Vizio's pulled the curtains off two new Portable Smart Audio speakers that are powered by Android 4.4. What makes them special are the touchscreens embedded into the front of each device. Instead of having to pair them with a phone using Bluetooth, users will be free to stream music directly from the likes of Spotify and Pandora or enjoy video from Netflix or YouTube. Think of each version as a bulky tablet that doesn't need to rest in your lap, one with speakers that you won't leave you reaching for earbuds.
The Portable Smart Audio line doesn't have the most memorable name, but consumers will have two options to pick from once these land on store shelves.
If you've been searching for a way to safely play your Android phone's music library in the rain or at the beach, Amazon's got a deal for you. Grace Digital's ECO X Terra (orange only) is available for just $50 shipped, which is a notable $100 discount over its original price.
If you're wondering how the ECO X Terra works, it's simple – just cram your Android-powered phone (or "any mp3 player") into the center compartment, and enjoy your tunes. Grace Digital boasts, by the way, that the boombox's center compartment can accommodate the "largest Android phone" with a case, as well as keys, credit cards, and other sundries.
Did you used to have a boombox? Don't you miss the freedom it gave you to enjoy your music at high volumes, headphone-free and cordless any place, any time? Sure, earbuds and noise-cancelling headphones are a lot more portable (and polite to everyone around you), but when you weren't concerned with drowning out all ambient sound or disturbing others, the boombox really was just... better. And it had so many great uses: In the kitchen. Outside. During household chores. By the pool. At the beach. The boombox made ambient music an option everywhere you went.
Unfortunately, boomboxes (good ones, at least) were big, heavy, ate through expensive disposable batteries, and were limited to physical media playback.