Pros: A sturdy stand for 3G, 4G, and photo iPods; looks nice on and matches shape of Apple’s displays and current iMacs.
Cons: Color and texture match wasn’t right for Apple products on the version we tested. Extra rubber padding could prevent against misuse.
New iPod accessory maker Thought Out has developed a simple but useful accessory in a woefully underdeveloped category: the iPod stand. True, Apple has virtually pre-empted the functional need for stands with its official Docks, which hold iPods upright while also providing data, audio, and/or video ports. But there’s still a place for decorative iPod holders, and on that score, the iPed is better than average.
Made from a single piece of steel that has been bent to hold an iPod upright on a gentle recline, the iPed uses black rubber to pad most of its potential points of iPod body and table contact.
Rubber on its top and front edges would have been better to protect against accidents and misuse, but if you insert the iPod gently and straight-on, you won’t have a problem. A large rubber ring is integrated into the rear arm to let you feed your USB- or FireWire-to-iPod cable through.
In an effort to match the bodies of iMacs and Apple’s aluminum cases, Thought Out painted the steel in a relatively neutral gray matte tone that’s not bad, but not a good match color- or texture-wise for anything – iPods, iMacs, or aluminum Mac cases. We checked the iPed directly against our own Apple cinema dlsplays and computers; it matches shape far better than color, though it’s depicted on the company’s site as a better match than what we saw – photographs hide the texture differences. The gray version looked better next to one of our generic PC cases, which may ironically make for better iPed sales, even if it’s not what was intended.
White and off-white versions are also made, and offered with gloss, but we haven’t seen them.
And quite honestly, looks are pretty much the only point of iPed – it holds your iPod next to your computer, and lets you connect a Dock Connector cable to the iPod for charging. Predictably, there’s no way to pull audio or video output from the iPod’s bottom port to a stereo or TV when it’s inside the iPed’s cradle.
If you like iPed’s look, you’ll find that it’s substantial, sturdy, and highly unlikely to come apart. Once it’s placed on a table, it’s not moving unless you move it or the table is rocked. As advertised, third- and fourth-generation iPods both fit and hold inside without a problem, so long as they’re not in cases; iPod minis aren’t advertised as compatible, and fit only loosely; the iPod shuffle doesn’t work inside at all.
However, by comparison with many of the stands we’ve seen, this one is in the middle visually.