Pros: An attractive, sturdy and car-customized mounting solution for the iPod photo; the best yet released.
Cons: Pricey, all hard plastic design may intimidate some buyers.
Last March, we looked at some high-quality car mounts from ProClip, a United States-based manufacturer of aftermarket car accessories custom-made to fit various vehicles. Each mount consists of two pieces: an iPod Holder ranging in price from $19.95 to $34.95, and a car-specific Dashboard Mount selling for $29.95. We were generally impressed with the mounts (iLounge rating: B+), but noted that the one tailored to our Lexus RX330 test vehicle had an interesting issue: its plastic clipping system interfered with the car’s touch screen GPS navigation system, and actually rendered it unusable.
Almost a year later, ProClip is back with new mounts tailored to Apple’s iPod photo and our test vehicle, and has added support for virtually every iPod model and vehicle you can think of. We’ve had the opportunity to test the company’s revised Dashboard Mount clip and the new iPod photo Holder, and we’re thrilled with both parts.
There’s plenty of good news. ProClip hasn’t raised its prices on any of these components, which feel well-made and sturdy in your car. The Holder and Dashboard Mount come together easily with included screws, and the combined unit is then installed painlessly in your vehicle. We connected the Tilt Swivel iPod photo Holder – the more expensive one ($34.95) with a rotating joint for your choice of angled positions – to the Lexus RX330 Dashboard Mount in only two or three minutes, then installed it in the car in roughly one minute. Included instruction pages and a pressure-based installation process made the process very simple. (A Non-Swiveling iPod photo Holder is also available for $29.95.)
ProClip’s parts mounted on one of the car’s centrally located air conditioning vents, and unlike comparable mounts from companies such as Radio Shack, did not latch onto the relatively delicate plastic arms of the vent. Instead, the Dashboard Mount used pressure to mold onto the sides of the vent – enough pressure to hold safely inside while driving. If we wanted to keep the Mount removable, we could do so: with a tiny bit of reverse pressure, we could take the Mount out at will, restoring our car to its original appearance. However, two pieces of padded adhesive on the Mount’s sides can be exposed to more fully secure the part in the vent – not necessary to insure sturdiness, but perhaps more desireable for some people.
The iPod photo fit perfectly inside the Holder, and pivoting was relatively easy once the Tilt Swivel mechanism was adjusted with a screwdriver. Users can either lock the swivel at a particular point or loosen the joint enough to permit movement; we found an optimal position and kept the iPod photo there. It’s now at just the right height to be seen and used in our test car, and no longer requires use of either Apple’s Remote control or the other mounting solutions we’ve tried with more limited success.
Our only minor gripes remain two of the same ones we identified last year, though we are somewhat less concerned about each of them at this point: as before, the all-plastic mount seems like it has the potential to scratch an iPod’s body on strength of material alone, but unlike last year’s model, there were no traces of loose material on the inside of the mount, and it felt well-machined to prevent scratching inside. While we would still prefer a soft interior coating, we didn’t feel especially uncomfortable placing our iPod photo inside.
The other issue is price. At a combined cost of almost $65 for the vehicle specific mount, some people may not take the plunge on ProClip’s solution despite its quality. However, no better overall mounting solution has emerged in the last year, and in truth, we are excited just to finally have something that works so well in our test vehicle. The solution that works best may not be the cheapest, but it earns those extra dollars.
On a final note, many iLounge readers have hoped for some time that ProClip would release an iPod Holder compatible with various silicone rubber skins, and we add our names to that list. The one and only thing that limits our use of ProClip’s mount today is the fact that we need to pull our case off of the iPod photo in order to mount it, and like many readers, we think the optimal solution would be case-compatible. Let’s hope that something new along these lines emerges from ProClip before this time next year…
Jeremy Horwitz is Editor-in-Chief of iLounge.
Company and Price
Company: ProClip USA
Price: $29.95, $34.95, $24.95, respectively.
Compatible: iPod photo