Review: Westshore Craftworks iDockCover
Pros: Quality wood dock covers for iPods, minis, and photos, made with different woods and varnishes.
Cons: Each cover fits only a specific sized iPod; wood look has appeal to specific audiences.
Westshore Craftworks has carved out a comfortable niche in the iPod accessories market: the company makes lacquered wooden covers called iDockCovers ($29.95) for Apple’s official iPod docks, adding an element of earthiness to the sleek designs of iPod hardware.
Westshore’s iDockCovers surround the top and side surfaces of a Dock, leaving holes only for the insertion of an iPod and the connection of cables at the Dock’s rear. The wood is polished smooth to the touch on all exposed sides, and most are cut into an ovular shape. Some of Westshore’s newer covers are shaped like guitar bodies ($39.95 and up), and a number are now made with uniquely glossy finishes and specific pieces of beautiful wood.
Multiple colors and wood grain patterns are available in the oval-shaped covers we tested; the three depicted are both attractive and readily distinguishable from the wood-colored iPod stickers and thin wood paneling we’ve seen some people attach to iPods; the covered Docks look authentically wooden and will likely prove a better match for the office or home furniture their buyers will inevitably want to integrate with them.
Each iDockCover is simple and clean, made specifically for an iPod of a specific size - mini, 10/15/20GB, 30/40GB 3G/4G, or photo. The top holes are smooth and incapable of scratching their respective iPods, yet cut precisely enough for each iPod to entirely obscure the Docks’ original white plastic surface from view. A Dock slips into a hole on the bottom; the mini iDockCovers we tested included pressure-padded felt dots on the left and right interior sides to keep the cover and Dock together unless you want to separate them.
There’s no doubt that the iDockCovers are designed to appeal to a specific market, and one that may be growing. Speck Products has already shown a wood sticker prototype of its popular iPod mini FlipStand case (above), and numerous stickers and handmade iPod accessories are attempting to achieve the same visual effect. If the wood look appeals to you, you’ll find Westshore’s covers to be the best made of the available options, at an entirely reasonable price, besides.
Jeremy Horwitz is Editor-in-Chief of iLounge.