Most laptops’ built-in speakers could barely rock a broom closet, let alone the Casbah. But Altec Lansing’s new Orbit USB Stereo (iML247) speaker system, priced at $49.95, offers a reasonably priced solution when the urge to blast favorite tunes around your hotel or dorm room strikes.
Portable and made for travel, the plug-and-play unit with twistable locking speakers, collapsible stands and a stowaway cord connects via USB cord, eliminating the need for batteries or power outlets. Readily housed in a backpack or briefcase, the speakers won’t wow with power, volume or audio clarity, but on a happy note, the tube-like units do pack solid enough acoustics to satisfy a vacationer’s sudden jones.
A better solution than cranking your notebook PC’s internal speakers up to 11 and enjoying the sounds of sweet distortion, the gizmos provide room-filling audio that’s pleasing for individual use, if not for getting house parties started. Promising a practical answer to a common conundrum (e.g., how to enjoy My Chemical Romance while showering without blowing out your laptop’s speakers or carting it into the Sheraton’s bathroom), the Orbit’s worth a gander.