Etón Corporation recently introduced the Rukus Solar, a portable sound system with solar panel that has the ability to stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. The unit can also charge mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets.
The company claims the embedded 40 square-inch, high-efficiency solar panel can fully-charge the unit in six hours. The internal lithium battery, which is rated for over 8 hours of continuous use, can also be charged via the AC adapter.
An integrated USB port provides power for mobile devices, and a handy pouch provides protection for handheld devices in hostile environments, such as campgrounds or on the beach. The unit also has a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for music players that lack Bluetooth.
An integrated E-Ink display provides instant, easy-to-read information, including Bluetooth connectivity, solar charge indicator, and battery strength. Unlike traditional LCD screens, E-Ink displays information without draining the battery and is easily read in direct sunlight with a 180-degree viewing angle.
The unit has dual speakers, a 14-watt stereo amplifier, and weighs less than five pounds. The Etón Rukus Solar is available in white, black, or green and has an MSRP of $150. Each purchase of a Rukus Solar also includes a three-month subscription to on-demand music service MOG (a $30 value.)
The unit can be purchased from leading online retailers or at Etón's own website. For more information, visit Etoncorp.com.
Roku broadens its video streaming lineup
The Roku 2 XD HD streaming player is one of my favorite products, and now the company has broadened its offerings with the Roku Streaming Stick, a tiny wireless streaming player the size of a USB flash drive that enables a Roku Ready device to access more than 600 channels, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO GO, and Pandora.
The Streaming Stick does away with the need for a set-top box, but to use it, your TV or DVD player must be equipped with a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) port. Few today are, but this will likely improve over time.
Despite its small dimensions, the stick has more memory than Roku's set-top boxes, plus dual-band Wi-Fi. The included gesture-driven gaming remote uses radio transmissions, rather than infra-red, which means it works, even if the MHL jack is on the rear of the TV set.
"Roku Ready" devices are certified to work seamlessly with the Streaming Stick. TV sets earning this distinction display a distinction logo on their packaging, but so far the lineup only includes models from Hitachi, Insignia (a Best Buy brand), and Apex Digital.
The Roku Streaming Stick is available for $99.99 from Roku, Amazon, other retailers. For more information, visit Roku.com.