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:
Models: iDea Home Dock
Compatible: iPod 3G, 4G, 5G, mini, nano
As a physically similar but electronically stripped-down version of the company's previously reviewed Wireless Home Dock, the standard FriendTech iDea Home Dock lets you dock an iPod and/or Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) inside, then output its audio and video through line-quality audio and video outputs while recharging the media player. The Home Dock is black in color, and includes a matching remote control similar to the one packed in with the Wireless Home Dock.
Company: Griffin Technology
Compatible: iPod nano
Griffin's latest version of iClear - previously debuted for iPod 5G and shuffle - is a similar combination of clear hard plastic front and frosted clear hard plastic back. The two pieces snap together to form a shield around most of your nano, leaving its Hold switch, bottom ports, and Click Wheel exposed. Updated November 2, 2006: Griffin now has a new version of iClear for second-generation iPod nanos, shown in the second set of photos below.
Company: Griffin Technology
Compatible: iPod 5G, nano
Griffin's new Tempo cases for iPod 5G and nano are largely neoprene armbands, designed to let you exercise with the iPod strapped to your bicep. With unusually generous Velcro straps and elastic strap holders to minimize dangle, Tempo can fit the largest of arms with ease. Clear plastic lets you see and use the iPod while inside; the nano version lets you attach the Nike + iPod Sport Kit without a problem. An integrated cord manager lets you wind and secure as much of your headphone cabling as you prefer, while reflective stripes on the left and right of the clear face add to your safety while running at night.
Company: H2O Audio
Compatible: iPod shuffle
First announced at CES in January, H2O Audio's Waterproof Housing for iPod shuffle has just arrived. Taking a lower-tech approach than its exceedingly sophisticated predecessors for 4G, mini and nano iPods, the shuffle case is made primarily from frosted clear hard rubber, and uses a hard plastic insert to hold the iPod and seal the enclosure against water to a depth of 10 feet. Removing the insert is an intentional challenge, requiring use of the mini-lanyard and finger pressure; you'll also need to turn the shuffle on before you place it inside. H2O includes an armband and Super O-Lube to keep the seal tight; as before, the company's Waterproof Headphones are sold separately.
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