Google’s Android operating system may have been designed initially for smartphones, but it’s found its way onto all sorts of products over the past few years, including tablets, watches, and TV boxes. And then there’s the SoundPad line of products, which seems to blur the lines between a tablet, a TV box, and a clock radio.
Last year Archos launched the Arnova SoundPad, which is basically what you get if you take a 7 inch tablet and tack on big stereo 3W speakers and a built-in stand. The French company didn’t develop the design in-house, but instead slapped its name on a Chinese product.
Now there’s a new model called the SoundPad 2 which takes the same idea but adds a faster processor and newer software.
The Ampeq SoundPad 2 features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive touchscreen display, a Rockhip RK2928 ARM Cortex-A9 single core processor with ARM Mali 400 graphics, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of built-in storage.
It also features a microSD card slot, HDMI output, WiFi, Bluetooth, a micro USB OTG port, Airplay and DLNA support, a front-facing camera, an IR sensor, radio tuner, and a battery for up to 7 hours of music playback (or 4 hours of video). The device runs Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software.
The SoundPad 2 is a bit bulky to carry around in your bag the way you would an Android tablet. But it’s not really designed to be used like a tablet. Instead you can use it at home to stream music, watch videos, play games, or perform other tasks. While the 7 inch screen might be a bit small for watching videos on a device you aren’t supposed to hold in your hands, the device features video output, so you could easily stream movies to a TV.
You could also use it as a speakerphone for voice or video calls over Skype, Google Hangouts, or other chat apps. You can also use it as a Bluetooth speaker for your phone, tablet, or other device.
The Ampeq SoundPad 2 is available from AliExpress for $145.
via AndroidPC.es and CNX Software
I was about to dismiss this as an expensive replacement for a clock radio (just read that article about Pandora’s new alarm clock functionality), until it struck me that a lot of people have small televisions in their kitchens, going back to the 9″ black and white set my grandmother had in the ’70s. This is the cord cutter version of that. We have an old tablet hooked up to older computer speakers with wires going everywhere. This would be much neater — assuming the hardware is any good at all.
This thing has a range of option, it all depends on what apps one load.
I wish they would add GPS and 3G support, then I would put it in my car.
I could see something like this brought out onto the back porch to provide entertainment on a nice evening, but I can also get really close to exactly the same thing with a quality bluetooth speaker and a smartphone or tablet.
Yeah, these devices always seem to be just a bit more than what people would really want. I’m not sure what market exists for a $150 3-watt plug-in stereo, with or without Android.
An Android device in the $60 range with a single speaker – designed to replace a bedside alarm clock, a small desktop/cubicle radio, or a baby-room white noise generator – would probably be a more successful device. Hell, I’m using my first Droid 1 (with the docking station) as my bedroom alarm clock now.
Not sure who would need this thing. Seems far too bulky as a clock radio, and nobody is going to set up a chair, lean in, and watch that screen. At least for now I’ll stick with my circa 2008 Timex clock radio that accepts USB sticks and SD cards for MP3s. Nice auto-shutoff Sleep timer for lull-to-sleep from one source (MP3, etc.), yet wake up to another (news radio station).
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