Sunday June 12, 2005 8:10 pm
NYKO iTop Review
Third party accessories for any product are mostly, by default, pretty bad in my opinion. Usually it feels like companies are trying to piggyback on the success of the popularity of the products that manufacturers work hard to come up with and market. That being said, Nyko has recently brought the iTop to the table. The draw here is that you can relocate the iPod’s functions to the top of the unit so that you don’t need to take it out of your pocket to access the click wheel. How does it work? Check out the full review after the jump.
This one is pretty simple. The iTop is a small adapter that attaches to the top of the iPod through the headphone and remote jack. Once connected, it allows you to play, pause, skip, go back, and change the volume all without having to remove the iPod from a case, pocket, or purse. It sports the chrome finish that the iPod has, along with a bit of what I like to call “iPod White”. Aside from the function buttons, it also has a headphone jack and hold switch. That is really all there is to this one.
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Simply take the iTop out of its packaging, and plug it into the top of the iPod. It is now ready to go. No batteries needed, as it runs off of the iPod’s power. . It slips into the top ports comfortably, although it looks better on a 4th Generation 20 GB iPod since it matches its depth. On a thicker 60 GB iPod photo, the iTop looks a bit odd as it is thinner than the unit. It also works with the iPod mini, but it doesn’t look pretty.
USING THE UNIT
The thing about the iTop is that there really isn’t much to it, as it promises basic yet practical functionality. That being said, it works exactly as advertised. I like how the buttons allow both push and hold functionality. What I mean is, if you want to advance to the next track you simply press advance. However, like the click wheel, you can also hold this button to use it as a fast-forward. The same goes for the volume.
The unit isn’t without its negatives. The major annoyance that I have found is that the iTop should be removed when not in use. Why? It appears that it drains the battery. Actually, I know it does. My iPod can go for quite a while without being used and still maintain a charge. One or two nights with the iTop plugged in rendered it juice-less.
The other thing is, this almost just seems like a revisitation of Apple’s official iPod remote control. I mean, it does pretty much the same thing the Apple remote does, just without the cord. The iTop is tactile though, and it is convenient since it is wireless. It is also $10 less than Apple’s remote, which is no longer packaged in as a freebie on iPod purchases.
The iTop is a good device. In our testing of the unit, it did its job – that is more than we can say for a lot of other gadgets out there. It will run you $29.00 USD, which isn’t too bad for the functionality it provides. The trick is figuring out if you really need the functionality at all. Personally, I find that I like looking at my iPod screen when navigating, as I rarely listen to albums or playlists. I am more of a pick-each-song kind of guy. If you are into playlists, this is definitely a handy item to pick up. Be sure to compare its features to that of the Apple iPod Remote Control before settling on a decision.
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