Review: Just Mobile Xtand for iPod touch 1G + 2G
When Just Mobile originally released Xtand for the iPhone, an attractive aluminum desk stand, we were impressed, but slightly discouraged by its $50 price tag. Two months later, the company released an updated version that added iPhone 3G compatibility and lowered the price by $10. Bingo -- at a more reasonable price, Xtand was worthy of our high recommendation. Now there's a new version for the iPod touch called Xtand for iPod touch 1G + 2G ($40) and though it falls a little short of our standards for an A-rated product, it's still worthy of any iPod touch owner's consideration.
Virtually identical to the Xtand for iPhone and iPhone 3G, the iPod touch Xtand comes with the same basic pieces: an aluminum table stand, a rotating iPod touch mount, a metal screw set to hold them together, and two sets of four rubber edge clips designed to keep the two different iPod touch models held in place. When the iPod touch is inserted into the mount, you have full access to its Dock Connector and headphone ports, Sleep/Wake button, and the second-generation version’s volume controls; the device does not touch the back of Xtand’s frame.
Though the Xtand ships in multiple pieces, and you need to assemble it after opening the box, the process is very simple: the second-generation iPod touch rubber pieces are pre-installed, and screwing together the parts to hold the stand and mount in place is virtually effortless. If you need to replace the second-generation touch parts with first-generation touch parts, you can do so in a matter of seconds.
The good news is that Xtand is guaranteed to work well with the first-generation iPod touch. Between the metal mount and the included rubber pieces, the older touch model fits perfectly into the frame, just like the iPhone and iPhone 3G. Due to the design of the mount, you have full freedom to rotate the iPod touch around from horizontal to vertical positions, and slide the touch upwards or downwards on the stand before pressure-locking it into place. It’s easy to use, and looks great.
If there’s any bad news, it’s that Xtand isn’t guaranteed to start out as strong with the second-generation iPod touch. In our initial testing, the touch didn’t stay precisely where we wanted it to be inside the clips—Apple’s decision to curve the device’s edges to form a bezel makes it harder, though certainly not impossible, to hold in a frame like this one. After several insertions and removals, however, it appeared that the issue was that the frame’s corners were just a little too tight, and were squeezing the touch out from a natural resting position, a condition that improved after a short period of use. Just Mobile told us that it has remedied this issue in shipping units, and demonstrated as much in a subsequently provided, satisfactory replacement, but based on what we’ve seen, we think that slightly redesigned rubber pads would go further towards stabilizing the second-gen touch in the frame. To be clear, the revised frame works just fine with both versions of the iPod touch, but we think it could be even better.
Overall, Xtand for iPod touch 1G + 2G is basically a resized version of its iPhone predecessor, which from our perspective is a generally good thing—the aluminum frame and rotating mount design is truly great, and worthy of the $40 asking price, though it would of course be ideal to have a single Xtand that could be resized for all iPhone and iPod touch models. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Xtand if you want an attractive way to place your iPod touch on a desk, particularly alongside Apple’s many aluminum Mac computers or Cinema Displays, and though first-gen iPod touch users may feel a little more confident than second-gen ones in the firmness of Xtand’s grasp, both touches work well in this cool frame.