It looks sensational: two 5.5-inch cube speakers sit on a 16-inch brushed-metal platform. You slip your iPod into the center slot (or connect some type of source to the input jacks) and use the tiny remote to control playback and volume.
But here’s the “wow” part: those speaker cubes aren’t attached to anything, not even wires. Even while they’re playing, you can pick them up and park them on a shelf, a piano, in the bedroom, on the patio or anywhere within 100 to 150 feet. Talk about stereo separation!
You don’t have to remember which is the left and right speaker; just setting them back on the platform, which is a recharger, changes their identities. In fact, if your friends bring their cubes over, they can set them briefly on the platform; those cubes become part of your system, broadcasting the same music.
There’s not much in the way of thumping bass. But speakers that recharge and play wirelessly — how cool is that?
George iPod speaker system ($500). Yes, it’s another wireless iPod speaker system. This time, though, it’s not the speakers that are wireless; it’s the control panel.
When you pull this panel away from the tabletop speaker system, it becomes a full-blown wireless remote. Unlike the bare-bones remotes for most iPod speakers, this one displays everything you’d see on the iPod — playlists, songs, and so on. Using the knob, you can scroll through your collection as if you were using the iPod itself. The George sounds great, although even with its little internal subwoofer, the bass doesn’t rattle your ribs.
There’s also AM and FM radio, plus a gloriously smart alarm clock. Here’s a first: It wakes you with the iPod track and volume level that were in effect when you set the alarm, even if the George has played other stuff, at other volumes, in the meantime.
Eye-Fi wireless SD card ($100). Now $100 is a lot to pay for a 2-gigabyte memory card for your camera. But this one (www.eye.fi) has a stealth feature: incredibly, it has a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter. Whenever your camera is turned on and in your home wireless network, it begins beaming your full-size photos back to your computer and to your choice of 17 photo Web sites (Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and so on). Automatically and effortlessly.