Today's Best Tech Deals
Picked by Macworld's Editors
Top Deals On Great Products
Picked by Techconnect's Editors
Thought Out iPed
At one point, all dockable, full-size iPods came with an iPod dock base for charging and syncing. As someone who has several iPods, some with dock bases and some without, I can also tell you that these docks are also great for just storing your iPod when not in use -- your iPod gets fewer scratches when it's not sliding around on your desk, and it's easier to use your iPod with the dock cable or other cables and adapters that plug into the iPod's dock connector.
Sadly, no current iPods include the dock base; to get one, you have to purchase it from Apple for $39 or purchase a third-party dock such as Pacific Rim's iCradle. If you want to be able to use the line-level audio jack found on Apple's dock base, or the S-Video output provided by the dock for the iPod photo, you don't have many other options.
However, if all you really want is a handy place to stick your iPod on your desk, Thought Out's iPed is a reasonable alternative. Made of a single pieced of forged alloy steel with a powder hardcoat finish, the iPed is a sturdy stand for full-size iPods. (Although advertised for 3G, 4G, and photo models, it should work fine with 1G and 2G models, as well.) We tested the gray version, which looks nice but doesn't match either our iPod or our aluminum computers. However, the company also sells white and off-white models; the white model appears to be the best match for full-size iPods.
The base of the iPed has a rubber sole to protect your desk, and the cradle is lined with rubber pads to protect your iPod. A nice touch is the space at the bottom of the cradle to accommodate your iPod's dock connector plug, as well as the cable ring in the stand itself, through which you thread the dock cable; the latter keeps your cable handy when your iPod is out and about.
At $26, the iPed isn't cheap, but it's more solid and substantial than other "non-docking" stands we've seen, and the cable holder makes it a bit more functional.
(Note that the iPed does not fit iPods in cases; if you'd like a stand that holds your iPod in its case, or if you've got an iPod mini, the company's $40 iPed 2 provides an adjustable-width cradle. We haven't tested the iPed 2.)--Dan Frakes
Thought Out iPed
Metal stand for full-size iPods.