Make a loud noise for this small speaker
The Kitsound Pocket Hive Bluetooth Speaker has a hive-like hexagonal design -- the UK makers of the device cannot seem to resist making every bee pun you can think of in their documentation, and on their website. Yet they seem to have missed one very apposite British phrase: this Pocket Hive speaker is the bee's knees.
Battery-operated scanner helps users save time, space and effort while on the go
In this day and age, there's a significant amount of pressure to go paperless, and downsize the amount of things that one collects over the years. However, what is a person to do with years of receipts, tax documents, business cards and forms that could be needed in a number of urgent situations? Enter the ultra-smart scanner that promises to help users pair down their paper clutter while freeing up some space on their desks. But can a small scanner really live up to the expectations set by larger, more familiar desktop scanners? Find out in our review.
Sound and style collide for loud, damaging results with the Blazar by Beacon Audio
Generally, when someone thinks of high-quality sound, their mind doesn't immediately go toward portable speakers. An even less likely candidate would be any Bluetooth audio device. Nevertheless, Beacon Audio undertook the noble goal of challenging consumers' skepticism. It set out to clear the name of Bluetooth speakers everywhere by creating a high-quality unit, and took the Blazar to Kickstarter because it believed in the product. Was the crowd's decision to back another stylized, compact speaker a good one, or would consumers be better going with a mainstream choice? Find out in our review.
Alternative design holds enough juice to recharge a modern phone, convenient cable
If consumers need a backup battery that packs enough power for a full phone charge, configuration options are usually limited. Batteries generally come attached to another device or feature a generic flat case or a bulky design that barely fits in a pocket. But what about consumers that want something a little bit different? Neptor offers a stick design with the NP028K that packs the power requirements people need with a slightly different look. Is the Neptor NP028K good enough for consumers to consider purchasing, or does it need something else to be appealing? Find out in our review.
High capacity battery charges two devices simultaneously through 1A, 2.1A ports
Battery backups are generally geared toward multitasking, or made with a single device in mind. Many are bundled as an additional feature to a Bluetooth speaker, focusing on sound output first and charging second. This often leaves the unit capped at how much of the battery it offers up to charging external devices. But what happens when the speaker portion is removed, and the large capacity battery is left behind? A company can create a two-port charging solution like the Neptor NP056K. But would the Neptor be a good battery on its own? Find out in our review.
Reign23 Bolt portable USB wall battery charger released
Reign23 has released its combination USB wall charger and rechargeable portable battery, Bolt. Its portable battery has a 3000mAh capacity, large enough for two full charges of an iPhone or other mobile device. Initially launched as a Kickstarter project in 2013, Bolt is small, at 2.75 inches by 1.33 inches by 1.10 inches. Its smart charge technology automatically bypasses the battery when fully charged, and is available in blue and black color options. Priced at $60, the Bolt USB Wall Charger and Battery can be purchased online.
Divoom Voombox Outdoor Bluetooth speaker offers portability, water resistance
Divoom will be releasing its portable outdoor Bluetooth speaker tomorrow, the Voombox Outdoor. Offering 12 hours of play and talk time on 15 watts of power, the Voombox can withstand splashed water and dust. Users can wirelessly stream audio from tablets, smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, and make or receive calls wirelessly.
New Wren V5BT's 3-inch throw drivers and four layer voice coils produce realistic bass
American audio company, Wren Sound Systems, is now shipping its latest speaker product, the Wren V5BT portable speaker. Powered by Intersil's classic D2 50-watt DSP-controlled class D amplifier, the V5BT is able to deliver room-filling sound in a compact design.
Neutrino Thunder D3 expected for release by end of September
Akitio announced its upcoming release of its latest external storage product, the Neutrino Thunder D3. With Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, the Thunder D3 is set to be available by the end of September. The two-bay unit is designed to hold 2.5-inch hard drives or SSDs with a drive height of up to 15mm, enabling greater versatility than other form factor enclosures. The Thunder D3 will be available in capacities up to 4TB, and upon release can be purchased online from Akitio, Amazon and retail outlets, though pricing has not yet been announced. For reference, however, the similar Thunder Duo enclosure starts at $300 with no drives.
Now has rechargeable batteries, per requests
Portable Sound Laboratories have launched a new version of their popular iMainGo self-contained speaker, the iMainGo X. The device, which weighs just nine ounces, acts as a housing and portable stereo speaker for nearly every model of iPod or iPhone, as well as other handheld audio devices like Zunes and other MP3 players. For a small speaker, the iMainGo line sports good-quality bass and overall stereo reproduction, and can either house a small player inside itself or be used as an external speaker for any device with with a 3.5mm connection, such as Kindles, iPads, laptops and even electric guitars.
Player matches tempo, words to workouts
Ahead of CES, Philips on Tuesday launched its Activa portable audio player which offers a "focus on motivating people to improve their fitness." According to the company, the device helps motivate people to work out more frequently and intensely by providing real-time vocal feedback on their performance, and music that automatically adjusts in tempo to match their pace: when users increase their speed, faster music from the music library is selected and when they slow down, the device offers words of encouragement. The company did not offer any other hardware specs or details (including memory capacity).
Callpod portable chargers
Callpod has announced its line of portable chargers will be available at Best Buy stores. The companyís set of chargers include the Fueltank Uno and Fueltank Duo, along with the original Chargepod six-in-one multi-device charger. Both the Fueltank Uno and Duo feature a rechargeable lithium ion battery that enables users to charge small electronic devices without the need of an outlet. Each charger comes with device specific adapters capable of supporting over 3,000 electronic items.
On-the-Go portable drives reach 750GB
OWC has launched new 750GB notebook drive products. The new capacity drives arrive in bus-powered On-The-Go Pro models, with three connectivity options. The top-of-the-line triple interface offers FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 connections, while a dual-interface FireWire 400/USB 2.0 and a USB 2.0-only version are available for reduced pricing.
Black Friday GPS deals
A variety of GPS models from different manufacturers are being drastically reduced for Black Friday. Starting at $99.95 is the TomTom ONE clamshell portable navigation system, regularly priced at $179.95 at 6ave.com. Next up for $189.99 is the Garmin nuvi 260w GPS, regularly priced at $299.99 at BestBuy.com. The TomTom ONE 130S GPS is available at RadioShack.com for $199.99 after $50 in instant savings. Lastly is the Garmin nuvi 265WT GPS navigator priced at $249.99, a price cut of $100 off the original price of $349.99 at CircuitCity.com.
1TB Fusion F2 RAID
Sonnet Technologies has announced a 1TB-version of its Fusion F2 portable SATA RAID system. The system contains two 2.5-inch drives mounted side-by-side in an aluminum enclosure. It features two eSATA data ports for maximum data throughput, and is geared for use with ExpressCard/34 controllers on MacBook Pros. The RAID delivers up to 134MB-per-second data-transfer rates. It costs $1000 and is listed as shipping soon on Sonnet's website and is compatible with any SATA-capable Mac.
Westinghouse HDTV models
Westinghouse Digital on Tuesday unveiled four new 1080p-capable LCD TVs, as well as several other multi-purpose LCD TVs, including its portable and all-in-one units. New to the 1080p TX lineup are the 42-inch TX-42F430S, the 47-inch TX-47F430S, and the 52-inch TX-52F480S, which feature an integrated ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM Tuner, and 1080p resolution through all high-definition connectors, including component and VGA.
Apple pays for replacement
Apple on Friday announced it would refund between $25 and $80 to as many as 2.3 million iBook and PowerBook owners, after a significant number of adapters went defective, fraying and sparking. The Los Angeles Times reports that US District Court Judge James Ware granted preliminary approval on March 24th on the 2006 class action filing. The agreement makes Apple responsible for paying for a portion of replacement power adapters for the portables.
In brief: We have a review of Boynq Sound2Go, FileExaminer is on sale, Belkin is offering pink-ribbon cases to combat breast cancer, and Peachpit is now on Adobe TV ... We have posted a review of the Boynq Sound2Go, a compact portable speaker system for your iPod or any MP3 player that measures 8.5 x 6.5 x 4.75 inches in height. Its one-pound weight is a bit hefty for a suitcase, especially if you're limited to one bag on your airline of choice. It is useful for vacation get-aways, if you can still afford gas to go anywhere, or as a personal sound system on your desk at work.
Take Control of iWeb '08
In brief: We have a review of the Booq Boa Slimcase, the book Take Control of iWeb '08 has shipped, an REM music video available is available now through iTunes and "Easter mEgg Hunt" hunt for Mac software participants have been announced ... We have posted a review of the Booq Boa Slimcase. The series of bags supports laptop sizes ranging from 13 to 17 inches, and fit Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. The Boa Slimcases are available in portrait and landscape formats. The two models and three sizes per model are designed for the professional who wants to carry only the basic necessities of computing. This $115 bag fits 13 to 15" laptops, while the other more expensive models fit the 17" MacBook Pro portables.
MacBook Air confusing
The MacBook Air's thin design is causing some confusion for the technically ignorant, according to one blogger who says that the ultra-portable caused him to miss his flight. When going through the TSA airport security checkpoint, blogger Michael Nygard was held up as security staff gathered around his MacBook Air, trying to make sense of the slender laptop. One of the less technically knowledgeable staff points out the lack of standard features as cause for alarm.
Freeloader for iPod, more
UK-based Solar Technology today unveiled the Freeloader 8.0, a portable solar charger with a built-in battery, designed for the iPod and several other electronic devices. The Freeloader comes in silver and pink, and features two small sold-away solar panels that can charge the internal battery within 5 hours, supplying up to 18 hours of power for the iPod. Solar Technology is selling the Freeloader 8.0 for £30 (~$60 USD); as of now, it is available only in the UK.
QuickStream DV/HDV ships
MCE Technologies today began shipping the QuickStream DV/HDV, a portable camera-mountable self-powered digital video capture and storage device. Capable of capturing HDV in addition to standard DV footage, the device accelerates the video post-production process and can capture HDV footage directly to its hard drive while shooting from the majority of popular HDV cameras. The QuickStream DV/HDV is available with 80GB ($800) and 120GB ($1,000) of storage space, supporting up to six hours or nine hours of recording, respectively.
MacBook Air benchmark
The MacBook Air has caused quite a stir with its slender packaging and minimalist features, but many have wondered what they are giving up in terms of performance by trading in their MacBooks and MacBook Pros for the ultraportable. Primate Labs recently benchmarked the miniature laptop, and found that performance was around 80- to 85-percent of that of a 2GHz MacBook. While the Air pulled ahead slightly in memory and stream performance, it was lacking in other areas.
Philips TV, audio products
Philips today introduced several new home and personal audio products, also a new line of LCD TVs. Pairing up with RealNetworks, the companyís new Streamium NP1100 relies on the 4.5 million track collection offered by Realís Rhapsody network, as well as internet radio, and PC music libraries to bring audio to the home environment. The device uses a black and white display to show track information, and has a built-in WiFi receiver to connect with usersí home wireless networks. Philips expects to ship the NP1100 in May for $150.
Buffalo's Blu-Ray, HD DVD
Buffalo Technology today unveiled three new external drive solutions, as well as a new combination HD DVD and Blu-Ray reader-writer, at CES 2008 in Las Vegas. The company says its MediaStation Blu-Ray HD DVD drive is the first device of its kind to allow users to both read and write Blu-Ray content. While the drive can write to Blu-Ray optical media, it is only able to read HD DVD formatted discs. Using a USB cable, users can connect the drive up to a laptop or other mobile device to watch movies. The drive includes a full version of Nero, and will ship during the first quarter of 2008 for $650.
Bluetooth dongle for iPod
Hitachi Maxell today introduced an SRS WOW HD-enabled Bluetooth audio transmitter (site not updated) for iPod to enhance sound quality of the portable player's digitally compressed audio and video files. The new Bluetooth-enabled dongle is compatible with all full-size iPods as well as iPod nano and iPod mini, and uses the proprietary Apple DIN connector that attaches directly to the iPod dock. The company offered no shipment details or pricing.
iPod speaker, earphones
USBFever.com has launched four new iPod accessories ranging from a tiny portable speaker earphones. The company's Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker serves as a tiny sound system that works with all iPod models. The speaker is small enough to hang on a keychain, and features built-in amplification via a Lithium-Ion battery that users recharge via USB. The Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker ($10) offers 0.8W power output, weighs 17 grams, and includes an on/off button.
Miglia ships TVMini+
Miglia has released the TVMini+, a device that aims to offer complete digital entertainment with Miglia TV software in an ultra-portable format. The device plugs into a USB 2.0 port, thus enabling users to watch and record analog as well as digital terrestrial television. Supported by the DVB-T standard, the TVMini+ combines a 10-bit analog-to-digital converter and a video decoder for improved reception, according to Miglia. TVMini+ is available for $175, and comes with a 2-year warranty. [updated with proper images]
Popular EU gadgets: iPod
Apple's iPod and iPhone rank among the top gadgets so far this holiday season in Europe, according to a comScore study designed to track the frequency of online searches. The firm studied 20 different models of gadgets from the game console, mobile phone, and portable music player markets across the UK, France, and Germany during the first three weeks of November. The study found that Apple's iPod is the second most popular item with 3.5 million searches, while the company's iPhone is the fifth most searched device.
New 'Get a Mac' ad airs
Apple has launched a new 'Get a Mac' ad highlighting recent test results, which found that a Mac laptop ran Windows Vista faster than all other portables. The commercial begins with the usual introduction of 'Mac' starring Justin Long and 'PC,' played by John Hodgman. 'PC' immediately notions for Mac to wait as he begins a telephone conversation with PCWorld to report a misprint.
Wine Collector 250 ships
IntelliScanner has unveiled its Wine Collector 250, a portable barcode scanner and companion software package for managing wine collections. The scanner and software provide instant wine bottle details using an internet-enabled database and AUtoFill technology, helping users to determine the best drinking time and build custom reports to facilitate collection sharing with integrated iPhone sharing as well as Web 2.0 publishing. Wine Collector 250 is already shipping for $300, with a special edition model that includes a corded non-portable scanner also available for $200.