If you want a portable speaker, Sonos is looking for anyone that doesn’t already own one. At $169, the Roam is more expensive than many Bluetooth-only portable speakers, but it’s also Sonos’ cheapest speaker ever.
Unlike the Move (Sonos’ previous moveable, if not all that portable, speaker), the Roam has a smaller, narrower design and weighs just about one pound. The battery should give 10 hours of playback, and it automatically goes into a low-power sleep mode when it’s not in use. There’s also dust and water protection, and you’ll be able to pair two speakers for portable stereo sound. You can even connect the new speaker to existing Sonos devices around your home, rounding out your sound system.
The company is tacitly aware that the portable Bluetooth-speaker market is an incredibly crowded one — so the Sonos features will be important if it wants to convince a lot of us to upgrade from our existing beach-trip speaker. The Roam’s versatility pitch, however, is a compelling one. Let’s see how it sounds.
Pre-orders for the Roam are open now, and the speaker will be available on April 20th.
— Mat Smith
New features include a Phone Hub and Nearby Share.
Google’s very own operating system, Chrome OS, is getting a bunch of features and some new styling to celebrate a decade in existence. It’s a good time to strike: Chromebooks have never been so popular. Phone Hub might be the most useful update. It’s a little dashboard that accesses your phone's controls so you can see its status for things like battery life and data connectivity. You can ring your Android device when you've misplaced it, and also remote-enable tethering with one click. We unravel all the new features right here. Continue reading.
Great for workouts, but not much else.
Bose is well-regarded for its great-sounding headphones. The company’s latest buds have an “open” design that sits outside your ear. Not only does this increase comfort but it also means you can hear what’s going on at all times — a key safety feature for runners. Bose decided allowing you to be hyper-aware of everything around you was paramount, and according to News Editor Billy Steele, who reviewed the Bose Sport Open Earbuds, that means accepting sacrifices to sound quality. Continue reading.
A handy crash course.
If you’re an iPhone or an iPad user, Apple’s Shortcuts helps with your digital spring cleaning. With Shortcuts, you can quickly perform a specific task or a more complex sequence of tasks with a single tap or voice command. Mobile Editor Chris Velazco walks you through a Shortcut for clearing out your excess Notes and outlines everything you need to make your own Shortcut routines. Continue reading.
Samsung has finally introduced a 980 SSD that isn't part of the high-priced Pro line, and it's mostly good news for performance-minded PC users — with a caveat. Hitting read speeds up to 3,500MB/s and faster writes (up to 3,000MB/s versus 2,500MB/s) than the 970 Evo it replaces, Samsung says it also offers 36 percent lower power consumption, 54 percent greater power efficiency and improved cooling, which should prevent overheating. However, Samsung is also ditching built-in DRAM on the plain 980, joining the ranks of lower-cost SSDs. It's promising speeds "identical" to faster DRAM-equipped drives in part by using Host Memory Buffer technology to directly access system RAM, but it's clear this is a tradeoff to keep prices down.
Those prices are low, thankfully. The 980 will start at $50 for a 250GB model, $70 for 500GB and $130 for 1TB. Continue reading.
This is Nothing's Concept 1.
We still only know a few things about Nothing, a new hardware startup by the co-founder of OnePlus, Carl Pei. One thing we know is its first product will be wireless earbuds, which we assume informs what we're looking at above. The see-through casing on what appears to be a concept wireless earbud is a nod towards making tech devices less obtrusive. The shape is apparently inspired "a grandmother’s tobacco pipe", which is at least different from the chopped off q-tip look that epitomized the most popular wireless earbuds so far. Nothing’s first products launch this summer. Continue reading.
The company promises to share something "awesome."
Two months ago Samsung held an Unpacked event to announce the Galaxy S21, but the company is already sending out invites for another event it plans to hold on March 17th at 10 AM ET. Continue reading.