The iPhone is much more than a business device. In fact, many people buy iPhones because of the ability to seamlessly switch back and forth from business tasks to personal use (such as gaming) on a whim.
However, sometimes the iPhone shows its limitations when you’re playing games; the speakers don’t get very loud and having to spin the device around to move characters (e.g., cars in a racing game) can quickly tire the wrists. That’s where the Temujin iPhone 4 Racing Game Speaker Wheel comes in.
- Company: Howell/Temujin
- Product: iPhone 4 Racing Game Speaker Wheel
- Dimensions (mm): 190(L) x 190(W) x 35(H)
- Speakers: 2 x 27 mm speakers, 4 ohms
- Sound output: Via headphone jack
- Power supply: 3.7V 500mA rechargeable batteries (includes a USB charging cable)
- Price: $25.99 on iThrough
What I like
- Sound quality: The iPhone 4 Racing Game Speaker Wheel features much better sound quality than the iPhone alone, and the speakers are surprisingly loud. In fact, make sure that you turn down the sound on your phone before you play music or a game, or you will get a very loud surprise.
- Headphone jack: If you want to use the device to play games without disturbing those around you, you can use the headphone jack on the device.
- Comfort: Holding the iPhone for any significant length of time will quickly tire out the wrists, especially for anyone who has large hands; the game wheel is much more comfortable than just holding the iPhone when you’re playing a game, even for games that require you to tap the screen to control movement. (If you have small hands, this may not be the case.)
What I don’t like
- No volume control. You have to use the iPhone’s controls to control sound volume. The physical controls are blocked once the device is docked, so you have to rely on the software controls alone.
- Does not connect to the dock connector. The device connects to the iPhone using the headphone jack, not the dock connector. Use of the dock connector would allow much more functionality. This would also let the iPhone charge from the gaming wheel’s internal battery.
- Feels cheap: The gaming wheel feels rather cheap, especially for the price.
- Nerf N908S Speaker Wheel for Iphone/ipod Touch
- Nyrius NIPC400 Ultra Portable Rechargeable Speaker Dock for iPhone 4/3GS/3G/2G with Enhanced Gaming and Speakerphone
- Steering Wheel for iPhone and iPod Touch with Suction Cup
Geek Gift bottom line
The gaming wheel’s main selling point is the sound quality, which I think would appeal to even non-gamers. Overall, though, the Temujin iPhone 4 Racing Game Speaker Wheel probably won’t appeal to a lot of people on your gift buying list.
Geek Gift score (out of 5)
- Fun factor: ***
- Geek factor: ****
- Value: ***
- Overall: ***
For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, games, and books, download the PDF of TechRepublic’s Geek Gift Guide 2011.