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X-mini II gets an MP3 player

Singapore-based XM-I has given its best-selling capsule speaker a music player and an SD card slot, and is calling it the X-mini Happy.

X-mini Happy
The X-mini Happy (left) is a wee bit taller than the X-mini II, but retains all the II's improvements plus MP3 playback capabilities. Kelvin Low/CNET

The evolution of the X-mini continues, and in surprising ways. This time, the hardworking folks at Singapore-based outfit XM-I have given their best-selling capsule speaker a music player and an SD card slot. What this simple idea does is turn the speaker into a clever little boombox that sits on your palm, with the happy name of X-mini Happy.

Based on the same design and tweeter size as the big-sounding X-mini II, the Happy is only marginally heavier and larger but a lot more versatile. CEO Ryan Lee told CNET Asia the modular buddy jack from the II will now be a standard feature, so you can daisy-chain as many X-mini II and Happy speakers as you fancy for maximum volume. Battery life is also expected to be similar at about 11 hours for the speaker, and roughly 6 hours for music playback.

We had a demo of the prototype in our Labs. It can play music files off an SD/SDHC card (up to 8GB), revert to speaker function, and even pull double duty as an SD card reader via a supplied mini-USB cable/charger. The Happy is a prototype for now, though XM-I said there'll be only cosmetic tweaks till launch. Following the jump, check out more photos of this lil sound machine which aims to make happy, happy music at its global rollout some time in early Q3.

The base now contains an SD card slot and player. As a result, the extendable vacuum that acts like a loudspeaker has to sit taller. Same great sounds as the X-mini II, though this is in mono. Kelvin Low/CNET
Some tweaks: The volume control (left) now busily multitasks. The gray button (right) acts as a mute, particularly if you're plugging in headsets and don't want to use the speaker. Kelvin Low/CNET
Like the X-mini II, the Happy keeps the 3.5mm audio cable (left) neatly tucked away in the base. The protective cap (right) has undergone design changes to address a minor glitch from the X-mini II's bar strip, which tended to expose the driver to knocks. Kelvin Low/CNET

(Via Crave Asia)