Bose introduces new SoundLink Mini portable Bluetooth Speaker & QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones

Update: You can now pick up the SoundLink at Amazon

Bose had a little event today at Grand Central Station just footsteps away from the Apple Store to announce and demonstrate their new portable products.

We’ve rated the Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers on the market (TL;DR: Overall winnerBest ValueBest soundBest Portable/SoundApps/Updatesmore) but clearly there is some room for the $199 Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker at the top end. Bose gave us a listen and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after hearing such rich sound out of a small device (which weighs about as much as an original iPad and can be stowed away in a coat pocket). It certainly gives the much larger Logitech Boombox a run for its money in volume and edges it in clarity. The downsides are that it is bigger/heavier than the Beats Pill or the Logitech Mini Boombox, it charges via a proprietary AC adapter and it isn’t Bluetooth 4.0.  The sound quality will make those little things melt away, I promise.

The Soundlink speaker will be released on July 11th but pre-orders begin today at Bose retailers.

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Bose also introduced a new level of noise canceling headphones called the QuietComfort 20 and 20i. We got to put some on and hear aircraft level noise disappear while noise canceling features were activated. Bose also has a mid-level noise cancellation mode that can be activated with a switch on the cord and still allows you to hear voices and other important noises you might want to be alerted to. Music is amazing as you’d expect and the buds fit incredibly comfortably in my ears.

The QuietComfort 20 and 20i headphones will be available starting in the summer of 2013 for $299.95.

Both products are highly recommended. Details in the Press release that follows…

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Western Digital announces first-ever 2TB capacity 2.5-inch My Passport for $250

Hard-drive maker Western Digital is the first-ever to unveil a 2TB capacity 2.5-inch portable external hard drive.

Western Digital announced the drive will first be put into the My Passport family, which previously only offered up to 1TB of storage, but the doubled-capacity external is still a condensed single-volume drive. 9to5Mac reviewed the Western Digital My Passport Studio in September 2011 and walked away very impressed with the 1TB 2.5-inch flavor.

Like the earlier version, the larger My Passport is available in various colored finishes that make its shell resilient to abrasions. The device is NTFS reformatted but easily reformatted to Mac OS, and it supports USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 for trucking large amounts of data.

More information is available below.

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Apple to take global “portable computers” share for the remainder of 2011

The eye-popping chart above (via Fortune) shows Apple is on course to take control of global market share for portable computers (laptops, notebooks, and tablets) in the second quarter of 2011 – but that’s only as some analysts switch to accounting iPads as computers. Deutshe Bank’s Chris Whitmore, author of the chart, describes his findings:

Within the computing market, we see significant opportunity for Apple to take meaningful share in the second half as the Microsoft / PC ecosystem is relatively stagnant, lacking meaningful new offerings.

Many will be quick to point out the spike is due to taking iPad sales into consideration, a device that many analysts debate shouldn’t be considered as a competitor to notebooks and other portable PCs. However, Apple is steadily gaining ground on Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft even without the iPad. Whitmore explains:

On the other hand, Apple will be competing with an upgraded Mac OS, new MacBook Airs (and other forthcoming Macs) and a new iPad iOS. Within the Tablet market, the iPad remains the Gold Standard as competitors struggle for mindshare and traction (note HP’s price cuts on the TouchPad). Meanwhile, competing PC manufacturers have suggested Ultrabooks won’t ramp in material volumes until 2012 due to challenges driving price points meaningfully below Apple’s Air. As such, Apple appears particularly well positioned for more share gains heading into the back-to- school and holiday selling season.

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