LAS VEGAS — Maybe tech journalists are prone to ADHD, and simply attracted to things that flit about. Or maybe the rest of the gadgets strewn about the room at CES Unveiled, the press-only event that customarily kicks off CES for journalists, just weren’t all that zingy this year. Or maybe Parrot‘s Lilliputian drone really is that cool.
Whatever the reason, Parrot’s new MiniDrone — a miniaturized version of their AR Drone with no camera but detachable wheels that let it roll about on the ground or “climb” a wall — drew throngs of tech bloggers and had camera crews lined up to film.
It has the technological sophistication of a sonic screwdriver. Its design elements look as if pulled straight out of another dimension. And there may not be another set of headphones on this planet — or any other — baked with as many ingredients as the Parrot Zik.
But we were curious — would all this tech work? And how would the Ziks sound? So we poked them with a stick, and here’s what we discovered. Allons-y!
Zik by Parrot Category: Bluetooth Headphones, Circumaural Works With: Phones, MP3 players Price: $399
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – What do a four-rotor, remotely-piloted vehicle, touch-screen car audio and a little, Bluetooth-armed facsimile of a plant stem have in common? Not much. Yet they’re all concoctions from French-based Parrot; the latter is their newest gadget, a sensor-laden gardening device they’ve named the Flower Power.
This is the original Parrot Asteroid Classic car stereo head-unit ($349), and it made quite a splash when it launched last year. The single-DIN, 4×55 watt receiver boasts a formidable array of features: Bluetooth connectivity, powerfully accurate voice recognition for both calls and music, a GPS receiver, a bright, 3.2-inch LED screen and a quiver of apps that run off its customized, upgradeable, early-vintage Android 1.5 OS (all of which require a data connection via a dongle).
Though this model was originally called the the Asteroid (no Classic), the Classic nomen was added to lessen confusion as three new models were announced a few months ago. However, the Asteroid Classic still very much in play; in fact, as this review goes live, the Classic is the only member of the Asteroid family currently available, as its new siblings haven’t shipped yet.
With its Android-based OS, you’d be forgiven if you thought the Asteroid Classic was more friendly to Android phones than the iPhone. In fact, the opposite is true, as I’ll explain later. And while it suffers from something that can probably be described as teething trouble, it’s still a lust-worthy system.