An image of the purported updated Apple USB sync cable with updated miniature dock connector has surfaced from Veister, a China-based accessory seller. As you can see, this matches up nicely with the rumored change from a 30-pin connector over to a 9-pin connector for the next iPhone 5, 7.85-inch iPad, modified third-generation iPad, and updated iPod touch.
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The new Thunderbolt-equipped Drobo units will be shipping soon, and today the company announced that the Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini are now available for pre-order. In case you forgot, the Drobo 5D spots dual Thunderbolt ports and a USB 3.0 connection, while the Drobo Mini supports 2.5-inch drives and is super-portable. Head on over to Amazon where the 5D will cost you $849, and the Mini goes for $649. Both models support SSDs and ship with a Thunderbolt cable included, so you don't have to pay another $50 or more to get one elsewhere.
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The Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB charging is a gadget that we bring with us pretty much everywhere we go. In fact, we have three of them in different rooms at Gear Live, plus another couple that we keep in travel bags. It's become an essential gadget. Why? It's a surge protector with three grounded outlets, and also includes two USB charge ports as well. That means you can power up to five devices at once with this bad boy. They typically cost $19.99, but you can grab one today for $11.99 with free shipping, saving you 40%, with coupon code EXM65392. Definitely worth it if you've got a lot of gadgets, or if you spend time going from place to place.
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If you're like us, you love Drobo, but you've been wondering for over a year when it would release a unit that was compatible with the super-fast Thunderbolt technology. Well, we've got our answer. Feast your eyes on the Drobo 5D. The Drobo 5D is a huge step forward for the directly-connected external storage data robot. First, the ports. The 5D has dual Thunderbolt ports (so it supports daisy chaining) as well as a USB 3.0 port. You get five hard drive bays, as well as a new SSD port for added data acceleration for even more speed. Even without the SSD, this Drobo is five times faster than its predecessor, supporting up to 16 terabytes of SSD-accelerated data. No price or specific launch date has been set yet, but it'll be available next month. Check out the video Drobo put together that explains the 5D after the break.
Belkin announced the N900 DB router back at CES. The Advance N900 DB is a dual-band Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11a/b/g/n connections, capable of reaching 450 Mbps speeds due in part to its six MultiBeam antennas. The Belkin Advance N900 DB also sports a feature called IntelliStream, which automatically prioritizes video streaming, gaming, and VoIP data. The router also packs a 600 MHz multi-thread processor, and two USB 2.0 ports that you can connect hard drives to for access to that data from network devices. The Belkin Advance N900 DB is available now for $199--but is it worth your hard-earned Bejamins? We answer that question in our review.
Apple is preparing to launch a redesigned MacBook Pro that'll be sporting all sorts of new features. According to multiple sources, the new MacBook Pro will feature a new, ultra-thin unibody design, USB 3.0 ports (a first for Apple,) and at the center of it all, a "jaw-dropping" Retina display.
How's Apple gonna achieve making a thin notebook even thinner? With the removal of two components. First, the optical drive is going bye-bye. Apple started phasing out optical drives with the release of the original MacBook Air, and then continued the trend with the latest Mac mini. With the release of the Mac App Store, and broadband being to ubiquitous, it stands to reason that digital files and downloads are here to stay. Apple does still sell an external optical drive that connects via USB for those who need it.
This is a good look at how far companies like Western Digital have come in the storage game. The small, black device is a new 2TB My Passport portable hard drive. The larger silver device behind it is a 1TB MyBook that's probably about 4-years old. Yep, the new My Passport is probably 90% smaller than the older MyBook, and holds twice as much data.
Western Digital has announced the availability of its new My Passport line, which tops out at 2 TB of storage. Yup, you read right, 2TB. WD VP Jim Welsh went on the record saying, "It's the perfect blend of monstrous capacity, reliability and user-friendly technology in a sleek form factor." Also, the storage devices come in five colors, so you can have your storage device color coordinate with your shoes, if that’s a selling factor for you. The hard-drives are priced at $250 and feature USB 3.0 for quick transfers. There are other sizes as well, if 2TB is overkill. Pricing is as follows: $129.99 for 500 GB, $149.99 for 750 GB, $179.99 for 1 TB, $199.99 for 1.5 TB, and $249.99 for the new 2 TB edition. Check out the entire line on Amazon. You can read more from the press release after the jump.
Microsoft is adjusting firmware and optimizing certain hardware components to ready its Kinect motion-sensing input device for PCs running Windows, the company said Tuesday. Microsoft currently sells Kinect as a peripheral for its Xbox 360 game consoles, but has announced a Kinect for Windows commercial program that begins in early 2012.
"Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for," Craig Eisler, general manager of Kinect for Windows, wrote in a blog post.
"Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals," Eisler elaborated. "Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters. 'Near Mode' will enable a whole new class of 'close up' applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360. This is one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program and folks commenting on our forums, and we're pleased to deliver this, and more, at launch."
The announcement comes the same day that Microsoft acquired VideoSurf for $70 million with an eye towards integrating the San Mateo, Calif.-based company's online video search technology into its Xbox Live ecosystem.
The next featured gadget in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide is the Twelve South PlugBug. It's a device that's so simple that it's hard to believe no one has come up with this until now. The PlugBug snaps onto your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air wall charger, giving you a powered USB port in the process. The results? You can then charge both your Apple notebook, and a USB device (like an iPhone or iPad) at the same time, using just one outlet. Genuis! This means that when you're on the go, you can carry one less charger, and you'll have one less outlet to try and find. You can get the PlugBug on Amazon for $34.
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