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Cutting the an iPhone case

The Cord-on-Board iPhone case does more than just protect your phone, it also hides a small charging cable inside.

There's a cord inside. Kent German/CNET

LAS VEGAS--One of my favorite parts of CES is getting beyond the shiny new smartphones and tracking down the quirky mobile accessories that hide in far corners of the enormous show floor.

Sadly, I had to wait until the last day of CES to start exploring, so I was very fortunate to bump into the founders of CaseInity at the CNET stage (I guess they figured it was a likely place to find CNET editors lurking about).

Based in Philadelphia, CaseInity is developing a unique and very convenient case for the iPhone 4 and 4S called Cord-on-Board. Beyond just protecting your device from bumps and bruises, the thermoplastic case also hides a recessed compartment with a real 9.5-inch charging and syncing cable. It's a simple idea, but that doesn't stop it from being clever.

As you might expect, Cord-on-Board is a bit thicker than a standard iPhone case, but even with the cable inside it's 0.8 inches deep. In my brief hands-on, the case fit comfortably in my hand and I liked that it will stand on its side.

You can get it in blue or black, and the reasonable $29 price tag also includes a screen protector.