Click to win free Ipad

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Targus Mobile Security Lock for iPod

Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to test three new iPod security systems, each based on the same general concept: if you want to hang your iPod on your bag but are afraid that someone might snatch it while you’re walking, you buy one of these and enhance your security. Below is our review of Targus’s Mobile Security Lock ($40); reviews of Secure-It’s The PodSafe and i2 Electronics’ iLOCKr neo are posted separately.
The final option we tested was Targus’ Mobile Security Lock for iPod, which at $40 is the most expensive of three locks recently released by the popular lock and bag maker. Though Mobile Security Lock is the best-looking of the locks we’ve seen, and has one major advantage, it also has a couple of major disadvantages.
Aiming for style, Targus has mixed a black plastic shell with a retractable metal-cored cable and a 3-digit combination lock. The lock is the first and only one we’ve seen that blends an iPod Dock Connector with three familiar 0-9 dials, and looks very sharp: there’s a small button on the unit’s side that retracts the cable, which is capable of expanding to a 30-inch length should you need it. Two more buttons on the Dock Connector-style lock retract tiny metal pins that otherwise stick inside of an iPod’s bottom Dock Connector port, preventing the lock from being removed from the iPod once the dials have been shuffled from your preferred code.
The Mobile Security Lock’s best feature is its convenience. Unlike iLOCKr neo and The PodSafe, you can attach it to an iPod inside of virtually any case with a Dock Connector port hole, or keep your iPod without a case on - it disfigures the iPod even less than the rear-plate-only iLOCKr. You can continue to use all of the iPod’s features except for the Dock Connector port while it’s attached, and easily detach it when that port is needed.
Notably, the dock lock does create problems for one iPod model: you can’t use some oversized headphones with the iPod nano, because Targus’s right lock button sticks out too far. We’d actually strongly advise against even trying, as you could bend your headphone plug or the nano’s port in the process. Other iPods won’t suffer from the same problem.
Having said that, we didn’t like other aspects of the Mobile Security Lock’s design and pricing quite as much as we did The PodSafe. Though it uses a metal cored cable that cannot be damaged by tugging or common scissors and knives, the cabling is substantially thinner than the one used by Secure-It, so a well-armed thief would have a better chance at physically snatching an unattended iPod here than in The PodSafe. Targus’s other iPod locks - neither suitable for bag attachment unless your bag has a strap that can be fed through either one’s loop - use much thicker, less snip-ready cabling.
In all honesty, however, a thief mightn’t have to go to that extreme. As noted in the iLOCKr neo and PodSafe reviews, a three-digit combination lock can be popped in around 15 minutes of dedicated testing, whereas the PodSafe’s four-digit lock would take ten times as long, or closer to 3 hours. We also experienced an issue during testing that made us a bit uncomfortable - Targus’s locking pins didn’t always snap into place on both sides of our iPods’ Dock Connector ports, leaving the lock loose on one side if we didn’t pay close attention for “click” noises when the locks were connected. Improperly secured, it’s possible that a tugged lock could bend your Dock Connector port, a risk that we would not want to take.
Admittedly, lots of locks are used as much for their deterrent factor as for their actual security, but in our view, The PodSafe comes the closest to doing both properly for its $40 asking price. Targus’s Mobile Security Lock is a nice-looking option, and useful if used properly, while you’re with your iPod, and enhanced by a fully protective iPod case, but you can do better for the dollar.
As a final note, we will mention briefly that Targus also sells a Desktop Security Lock ($30) with a 6.5-foot steel cable that loops around any stationary object, holding your iPod at a usable but not easily stealable distance, and an Eyelet Security Lock ($20), which uses a tiny loop of identical galvanized steel, and is designed to be attached to a notebook computer lock or other cable similar in length and strength to the Desktop Security Lock; it’s basically for people who are leaving more than one valuable item alone at a time. We rate the Desktop and Eyelet Locks slightly higher - a B- overall - because they’re less expensive and a bit stronger, but still have several of the same issues we noted for the Mobile version: they interface with the iPod in the same way, and vary only in the length and thickness of their cabling. For the reasons noted above, we strongly prefer the four-digit locks found in Targus’s Defcon series of computer security cables, and would prefer not to take the risk of leaving our iPods unattended with such a brief window of tamper-proof security.

Secure-It The PodSafe iPod Security Cases (4G/5G/nano)

Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to test three new iPod security systems, each based on the same general concept: if you want to hang your iPod on your bag but are afraid that someone might snatch it while you’re walking, you buy one of these and enhance your security. Below is our review of Secure-It’s The PodSafe ($40); reviews of i2 Electronics’ iLOCKr neo and Targus’ Mobile Security Lock are posted separately.
Most of iLOCKr neo’s flaws have been remedied in Secure-It’s The PodSafe, which is identically priced at $40, but takes a different approach to iPod security and protection. Secure-It has developed a two-piece solution that covers any 4G or 5G iPod in a case made from Polycarbon-strengthened plastic, using a back hatch to let you insert the iPod and small, iPod thickness-specific foam spacers to keep each iPod in place inside. An iPod nano version is also available, lacking the hatch and spacers - the nanos all fit inside. Once closed, the case has three holes: one for the iPod’s screen, one for its controls, and one for its headphone port - the nano version also exposes the Dock Connector port, while the 4G/5G case exposes the iPod’s Hold switch.
Each case is then secured with the second piece: a matching 4-digit combination lock and steel security cable, which connects to the case’s bottom, not the iPod’s. When the lock has been inserted, the case cannot be opened until a spring-loaded button is pressed on one side of the lock; similarly, the steel security loop opens only when the lock has been removed, and an eject button has been pressed. You can physically reset the lock’s code whenever it’s opened and you have the need to do so.
In virtually all regards, The PodSafe looks and feels like a better total solution than the iLOCKr neo - the case-style design offers substantial anti-drop and anti-scratch protection for every bit of the iPod save the aforementioned holes, and gives you the choice of black or white colors to match your iPod. And it affords superior “abandoned iPod” security thanks to its 4-digit combination lock, which as pointed out in our iLOCKr neo review would require almost 3 hours for someone to crack at random. Best of all, it accomplishes this without any risk of Dock Connector damage: a failed attempt at theft might leave scratches on your iPod, but no electrical damage.
The only issues we had with The PodSafe were small ones. Secure-It’s 4G/5G compatible design uses screen and Click Wheel holes that are designed to be “one size fits all” rather than model specific, and though both iPod styles can be fully viewed and controlled from the cases, the holes look a little awkward. A fourth-generation iPod has a large frame around its screen and a bit of space under its Click Wheel; a 5G iPod has a large frame around its Click Wheel and a little space under its screen. The iPod nano version’s holes aren’t quite perfect, either: the case is a little loose, letting the nano jiggle inside and showing off a bit of extra space above both the Click Wheel and screen.
Though it would fit in each case, Secure-It provides no protective film for the iPods’ fronts - each case’s only major protectiveness omission. To the extent that there are holes in each case for the headphones, exposing other portions of the iPod in the process, the cases recess each iPod significantly enough that anything other than direct scratch damage is unlikely. We were surprised that oversized headphones worked just fine in even the smaller iPod nano enclosure; they fit without any issue in the 4G/5G version as well.
Overall, though they’re not without their issues, The PodSafes are the best iPod security devices we’ve seen to date, combining deterrent appeal with three forms of actual physical security - a solid case, a sturdy length of cable, and a four-digit combination lock. As between the options we’ve tested, these are the only cases we’d consider leaving unattended in a public place with our iPods inside, though they’re equally good for carrying around wherever you go. We do think that further tweaks - front protective film, less screen/control opening space, and less wiggle room - could make these designs better, and are the only reasons the case fell short of our high recommendation level. But for a first-generation effort at iPod security, Secure-It has done an impressive job on both design and engineering.

i2 Electronics iLOCKr neo Anti-Theft Security Device for iPod

Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to test three new iPod security systems, each based on the same general concept: if you want to hang your iPod on your bag but are afraid that someone might snatch it while you’re walking, you buy one of these and enhance your security. Below is our review of i2 Electronics’ iLOCKr neo ($40); reviews of Secure-It’s The PodSafe and Targus’ Mobile Security Lock are posted separately.
Though each of these products sells for the same $40 price, they vary dramatically in design and execution. i2 Electronics is selling iLOCKr neo, which combines an aluminum iPod-sized plate with a metal 3-digit combination lock. You can get iLOCKr in one of five nylon-painted finishes - black, white, green, pink, or camouflage - each of which is glossy, and though unpadded, is unlikely to scratch your iPod while inside. At the moment, the iLOCKr neo we received fits only one iPod model - the 30GB fifth-generation iPod - and physically can’t be used with others. Separate models designed for nanos, older 20GB models, and iPod minis were announced by i2 Electronics, but are not at press time visible on the company’s web site.
There are a few benefits of the iLOCKr neo design: if you’re a fan of clear iPod protective films such as InvisibleShield’s Full Body Protector, you’ll like that you can place your coated iPod inside and preserve the majority of its look and feel, with complete access to all of its ports and controls. Metal covers parts of the iPod’s sides, top, and back, but not all of any surface: i2 Electronics has made the bracket minimally intrusive, even leaving a hole in the metal frame to let you see everything from the Apple icon to the unit’s hard drive capacity. Unlike iLOCKr neo’s competitors, you really don’t give up anything by placing the iPod inside.
iLOCKr neo holds the iPod in by using the included lock to obstruct its bottom right corner, freeing the iPod when the lock is detached. We couldn’t bend the frame to remove the iPod with the lock in, nor did we find the lock even slightly malleable; overall, we consider the frame and lock to be as secure as whatever they’re attached to.
There are a few rather obvious problems. Unlike both of iLOCKr neo’s competitors, iPod protection here is almost necessarily poor - you literally will need to use a protective film from InvisibleShield or a competitor if you want to keep your iPod safe, because the device’s frame precludes the use of any case. In other words, you trade off iPod scratch and drop protection for anti-theft protection, a trade we’d prefer not to make given that an iPod attached to a bag is at least as likely to get scraped against something as it is to be stolen.
Additionally, though the unit’s lock feels sturdy, it looks cheap, and can rub paint off at the intersection point of the lock and frame. Similarly, the three-digit combination lock isn’t going to keep out any safecrackers - if you leave iLOCKr neo unattended for long enough, it can be opened, and fairly easily. As security researchers point out, a thief would need only a bit more than 15 minutes, maximum, to crack a three-digit code if he systematically tried each of the 1,000 possible codes, one per second. Simply adding a fourth digit ups the security from 16.6 minutes by a factor of ten: almost 3 hours.
Overall, iLOCKr neo is a decent iPod security solution for the price, offering a reasonable but not great degree of anti-theft protection to one specific iPod model. For the asking price, we’d much sooner go with Secure-It’s more versatile and protective The PodSafe, which costs the same, uses a four-digit lock, and includes a largely protective iPod case, besides, but iLOCKr neo is roughly on par with Targus’s Mobile Security Lock in overall appeal, save for its lack of multi-iPod compatibility, which takes it down a hair in our view.

New iPhone 4G Concepts: Ultra, Deluxe, iGame and iPhone Long

Around Christmas time, in 2008 we found a couple of brilliant iPhone concept designs, that we loved and never thought we’d see something better, at least for a few months. Now, in February 2009, we’ve got a bunch more iPhone concepts, each looking better than the previous one. The handset below is an iPhone Ultra:
New iPhone 4G Concepts: Ultra, Deluxe, iGame and iPhone Long
iPhone Ultra features a sturdy Titanium and Glass casing, an OLED display and 64 GB of internal memory. Beneath the case there’s a 1.2 GHz processor and the concept’s specs list also includes a 5.2 megapixel camera, 4G connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth 10x and iPhone OS 2.7.
The battery of the phone will provide energy for 18 hours of video playback and 48 hours of audio playback. Here’s iPhone 4G Ultra performing the good old Google Search:
New iPhone 4G Concepts: Ultra, Deluxe, iGame and iPhone Long
Next comes iPhone Deluxe or Luxe with an incredible 128 GB memory and dark casing with mauve decorations. Luxe can get turned into an gaming device (iGame), by attaching a keyboard and directional pad plus an action buttons pad to it, as you’ll see below.
Last, there’s iPhone Long Future, a concept iPhone that reminds me of another prototype, an Intel phone that was shown many months ago during a tech show.  All of these designs were created by hdi, who did a splendid job.
New iPhone 4G Concepts: Ultra, Deluxe, iGame and iPhone Long
New iPhone 4G Concepts: Ultra, Deluxe, iGame and iPhone Long
New iPhone 4G Concepts: Ultra, Deluxe, iGame and iPhone Long