If making music on the go and cool, retro design are your things, you’re going to want to check out Teenage Engineering’s OP 1 Portable Synthesizer ($849). Although the synthesizer features are a big part of this super portable music machine, it also packs a four track recorder, sampler, and even MIDI control functionality when it’s hooked up to your Mac. All of that is packed into an aluminum body measuring in at just 11.1” long, 4” wide, and 0.5” high, fitting perfectly in front of even the tiny 11” MacBook Air.
OP-1’s layout is very deliberate, with dedicated scissor-switch buttons and knobs for all the functions you’ll need to access. We were especially intrigued by the integrated 320×160 AMOLED display and the fun graphics Teenage Engineering used. There’s even a three-axis motion sensor that can be assigned to control a variety of effects as you tilt around. Even with all of this, the battery life is impressive, delivering 16 hours of use at maximum volume, or a promised two years of standby time. There’s much more to dazzle your eyes if you peek at the company’s web site.