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  • Physical Graffiti

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    • Led Zeppelin
    • This album bears every flavor of genius from the five records that came before. It is, I believe, the band's finest. With Physical Graffiti, Zep came raging back to their musical home territory -- har
  • Spanks for the Memories

    • 8 out of 10
    • Asylum Street Spankers
    • The Asylum Street Spankers are...well...The Spankers. Hailing from Austin, where I saw them live dozens of times, the band played entirely acousti

  • Spilt Milk

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jellyfish
    • The second and final album from this power-pop group makes me wish Jellyfish had been able to make just one more record together. The album is best enjoyed as a whole piece, flowing from one track to
  • Trouble

    • 8 out of 10
    • Ray LaMontagne
    • At first, Ray LaMontagne might strike you as just another breathy-voiced knockoff of folk/rock guitarists like John Mayer and Jack Johnson. But he's actually got a better voice than either, he tell

  • Rock Spectacle

    • 8 out of 10
    • Barenaked Ladies
    • These guys know how to put on a live show, and whomever recorded this knows how to capture one. Rock Spectacle is one of the warmest-sounding recordings I've ever heard, and totally fills a room at a

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Quick Look Review

iZel is a Light, Portable Stand for iPods, SmartPhones

The Moviac iZel is a portable, lightweight, durable and adjustable stand for most any small electronic device such as an MP3 player, iPhone, iPod, iPod touch, BlackBerry, etc. It's made from a durable, slip resistant elastomer material and can be adjusted for portrait or landscape viewing as well as tilt angle.

iZel front

Portrait Mode

At fist, the device seems rather modest in its design for the price because it is small and ships flat, but that turns out to be a considerable advantage. It's soft, flexible and easy to throw into an equipment bag or briefcase when flat. Then, with a clever design, one just snaps it together in the desired shape for portrait or landscape mode. With continued use, the benefits become more apparent.

iZel folding

From flat to folded and ready for use (landscape mode)

I tested the iZel with an iPhone and and iPod touch. The design of the cradle in the front looks like it will accommodate devices of widely varying thickness. The elastomer material's texture not only holds the iPhone without slipping, but also resists skidding around on the table surface.

The iZel weights just 1.3 ounces (37 grams) and can literally be folded, spindled, and mutilated. It will snap right back to form.

On the back of the iZel is a tab that slides in a groove and can be used to set the viewing angle. Detents and the material's texture make it easy to adjust, and yet the setting is firm and won't slip.

The one small problem I had with the unit is that when the USB cable is connected to an iPhone or iPod touch, and the stand is in portrait mode, there isn't enough room at the bottom unless the iZel is in its full backward tilt position. Otherwise, the stand becomes unstable. In a communication with the developer, it was pointed out that the iZel was primarily designed to be used in places where power isn't available, but he did take into account the connector in portrait mode -- in contrast to some competing products. I didn't check the cable connection with other devices, say, a BlackBerry, and so it may not be a problem with other products at any angle.

iZel w/ charger

The iZel with USB cable attached, full backward tilt.

The iZel is immediately available from Moviac or through Amazon and is priced at US$24.95. iPO readers can get 15 percent off through June 15 with promotional code: WKM6C5RH. Also, shipping is free with the order of two or more.

iZel rear

Rear view, showing adjustment for tilt

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