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TUAW Review and Giveaway: A couple of products for green Apples


Just about every time you turn around, there's another ad for a green product. Cleaners, cars, food products, you name it. Well, the trend was bound to make it to the Apple market, and we're happy to say that we have two products to tell you about. Even better, you have a chance to win one of these green products.

The first item is the Agent18 EcoShield+ case for iPhone 4 (US$34.95). What's "green" about a case for the iPhone? Well, when it's totally made from recycled plastic (one recycled bottle in every case!), that's a pretty good start. I do have to wonder about the plastic cover / hanger and box insert that are used for packaging the EcoShield+ case. If you're going to make a green case, why not develop packaging that's not going to end up needed to be recycled?

The EcoShield+ case (below) has some great points that are lacking on many other iPhone 4 cases. First, there is protection for all open ports. There's a sliding door for covering the headphone port as well as a swiveling cover for the Dock Connector. That cover is the second unique feature of the EcoShield+, as it also serves as a stand to prop up the iPhone in either portrait or landscape mode.

Although the EcoShield+ isn't as stylish as some other cases we've reviewed, it offers good protection, has a nice soft touch feel, and the built-in stand is definitely a plus. This case isn't available for sale yet, but we're going to be giving one away to a TUAW reader. Check the rest of this post for details.

The second product is made for the 2nd and 3rd Generation iPod touch, and it is also a case -- a case with a built-in solar panel for charging your device. The Novothink Surge for iPod touch (US$69.95, see photo below) is a sleek case that cradles your device and can charged by simply putting it into a sunny place. The custom-designed solar panels on the back of the Surge provide 5.5 volts of electricity in full sun to charge up the 1500 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery.

How long does it take to charge? Well, if you are just needing to top off the battery every day, you'll need to pop the case into the sunlight for about an hour a day. If you were planning on watching 60 minutes of video, listening to 60 minutes of audio, and browsing the internet for 120 minutes every day with your iPod touch, you'd need to give the Surge a sun bath for about 7.5 hours a day. If you don't live in the sunny southwest, you might find yourself plugging the surge in to top off the charge -- there's a USB cable for that. Novothink provides an online calculator for figuring out how long it will take to charge, and there are LEDs on the unit to let you know how much of a charge the device actually has.

Novothink also makes a solar charger for the iPhone 3G / 3GS and plans on releasing an iPhone 4 charger later this year.

(Disclosure: I was unable to test the Surge case as I do not own an iPod touch)

Now, here's the fun part. We have one Novothink Surge for iPod touch (2nd - 3rd generation) and one Agent18 EcoShield+ case that we're going to give away. To enter the giveaway and have a chance to pick up one of these green products, just leave us a comment with your favorite green tip (i.e., turn off the lights when you're leaving a room) and which device -- iPhone 4 or iPod touch -- you own. Here are the details:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, leave a comment with a green tip (energy saving, waste-reducing, etc...) and which device -- iPhone 4 or iPod touch -- you own.
  • The comment must be left before midnight on Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Two winners will be selected. One will receive a Novothink Surge for iPod touch (Valued at $69.95) while the other will receive an Agent18 EcoShield+ case for iPhone 4.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

Good luck!

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