Adding to its lineup of solar accessories for Apple products at this year’s International CES, Eton has introduced the Rukus Bluetooth speaker system. The lithium ion battery can be charged through a standard wall adapter, but there’s also a monocrystal solar panel on top to gather energy from the sun. On the front of the unit are an e-ink display and playback controls.
We covered Henge Docks’ MacBook Pro docking stations a few months ago, and now we’re excited to see that the company has used the occasion of the 2012 International CES to unveil its MacBook Air version of the accessory. The units are now up for preorder at $55 and $60, with Mini DisplayPort and USB passthrough—no Thunderbolt though. It may be a good solution for those looking to dock an Air and save space at a pretty reasonable price.
Apple has scheduled a “Big Apple”-themed “education announcement” media event in New York City for January 19, 2012, sending out a digital invitation featuring a chalkboard image of the Manhattan skyline with an Apple logo in the middle of skyscrapers.
The event is expected to focus on iTunes, the iBookstore, and possibly textbook sales in the iTunes Store.
Today is the first day of the 2012 International CES, and the iLounge Pavilion is full of activity! Here are just a few of the new products that caught our eye.
AirStash is showing off the newest version of its Wi-Fi flash drive device. It uses an SD card for storage—packages are available with either 8GB or 16GB cards—and can stream files to iOS devices. This includes, photos, music, iTunes-protected videos, and more. Up to three devices can connect at a time, and battery life is specced at seven hours of continuous SD video playback. The smaller capacity version is priced at $150, and the larger costs $180.
We wrote about BulletTrain’s Express a few weeks ago on iLounge+Mac, but the company has updated the accessory in time for a March release. Now, instead of aluminum, the Magic Trackpad and Wireless Keyboard holder is made of plastic. This allows for a better clip system and new colors too. The silver version will cost $80 when it’s released, while the colored versions will retail for $100. BulletTrain also announced a partnership with MusicSkins, who while be offering all of its designs for the Express.
Other World Computing (OWC) is here at CES showing its well-known line of SSD and Mac expansion products, among them its new miniStack Max expansion unit for the Mac Mini. Building on last year’s miniStack, the new Max version adds an optical drive and SD card slot to the front while maintaining the same general industrial design to match Apple’s recent Mac Mini models. The miniStack Max also includes internal hard drive storage available in capacities of up to 4TB and in integrated USB 3.0/2.0, FireWire 400/800 and eSATA hub.
iSkin is expanding its Q-West line this year into a wider range of fashionable bags and cases. Going forward, the company is taking a more boutique approach, focusing on fashion trends in its product designs.
Serious runners are going to be excited to see 4iiii’s 2012 International CES introduction of Sportiiiis, a heads up display and audio feedback system that hooks on to any pair of sunglasses. It presents custom LEDs to relay information such as power, cadence, speed, heart rate or pace, and can be programmed from Macs, PCs, and iOS devices. Sportiiiis will cost $199 when it is available.
For those looking to prevent their iPad or iPad 2 from moving around without actually putting it in a case, Wrapsol is showing off Non-Slip Grip Pad at its booth at the 2012 International CES. A polyurethane sticker, it attaches to the back of the device and provides grip on surfaces where the device might otherwise slide. The pads are available immediately for $15 each.
We were really wowed by Yantouch’s showings at last year’s International CES, at least in terms of originality. This year the company is taking the same ideas and slightly altering them with the introduction of Black Diamond Lamp. Set to be released in March for $59, this iteration removes the iPhone docking capability; instead, there’s a USB port on the back to which it can be attached. The lamp can be controlled by either the included remote or by blowing into an opening on the top. We’ll definitely have more details on this once we get our hands on it.
Shown for the first time at the 2012 International CES, Targus appears to be taking a page from the playbook of a handful of other manufacturers with its SpinPad Case for iPad 2. To be released this month for $60, the case protects the back of the tablet while leaving the display exposed and room for a Smart Cover to attach on the left side. The key feature is a flip-out stand on the back that can be oriented for use in typing or viewing angles, or as a handle.
TRTL BOT’s release at this year’s International CES is KidSafe, and iPhone 4/4S case made for parents who want to let young children use their phones. It snaps onto the back of the device as most cases do, but can be flipped around to the front. Doing so blocks the Home button, which prevents the app on the screen from being closed. It’s made from recycled plastics, BPA-free, and comes in a variety of colors. The price is yet to be determined.
New from case maker Skech at the 2012 International CES is Trax for iPhone 4/4S ($TBD). A flip-open style case, it stands out from the crowd with the materials used to make it. Rather than traditional plastics or rubbers, the exterior is composed of recycled bicycle tires, making each case unique. The inside is lined with soft felt to help prevent scratching, and there are credit card slots inside the flap. Trax will be available January 10.
Onanoff is betting that its customers are in the market for earbuds that do a lot more than just play music. The Magnum Platinum earbuds it introduced at the 2012 International CES—price and release date to be determined—have a few unique features built-in, including an audio splitter on the 3.5mm plug. The flat cables help to prevent tangling, and there’s also a magnetic cable solution that keeps the cords at the right length. To top it off, Magnum Platinum comes equipped with a three button remote and mic for use with Apple’s portable devices.
Octa’s TabletTail is not only one of the stranger things we saw at the 2012 International CES, but truly one of the more bizarre iPad accessories we’ve come across. A combination handle and stand, TabletTail is actually made of two separate pieces. The first is a Vacuum Dock that attaches on to the back of an iPad or iPad 2 for up to six hours at a time, and the other is WhaleTail, which is designed to look like exactly what it sounds like. Users position the tail between their fingers for a comfortable way to hold Apple’s tablet. Octa is promising more accessories to fit into the modular system in 2012, but will begin with TabletTail in February of this year. It will sell for $70.
Updated January 19, 2012: Octa has informed us that the shipping date for WhaleTail has been pushed back until April of this year, and that the price has dropped to $60.
FaceTime on the iPhone 4 and 4S is great, of course, but what to actually do with your phone during calls has been an issue since day one. Native Union is using the 2012 International CES to unveil its solution, Facedock. Using an adjustable vise-style arm, it can attach to pretty much any desk or table. A fully flexible arm allows for pretty much infinite positioning of the holder, and the generic phone holder at the end secures pretty much any handset, including iPhones and iPod touches. The price is yet to be announced on this one.
Jill-E Designs expanded its lineup of female-friendly tech carriers with the introduction of its E-GO Leather Tablet tote, which will be available in mid-February. The white and blue bag is made of leather and provides protection for your Apple tablet. We haven’t seen a price announced, but we’d expect it to be available at somewhat of a premium.
It looks like aluminum is just important this year as last to Just Mobile, who introduced some evolutionary designs at the 2012 International CES, all of which are now available for sale. First up is AluPen Pro, a $40 version of the company’s stylus adds in a ballpoint pen on the other end. Highway Pro is an update to the previously released Highway car charger. Now instead of just one USB port, there are two: one has 2.1A for your iPad, and the other 1A for everything else. There’s also a built-in fuse to avoid power surges. Highway Pro retails for $40. Finally there’s AluCube Mini, a small, sleek cord holder that comes bundled as a pair for $20. The company has also updated Gum Plus its charger with a 5200 mAh battery—up from 4400—micro USB support, a new titanium color option, and a slightly higher price ($79).
While there’s no shortage of heavy duty iPhone 4/4S cases out there, Ivyskin used the 2012 International CES to throw its hat in to the ring with Wrangler. Available on January 14 for $70, it combines pretty much every material you can imagine: polycarbonate plastic, TPU, TPE, carbon fiber and metal, all in a triple injection co-molded design. It does introduce some unique features, such as a “watch dial” silent switch cover and a clearly marked shutter button over the volume up control. We’ll be sure to put this one through its paces for our review.
Case maker Incipio had no shortage of new cases to show off at this year’s International CES, with release dates peppered throughout the year. LGND Kickstand and Hive Response, both for the iPhone 4 and 4S, will launch between January and March of this year with a price tag of $35 each. The first is a rare folio-style case for Apple’s phone. It’s composed of a polycarbonate shell attached to a leather cover that can be positioned for use as a landscape orientation stand. Incipio will be offering the case in black. Hive Response is a take on the company’s Hive gaming case. This new one continues to utilize the honeycomb pattern we’ve seen in the past, but adds a polycarbonate shell for further protection. Coming between April and June are Bentley for iPad 2 ($70) and The Specialist for iPhone 4/4S ($35). Bentley combines polycarbonate, leather, and aluminum to make one unique looking case. It can transform into a stand, and utilizes magnets to activate the tablet’s automatic sleep/wake feature. Finally there’s The Specialist. Although it’s the simplest looking of the cases, it combines plastic and rubber to offer superior protection against drops and scratches; we’re usually big fans of this style case. We’ve also posted additional coverage of some of the company’s more striking designs in the linked article.
Canadian company Helium Digital is showcasing four new products at the 2012 International CES. First up is KeyCover Folio for iPad ($80), a Bluetooth keyboard case that works with both generations of Apple’s tablet computer. The keyboard is only 4mm thick, and the entire case is just 7mm thick when closed. It will be available in the spring. Next is SlimJacket for iPad 2. A protective sleeve, it can also fold into a stand for landscape or portrait viewing. Also shipping in the spring, it will cost $20. ViewPoint Headrest Mount for iPad 2 does just what it sounds like; it attaches to a carseat’s headrest with metal brackets to hold an iPad 2 in place. The accessory can rotate 360°, allowing for video viewing, gaming, and more. Coming at the same time as the other two pieces, it’ll cost $25. Finally, there’s PureView Screen Cleaner for Touchscreen Devices, which will be available February 1. A 120ml bottle of the alcohol and ammonia free solution will cost $17.