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: Armor for iPod nano
Compatible: iPod nano
Released by Matias, the pioneer of aluminum iPod cases, Armor for iPod nano looks highly similar to other metal nano cases we've previously seen: available in silver or black, it opens from the side, covers the nano's screen with clear plastic, and provides protection for most of its front, sides, and back. Similar to certain of the company's iPod mini cases but unlike the earlier, full-sized Armor, nano Armor exposes your nano's Click Wheel, Hold switch, and bottom ports at all times, with a small exposed area at the bottom back for easier nano removal. Each includes a lanyard necklace; the company sells Armor Clips (an adhesive nub with a detachable plastic belt clip) for $5 when purchased with nano Armor.
Model: Alumor nano
Price: $18 (via Vinko’s Treasures)
Compatible: iPod nano
Only vaguely similar in concept to the company's earlier Alumor Cases for 5G iPods, and apparently based almost entirely on its earlier Luxury Metal Case for iPod nano (iLounge rating: B-), Capdase's Alumor Metal Case for iPod nano features a micro-thin layer of anodized aluminum on top of a hard plastic two-piece shell. The aluminum comes in one of four colors - black, dark silver, blue, or pink - and the plastic in matching black or white, with a color-coded lanyard necklace. Clear plastic cord managers are also included, but puzzlingly, no screen or Click Wheel protection comes with the case.
Model: 4-in-1 Car Charger for iPod
Compatible: iPod 4G, 5G, mini, nano, shuffle
This seemingly simple combination of a car charger bulb and detachable iPod cable actually hides a few interesting features. The iPod cable, shaped to fit an iPod nano but physically compatible with all Dock Connecting iPods, includes a pass-through port on its bottom for use with other third-party accessories, such as FM transmitters. It can detach to let you charge any USB device, such as an iPod shuffle or cell phone, assuming you have the right USB cable. And the cable can be used indoors - including with an FM transmitter - while you're charging your iPod from a USB port or separate wall charger (sold separately).
Company: Power Support
Compatible: All iPods except iPod shuffle
The idea is excellent: if you're tired of dealing with sheets of protective film for your iPod, Power Support's new Liquid Titanium Screen Protector offers a solution - literally. For the $20 asking price, you'll get a enough special protective fluid for multiple applications, and a roughly 4-inch by 4-inch microfiber cloth. A few drops of the solution are applied to the iPod's screen (and the rest of its acrylic, if you desire), then rubbed on with your finger. After 10 seconds of drying time, use the cloth to polish off the iPod's face. We've been very impressed so far - the fluid makes a scratched iPod's screen look better than it started, and Power Support claims that it will protect the iPod for six months before another application is required. If it works as promised, we'll be very glad to say goodbye to all those sheets of film. Power Support advises us that Liquid Titanium will be on its website soon.
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