First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Astone's iCrib is yet another product in the range of portable speaker accessories designed for iPods, although the only model supported by the iCrib is the Nano. While the speaker system does boast an attractive design, we found both its practicality and sound quality to be severely lacking. With a relatively high RRP in comparison to other models, the Astone has very few redeeming features.
- Attractive design, portable
- Incredibly limited sound quality, disjointed control system
An appealing choice for those interested in style over substance, anyone else should probably steer clear of this product.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
We found the sound quality on the iCrib to be quite limited, with both upper and lower ranges being drowned out by a dominating mid range. At higher volumes this led to significant distortion, whilst at lower volumes it left the music sounding thin, with bass and treble barely identifiable. For the price, we weren't expecting anything revolutionary, but the sound quality delivered by the Astone iCrib makes most music almost impossible to listen to at anything but low volumes.
Probably the most redeeming feature of the iCrib is its aesthetics. The design is quite clever, and the black and silver finish actually made it look quite attractive when supporting a black iPod Nano. Connecting your iPod to the dock is a simple process, and unlike several other similar accessories it doesn't leave the iPod sticking up in the middle, where it is likely to be knocked or bumped off. A power button and two volume buttons adorn the top of the system, forming the entirety of the unit's controls.
While volume is controlled by the iCrib, and not the iPod, all other functions such as play, pause, skip, etc are accessed through the iPod, which is a little odd.
The unit is powered by either three AAA batteries (not included) or a DC power adapter (included). The unit also comes with two short adapter cables, allowing other music players to be connected to it through their headphone jacks.
Despite its sleek design, the iCrib really doesn't deliver a good enough sound quality to justify its price. Its portability and ease of use may appeal to some users, but most will find themselves better served by other products.
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GGG Evaluation Team
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
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