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Old July 16th, 2014, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review of CODE Donut wireless bluetooth speaker w/lots of pics!!!

This is a review of CODE Donut portable wireless bluetooth speaker. www.amazon.com/Donut-Portable-Bluetooth-Orange-Speakerphone/dp/B00JQTNVL6/

I tested a lot of wireless speakers in every shape, form, and color, but I have NEVER seen anything with such a delicious shape!!! This wireless speaker from CODE, exclusively distributed by Tao Tronics, has a very unique shape of a regular donut, and it's not just a shape but other details that make it stand out from a crowd already saturated with so many wireless speakers. Let's take a closer bite, I mean a look at what I have found!

Starting with a packaging, at first it's hard to believe you are dealing with a real product and not a toy. It's very colorful and definitely eye catching - place one of these on the shelf in the store, and it will definitely going to catch everyone's attention. But once you start reading it's spec, you will realize that you are dealing with a serious electronic gadget and not a toy. Once you get it out of the box, you quickly realize how much it resembles a real donut. About 5" in diameter and 153g in weight, it has a soft rubber finish and clever integration of controls, ports, and speaker grills with elements resembling a real donut. The speaker comes in 6 different color combinations, where I found the orange one to have the boldest look for review! In addition to the speaker itself, other accessories include usb to micro-usb charging cable, a detailed manual and warranty card, and a very unique NFC tag accessory.

Taking a closer look at the donut, you will find a cleverly integrated rubber ring at the bottom to make sure the speaker will not slip when placed on a smooth surface. On a side, you have micro-usb charging port tightly covered with a rubber flap, and AUX Input 3.5mm port to drive this speaker from any source which doesn't support wireless transmission. There is also a pinhole opening on the side for a microphone since "donut" can also be used as a speakerphone. On the top, you have a separate cluster with a rubbery finish covering status led, Volume up/down buttons, and multi-function power/call button. Buttons have a nice tactile response when pressed, and also sealed to prevent any moisture or dirt to get underneath. LED works as a charging indicator as well as a status light when paired up. And speaking of charging, donut has quite an impressive spec with internal 1000 mAh battery to drive 8hrs of sweet music playback!

The sound comes from cleverly integrated grills covering a pair of 1.25" speakers with a decent spec of 2W RMS each. I actually found the sound to be not bad at all! Of course, this is not audiophile quality speakers, but they delivered a loud and clear sound that filled up a relatively large room. You are not going to get as much bass, and it's on par with every other speaker of the same size I've tested. I was actually pleasantly surprised where raising the volume up to almost a max didn't produce too much crackling or distortion. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed with a sound and the looks of this speakers, I didn't want to put it down throughout entire test period.

Of course, this is a wireless speaker, so I would like to talk more about the pair up. Supporting BT 3.0, I had no issues pairing it up with my Note 2 and it got connected to both phone and media audio. I was also able to maintain connection easily from 30-40ft away from the phone. But that's not all. Included with a donut is a very cleverly designed NFC tag which enables pair up with Donut just by placing it next to you NFC enabled phone. I was actually very impressed they put as much thought into a design of this tag as they did with a speaker itself. Once paired up, you can stream music wirelessly from your phone and adjust volume on the donut. You can't control the playback of songs; that has to be done from a phone itself. Also, if you receive a call, you can pick it up and use donut as a speakerphone.

Overall, I have to say this is the most fun wireless speaker I have tested so far!!! It's one of those products where you will be looking for any excuse to take it outside and to show to other people. It's not exactly waterproof since speaker grills are open, but it's still rugged enough to be taken outdoors. Between it's unique design/look, a robust wireless performance including NFC pair up option, and surprisingly good portable sound - I will definitely add CODE Donut to a list of my recommended products! Just make sure to register it with Tao Tronics to extend the warranty to 18-months!

Here are the pictures.






























 

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Old July 27th, 2014, 08:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Review of TaoTronics LED Desk lamp with/usb charger

This is a Review of TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with touch dimming control and usb charger. TT-DL04 Led Desk Lamp, available now on US and Canada Amazon for under $40.

Re-inventing desk lamp is like re-inventing the lamp itself. It has been around for decades and typically designed with a heavy base and an arm holding the lamp. It comes in different shapes, colors, and maybe has some base accessories. Can you improve it or make it better? I haven't seen anything in recent years until I received the latest TT-DL04 LED Desk Lamp model from TaoTronics. These guys always surprise me with innovations that make you raise your eyebrows. No wonder their slogan is "Technology Enhances Life". And that's exactly how I felt after testing this new LED Desk Lamp. Let me tell you more about it.

The product arrived in a nice little briefcase box made out of environmentally safe material which seems to be a new trend with a lot of companies. The top cover had a nice walk through describing all the features, and there is a lot of it!!! On the back, it had an equally impressive spec. After opening the box, you will find all the basic pieces of assembly, the base, gooseneck, flat lamp, wall charger, and carabiner. Assembly was straight forward and didn't require any instruction. Once assembled, it resembles a regular slim desktop lamp. The base is weighted down for a secure placement on a flat surface. It has a plug for a wall charger and USB charging port - a great addition which takes this lamp to the next level. When light is off, I found this charging port to output about 1A of current, but when light turned on - it goes down to about 600 mA to share current with LED light fixture. The gooseneck fixture was sturdy, had room for bend adjustment, and at the top had what appears like 1/4" plug found in audio connectors.

That's where it stands out from a crowd. The LED light fixture works as part of the desktop lamp, attached to this port so you can charge up it's built in 1300 mAh battery, and also as a detachable stand alone hand held lamp to use as a flashlight. It's a very simple concept, but works really well. But that's not all. The back of LED lamp has a touch power button which turns the power on and off with a long press. While it's on, a light touch of this power button cycles between 3 dimming levels from full brightness to medium and low brightness. It makes it very convenient since you don't have to look for a physical button and can just simply slide your finger over the area where this power button is located. As a bonus, you can use included carabiner accessory to clip this rechargeable LED light to your backpack or your cloth to use as a portable flashlight which can last up to 8 hours on a single charge.

Overall, I found this LED desk lamp to be very unique and versatile for many uses. You can use it as a regular desktop lamp, which actually allows 360 deg rotation of the light direction, you can use it as a detachable portable lamp in case of power outage emergency or when traveling, you can use its usb base charger for your smartphone or tablet or any other usb accessory, and it also has a convenience of a touch control with a dimming adjustment of brightness. Another great accessory from TaoTronics which I highly recommend!

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