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i-Dog review: i-Dog

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The Good Cute accessory. Has distinct moods depending on how much music you're \"feeding\" it. Works with any player with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Bad Tinny sound. Novelty value may not last for some.

The Bottom Line With only so-so sound but with interesting \"mood\" features, the i-Dog definitely falls under the classification \"toy\" rather than full-fledged music player accessory. One for the kids or those with serious iPod fetishes.

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Behold the i-Dog -- undeniable proof that the whole iPod thing has officially gone too far.

We don't know about you, but we didn't think there'd be much call for portable speakers shaped like small animals. Yet here's the i-Dog, a small speaker that's not only shaped liked a puppy, but can also display Furby-like moods and personalities.

Despite the i-prefix and its predominantly white colour, don't be fooled into thinking the i-Dog is meant purely for Apple's ubiquitous iPod. Toy maker Hasbro obviously wants to capitalise on the iPod zeitgeist, but its strange little product can be attached to any portable music player -- or more accurately, anything that has a 3.5mm headphone jack. All you need to do is hook up the i-Dog's included cable into the headphone jack, turn on the music, and the tunes will start coming out of the product's mono speaker.

And with only a mono speaker, sound fidelity obviously isn't something you'd want to buy the i-Dog for. Any music you play will sound rather tinny and harsh, with the top volume quite moderate. Sound definitely isn't this puppy's forte, but personality is.

The i-Dog features clear plastic ears that wag, as well as a swiveling head that moves along to whatever music you're playing. The unit's "face" also lights up -- apparently the colour and light patterns tell you what the dog's mood is, and also whether it likes the music you're playing. The i-Dog's manual comes with a mood list describing what the lights mean, although we figure only those 13 and under (or otherwise just very lonely people) would memorise these patterns and know instantly what the i-Dog is feeling.

With only so-so sound but with interesting "mood" features, the i-Dog definitely falls under the classification "toy" rather than full-fledged music player accessory. One for the kids or those with serious iPod fetishes.

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