) pairs a 10-foot submersible watertight enclosure with an adjustable neoprene armband and interior sizing brackets (plus screwdriver) for 30GB and 60GB iPods. As before, you slide your iPod into the hard case, shut it with a lock at the bottom, and connect waterproof headphones - still sold separately - to listen to your music underwater. The specially designed mechanical Click Wheel cover provides full access to the iPod's controls (except the Hold switch) while submerged. A Swimbelt for the case is available as an option.
Model: iPod Leather Flipcase
Compatible: iPod nano
Though highly similar to OEM leather cases we've previously seen, the Rhinoskin iPod Leather Case (aka iPod Leather Flipcase) for iPod nano adds a matching leather wrist strap to the established plastic belt clip, metal belt clip nub, and magnetic front flap clasp we've seen before. The case opens to reveal two plastic clips that hold the nano in place using pressure.
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