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Reviews

Griffin AirClick

By Legacy September 27, 2005, 12:00 am



INTRODUCTION

    If you’re an iPod user,
then you know that there are times when it just isn’t
convenient to reach over and click or spin or work
your way through the menus to play that perfect song.
What you need is a remote control and Griffin has
a solution for you – the AirClick. The AirClick is
small, simple, and easy to install. So now I never
need to touch my iPod again, right? Read on to find
out.

WHAT’S HOT

    The AirClick is available for a wide variety of devices. It works with the 3rd and 4th generation iPods as well as the iPod Photo (and can control your photo slideshow). There are versions for the iPod Mini and even a USB version to work with your Mac (OSX) or Windows (XP SP2). The USB version can control a variety of applications including iTunes and the Windows Media Player and is being updated to control even more applications!

SETUP

Box
contents include the AirClick dongle, remote,
and cradle.

Setup
is extremely simple – plug the
below dongle into the top of your
iPod. You’re ready to use the AirClick
remote control now.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    The product is amazingly easy to use. You
simply plug the receiver into the top of your iPod and then use the
remote control to control the iPod. The remote has a play/pause button,
a forward button, a reverse button, a volume up button, and a volume
down button – that’s it! All of them work like any standard controls
on nearly any CD player (and most MP3 players). No surprises so far.
There’s also a lock switch on the side to freeze the buttons – just
like the lock on the iPod itself. If you’re lucky enough to own an
iPod Photo, then you also can take advantage of some functions the
remote has relating to the iPod Photo – namely controlling the iPod
in "photo" mode. Switching modes is simple: slide the lock
on the remote to the "locked" position (where you can see
the red dot); press and hold the play/pause button; while holding the
play/pause button, slide the lock on the remote back to the "active" position
(no red dot). Now it’s in "photo" mode and you can view and
toggle through your pictures. I have a 3rd generation iPod, not an
iPod Photo, so I couldn’t test this feature. Going back to normal,
music mode is simple: just slide the lock to "locked" (red
dot showing) and then back to "active" (no red dot).

As
mentioned, the AirClick remote is small allows
for volume, forward/reverse and play/pause control.

Above is the clip on the rear with
the hold button to the side.

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HELP SUPPORT

    The instructions that come with the AirClick are only a couple of pages long – reflecting how easy it is to install and operate. There is more information available about it on the Griffin website.

SPECIFICATION AND OPTIONS

    The AirClick uses RF
(radio frequency) signals to operate. For those who
are interested, it operates on a frequency of 433.92MHz.
It uses a simple watch battery (CR2032 – a common
type found in many car remotes and other devices).
The remote is small – 2.75" by 1.25" by
0.5".
It weighs only 0.8 oz. And yes, you can leave the
iPod in "locked" mode
(so the buttons don’t get pressed) and the AirClick
still works.

The
AirClick also comes with a cradle. Above is a small
plastic holder with a strap that you can attach
to your arm, your steering wheel, or onto your
bike handlebars to hold your remote control while
leaving your iPod in your backpack.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    The AirClick works with 3rd generation (touch wheel and buttons), 4th generation (click wheel), and Photo iPods. There are other versions available for the iPod Mini, and for USB use (Mac OSX and Windows XP, SP2).

BUGS AND WISHES

   
The AirClick is incredibly easy to install and operate, but it has one big shortcoming – there is no way to traverse the menus using the remote control. An additional set of buttons to move up and down through the menus would have solved this quite nicely. Without them you have to set your iPod up to the right playlist ahead of time or simply choose to play your entire library. I think this is a serious omission, and one that makes the device less useful to someone like me who has a lot of songs and a lot of playlists. I think, for the majority of people, the ability to operate the iPod remotely is very cool and this device, with it’s very simple-to-use implementation, will like it a lot.

PURCHASING


    The AirClick is available over at the Griffin website for $39.99. They have the same product available for the iPod mini for the same price.

PROS


  • Small,
    matches most iPods


  • Easy to install and use


  • Good price

  • Works with
    the photo features of photo-capable iPods

CONS


  • No menu controls

Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    Do I recommend this device? I give it a qualified "yes". Although some folk won’t need them, I really think the AriClick needs "menu up" and "menu down" buttons, and probably a "elect" button as well. These would make the device much more useful without making it too much more complicated. In any case, if you use your iPod a lot in the car or in places where you really don’t want to expose the iPod, this is an excellent way to play your library without risking your iPod. Griffin keeps innovating with cool accessories for the iPod and the AirClick is a nice addition to their lineup!

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