If you’ve ever traveled with your iPod and your laptop, you know that if you want to charge and sync your player, you need to pack yet another cable. MacAlly’s new Link360 line of adapters aims to fix that problem — or at least reduce the bulk of what you need to carry — via compact but flexible dock connector adapters. Available in three versions, the Link360 adapters (MacAlly actually spells it “adaptors”) feature an iPod dock connector at one end and either a USB, FireWire 400, or FireWire 800 plug at the other. In between is a rotating and articulating joint that allows you to connect your iPod to your computer at virtually any angle. The connecting joint even lets you offset the two plugs by approximately half an inch, allowing you to set your iPod and laptop on surfaces that aren’t quite level. For those times when you need to use the adapters with your home computer, or with out-of-reach ports, the USB and FireWire 400 versions each include a 4-foot extension cable; unfortunately, the FireWire 800 version does not.
The Link360 adapters aren’t designed to provide dock-base-like support — you don’t want to use them with front-mounted ports on a desktop computer. In addition, unlike Apple’s dock connector cable, which has spring-loaded buttons on each side to release it from your iPod, the Link360 connectors are a bit stiffer to connect and disconnect. But they all worked well in my testing — any one would be a welcome addition to my iPod travel kit. (Although, considering the FireWire 800 version’s lack of an extension cable, and the fact that you’ll get no speed advantage from FireWire 800 vs. FireWire 400, I recommend opting for the FireWire 400 or USB model.)–Dan Frakes