By Robert Menta - 7/12/01
The link for testing the unit is available below. The boombox test has ended, but the link now goes to apply to test a portable MP3/CD unit for Philips. We will continue to update this link when possible. - editor 8/21/01
In another sign that MP3 will soon become a standard for mainstream home electronic products - as manufacturers endow everything with a CD the ability to read MP3 CDs - Philips Electronics is looking for testers for its new eXpanium AZ1155 boombox.
It almost seems to defeat the purpose of the MP3 format to put it in a portable player the size of a watermelon. This may explain the desire for Philips to hedge their bets by going directly to the MP3 community for their product tests. After all, when was the last time you saw someone strolling down the street with a boombox to their ear?
That said, the boombox market still holds a good percentage of portable electronic sales, though it is probably not a growth area. That means manufacturers fight for the already existing pool of consumers and those first to the market with MP3 capabilities have a feature to draw more of the remaining market their way.
The eXpanium AZ1155 has another thing going for it as it's actually a sleek looking instrument. Almost retro in design, the AZ1155 eschews the sharp angles found on most units for a series of circular patterns to define its look. The unit is compatible with 8cm and 12cm CDs, comes with a remote and weighs about 7 lbs.
Philips is taking applications until noon July 24th and will select 50 participants to test the unit. Those selected for the testing will be notified on the 27th and the units will be shipped within 2 weeks. Testers will then get to live with the product for 8 weeks and report back to Philips at various intervals their opinions on the product.
To apply to test the product go to here
The Philips Expanium is a CD/MP3 player. It's available on Amazon
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