The Aliph Jawbone Era is the start of something new. It's the first Bluetooth headset with an accelerometer and a dedicated applications processor, which could turn it into anything from a game controller to a pedometer, or a navigation unit. Beyond that, though, it's just a top-notch Bluetooth headset, and fully worthy of our Editors' Choice.
Design and Call Performance
Like all Aliph products, the Jawbone Era is a sharp-looking headset. It's slimmer and slightly longer than the most-recent Jawbone Icon ($69), with a three-paneled, textured front; it actually looks more like the previous-gen Jawbone Prime. The Era comes in four colors, but they're all low-key: black, white, red and black-and-red. It comes with five different sets of ear tips (three that sit in your ear, and two that sit on your ear with a hook), an AC charger with a very short micro-USB cable, and a case. There's a single button on the butt end of the headset, and a power switch and pairing light on the inside face. Once you find the right ear tip, it's a secure fit; I wore the test unit comfortably for a three-hour conference call.
Last week at CES, we caught up with Travis Bogard from Aliph to get the rundown on the Jawbone Jambox. You may know Aliph, and the Jawbone brand, as the makers of awesome Bluetooth headsets (like the Jawbone Icon,) but the Jambox is a portable Bluetooth speaker with built-in microphone that rocks for playing audio from your Bluetooth-enabled devices. That could be your phone, digital audio player, or anything else that supports A2DP. Even cooler, you can even use the Jambox to take calls.
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Aliph has made top-quality mono Bluetooth headsets for years, but the company has generally stayed away from the murky world of Bluetooth stereo. That changes with the Jawbone Jambox speaker set ($199.99 direct), the company's first foray into stereo. It's a small, battery-powered speaker that can play music from a wired or Bluetooth connection from your cell phone and also function as a speakerphone. It packs a surprising amount of punch for such a tiny device, and while it doesn't sound perfect, it's surprisingly good.
The Jambox looks like a cross between an Aliph Jawbone Icon ($69, 4 stars) headset and a brick. It's perfectly rectangular, with stark, straight lines. The top and bottom of the speaker are capped with hard rubber, and the metal grill between them wraps all the way around the body. The grill has a diamond pattern, evoking the look of Aliph's headsets. At 6 by 2.2 by 1.6 inches (HWD), the Jambox is a compact, if blocky, device. It's also surprisingly heavy, weighing 12 ounces.
We've spent some time with the Zomm "wireless leash" and have come away impressed by the simplicity of the device, as it's one of those things that make you wonder why a product like it hasn't been available until now. With that, we thought it would be a good inclusion in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. The Zomm can be attached to your keychain, and connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth. Once paired, it becomes your wireless alarm system for your phone. For example, if you walk away from your phone, Zomm will sound a notification alarm and start vibrating, letting you know that you've left your device more than 30 feet away. This way, you don't leave a restaurant without your phone, or spend forever looking for it because you left it in the car (or, that you are in your car driving and left your phone at home!) Cool enough, but it does more.
Zomm also has an integrated speaker and microphone, so it also acts as a hands-free calling device. If your phone rings, Zomm will ring as well, and you just press the Z button to take the call without having to fish around for your phone while driving. Zomm also has a built-in panic alarm. Hold down the Z button and the alarm will go off. Continue holding it, and the Zomm will use the Bluetooth connection to your phone to dial 911, and it will let you speak with the authorities right from the Zomm device. This is seriously a cool piece of technology that is a must-have for those people who constantly leave their smartphones behind in cabs and restaurants, or just anyone who wants an extra layer of security with them at all times. You can get a Zomm from Newegg for $79.99.
Read More | Zomm Bluetooth Smartphone Leash
Pretty much any modern smartphone or tablet device has Bluetooth built into it nowadays, and that means you can pair them to a speaker device to send audio wirelessly through a more powerful, louder unit. The thing is, those have been few and far between, and not very good. Aliph changed that with their newly-released Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker. You can easily pair it with your phone, iPod touch, iPad, or any other device that support Bluetooth audio. It's a small speaker that you can hold in your hand, but manufactured in such a way that it provides fantastic sound, so you can stream audio to it from wherever you are in the room, no wires needed. You can choose from four colors, and the battery is rechargeable. You can get it from Best Buy or Apple for $199.
Oh, and of course, if you or someone you know needs a Bluetooth heads, the Aliph Jawbone is one of the best. These guys know how to make Bluetooth devices.
Tired of seeing all of those Droid owners whipping out their hardware QWERTY keyboards and typing right in your face? If your're suffering from a sever case of keyboard envy, then Keyboard Buddy is here to remedy what ails you. The Keyboard Buddy is a case integrated with a slide-out Bluetooth keyboard meant to give some real keys to users of the iPhone 4. If that wasn't cool enough, it has its own power switch, and can last up to 45 days on a single charge. The Keyboard Buddy is available now for $70.
Read More | Boxwave
It’s always been kind of a chose to “type” in the TiVo, but with the release of the TiVo Premiere and its discovery and search features—alongside its ridiculously slow interface—typing is downright awful. The TiVo Slide remote aims to change all that, giving you pretty much the same TiVo remote you’ve grown used to over the years (just more compact) with an integrated QWERTY slider keyboard. It all works over Bluetooth, and in the end, should make that hunt-and-peck typing a thing of the past. We will be bringing you a TiVo Slide review shortly, but in the meantime, enjoy these unboxing shots!
You can pick up the TiVo Slide remote from the TiVo Store for $89.
Apple’s Magic Trackpad is an interesting, although not unexpected, move for the company. For a company that seems to have invested in multitouch as the core foundation of its future, it only makes sense that they’d want to bring it over to the desktop rather than relegating it to their iOS devices and notebooks only. In its simplest description, the Magic Trackpad is a laptop trackpad that you use with your desktop Mac. The question is, is it any good? Is it more awkward to use than the natural trackpad on a Mac notebook? Even more importantly, can it (and should it) replace your mouse? We’ve been using the Magic Trackpad for a couple of weeks, and we’ve got some answers for you. Read on for our full review!
So, looks like that wireless trackpad peripheral that’s been rumored and leaked has become official, and it’s called the Apple Magic Trackpad. It’s basically a larger version of the trackpad found on the Macbook Pro. Aluminum, glass-covered, and multitouch. It communicates with your Mac over Bluetooth, takes two AA batteries (included,) and requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4. You can pick one up now for $69.
Read More | Magic Trackpad
ASiQ Limited has announced the release of the world’s first bluetooth access-point for commercial airlines. According to Ron Chapman, ASiQ’s CEO, airlines will now be able to offer passengers affordable SMS, MMS, Voice-messaging and text email capabilities while in flight via their new SafeCell app. Better still, SafeCell will also eliminate GSM roaming charges since it does not require a GSM connection to deliver its services. Bluetooth access points are far more efficient than their Wi/Fi counterparts, as they operate as a Personal Area Network (PAN) and unlike Wi-Fi do not have to waste time and money logging in to the internet in order to establish a link. The SafeCell App uses file sizes that are so small even a narrow band satellite link can accommodate the SMS/MMS/text-email needs of up to 192 individual passengers. Bluetooth also operates at up to 3 megabits per second making it compatible with any current data or media plan available. Besides giving you more options to drain your battery with whilst in-flight than just playing Bejeweled II, ASiQ’s service will also enable you to completely ignore the fact that you are crammed in a glorified cigar-tube built by the lowest bidder. Hopefully. I’ll be the guy directly behind you faking trying to light his shoe on fire.