Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Belkin Australia Auto Kit for Ipod
- Simple, Good design
- Expensive (depending on use), Need extra units/cables to play it through your stereo
A simple and easy to use device which is perhaps a little too expensive.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
Belkin has long been associated with quality iPod accessories and they have jumped on what we like to call the "CarPod" bandwagon, producing a simple yet effective product which enables you to charge your iPod while you're on the road.
The Auto Kit connects your iPod to your cars power source and includes a cable that charges your iPod from the power of your cars cigarette lighter. Boring you'll say. Well, here is where it gets interesting. Belkin has also included an adjustable amplifier and a 3.5mm audio out jack that allows you to play your iPod through your car stereo (if your head unit has the appropriate input).
This means if your car stereo has a 3.5mm input, you can play your iPod directly through your sound system using this unit and only this unit. For $79.95, that's a real bargain, especially when you consider the price of the head units that are "iPod ready". Granted, a lot of car stereo systems won't have this input, but for those that do, this product is highly recommended.
Don't stress if your stereo doesn't have this connection; the 3.5mm jack on this device means that you can buy other Belkin accessories (such as a mobile cassette adapter) and play it through your car in combination with this unit. It does end up being quite expensive using multiple units though and there's undoubtedly cheaper single units available that may better suit your needs.
Keeping in line with the iPod theme, the Auto Kit is finished in white and grey plastic. The 3.5mm audio-out jack is located underneath the cigarette lighter plug, with the small volume dial just behind it. This is quite a convenient as the cigarette lighter adapter can be inserted upside down, meaning the dial and the plug can be face up, allowing for easy access.
Rounding out the package, the unit is engineered with a replaceable safety fuse to protect from short circuits and an illuminated LED light indicator allows you to ensure that the Auto Kit is connected properly. Notably, the Auto Kit comes with an impressive lifetime warranty.
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PCW Evaluation Team
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