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HolidayBuyer's Guide
MP3 Players

Belkin offers new ways to protect your 'pod

Chocolate, leather and protective shields featured in the sackful of iPod goodies we received from Belkin last week.


Folio case: AU$39.95


Armband: AU$29.95


Leather sleeve: AU$29.95

Chocolate, leather and protective shields featured in the sackful of goodies we received from Belkin last week. Oh, we're talking iPod accessories, by the way. What were you thinking?

Belkin has long been a frontrunner in the crowded iPod accessory market, having released add-ons ranging from the teched-up and practical (Bluetooth home audio solutions), to the slightly less so (last year's sporty, squishy, roller skate-friendly armband).

Another armband -- this time for the iPod Shuffle -- was among the items in the bag-of-Belkin that landed on our desk recently. Filled to bursting point with cases, silicone sleeves and screen protectors, the package delighted some and gave others a case of the eye-rolls. Here are some of the highlights.

The "tres chic" award: Leather Folio for iPod Touch (pictured top). We'd estimate that 82 percent of all iPod cases are garish monstrosities, but this black-and-brown case is a study in sedate elegance. The folio design reminds us of the early Palm Pilot days when big important executives would whip out their leather-bound PDAs.

The "Why does this exist?" award: Sport Armband for iPod Shuffle (pictured middle). Here's the thing about the iPod Shuffle: it has a built-in clip. You can attach the player to pretty much anything, and it weighs next to nothing. So why in the name of Jobs would you need to buy an armband to strap it to your bicep?

Product best suited to a 12-year-old girl: Pink leather iPod Nano sleeve (pictured bottom). Aw, come on: it's cute. And at least it's a relatively restrained ballet-slipper pink instead of eyeball-assaulting fuchsia.

Gift for the overly cautious: ClearScreen Overlays for the iPod Nano (AU$19.95). We can see this pack of three screen protectors going down a treat with neat freaks. You know, the ones who encase their TV remotes in Glad Wrap.

These accessories and many others are available locally in March. To view the full range, head over to Belkin's Web site.