The folks at Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) have finally brought us a car charger that is both fully functional and well designed. At a glance, the $19.99 AutoPod appears to be your average charger. One end goes into your lighter jack or 12-volt outlet, while the other plugs into any dockable iPod; there's also a separate version for the iPod Shuffle. But DLO takes it one step further and integrates an attractive transparent cube that indicates the status of your charge: red for powering on, amber for charging, and green for fully charged. The colors are soft but unmistakable, allowing you to glance at it and quickly get the information you need. This intelligent lighting also alerts you if the charger is still drawing from your battery once the car is switched off.
DLO includes a set of Velcro tabs to secure the iPod to the dashboard while in use. We don't usually like putting adhesives of any kind onto the back of our iPod since they tend to get in the way of cases and other accessories, so our iPod simply rested in the center console while connected. Another included accessory is a replaceable fuse that protects against electrical surges that are possible (but unlikely) to occur in the vehicle.