Welcome to this week’s edition of First Looks – a collection of previews showing brand new iPod accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. For additional peeks at new iPod accessories, check out our Holiday Buyers’ Guide, our reports from Mac Expo in London, Apple Expo Paris, and others in The Free iPod Book. Here’s what’s new for this edition:
BlueTake iPhono Mini – Click Here for Details
This sequel to Bluetake’s older iPhono Bluetooth wireless audio system for iPods has been miniaturized – hence the name – with smaller, lighter earpieces that use a soft cord rather than a hard plastic neckpiece. The internal battery recharges with an included wall adapter.
Lithium House iCel 201 – Click Here for Details
This new portable battery solution for all Dock Connector-equipped iPods provides days of additional battery power. Lithium House claims that iCel 201 is capable of running an iPod for 96 continuous hours of music playback; our initial tests with a fifth-generation iPod playing video have been roughly in line with expectations, providing many additional hours of on-screen movie run time. A wall charger and retractable FireWire cable are included, and the company claims that it can also power Altec Lansing’s inMotion systems on the road, as well.
Power Support Crystal Film Cover Set for 5G iPod – Click Here for Details
As with the iPod nano, Power Support USA now has Crystal Film for the fifth-generation iPod – separate clear front, back, and Click Wheel covers that will keep the most sensitive surfaces of the 5G scratch-free. The included film provides truly clear and complete front coverage, but the back piece provides only partial rear coverage – enough to keep your iPod from scratching when rested on its back on a table.
Soldius b.v. Soldius 1 Solar Charger – Click Here for Details
The second solar charger to be marketed at iPod users is the Soldius 1, a book-like two-panel charger that includes a cable and adapters for use with the iPod, plus phones from Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Siemens, and Motorola, as well as BlackBerry wireless PDAs.
Sumo Cases 5G PlayThru Horizontal (aka Ballistic/Leather or Stripe) – Click Here for Details
As highlighted in the Sneak Peeks section of the Holiday Buyers’ Guide, Sumo has now provided actual samples of its PlayThru Horizontal cases for the fifth-generation iPod, the Stripe versions of which will be appearing in the Apple Store by Thanksgiving, with the Ballistic/Leather ones coming later in the year. The materials remain the same leather and ballistic nylon that we’ve liked in the past, though we’re not as blown away by the atttention to detail on cut-outs for the iPod’s ports as we’ve been with earlier Sumo products.
Sumo Cases Nano Flip Case – Click Here for Details
The new Nano Flip Case from Sumo is a cute vertical iPod nano holder made from nice leather, and includes a wrist strap. It holds closed with a smart front ring of leather, opening to reveal the iPod’s controls. Full port access is available on the bottom of the case. Black and red initial units are going to the Apple Store for Thanksgiving, but four more colors will be available by year’s end – blue, orange, green, and pink.
Sumo Cases Nano Stripe Case – Click Here for Details
Nano Stripe from Sumo is similar to the 5G Horizontal PlayThru case, but with an included wrist strap and smaller size made to fit the iPod nano. We remain partial to the Flip design’s interior, but the white accent stripes on the outsides of the Stripe case’s design are nice. As with Flip, black and red initial units are going to the Apple Store for Thanksgiving, but four more colors will be available by year’s end – blue, orange, green, and pink.
Wi-Gear iMuffs – Click Here for Details
Regrettably a bit late to the game, the new iMuffs claim to provide the first Bluetooth 2.0 wireless connection between an iPod and included wireless headphones, even including an integrated microphone so that the system can be used with your cell phone. We say “regrettably” for only one reason: the included iPod connector requires the top-mounting iPod accessory port missing on 5G iPods and nanos, so the system is only compatible with older, discontinued iPod models.