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RCA Fills Niche Market with Internet Music System

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Remember RCA?

Remember their logo featuring a dog listening to a gramophone?

Although it's not the audio and television giant it used to be, the company is still around and has been developing products for what has become known as "the niche market."

Among those products sits an Internet Music System ($199.99), which consists of a seven-inch Android tablet, two speakers, a CD player and radio packaged together in one nice, sleek package.

The key to the system is the tablet, which connects to the speakers, etc. via Bluetooth technology. Once connected you can use any Android app to stream music to the system or watch a video. You can also use an HDMI cable to attach it to most TV sets.

The one we played with worked flawlessly, easily connecting to our WIFI network so we could play music we've stored on the cloud. The sound from the small, plastic-encased bookshelf speakers was a bit better than we expected, delivering a full range of sound ranging from decent bass to clear, crisp treble.

We were also able to use the system to play our favorite CDs or CD/RWs consisting of tunes we had downloaded from the Internet.

The tablet can be docked with the system or removed and used the same way you use any Android tablet. And, since it runs Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), you can install any of the apps that are available in the Google Play Store.

The resolution of the tablet isn't much to write home about. It's only 800x480, which is a lot less than we've come to expect from more expensive models, but it's more than adequate for streaming music and watching YouTube videos. We suggest attaching it to a high definition monitor or TV for movies, etc.

Its other key features include:

  • One gigabyte of RAM and four gigabytes of flash memory
  • Up to four and a half hours of battery life
  • A micro SD card slot, micro USB jack, headphone jack and a microphone jack
  • 20 watts of power for each speaker
  • A preset equalizer that can be set to flat, jazz, pop or classical
  • A 27-key remote control

Overall, this is a nice, inexpensive Internet music/video system that can be used in the bedroom, office or workroom. Although it's not really "portable," the built-in battery allows you to move it out to the deck or patio.

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