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:
Model: Claro Slims
Price: $25 ($20 with purchase of Claro)
Compatible: iPod 5G
These two three-packs of thin silicone rubber inserts are used alongside iSkin's previously-released Claro case (iLounge rating: B+), enabling you to change the color of your iPod while still preserving the hard clear protection of the outer Claro case. One pack contains red, pink, and purple slims, another white, black, and blue ones.
Compatible: iPod 4G, 5G, nano, mini, shuffle
Available in black, this new external Lithium-Ion battery pack is packaged as a way to add "approx. 6-8 hrs" of run time to an iPod - model not specified, but bear in mind that newer iPods are more efficient than old ones, and flash-based iPods (nanos, shuffles) are more efficient than hard drive-based ones. It will work with all Dock Connector iPods save the 3G iPod, assuming you provide a Dock Connector-to-USB cable (not supplied). Three lights on its front indicate battery level, while a fourth indicates charging status, and a button is used to check the current levels. An on-off switch on the bottom lets power flow to your connected iPod, or turns it off. Despite the presence of a 5-volt DC port on the bottom, there's no wall charger in the box; the pack includes a USB-to-USB cable, and you're supposed to recharge using a computer's USB port. A fabric carrying case for the battery and cable is included.
Company: Sima Products
Model: USB Power Adapter
Compatible: iPod 4G, 5G, mini, nano, shuffle
This simple twin charger pack provides an iPod-ready car charger and separate wall charger for a reasonable price. The wall charger uses fold-out blades and resembles many others we've recently seen, offering a profile that's smaller and thinner than Apple's comparable USB wall adapter; the car charger is also small and simple, though not the smallest we've seen. No cables are included; you'll supply them yourself.
Model: Sapporo Folio
Compatible: iPod nano, iPod 5G
Just like Incase's earlier New York Landmark Folio cases for iPod 5G and nano, the company's latest Folio - the Sapporo model - commemorates the opening of a new Apple Store, this time in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, and is only available for purchase from that store. The front of this black case has a unique soft fabric texture with a subtle glossy black bear graphic - the bear is only visible when you hold the case on certain angles - and a more visible red fish, eaten by the bear. This art is supposed to be inspired by Hokkaido motifs and the indigenous Ainu people of that Japanese island. Each case opens with two silver snaps to reveal a black iPod holder with screen and Click Wheel covers, the latter frosted and with a matching black center dot.
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