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CNET First Look
ION usb turntableThe Ion iPTUSB is as useful as it is adorable, with sound quality that defies its small size.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior editor for digital audio and MP3. And today we're taking a First Look at the Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable. The cool thing about this turntable is that not only will it let you play your records in a battery-powered, totally portable solution, but it also has a USB output, so you can rip your records directly to your computer. It has this cool clamshell case that you can take off completely. It's perfectly 12-inches, so that if you have your record collection stored on a shelf somewhere or in the record crate this fits exactly the same dimensions as a record shelf, so you can fit this in right with your records. The Ion iPTUSB turntable fits pretty much any record you can throw at it. The turntable has different speeds for 33, 45, and 78rpm modes. Turning on is super easy, either you throw a 6 D-cell batteries into this or use the included AC adaptor. There's adjustable controls for Audio, Tone and Pitch control too, so you can fine-tune pitch a little bit on this. There's a built-in speaker, so you don't even have to worry about taking this outdoors and hooking out to another audio source. You can just use the built-in model of speaker -- it gets pretty loud. On the side of the iPTUSB turntable you got lots of connections. You've got a stereo pair of RCA outputs, you've got a quarter-inch headphone jack output, a 3.5 mm mini jack headphone output. On the other side of the turntable, a USB output, a smaller stereo mini-jack input for recording sources other than the vinyl to your computer, a small Gain control that helps equalize the volume of whatever source that you put into this. One thing we didn't like so much about this turntable is the fact that the tone arm, even though it's well done and has a replaceable needle, it's pretty flimsy feeling. It's plastic, it can easily be broken off, we would think. But on the upside, the plane surface itself is pretty well done. There's felt on the turntable platter, there's a little felt pieces on the outside of the turntable platter to keep the record from scratching against the actual turntable. We really like the included 45 rpm adaptor that's built-in to the turntable. Overall the construction feel is really solid, so long as you don't drop it in a way that it will break off the tone arm. The Ion iPTUSB Turntable has a retail price of about $149. We see it run at $99 street price, which is really good value. The battery life on this if you're just using batteries is an impressive 16 hours -- at least that's what Numark is rating of that. I'm Donald Bell and that was a first look at the Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable. ^M00:02:32 [ Music ]