The iHome iP49 is sort of a hybrid iPod/iPhone audio system. On one level it does a perfectly good job as a compact bedside clock radio that charges your device when docked. But it also has a built-in rechargeable battery and a fold-up design that allows you to take it on the road--or just out to the patio or pool.
The iP49 is relatively small, but its 2.1-pound weight is enough to give it a bit of heft. When closed, the unit looks a little like an overweight portable DVD player with a slightly rounded, bulging top. But swing open the top half of the clamshell and you're suddenly looking at a speaker that props up to an almost 90-degree angle behind a standard iPod dock. A small LCD screen with blue backlighting sits in the right corner of the speaker.
The iP49 is an all-black affair and has a rubberized finish (on the exterior) so it has a nice feel to it when you carry it around in the closed position. Along with a set of buttons on the unit itself (on either side of the dock), you also get a small remote that allows you to control your iPod or iPhone's basic playback features as well as jump to one of the six preset stations on the iHome's built-in FM radio. The alarm can be set to go off on weekdays, every day, or just on weekends. A snooze button, which also doubles as a dimmer for the LCD, is conveniently placed just to the right of your iPhone or iPod as it sits in the dock.