At a Glance
Combination USB hub and iPod dock.
If you’ve got a number of USB devices in addition to your iPod, chances are your Mac is running out of USB ports — you need a hub. If you’re also thinking about getting an iPod dock, consider Belkin’s TuneSync for iPod instead. The white-and-gray TuneSync, which measures 5.6 inches wide, 4.3 inches deep, and just over half an inch thick, provides five powered USB 2.0 ports on the back and an iPod dock cradle on top; seven included dock inserts, each with a raised back for stability, provide compatibility with all dockable iPods.
A red LED on the front of the TuneSync indicates that it’s getting power from the included AC adapter. (This additional power allows the TuneSync to work with USB devices that require more power than the USB bus provides and, of course, avoids power issues when using multiple USB devices.) A row of five green LEDs, each corresponding to a USB port on the back of the TuneSync, indicate which ports are in use, and a bright blue LED indicates when an iPod is successfully docked.
Like Apple’s Docks, the TuneSync includes a line-level audio output jack to connect your iPod to a stereo or speakers. On the other hand, unlike Apple’s Universal Dock, the TuneSync doesn’t include remote-control functionality; but considering that the TuneSync was designed to be used at a computer desk, rather than in your stereo system, I don’t consider this to be an issue.
Although more expensive than Apple’s various Docks, the TuneSync’s built-in — and well-designed — USB 2.0 hub adds quite a bit of value. The TuneSync also takes up less space on your desk than an iPod dock and a USB hub, and is quite a bit more attractive. If you need both a dock and a hub, the TuneSync is a nifty accessory.