Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
Also referred to as "New G-Go," G-Project's second-generation G-Go ($60) offers steps up in size and performance from the recently-released G-Drop. G-Go is a waterproof, ruggedized speaker that's roughly the size of a milk carton and loaded with twin speakers rather than G-Drop's one. It's supposedly more powerful than the original version, though Powered by either an included AC adapter or four self-provided AA batteries, it has rubberized controls on a side that can either be the top or the right based on the way you want to use it, and a rear handle made from metal and hard plastic. G-Project doesn't get into the specifics as to Bluetooth performance, apart from a promised 33-foot wireless distance, nor does it mention waterproof certification beyond a promise of splash resistance at any angle. Bottom and rear compartments are sealed against water intrusion. We'll have a full review in the near future.
Model: Stratus XL
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touches Running iOS 7 or Later
We've got our hands on SteelSeries' soon-to-be-released second iOS controller — Stratus XL ($70). Whereas the original Stratus was a small Bluetooth controller with a retail price of $100, the new Stratus XL is larger — hence the name — and is $30 cheaper. The controller retains the same number of gameplay sticks and buttons, but has a new shape with extended handles in addition to its larger size. Like the recently released C.T.R.L.i and Micro C.T.R.L.i from Mad Catz, Stratus XL is said to get 40 hours of play time from two batteries — AA batteries in this case. We'll have a full review in the near future.
Company: Mr. Coffee
Models: Smart Coffeemaker
Compatible: iPhone 3GS to 6 Plus, iPod touch 4G/5G, iPad 2 to Air, All iPad minis
In the future, sentient robots will so pamper their owners that the very idea of manually brewing your own coffee will be laughable. Until then, Belkin and Jarden Consumer Solutions have come up with an interim option to let you "brew coffee from your bed." The Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Coffeemaker ($250) leverages Belkin's WeMo home automation technology to let you wirelessly control the time your coffee is brewed. After a reasonably simple Wi-Fi pairing process, the WeMo app lets you set a brewing schedule with a different day or night time for each day of the week, providing you with reminders when the water runs low and the water filter needs to be changed, as well as a coffee freshness timer and cleaning status. Relatively large, the Smart Coffeemaker comes with a 10-cup reservoir, 10-cup thermal decanter, one one-month carbon water filter and a plastic brewing basket; you supply the daily paper coffee filters, ground coffee, and water. The temperature is set at 205 degrees, and the brewing cycle is eight minutes for a full pot. Notably, the Smart Coffeemaker currently sells for $150 despite the somewhat staggering MSRP.
Alternately billed as the Slide-Mount Combo Pack or 2-Mount Combo Pack ($30), ZeroChroma's latest accessories-for-other-accessories bundle consists of the "All-Surface Slide-Mount" and "Headrest Slide-Mount," one to attach an iPad to a wall, the latter to hang it behind an in-car headrest for rear seat viewing. All-Surface combines two tab-released adhesive strips with a reinforced microfiber and metal mount that sticks to your wall; Headrest Slide-Mount uses a stiff but thin metal frame to sneak between two metal headrest supports, dangling a microfiber-coated metal pin behind the seat. Each makes it easy to slide an iPad or iPad mini inside one of ZeroChroma's $70 Folio-Slide cases on and off as needed, though the price tag feels a little steep given the simplicity of the mounting solutions.
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