Computer maker Asus might be best known for its computers, notebooks, and motherboards, but the company has been in the peripheral and accessory business for a while, and today introduced its uBoom series of portable speaker systems for notebook computers. The good news is that they’re powered off a computer’s USB port so they don’t require separate batteries or a power adapter to operate; the bad news is that for many users, they’ll stretch the limits of the word “portable” just a little too far.
The uBoom series consists of two units, the uBoom and the smaller uBoom Q, both features cylindrical designs designed to latch onto the back of a traditional notebook computer in the place of a tradition two-speaker setup. Both units feature three speakers—2-inch drivers on the left and right, and a slightly larger subwoofer for bass power. The uBoom unt claims frequency response on its drivers from 100 to 20KHz, with the sub handling frequencies from 20 to 250 HZ; the uBoom Q’s drivers range up to 15KHz and the sub oomphs up to 500Hz; both run at 2.4 watts, so these speakers are designed for near-field sound, not to pump tunes to a roomful of people. Both feature USB and auxiliary inputs, and the uBoom unit also sports a microphone jack. But the major difference in the units—besides their appearance—seems to be their weight: Asus says the uBoom comes in at 3kg (that’s over 6.5 pounds!) while the uBoom Q comes in at just 400 grams (that’s under 1 pound). Both can optionally run off AC power if users don’t want to hook up a USB port or prematurely drain their notebook’s battery.
No word on pricing or when they’ll be available at retailers—but, trust us, you’ll probably know when you see someone lugging around one of the heavier uBoom units.