Portable instruments that run on AA batteries have been popping up for a while now. There's the Roland Boutique line, Korg's Monologue and even the iRig Keys I/O from IK Multimedia. Now Akai is getting into the portable game with an affordable update to one if it's most popular pieces of gear. The MPK Mini Play is a new version of the MPK Mini that's loaded with 128 sounds and 10 drum kits to get you started.
The MPK Mini Play also features eight backlit drum pads alongside a 4-way joystick for added control -- a look that's similar to the MPK Mini mkII. All of that sits atop a 25-key keyboard. And yes, the Mini Play can also be used as a USB MIDI controller should you need it. The real highlight here is portability. This compact instrument can run on three AA batteries to keep you mobile and a built-in speaker means you don't need any extras to hear your tunes. Of course, everyone around you will probably hate you for it. For less annoying music making, there's a headphone jack for monitoring.
The MPK Mini Play is also affordable. The instrument will cost you $129 and it's already available for purchase from retailers like Sweetwater. According to that shop's listing, the MPK Mini Play comes in Black (pictured above), Limited Edition Blackout and White with reserved keys. The introduction of the MPK Mini Play also comes just weeks after Akai introduced the $199 Fire controller for FL Studio.