I wanted to publish some of my thoughts on the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone in response to a few comments I've seen others making. Some random clarifitations:
1) While the Galaxy S5 does have a fingerprint sensor, it is bad enough that it will just be a frustration for those who try it out, and they'll likely disable it. Unlike Apple's Touch ID, Samsung's requires a vertical swipe at a very specific angle (or, non-angle.) With Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, you simply press your finger to the Home button, and it instantaneously unlocks your phone. The S5 scanner only works when you scan your finger straight down, towards the bottom of the phone, making it difficult to unlock the phone with one hand. The implementation on the Galaxy S5 is nowhere near as simple.
If you know someone who needs some fast portable storage that also compact and portable, look no further than the My Passport Slim from Western Digital, our next featured item in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. I have one, and it does it's job at my desk where I typically work, but when I need the storage on the go, I can easily slip it into a bag or pocket, and I've got a terabyte at USB 3.0 with me. For the data hogs in your life.
You can pick up the WD My Passport Slim now from Amazon for $86.
Read More | WD My Passport Slim
The Xbox One will ship with a 500GB internal hard drive, and we've found out that the drive is "locked" inside the console. In other words, unlike the Xbox 360, users are not able to swap out the Xbox One hard drive for a larger unit. What happens if you run out of space, then? After all, the Xbox One will install every game to the hard drive, and the games are definitely going to be bigger now that they'll be on Blu-ray.
Luckily, the solution is easy. Microsoft included USB 3.0 on the Xbox One, and says that you can connect an external hard drive to the console, and it can be used for everything that the internal hard drive can be used for. So go ahead and grab an external terabyte or two and load up--adding extra storage is as simple as plugging it in.
Belkin has finally announced the release of its Thunderbolt Express Dock. Originally set for release in July 2012, Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock has seen multiple delays, but is now available to order beginning today. To refresh your memory, the Dock allows you to connect multiple peripheral to it, and then connect one Thunderbolt cable from the Dock to your Mac, giving you access to all of the devices connected to the dock. Here a list of all the ports that the Thunderbolt Dock sports:
- 2 Thunderbolt ports (1 upstream, 1 downstream for daisy-chaining up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices)
- 3 USB 3.0 ports (Belkin added USB 3.0 ports back in June 2012)
- 1 FireWire 800 port
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- 1 3.5mm audio-out port
- 1 3.5mm audio-in port
In total, you get access to 8 different devices on your Mac by simple connecting on cable to a fully-stocked Thunderbolt Dock. Not bad at all. You can pick up the Thunderbolt Express Dock now for $299.99 by using the link below.
Read More | Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock
2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
Western Digital recently released its updated My Passport for Mac 3.0 portable hard drive, which now offers increased storage capacity, a redesigned look, and the welcome addition of USB 3.0 compatibility. Western Digital wants this to be the drive you turn to if you want a drive that offers fast speeds, secure encryption, and a level of fashion. Does it live up to its promise? That's what we aim to cover in our My Passport for Mac review.
Western Digital has announced another external hard drive, this one called the My Passport Edge. Available in both Mac and PC flavors, the My Passport Edge is all about compact portability. the drives are about the size of a deck of cards and can hold up to 500GB of data, passed back and forth over speedy USB 3.0. The Mac version is configured with out-of-the-box Time Machine compatibility and sports a brushed aluminum finish for $119, while the PC version includes custom backup SmartWare backup software and black exterior for $109. Both are available now.
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.
Read More | Drobo
In this episode we give you a look at the speed differences between backing up using Time Machine over USB 2.0 with a MacBook Air and then restoring that same backup data to a MacBook Pro with Retina display using USB 3.0. This is a great look at the speed enhancements that USB 3.0 bring to the Mac notebook lineup. Sure, it isn't a direct read/read or write/write comparison, it still shows the blazing differences you can expect as it pertains to performance on the new line of Mac laptops. Also, be sure to check out our MacBook Pro with Retina display review if you're considering one. You can get the MacBook Pro with Retina display from Apple.
Aside from the awesome Drobo 5D, Drobo is also announcing its new Drobo Mini storage array. Supporting up to four 2.5-inch drives (either HDD or SSD, or any mix thereof,) this is the first portable Drobo that the company has released. It looks slick too. To insert the drives, you simply push it in, then push it again to remove, almost like a SIM card or CableCARD slot. Drobo even built its own custom power supply for this thing to go with its rugged design, ensuring maximum portability. You also get the same SSD port that the 5D has, allowing you to accelerate data speeds even more. Dual Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 round out the offering here. The Drobo Mini will be available in July, no pricing details have been revealed just yet. Check out the video below for more details.