If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Good advice if you're Creative and Goliath is a fruit-branded company from Cupertino. So adding more sauce to the Apple pie is yet another third-party accessory, albeit a decent-looking effort, hot out of Sim Wong Hoo's wonder emporium. First glimpsed at CES 2008 back in January, Creative's TravelSound i80 speaker for the iPod nano (3rd Generation) is an extension of the i50 for the shuffle (2nd Generation). If you liked the latter, you'll probably like the former since Creative's roots are after all rooted in audio. Think Sound Blaster and Zen audio players. So sound-wise, we can assume it's more than sweet, particularly since it's powered by four independent micro drivers and a digital amplifier.
Design-wise, this latest TravelSound acts like a tight-fitting sheathe that you slide your nano into. The built-in rechargeable Lithium-polymer supplements your iPod's power, and can charge both once plugged into the USB connection on the speaker, giving up to 15 hours of playback. The speaker stand allows the speaker to tilt at an angle for viewing of photos and videos on the nano. A USB wall charger and pouch are included.
Though we'd love to know why the product team leapfrogged from the i50 to i80, we're even more confused by the PR reply that this really ought to be called the TravelSound (model i80). So how come the TravelSound i50 isn't (model i50)? We were hit by more Apple-inspired mind games when we asked about Asian availability prior to writing this ("typically we don't disclose specific countries").
We do know it'll be retailing in Singapore for S$129 at Creative and online stores from early April, in just one color--silver metallic, take it or leave it. There also appears to be a volume control on the speaker, from the pictures. Ultimately, it's whether nano owners are convinced enough to tune in to a Creative-branded speaker amidst a raft of similar third-party offerings.
(Source: Crave Asia)