Welcome to this week’s special second edition of First Looks – a collection of previews showing brand new iPod accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. This First Looks focuses on an assortment of new XtremeMac accessories we’ve just received, with a few other items tossed in for good measure.
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:
XtremeMac AirPlay2 for Dock Connecting iPods – Click Here for Details
This new FM transmitter for all Dock Connecting iPods (including iPod 5G and iPod nano) includes a backlit LCD screen, tuning and preset buttons on its front, and a pass-through Apple 30-pin Dock Connector port on its bottom. The Dock Connector allows you to recharge AirPlay2 when connected to a compatible car charger, such as XtremeMac’s new one, below. An external plastic holder is included, as well, shown on AirPlay2 in the first two pictures, and off thereafter. Our unit here is non-reviewable, and we’d caution readers to hold off on making final judgments until we’ve had a chance to test a final production unit.
XtremeMac Car Charger for iPod – Click Here for Details
This simple new auto charger for iPods has two main advantages: it uses a slim, highly compatible Dock Connector that shouldn’t have problems with any iPod case, and it optionally integrates with XtremeMac’s AirPlay2 to charge your iPod in a car while you’re using FM transmission. It can also be used without AirPlay2 as a regular charger.
XtremeMac IceFrame for iPod nano – Click Here for Details
This standout clear case for the iPod nano uses your choice of four included colored peg sets and rings to add splashes of color to its corners and Click Wheel hole. You pop open the two shell halves, insert your nano, then seal it up with eight total front and back pegs in blue, red, white, or black. A matching ring is inserted around the Click Wheel, which is exposed. The nano’s entire bottom is open, as well. A wrist lanyard is included, though we haven’t figured out yet how to use it.
XtremeMac Iconz for iPod nano – Click Here for Details
The first of the Iconz case series for iPod nano features front artwork of famed cartoon driver Speed Racer, with a fully protective front art and clear rear design, plus holes for the nano’s Hold switch and bottom ports. Mysteriously, XtremeMac’s box notes that this is “part of the Speed Racer Collector Series” – are more licensed Speed Racer iPod accessories planned?
XtremeMac MicroGlove for iPod nano – Click Here for Details
A nice, form-fitting neoprene case includes screen and Click Wheel protection, plus full coverage for the nano’s entire body save its bottom. XtremeMac includes a detachable carabiner hook with each MicroGlove.
XtremeMac MicroShield for iPod nano – Click Here for Details
This combination of clear case and belt clip for the iPod nano detaches into two halves, exposing the nano’s top, bottom, and Click Wheel when open or closed. A spring-loaded belt clip is used on the back.
XtremeMac SportWrap for iPod nano – Click Here for Details
A modification of the company’s MicroGlove case is combined with see-through screen and Click Wheel protection, and two different detachable Velcro and neoprene bands. One is for your upper arm or forearm, and one is for your forearm or wrist.
And here’s the best of the rest:
Core Cases Aluminum Cases for iPod nano – Click Here for Details
We’ve finally received finished versions of Core Cases’ affordable aluminum cases for the iPod nano, and like their iPod shuffle predecessors, the design’s a pretty good one: two slide-open pieces, in your choice of several colors. Current offerings are limited to four color picks, but Core plans more, including iLounge orange.
iPodstreet iPod Nano Metal Cases – Click Here for Details
These new aluminum cases compete against the highly similar Core Cases versions shown above, but are wider thanks to a side hinge, equipped with a less impressive belt clip and nub system, and presently available in three colors – black, silver, and red.
iPodstreet iPod Video Bifold Leather Encased – Click Here for Details
Along with some highly unimpressive 5G iPod leather cases that we’ve decided not to put in First Looks, iPodstreet has this new flip-open one with space for a couple of credit cards, cash, and a driver’s license. It builds on the generally good design of the same-named case for iPod nano.