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Monster iSlimCharger for iPod Shuffle review: Monster iSlimCharger for iPod Shuffle

Monster iSlimCharger for iPod Shuffle

John Falcone Senior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
Expertise Over 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping advice Credentials
  • Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
John Falcone
3 min read

Music players don't get much more simple and straightforward than the iPod Shuffle. The entry-level Apple player wins points for its ultratiny size and jogging-friendly clip-on design. But even if you can live without a screen, the Shuffle's included charger is something of a drawback. While it'd be a stretch to call the adapter "large" or "bulky," it's annoying to tote the charging pad (and its attached 36-inch USB cable) whenever you take the Shuffle on a trip--doubly so when you remember that the original Shuffle's built-in USB plug made that model a truly plug-and-play affair. For anybody who wants to leave the Shuffle charger at home, there's at least one worthwhile alternative: the Monster iSlimCharger for iPod Shuffle.


Monster iSlimCharger for iPod Shuffle

The Good

Ultraportable, cableless charger for iPod Shuffle; syncs clip-on Shuffle model with any PC or Mac; charges from nearly any USB source.

The Bad

You need to supply the power source; the product should be even cheaper.

The Bottom Line

The Monster iSlimCharger is an ideal travel accessory for the iPod Shuffle.

The iSlimCharger (left) is far more compact than the wired charger that ships with the iPod Shuffle (right).

The iSlimCharger is pretty much a miniaturized version of the default Apple charger that's included with the Shuffle. The cable is dropped completely, leaving you with a small USB dongle that's no larger than the Shuffle itself--just 1.83 inches by 1 inch by 0.25 inch. Plug the iSlimCharger into the Shuffle's headphone jack (which doubles as its charging port), and then slip the combined unit into any standard USB jack, and you're done. The iSlimCharger even has a tiny wedge that slips behind the Shuffle's clip, providing a nice, stable fit.

The iSlimCharger will charge the Shuffle from any standard-powered USB port--which means it should work with nearly any PC or Mac, as well as any Apple or third-party iPod charger. When connected to a computer, you can also use it to sync the Shuffle with your iTunes software.

When attached as shown, the iSlimCharger lets you sync and charge the Shuffle with any USB-enabled computer or power source.

The iSlimCharger worked exactly as advertised, providing charges and syncing with a clip-on Shuffle just as well as the default Apple adapter. If we were to nitpick, the only real flaw with the iSlimCharger is that it might be too small--we could easily see misplacing it, or losing it in the folds of a laptop bag or luggage. Likewise, you'll want to keep the charger--and the Shuffle itself--away from any small children and pets, because they could be a possible choking hazard.

It's worth noting that the iSlimCharger isn't the first such minicharger for the Shuffle. A quick perusal of iLounge.com found the very similar Marware USB Travel Dock ($20), Incipio IncipioBud ($6), and Carrot Idea USB Flexible Dock ($10). While any of those will probably work just as well, the Monster may be easier to find at some retailers, and it's backed by a one year limited warranty.

The Monster iSlimCharger for iPod Shuffle lists for just $20. That's cheap, to be sure, but--given that the Shuffle itself sells for less than $80--we'd like to see the price dip closer to the $10 point found on some of the aforementioned competing models. Still, if you're an avid Shuffle user looking to cut the clutter when you're on the road--or have fewer cables on your desktop--the Monster iSlimCharger is an easy recommendation.