Although your iPod is automatically charged when you connect it to your computer, there are times when you need some juice and don't have your laptop or desktop handy. You could use the iPod's included AC adapter or any one of a number of available "car adapters" (which let you charge your iPod via your automobile's accessory outlets -- known to those of use over the age of 30 as "cigarette lighters"), but if you're like me, going on longer trips has often meant packing both. The new Incase Charger provides an all-in-one solution: One end of the Charger forms a familiar car adapter plug; the side of the unit contains a flip-out AC wall plug; and the other end features a 5-foot dock cable to connect the unit to your dockable iPod. The Charger automatically adapts to the power source to safely charge your iPod.
The Charger also includes an audio output jack for connecting the unit to your home or car stereo. Some other car chargers include an audio-out jack, but the Charger provides a line-level signal, which should result in better sound quality.
More compact car chargers and AC adapters can be found, but if you want a single accessory for use at home and on the road, the Incase Charger is currently the most compact and feature-rich product we've seen. It's found a permanent spot in our travel bag.--Dan Frakes
Combination AC adapter and car charger for dockable iPods