Monday, January 28, 2013

HP ENVY Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 is a solid, affordable machine — TECH TIME REVIEW

The ultrabooks just keep on coming … more specifically, the touchscreen ultrabooks keep on coming. Even more specifically, the touchscreen ultrabooks with Windows 8 keep on coming..
I recently tested out another offering that fits this category, the HP ENVY Touchsmart Ultrabook 4, and I’m back with a full report.

The ENVY 4 features a sharp design in silver and black (black frame around the display and black keyboard, and a silver base and touchpad). The palm rest keyboard area and cover have a sturdy brushed aluminum finish, and the bottom of the machine is a soft-touch rubber material.
Overall I was very impressed with the build and look of the machine.
The once area where I see the ENVY 4 trailing its competitors in the ultrabook arena is weight, as this machine comes in at roughly 4 pounds. That’s a full pound heavier than some of its competitors, so people looking for the most lightweight and portable machine might consider other ultrabook options (to be fair though, those lighter offerings are more expensive, so there is a tradeoff.)
Overall size specs on the machine are 13.38 inches wide, 9.28 inches deep and 0.78 inches thick (again, not quite as thin as some competitors in the ultrabook arena).
This is still an ultrabook by definition, without a doubt, as it is very portable, it’s just not quite as “ultra” as some of the competitors.

The ENVY 4 has a well-designed chiclet-style keyboard, with amply spaced keys.
The function keys on the top row double as various controls (volume up/down, mute, media controls like fast-forward and play, etc.). Despite limited space in an ultrabook design, HP has gotten all the necessary keys in a very user-friendly package.
A backlit keyboard is offered for an extra $20, and I would highly recommend it, especially if you do a lot of your work at night like I do.
The touchpad on the ENVY 4 is very responsive, and can be turned off by simply double tapping the top left corner of the touchpad itself. It’s large enough, but not so large that it causes accidental cursor movement, something I rarely experienced during my time with the ENVY 4.

The screen size on the ENVY 4 is 14 inches, just about the perfect size for a laptop in my opinion -- not too big, not too small. The native resolution on the ENVY 4 is 1366 x 768 pixels, meaning 720p video will play without any delays, but full HD 1080p video will require some buffering time. There is no option to upgrade to a full-HD 1080p screen, and I would have liked to see that as an option for folks who wanted it.
Still, what’s offered is a sharp, crisp screen that should make most users very happy, and will provide an enjoyable media viewing experience — whether it be movies on Netflix and other services, or light game play or online video watching.

The touchscreen on the ENVY 4 was very responsive, and helpful at times when maneuvering around the Web or using certain programs.
Touchscreens are the route many laptop makers are going with their new Windows 8 machines, and for good reason, as Windows 8 is made with touchscreens in mind. Windows 8 is still new, so if you get it for the first time there will be an adjustment period. But it doesn’t take long to learn it, and once you do you’ll be glad you have a touchscreen machine.

The HP ENVY 4 line comes with the latest Intel chips. My machine had a very speedy i5 processor that stood up well even through serious multitasking, but the base model will come with a slower i3 processor. The i3 isn’t exactly a slow processor, but if you’re used to speedy performance I would recommend the i5.
My machine also had 4 GB of RAM, which helps with the smooth operation of the machine and should be enough for most users. Power users can upgrade to as much as 8 GB of RAM for even speedier performance and multitasking.
The machine comes with 500 GB of storage, a solid number that should be enough for most people, especially with so much being stored in the cloud these days.

Battery life on the ENVY 4 was decent, but not the best I’ve seen on an ultrabook  got about 5 hours of life from the battery, less than the seven-hour capability listed by HP.
The machine comes with a 4-cell battery, and there are no battery upgrades, so you get what you get. Settings can be adjusted on the machine to allow for better battery life, and the life will depend on what programs you are using most often.

In terms of ports, the essentials are there on the HP ENVY 4, with 2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports (for faster data transfer); 1 USB 2.0 ports; 1 HDMI port (which you can use to transfer your computer’s screen to your HDTV); and slots for headphones and microphone plug-ins. Due to the smaller size of the ultrabook, there is no disc drive -- so if you want to use discs you’ll need an external disc drive, an accessory that is offered by HP.

The base price on the HP ENVY Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 is $749, but that will feature a slower i3 processor. The unit I had featured an upgrade to Windows 8 Professional (with extra features for business customers), a backlit keyboard, and the upgrade to an i5 processor, with a pricetag of $914.99. Most people won’t need Windows 8 Professional, so if you get the standard consumer edition of Windows 8 with the other specs I had, you’d pay $844.99.

Overall, this isn’t my absolute favorite ultrabook I’ve seen due to the extra weight and so-so battery life compared to the competition. But it holds its own in other categories, as the overall design, performance and specs are very impressive.
Also, the starting price is quite a bit lower than many of the ultrabook competition (some start at more than $1,000), and that’s often one of the biggest considerations customers have. So even though it’s not perfect, this ultrabook should get its share of customers.

Matt Myftiu can be reached at or 248-745-4617. Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu or become a fan of the Facebook page “OPTechTime”.

2013 Nissan Altima offers great ride, impressive tech features -- TECH TIME AUTO REVIEW

With a fresh design, Nissan has come out swinging at the competition in the mid-size car market with its 2013 Altima. I’ll let you know about my experience in the car and delve into all the tech goodies that have been included in this reboot.

Though it’s not a luxury line, the Nissan offerings still have a very stylish look to them. I found the 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL that I tested to be very well-designed and made to impress, and this was the intent.
Altima senior planner Jay Sizemore said that Nissan wanted people to see a car that was not your ordinary mid-sized vehicle.
“The initial concept for this Altima was to “make this a class above”, to target look and feel, like entry-level luxury,” he explained. “Full chrome trim around windows; chrome door handles standard; sweeping grille that widens as it grows upward. Full masked fascia similar to Infinitis.
All that was with the goal of creating a class above, more of a ‘Wow’ when people see it at the dealership.”

The V6 version of the Altima that I tested is rated at 22 city mpg and 31 highway mpg, for an average of 25. Depending on how you drive, you can do pretty well (I averaged about 26 mpg in my time with the car.) There is also a 4-cylinder version of the Altima that offers 31 combined mpg, which is a pretty strong number for this segment.

While Bluetooth streaming capability is standard on all Altimas, if you want to do a hard-connect of your music player to the vehicle via USB port, you’ll have to go beyond the base model. Starting with the SV trim level (the middle option), you’ll get a bunch of features offered, including the USB port, satellite radio, hands-free text messaging and Nissan Connect.
I can see the lack of universal USB inclusion both ways. While it’s true that people are going more and more cordless these days, I still would have liked to see it be included on all vehicles, since there are folks who don’t do Bluetooth streaming yet.
All Altima models include an AM/FM radio and CD player.
On the top trim level (SL), there is a booming 9-speaker Bose sound system that was a joy to listen to. Lower trim levels will feature either four speakers or six speakers, but not the Bose quality.

On the SV and SL trim levels of the Altima, you can get the navigation package as an option. I found the system easy to learn and easy to use, and it is a helpful addition that I would highly recommend just for peace of mind when you’re getting around town -- especially if you travel a lot. The Navigation system can also keep track of traffic for you, so you know what parts of town to avoid.
The 7-inch screen that comes with the navigation package offers plenty of real estate to display all the information you’ll need in your travels.
Also at these trim levels, you can get the Google POI services through Nissan Connect. This means you can use you car to do a Google search for nearby points of interest, then tell the system to guide you to the destination you choose.

There is some integration of Pandora Radio in the Altima, and Sizemore said that Nissan recognizes this is an area for potential growth in the future as they look into other options for app integration.
“We’re studying what apps … Spotify, I Heart Radio, etc. … if we should offer some of those in the future. We’re staying up with the trends,” he said.

One area where Nissan does very well in terms of competing with the rest of the car tech industry is with its cameras and safety features on the Altima.
Many of the tech features on the Altima have trickled down from the Infiniti brand -- which is Nissan’s luxury line of vehicles and usually gets the latest tech updates first. On the top SL trim level, you can get safety features like blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection.
“These are some technologies that were on Infiniti that are now on Altima,” Sizemore said.
There are differences, though. He explained that the Altima’s safety systems do not actually help stop the vehicle in cases of oncoming collision, like some Infiniti vehicles can. Instead, they provide you visual and audible warnings and you have to stop yourself..
“The camera is always processing what’s behind the vehicle,” he said. “If the position of the object moves, then it alerts the driver and highlights the screen and has an audible alert”
During short trips, and those through a construction zone where they might go off unnecessarily, you can turn off these features with a button on the dash.
The rear-view camera is very helpful when you’re backing out of your driveway or a parking spot in a busy parking lot. The camera has two views you can toggle -- Wide angle view, or straight back.
The wide angle view features a sort-of fish-eye look to give a more broad blind spot warning detection from that camera. It uses close to 180 degrees of viewing ability, and I found that to be the more reliable view to use when backing up. It’s one of the better cameras I’ve seen on a vehicle that’s actually pretty affordable.
Sizemore explained that a lot of the safety features on the Altima are made possible through the rear camera.
“The lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and moving object detection: We basically achieve those three alerts through that camera on the rear trunk. It can process images and where the images move with respect to the car. It alerts either passenger side or driver side unlike some of the competitors don’t do both sides). It can let you know if you’re drifting out of your lane,” he said.
In the case of a blind spot warning, you’ll see a light show up on the door mirrors that will blink if someone is in your blind spot. If you turn on your blinker and are about to head into harm’s way, it gets brighter. Also, an audio alert will sound in addition to the signal from the light. I found this feature to be very helpful when driving, as our blind spots are often the most dangerous part of driving..
One other thing about the camera that’s nice, which not all automakers do, is that it’s self-cleaning.
“The Altima automatically cleans and dries the little camera in the back with pressurized washer fluid and air shoots out and dries it off,” Sizemore said.
The safety systems on the Nissan lineup are less sophisticated than the Infiniti lineup, which uses radar, and not just a camera, to protect you.
But that more sophisticated system will put you in luxury price range, and if you can’t afford that price range, Nissan vehicles are more affordable and their camera-based system does an adequate job of keeping you safe, giving you proper warning and letting you finish the job of protecting yourself..

One safety feature I like to see built in to vehicles is an OnStar like feature that automatically alerts the proper authorities if the vehicle is in an accident. That’s not present on the Altima, but Sizemore said it’s something being looked at.
“We’re studying that right now,” he said. “People that do find it to be a need can buy it at stores.”

The Nissan Connect feature available on the Altima features some helpful tech options, including Google POI and Google Send to Car.
Google POI works through your smartphone. You can search for something on your phone, then transfer the address to your vehicle’s navigation system. You’ll obviously want to do this before you get on the road, as that’s not allowed while you’re driving.
Send to Car, lets you get directions ready online at home and send the directions to your car.

The ride with the 2013 Altima I tested was powerful and smooth, thanks to the 3.5-liter V-6 engine that boasted 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Overall, it was one of the more enjoyable vehicles to drive that I’ve tested in the past year.
There is also the more mpg-friendly 4-cylinder model offered, with a 2.5 liter engine and 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, which won’t be quite as powerful but gives you the extra mpg to make up for it.

Another interesting feature standard on all Altimas is easy fill tire alert, which means will let you know when you have the proper inflation in the tires.
“The car will blink its lights, saying it knows you’re filling the tire. When it gets to the proper level, it will beep the horn to let you know to stop,” Sizemore explained. “If you overinflate, it will alert you to that too with a triple chirp of the horn” You don’t even need to know the number you need to reach.”

To be as safe as possible, you want to keep your eyes on the road at all times. And voice and steering wheel commands help with this.
On the Altima, you can make phone calls with your voice via Bluetooth (as long as your phone is connected to the car), give navigation commands with your voice, and choose your audio source via voice.
You can not control climate with voice, but on SV trim level and above, you can have remote start engine, so you can just preset your temperature settings and they’ll come on when the engine starts.
On your Altima steering wheel, you get: Volume up/down buttons, voice control button, cruise control buttons and a music source button. Also, there is a button that controls the info screen on the dashboard -- a nice-looking 4-inch color screen which allows you to toggle through mpg, tire pressure and other settings.

Target audience
So what type of people tend to go for the Altima, which is in a very competitive field of mid-sized vehicles? Sizemore explained it like this:
“We have a younger target customer than Toyota or Honda. More tech-savvy customers,” he said. “We have a target couple in mind between Gen X and Gen Y -- a forward-thinking dynamic couple that wants something nice but isn’t quite ready to go luxury.”
Nissan is not the only company out there offering impressive technology on its vehicles, but Sizemore said there are some compelling reasons to consider Altima.
“I’d say that on any grade, you’re going to see useful thoughtful technology. From the tech package, all the way down to standard Bluetooth streaming, we’re not discriminating,” he said. “Nissan Altima is about forward technology -- keeping eye on fuel economy, tire pressure, etc. Every step has a thoughtful technology for the customer. Regardless of budget, we’re trying to make your life a little easier“

If you’re willing to give up all the frills I’ve described and just want a nice ride, the base Altima is pretty affordable with a starting price of $21,700 (plus 790 destination charge). But I’d say it’s worth upgrading at least a little bit to get more of a taste of the tech touches Nissan.
The top level, which I tested, starts at $30,500, and all totaled (plus destination and technology package) the version I tested will cost you $32,380. And in between there are a lot of variations and combinations to be considered.

Overall, the 2013 Nissan Altima offers a smooth an enjoyable ride, and there is a lot to like overall in this car in terms of technology and safety features. You’re not going to be at the level of features you’ll get on the luxury Infiniti line, but enough trickles down to the Nissan lineup, which is much more affordable, that you won’t be disappointed. If you’re in the market for a mid-size vehicle with some solid features and good tech capability, the Altima should definitely be on your list of cars to test.

On the Web
For more information on the Nissan Altima and other vehicles, visit

Matt Myftiu can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu or become a fan of the Facebook page “OPTechTime”.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Verizon Wireless tips: How to keep your mobile devices protected during flu season

The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control shows many states with widespread flu outbreak. In some states, more people are sick today than they have been in years past – and children can be infectious for more than 10 days as they head back to school.

According to, studies of how long significant amounts of flu germs can survive on surfaces vary. Estimates range from a few minutes up to 24 hours, depending on the type of surface.  (It lives longest on hard surfaces.)

While covering your mouth and washing your hands remain the top ways to prevent the spread of flu, it doesn’t hurt to keep your gadgets clean.

Here’s a quick tip list from Verizon Wireless for avoiding the spread of illness this season via cell phones and other consumer electronics:
— Try not to share your cell phone or other accessories that come in contact with hands or mouth.
— Be sure to clean your devices regularly, especially if you’re using them in a school or office.
— Most alcohol wipes work on touch screen surfaces, but make sure to squeeze the excess liquid out before wiping a device so you don’t get any liquid inside its operating system.
— A simple air spray can be used to clear makeup or other debris from a QWERTY keyboard or traditional dial pad. Most air spray products that clean computer screens and keyboards can also be used for wireless phones.
— Remember to wash your hands or use anti-bacterial lotions after using public office or school electronics including cell phones, computers and charging cords that plug into the wall.
— And if you’re shopping, take advantage of anti-bacterial lotions that many retailers now provide for use on sales counters or near registers as purchases are made. (The flu is actually a virus and anti-bacterials don’t kill viruses, but it doesn’t hurt to keep hands clean of other potential bugs.)
If you’re concerned about manufacturer specifications for keeping products clean and in working order, you can check this online product manual list for 1,000 brands that include items like cell phones, game controllers, house phones, remote controls, keyboards, computer mice, and GPS units.

Bose celebrates 30 years of automotive sound

This year, Bose celebrates 30 years of providing premium sound systems to the automotive industry.  The milestone places Bose in a singular position as the company that invented  factory-installed music systems for vehicles, and the only audio company to provide three decades of continuous innovation and breakthroughs for car manufacturers around the globe.  
 “Since the early 1980s, the Bose® Automotive Systems Division has been committed to research with a simple goal:  providing the highest-quality car sound systems available,” said Brandon Westley, president of the Bose Automotive Systems Division.  “General Motors took a chance on us 30 years ago to provide something different and better for its customers, and the success of that collaboration –- which continues today -- set the foundation for our business.  Today, we work with many of the world’s leading car manufacturers, and millions of Bose sound systems are on the road, thrilling drivers everywhere.”  

The Beginning:  Bose Changes Everything
In 1983, Bose introduced its “clean-sheet” approach to automotive sound based on the philosophy that superior sound quality must be designed in from the start and tailored for every vehicle.  This approach represented an industry transformation when that model year’s Cadillac Seville, Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado featured, for the first time, an optional Delco-GM/Bose® sound system, custom-engineered and acoustically designed for each vehicle’s interior. 
Prior to this, systems were typically installed in the final stages of vehicle assembly, with no thought given to custom design or equalization.  The indisputable success of the ‘83 GM models helped change the way manufacturers and drivers viewed car audio.

Thirty Years of Continuous Innovation
Bose innovation has continued to be the hallmark of automotive sound, with advancements that have, each year, consistently come closer and closer to reproducing a live performance.  
 The company has dedicated three decades of research to system design and psychoacoustics –- the science of how humans perceive sound.  Bose proprietary tools for speaker designs, signal processing and custom equalization remain the most advanced in the industry, precisely tuning the vehicle listening experience for accuracy and clarity -- avoiding trends that boost or accentuate frequencies.  

Breakthroughs in the fields of vehicle surround sound with Bose Centerpoint digital signal processing, sound quality monitoring and measurement with Bose AudioPilot® noise compensation technology, and efficiency with the Bose Energy Efficient Series sound system have ushered in new eras of in-car audio performance.  Beyond audio, Bose has introduced Active Sound Management for engine noise cancellation and enhancement, both solutions to help manufacturers more effectively control the way a vehicle sounds inside the cabin. 
Today, the Bose® Automotive Systems Division delivers premium sound systems and proprietary technologies for more than 15 global auto brands, with systems recognized around the world as the industry benchmark for performance and customer satisfaction.  

Bose Automotive:  Key Moments in History

1983 — Bose introduces the industry’s first custom-engineered, factory-installed sound systems in the 1983 Cadillac Seville, Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado.

1986 — Bose develops a 4.5-inch inverted-structure neodymium driver, designed to enable high-performance woofers to be built into the narrow frame of a vehicle door and deliver improved low-note performance.  This driver was the precursor to the patented Bose Nd woofer.  

1988 — The 1989 Nissan Maxima is the first Nissan vehicle with a Bose sound system in the United States.

1989 — Bose designs its first sound system for an Infiniti vehicle, the  Q45.

1989 — The 1990 Audi 200 Series and 100 Series are the first European vehicles to offer a Bose sound system.

1993 — A Bose sound system is included in the 1994 Mazda RX-7, the first time in a Mazda vehicle.  It’s also the first vehicle to use Bose® Acoustic Waveguide technology based on Bose home entertainment products.  Acoustic Waveguide technology enables a richer bass sound in the vehicle cabin without requiring large system components. 

1994 — Bose achieves “Tier 1 Supplier” status with GM.

1997 — The Bose Nd® woofer makes its automotive debut in the Chevrolet Corvette.

1998 — Bose AudioPilot noise compensation circuit technology is introduced in the 1998 Cadillac Seville STS.  AudioPilot monitors and adjusts the music signal in response to vehicle speed and external noise.  

2001 — Bose develops custom-designed sound systems for the first time in  Porsche vehicles, making them available in the 2002 Porsche 911  Carrera and Porsche Boxster.  

2003 — Bose Centerpoint signal processing circuitry makes its debut in the

2004 — Porsche Cayenne.  Centerpoint technology creates an immersive, surround sound experience in the vehicle cabin from nearly any stereo source.  

2004 — The Cadillac XLR is the first GM vehicle to use TrueSpace signal processing circuitry for a more spacious, multichannel sound experience.  

2008 — Porsche AG names Bose as its “Supplier of the Year.” 

2009 — The Bose Energy Efficient Series sound system debuts in the Chevrolet Volt, delivering high-quality acoustic performance using significantly smaller and lighter components that require approximately 50 percent less energy than conventional systems.  

2010 — The Cadillac Escalade is the first vehicle with Bose Active Sound Management technology for targeting and reducing engine and  powertrain noise in the cabin.

2010 — Bose is named as a GM “Supplier of the Year” for the fourth time. Bose also received this honor in 2009, 2004 and 2003.  

2011 — The first Renault Bose Edition vehicles are launched in Europe.

2012 — Bose Active Sound Management technology is integrated into all-new  GM models, including the Cadillac ATS and XTS sedans, and Buick  Encore crossover.  

More information about Bose automotive sound systems can be found at

Redesigned NHL GameCenter LIVE now offered by Verizon Wireless on its phones, tablets

As the NHL season kicks off this week, so does NHL GameCenter LIVE from Verizon Wireless.  The NHL GameCenter app, the official app that provides live streaming access and video highlights during NHL games recently announced significant enhancements available today, January 15.  Available on Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads (and later this season on BlackBerry 10) the redesigned NHL GameCenter app now features more free video for users — including post-game video highlights, a live-game simulation with real-time shift changes and play-by-play for the ultimate second-screen experience in hockey. 

The re-designed app also has an improved menu structure, allowing fans to transition easily from one section to the next and navigates more content than ever with ease. 

The NHL GameCenter app is available for download and includes the following features, some of which are exclusive to Verizon Wireless:

NHL GameCenter (Free)
— Live scores and stats for every team and player
— Live game simulation with near real-time shift changes, boxscores and play-by-play (new this season)
— Post-game video highlights (new this season)
— Video on-demand content featuring the best selections from NHL  editors
— Full-season schedule and standings
— Customized game alerts
— Player profiles with headshots, bios and stats for all active NHL players
— Customizable settings for up to five favorite teams (new this season)

NHL GameCenter Premium (Free for Verizon tablet and 4G LTE Smartphone users)
Live radio broadcasts (home and away)
— In-game video highlights
— Condensed game replays
— atch NBC nationally broadcast games live (exclusive for Verizon Wireless 4G Smartphone and Tablet users)

NHL GameCenter LIVE ($49.99)
— Live out-of-market game video (home and away)
— Access across multiple devices
— All NHL GameCenter Premium content

Thursday, January 10, 2013

CES 2013: T-Mobile announces MLB partnership, unlimited data plan news

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013, T-Mobile shared several new announcements, including:

— MLB Partnership:  T-Mobile announced that it is the Official Wireless Partner of the MLB, providing technology that will enrich the MLB experience for both players and fans, inside and outside of the ballpark. The partnership will help modernize the traditional game of baseball, with T-Mobile providing a new On-Field Communication System that is powered by its nationwide 4G network technology. For additional information, please see “T-Mobile and Major League Baseball Announce Multiyear Technology and Marketing Agreement.”

— Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data for No-Annual-Contract Customers:  T-Mobile announced that its popular, Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan will be available with no annual contract starting tomorrow, January 9. For more details, please see “T-Mobile Shakes Up the Wireless Industry by Expanding Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data to No-Annual-Contract Customers.”

— 4G Connect: T-Mobile announced an innovative, breakthrough program designed to make 4G connectivity a standard, integrated and free feature on select notebooks, tablets and Ultrabooks. For more information, please see “T-Mobile Changes the Rules With 4G Connect, a Breakthrough Program Designed to Make 4G Connectivity Easier Than Ever.”

— HD Voice and Network Modernization: T-Mobile announced that it will be the first U.S. wireless provider to enable HD Voice on its nationwide network, dramatically improving in-call audio performance for customers with capable devices. In addition, T-Mobile also announced network enhancements in new metro areas, including Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego and Virginia Beach, Va. For additional details on HD Voice and T-Mobile’s newly modernized markets, please read “T-Mobile Network Advancements Enrich Customer Experience with Nationwide HD Voice and Enhanced 4G Coverage in New Metro Areas.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

iHome unveils new product lineup at CES 2013, including it first Lightning docks

iHome is unveiling its 2013 product line at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  This year’s new product line delivers an exciting selection of Lightning Docks, Bluetooth solutions, headphones, boom boxes and mini-speakers, and showcases a variety of new innovative features, including the incorporation of USB charge and play to a variety of docks, and a new Cord Cruncher Cable to an expanded line of headphones.

“The products we’re unveiling at CES 2013 feature increased capabilities that address the ever-changing landscape for accessories,” said Evan Stein, Director of Marketing, iHome.  “This is one of our richest and most diverse product lines that we have introduced at CES.  We encourage you to come visit us in Ballroom C of the Las Vegas Hotel.”

Headlining this year’s ensemble of new products, iHome introduces its first Lightning Docks, compatible with iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPad with Retina Display and iPod touch:
 — iDL100 Triple Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio With Two Lightning Docks and USB Charge/Play for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch:  the ultimate iHome Lightning docks with a triple 2.1 charging hub for your  iDevices, the iDL100 includes two Lightning docks as well as a universal USB dock to charge and play audio from legacy devices.  An auto sync feature syncs the unit to iPhone/iPad/iPod time, while an aux-in jack is also included for audio devices equipped with 3.5mm headphone jack.  The iDL100 is expected to retail for $149.99. 
 — Additional iHome Lightning Docks include: iDL45 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio With Lightning Dock and USB Charge/Play for iPhone/iPad/iPod. (MSRP $99.99.)

Wireless audio solutions continue to be in high demand, and this year iHome offers more Bluetooth capable products than ever before, including iHome’s hugely popular retro boom box:
 — iBT44 Bluetooth Portable FM Stereo With USB Charging:  The next iteration in the retro boom box line, the iBT44 now features wireless connectivity to stream audio from your iOS, Android, or other Bluetooth enabled devices. It operates on six D batteries or universal voltage adaptor, and lets you charge via USB.  Powerful amp pushes two woofers and 1” tweeters for huge sound. Comes with a magnetized remote control and features new colors.  (MSRP: $199.99.)
 — Additional new Bluetooth enabled products include the stylish iBT20 Bluetooth Wireless FM Alarm Clock Radio With USB Charging (MSRP $79.99), the modern and sleek iBT88 Bluetooth Rechargeable Mini Stereo Speaker System, and others.

This year, iHome is featuring an expansive collection of its popular headphones – from Bluetooth and high-end, noise-canceling units, to its new FIT sport line and fashion forward styles.  Additionally, many of the units offer new features, including the innovative Cord Cruncher Cable and iHome’s eco-friendly cord wrap hangtag packaging in select units.  Headlining the new collection is the new luxury model:
 — iB85 Bluetooth Wireless Foldable Headphones With Mic, Remote and Travel Pouch:  Enjoy dynamic, enhanced bass response and detailed sound with tons of high-end features including Bluetooth audio with built-in mic and convenient on-ear remote; padded ear cushions and adjustable padded headband; USB charging cable; foldable headband; and travel pouch for portability. (MSRP $99.99.)
 — Other new and noteworthy headphones include: iB10 Sport Earhooks with award-winning Cord Cruncher Cable (MSRP $19.99); iB22 Rubberized Noise-Canceling Headphones With Pouch (MSRP $14.99). 

To see iHome’s complete lineup of 2013 products, visit their new and expanded booth in Ballroom C in the Las Vegas Hotel .  For more information about iHome, visit