Review: Kensington Car Mount for iPod
Similar to some of the universal gooseneck car mounts we've seen, Kensington's new Car Mount for iPod ($30) is designed to stick to car windshields -- in states where this is legal -- with an integrated suction cup, or to dashboards with some 3M tape. A sturdy, foot-long gooseneck mount connects a fully adjustable iPod cradle to the suction cup; the cradle has foam side pads and spring-loaded adjustable arms, as well as pivoting legs that accommodate the Dock Connector ports on various iPods. Priced reasonably but not aggressively, you provide the electronic integration for your specific car.
We were generally satisfied with the performance of the Car Mount during our testing. Because of the way that its foam side pads have been designed, we found that it did a better job than we were expecting with iPods that might be challenges for other mounts; the pads come in on an angle and grab small and large iPods alike with enough strength that the pivoting bottom legs aren’t needed to keep an iPod in place. Consequently, you’re able to use the Car Mount with basically any car charger or FM transmitter accessory that would normally fit your iPod, including Kensington’s QuickSeek and RDS FM Transmitters, both of which we tried and found to be entirely easy to connect.
Of additional interest is another aspect of the side pads’ design: they have holes in the center that are sized and positioned to accommodate standard-sized Dock Connector plugs. Turn your 5G iPod on its side and the spring-loaded, lockable pads have the ability to hold it in place horizontally rather than vertically. Most people would have no use for this feature unless a future widescreen iPod is released, and it’s unclear whether the pads will be able to accommodate the slightly taller iPhone, but it’s obvious that Kensington wasn’t just thinking of current iPods when it created the Car Mount. We’ll have to wait and see how future-proof it turns out to be.
If there’s anything that will inspire mixed feelings about the mount, it’s the suction cup. Though we’ve seen slightly stronger pressure-locking mechanisms in other suction cup mounts, and would prefer a greater guarantee of mounting stability, we didn’t actually have any issues with the Car Mount while driving. Suction supports your iPod, the cradle, and a surprisingly pliable but firm gooseneck pipe, and Kensington’s clasp is resilient enough to withstand small bumps in the road. As with all suction-based mounts, however, the cleanliness and straightness of the attached surface, as well as the cleanliness of the mount, is critical to keeping the Car Mount properly attached to your car.
Overall, the Car Mount isn’t a breakthrough accessory, but it’s a competently designed alternative to the many device-agnostic suction car mounts we’ve seen in the past. As with many Kensington iPod accessories these days, it could stand to be a little less expensive, but if you’re willing to spend the $30 for it, you’ll find it to be a good-looking, reasonably stable way to prop up your iPod in your car.