Sometimes a gadget appears at a technology tradeshow which makes collective jaws drop; this year at IFA 2012 it was the Sharp GX-M10 Boombox.
Now, there's nothing wrong with the '80s. This writer remembers fondly shell suits, M*A*S*K, the choice of three channels and the Walkman. But, do we really want age-old technology making a re-appearance?
When it comes to the Boombox, maybe, just maybe. This massive 'portable' hi-fi was a system favoured by B-Boys, rappers such as LL Cool J and even The Clash approved of the big sound,
Sharp was very much part of the Boombox, er, boom in the '80s – its Sharp HK-9000 was owned by Fab Freddy, putting it up there with the coolest of the cool.
30 years on, though, and a lot has changed. Rappers are now moguls, favouring to create their own products like earphones, than adopt those available in the shops.
Couple this with music in 2012 being very much a private thing (thanks or no thanks to Apple) and even when it is played out loud, the device's used are small – crammed with technology to make sure that, despite their size, the sound is big.
With the GX-M10 Boombox, Sharp has scrunched up the rule book and decided that big music machines are back in style.
Looks-wise, the GX-MX10 is a mountain of orange. It looks like a barrel of Irn-Bru, packed with enough audio fizz to give… well, you get the idea.
The Boombox has been given 100 Watts of power, through the two 13cm woofers offering up some big bass.
Like the Boombox of yore, Sharp has made the GX-MX10 portable. All you need is a boatload of batteries to make the thing work – or an optional adaptor that can make the Boombox car (or party bus) friendly.
Given that the Boombox has been re-upped for the modern day, it is iPod and iPhone 4 ready. The iDevice has to be protected for some reason, we are guessing because when you use the Boombox it will be on your shoulders as you blast Nero to the world.
If you are not a shoulder person, then there's also a shoulder strap supplied - so you have no excuse for taking this baby outside.
The Sharp GX-M10 Boombox is currently prices at 299 Euros and will be available in metallic orange from October.