The a-JAYS Three rolled out powerful bass notes down to an incredible 16 Hz.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983
3 exciting new computer accessories
Dec. 19, 2010
By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, The Post-Standard
Your holiday shopping is almost over, and just about everybody has been taken care of -- except for that very
You know what I mean. It's time to spend a little of that gift-giving largesse on someone important --
(I realize all the moralists in the audience are shaking their heads, but come on. You deserve to treat
yourself at least once a year.)
I have three self-rewarding suggestions. They're each spectacular:
The Logitech Lapdesk N700. This is a notebook computer lap platform with built-in speakers
and fan. It's powered by a cable you connect to one of the laptop's USB ports, and it's got enough power to fill a large room
Best of all, the speakers (including a subwoofer) sound gorgeous. I haven't heard such smooth sound since
Kelly Clarkson crooned on "American Idol." This thing makes built-in laptop speakers sound puny. You control the sound level from
the side of the lapdesk, and both a muting button and a cooling fan on/off button are easy to reach.
The bottom of the lapdesk is cushy and comfy. Normal-size laptops and smallish netbooks (even my iPad) fit
perfectly, but my 17-inch MacBook Pro covered the speakers a bit. Cost: About $65 at discount. More info at
The a-JAYS Three ear buds (earphones). Jays is a Swedish company with a new approach to sound. My first
encounter with anything made by Jays is the amazing a-JAYS model Three ear buds, designed to work with portable players (iPhones,
iPads, iPods and other such devices) as well as laptop computers. They're designed to shatter the barrier that has always kept
ear bud earphones from belting out really low bass sounds.
And by "low," I mean as low as thunder, as rumbling as organ pedal notes, as fearsome as the roar of a lion
and as unnerving as an earthquake. In my tests, the a-JAYS Three rolled out powerful bass notes down to an incredible 16 Hz --
about two octaves below the lowest notes on a bass guitar or bass drum. A good pipe organ recording will make you weep.
If you like good sound, these buds are for you. $60 at discount. More info at www.jays.se/products/earphones/a-jays-three.html.
Microsoft Lifecam Cinema HD webcam. A webcam is a video camera especially designed for web-based video
phone calls and conferencing. Most laptops have one built in, but I haven't seen any built-in webcams as good as this one from
Microsoft's hardware division. It can capture true high definition video with great sound.
Images captured by the Lifecam Cinema HD are always in focus, whether they're right in front of the lens or
100 feet away. You can show your sister-in-law the tiny proof mark on a silver dollar or shoot the crowd at the skating rink, all
automatically. Amazingly, the webcam needs no extra light; turn on a reading lamp or two and you get stunning HD video.
The Lifecam Cinema HD discounts for $50 to $60. More info at www.microsoft.com/hardware/digitalcommunication/productdetails.aspx?pid=008.