Product Review: Griffin iBeam

Griffin iBeam
Flashlight and Laser Pointer for iPod
Griffin Technology

Griffin Technology’s iBeam is a set of two devices that snap on to the top of any 3G or 4G iPod, or iPod mini. One is a flashlight and the other is a laser pointer. While this is certainly not something I would have thought necessary, or even useful. Nevertheless, many people may find either or both of these add-ons to be practical.First the flashlight. While you can use your iPod’s backlit screen as a flashlight, it is not very bright. If you ever get caught in a blackout, or simply need to see the lock on your front door to slip the key in it, press one of your iPod’s buttons and turn the backlight on. (Or, if you have the backlight turned off, press and hold the Menu button until it comes on.) But the iPod does not give off much light, and it certainly doesn’t radiate very far. The iBeam’s flashlight module, which inserts into the headphone and remote jacks of your iPod, gives a stronger beam, though its bluish light doesn’t carry very far. While useful, it won’t help you out when you really need a lot of light. You can use it to read a map at night in your car, when you interior light dies, or find something in your trunk, but not much more.

The laser pointer module seems more useful, at least for those who make presentations. Since you always have your iPod with you, just toss the laser pointer module in your bag and you’ll always be able to, well, point at things. This is a very strong laser, and can be seen at over 100 yards.

So, whether the iBeam is worth the $20 is up to you. The flashlight can be a useful add-on for emergencies, as long as you know where to find it when you need it. The laser pointer is an excellent tool for presentations. Whether you really need this is up to you.

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