This small Bluetooth speaker looks remarkably like the iconic Jawbone Jambox, arguably the most popular ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker on the market right now. And just like the Jambox, it can be used to stream music and make calls. It even comes in what looks like the same colors — or very similar colors — the Jambox comes in.
But look more closely, and you’ll see small cosmetic differences — because this isn’t the Jambox. It’s the Urge Basics Sound Brick, and it has one very big difference with the Jambox: it’s less than one-third the price.
Apple was on fire in 2012. Along with the incredible iPhone 5, we saw the first retina tablet and the pocketable iPad mini. This was also the year in which Apple let the iPod touch out to play, giving it features on a par with the iPhone 4S instead of using leftover components from Google’s leftover Nexus parts bin.
But not everything from Apple made it into our top ten. The Retina MacBook Pro, despite being an amazing machine, is still a laptop, albeit one with a hi-res screen and no DVD player. And the new iMac’s most interesting contribution to tech is the HDD/SSD Fusion Drive. Sure, it’s skinny, but who really cares about a thin desktop machine? It’s like making the world’s thinnest lawnmower.
Most of the rest of my picks reflect the fact that high-tech consumer electronics are now as utterly mainstream as the iron or the microwave oven. Sure, us nerds still love to play with the latest crap, and there will always be plenty of ill-informed consumers who are suckered into buying cheapo Android tablets, but these days gadgets generally Just Work, and the differences are in the little details.
That’s why we have fitness widgets alongside fancy portable speakers and implausibly good-for-the-price headphones.
So, should you be in the mood to read yet another end-of-year best-of list, carry on.
One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.
Day 23 is here, and today, we’re talking about JamBox’s bulkier big bro: the Big JamBox.
Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for people who are like, totally into their iPads. Totally.
The little Jambox speaker isn’t the loudest, or even the best-sounding portable speaker out there, but somehow it is the most popular, and it’s probably the most portable. And it’s certainly the most cute.
I have one and I love it. Sometimes, though, you just need more. And that’s the idea of the Big Jambox, the best-named product of the year. Is it just a bigger version of its little brother? Kinda, but not quite.