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Ninety7 Jot Portable Battery Base for Google Home Mini review: A sensible Google Home Mini accessory at a reasonable price

This smart speaker add-on gives the Google Home Mini a day's worth of battery life.

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Andrew Gebhart
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Andrew Gebhart

Senior Producer

Andrew loves writing about cool, futuristic technology. He's reviewed everything from vacuum cleaners to beer brewing robots in pursuit of the perfect smart home. He wants the smart home to make him feel powerful, and it's getting there.

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4 min read
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Chris Monroe/CNET

The Ninety7 Jot doesn't do anything spectacular, but it doesn't claim to. It's a battery powered base for the Google Home Mini smart speaker. If you already have a Google Home Mini, you can spend an extra $35 on the Jot to rid your Mini of its tether. Keep in mind, if you actually want to take your smart speaker to the park, the Jot doesn't provide any kind of mobile signal -- just battery life.

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8.1

Ninety7 Jot Portable Battery Base for Google Home Mini

The Good

The Ninety7 Jot fits easily onto your Google Home Mini and gives it a lengthy battery life so you can take your smart speaker on the go.

The Bad

The plastic, industrial look of the Jot detracts from the comfy fabric design of the Mini.

The Bottom Line

If you have a Google Home Mini and you want it to be portable, the Jot is a great, reasonably priced accessory.

That said, the Jot is a reasonably priced accessory that does its one task well. It claims to provide 8 hours of battery life, but it lasted a full 12 hours in our tests while playing music. If you already own a Google Home Mini and want to take it with you from room to room, the Jot's worth $35 and it's easy to attach to your Mini.

Price and availability

You can buy the Ninety7 Jot now on the company's site and on Amazon. Right now, the company's site has it on sale for $30, $5 off the normal $35 price. You can find the Jot on sale overseas as well. It's £30 and AU$60 on the UK and Australian versions of Amazon, respectively.

You'll need a $50 Google Home Mini as well, which is sold separately. Ninety7, the company behind Jot, makes similar products for a variety of smart speakers such as the original Google Home and the Amazon Echo, so if you want to make a different smart speaker portable, chances are Ninety7 has an accessory for you.

Staying out of the way

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Slide the Google Home Mini onto the base and click the front into place. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Assuming you have your Google Home Mini on hand, installing the Jot takes less than a minute. It looks like a bowl for your Mini. Press the tabs on the side to pull off the front lip. Slide the Mini into place. The back of the Jot has a Micro-USB connector that connects to the port that the Mini normally uses for power. Reattach the front, then use the Mini's power cord on the Jot's own Micro-USB port and you're done.

When in place, the Jot forms a black base around the Mini. It's also available in silver. Most of the Google Home Mini still sits above the rim of the Jot, but the black plastic still detracts somewhat from the simple, fabric aesthetic of the Google Home Mini. If you're a big fan of that aesthetic, you'll need to weigh that look versus your desire to have a more mobile Google Home Mini.

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The power button on the front lets you save battery. The lights show you the status of the battery. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Other than the looks, the Jot stays out of the way and doesn't affect the features of the Google Home Mini at all. The Google Home Mini is a voice controlled smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. You can use it to make calls, check the weather, control your smart home and more. It sounds good playing music for a speaker of its size, but it's small, so look elsewhere if you want something with a lot of audio power.

The Jot's rim sits low enough that it doesn't block the touch controls on the side of the Mini. Hidden sensors allow you to tap to raise and lower the volume. You can also hold one of these side controls down to pause or play music. The Jot also has a hole in its rim so you can access the mute button on the Mini.

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Jot lets you access the mute button on the Google Home Mini. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Plug in the Jot and your Google Home Mini will turn on so you can use it as the Jot charges. You can also leave it plugged in if you don't need to transport it for awhile. If you're on the go, the Jot has a power button on the front if you want to turn off the Mini for awhile and save battery.

Beastly battery

You shouldn't need to conserve too much. Ninety7 claims the Jot battery lasts for 8 hours of use, and it looks like the company was conservative in its estimates. It lasted for roughly 12 hours in our anecdotal test with music playing constantly at 50 percent volume. A series of four lights on the front indicate how much charge you have remaining and blink to show it's regaining charge when you plug it back in.

You'll need to wait several hours for the Jot to regain all of its charge if you drained it all the way, but the long battery should be plenty of time for you to wrap up your pool party and put your speaker away for the evening. Again, keep in mind that your Google Home Mini needs to connect to Wi-Fi to answer your voice commands. You could only bring it out to your pool if your router reaches that far or if you use a hotspot.

If you don't already have a Google Home Mini and are simply looking for a portable smart speaker, the Mini-plus-Jot combo makes for one of the most affordable options. The TicHome Mini is a waterproof option with Google Assistant, but it's $100 and the battery doesn't last as long. If you want something with better sound quality and you're OK with just a Bluetooth speaker, then you have plenty of cheaper alternatives.

The verdict

My main hesitation in recommending the Ninety7 Jot is that I personally wouldn't get much use out of it. Unplugging and replugging the Google Home Mini in a new room isn't a horrendous chore. Plus, unlike some of Ninety7's earlier cases for other smart speakers, the Jot doesn't boost the sound quality of the Google Home Mini or offer anything else other than portability. It stays out of the way, but still detracts somewhat from the style of the Mini.

With all of that in mind, the $35 Jot is reasonably priced for what it does and it does its one task well. The Jot is easy to install and the battery lasts awhile. It's a simple, effective option if you do want to make your Google Home Mini portable.

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8.1

Ninety7 Jot Portable Battery Base for Google Home Mini

Score Breakdown

Features 7Usability 9Design 7Performance 10
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