So, are you running out of USB 2.0 ports on your motherboard? Apacer has come up with an interesting and well designed product called PH151. The engineers didn't a fantastic job on the design but the marketing department could have come up with a more exciting name!
PH151 is a 4-port Hi-Speed USB hub supporting transfer rates up to 480Mbps but before you begin to yawn, it is rather interesting. Instead of being a regular flat shaped hub design, it is designed using a Y shape, which means there will be no more port blocking by attached pen drives.
There are two ports on the top and two on the front - I like the top ports as it will allow pen drives to stand vertically which would make for a nice change. Best of all, it will only cost you $20 AUD down under and weighs just 41 grams.
Sydney Australia - April 16 2008 - Far from bleak USB accessory products, Apacer Technology has released the Apacer PH151, a simple design yet revolutionary fun "Y"-shaped USB 2.0 hub. It comes in two funky colours - Brilliant Orange or Designer Black. The Apacer PH151 has four USB ports from side and top connections packed in a compact frame making USB connections effortless. Gone are the days of one USB device blocking two side-by-side USB ports because of the device's different, angles, thickness and direction. PH151 also organises your myriad of USB devices through its outstanding Y-shape design. The PH151 is both useful, excellent value, convenient, and portable weighing only 41 grams.
Super Talent has just announced its newest range of ultra tiny USB pen drives which happen to also offer the smallest design coming in sizes ranging from 1GB to 8GB.
The Pico Series of pen drives are incredibly small and feature up to 30 MB/s (200X) transfer speeds and measures just 1.50"x0.50" and weigh next-door to nothing at 4 - 6 grams.
There are three drives in the Pico Series including PICO-A, PICO-B and PICO-C. Each look fairly familiar however each vary in size slightly one swivels and is water proof, one is rugged and water proof and one is simply retractable.
It's amazing how much data storage can be squeezed into such a small space, just be sure not to leave the thing behind as it's so small. You can read more here at the Super Talent website.
As another sign to suggest that the way of the future is indeed "DisplayPort" in terms of a new interface standard for computers to be connected to LCD displays etc. - AMD has just introduced the first 3D Workstation Graphics Card into the market with DisplayPort connectivity.
Reading over the official announcement from AMD, the ATI FireGL V7700 appears to carry specs near identical to that of the HD 3870, but unsurprisingly also carrying a very hefty price tag of $1,099 USD.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- March 31, 2008 --AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced it is advancing application performance with stunning imagery through the introduction of the first commercially available 3D workstation graphics card with DisplayPort support. The ATI FireGL™ V7700 professional graphics accelerator provides superior rendering speed, 3D performance and color fidelity for Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC) and Medical Imaging professionals. ATI FireGL V7700 delivers the top-quality image quality needed to create photorealistic visualizations of real-world objects and environments -like the design concept for a new aircraft or a home remodel-by providing designers with The Ultimate Visual Experience™.
ASRock hit the news headlines around the world today with the announcement of its latest AMD 780G based motherboard that claims to be the first out with a DisplayPort connector.
It's the type of situation where this claim is half true and half false. While it is marketed as being the first, the connector is not actually built into the motherboard itself. ASRock bundled the board with a "free" DisplayPort card which plugs into a vacant PCI slot. The A780FullDisplayPort board has a total of two PCI slots, so at least you will have one spare for an old TV tuner or sound card.
Along with its DisplayPort output, it also includes DVI, regular VGA along with HDMI using the included DVI to HDMI adapter. For those looking for the ultimate HTPC based motherboard, you would be hard pressed to find much better than this one right here. Team this board up with an HD Radeon 3450 graphics card and you'll enjoy a 3D performance boost making use of AMD's Hybrid CrossfireX technology, too.
Below ASRock were kind enough to provide an interesting comparison of DisplayPort vs. HDMI.
To keep up with the modern appliances with multi-ports, such as D-Sub, DVI, HDMI port and the latest Display port, motherboard makers got to be ready for that. ASRock is fully aware of the trend and released the Worldwide First Display port motherboard today! ASRock A780FullDisplayPort is a full-function embedded motherboard with four display output provided for all kinds of consumer appliances. Through the back panel I/O, you may find many output ports options, such as D-Sub, DVI, HDMI, and Display port, and the MB also supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray/HD-DVD playback and PCI-E Gen2 slot.
Based on AMD 780G + SB700 Chipsets, ASRock A780FullDisplayPort supports FSB 2600 MHz (5.2 GT/s), Dual DDR2 800, PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot, integrated AMD RV610 graphics, providing excellent DX10 class iGPU, Pixel Shader 4.0, Max. shared memory 512MB, and ATI™ Hybrid CrossFireX™ function. For users craving for high definition display requirement, this motherboard is specially designed to smoothly playback Full HD 1080p High Definition movies.
I would normally try to avoid making a fuss over yet another USB flash drive to hit the market, but this one being an extremely well thought out concept design definitely deserves a special mention.
Shaped a bit like a bee with matching colour scheme, the cutely named "USBee" is like no other USB flash drive with the actual USB connector being completely seperated from the NAND chip controller; this means that any accidental knocks (particularly when plugged into a USB port at the time) will allow the drive to flex thanks to the ultra slim bending neck.
The USBee was designed by a Damjan Stankovic who went on to become the winner of the MS Industrial USB Competition. It's not known as to whether or not it will find its way into mass-production, but Damjan certainly deserves much kudos for his efforts here.
Patriot Memory have just kicked off a new lineup of SDHC and USB products which include a world first 8GB MicroSD SDHC Class6 card along with a 8GB Mini SD SDHC Class6, 8GB MINI Rubber USB Drive and a large capacity 32GB Razzo USB Drive. A massive 64GB XporterXT Boost USB Drive is also being promised to arrive in the 2nd quarter of this year.
You can find out more details about the fresh lineup within the announcement here folks.
Patriot Memory will be offering the first ever 8GB MicroSD SDHC Class6. They will also be offering a 8GB Mini SD SDHC Class6, a 8GB MINI Rubber USB Drive, and a 32GB Razzo USB Drive.
A 64GB XporterXT Boost USB Drive will be releasing early 2nd quarter of 2008. More information to come.
"To keep up with today's cutting-edge technology such as HD home-videos and RAW photography, we are offering higher capacities and faster solutions for our SDHC and USB product lines," says Meng Jay Choo, Product Manager for Patriot Memory.
LG have found a way to stand out in the vastly competitive USB flash market with their latest USB 'Vaccine' Drive. This is in fact the first USB flash drive to show up which is marketed primarily for the purpose of antivirus and malware protection on the go.
LG's Vaccine USB protects any PC or laptop from the moment it is inserted with its 'plug and auto run' function. Once connected, the USB automatically monitors incoming traffic for viruses and malware with real-time system monitoring. In addition, users can carry out in-depth hardware scans whenever necessary to verify the presence of infection and perform repairs to cure or delete defected files.
The drive itself is available in capacities of as low as 512MB through to 4GB, and the casing is matt black in design with a mirrored front.
LG have further information about the Vaccine USB here.
Berkshire, UK, 18 December, 2007 - LG Electronics (LG), a global leader in consumer electronics, today launches its Vaccine USB in the UK - the world's first USB equipped with anti virus and malware protection software. In addition to storing large amounts of data, the USB provides users with an extra layer of protection through real-time system monitoring and hardware scans.
TwinMOS has let us know about their new "Mobile Disk X1" flash drive which is avaiable in capacities of up to 8GB and sports a swivel cap design that allows it to rotate 360c around the actual drive; this is much handier than traditional cap designs where it can be easy to misplace.
There's quite a number of other aesthetically pleasing and usable features about it as well, which you can read in full detail within TwinMOS' official announcement.
(December 18, 2007, Taipei) As miniaturization continues its market trend on USB disk, TwinMOS introduces the masterpiece of Mobile Disk X1 for consumer's convenience. Mobile Disk X1 is miniature, lightweight and convenient for mobility. Its 360? revolving metal cap with reflective surface has revolutionized the plastic shell design of conventional USB disks. This state of art design eliminate the conventional problem for user to misplace the cap. The pure white X1 presents a metallic feeling and refined characteristic in a simple perfection of artwork.
Transcend sends word of their brand new Curvy Pure-White USB pen drive - yet another USB flash product from the Taiwanese company who seems to produce a new model each week.
The V33 is pure white which may make a good addition to your girl's Christmas stocking. Among the top features are its ultra-compact body measuring in at 60mm x 16.5mm x 8.1mm and it is a lightweight coming in at a mere 7 grams.
Transcend, a leading manufacturer of flash memory products, today introduced its latest tiny USB flash drive - JetFlash® V33. The V33 has a curved, ultra-compact body (60mm x 16.5mm x 8.1mm) and only weighs 7g. Its pure white color scheme is simple and cute, with a splash of color around its cap. With renowned Transcend build quality at down-to-earth prices, the V33 represents a new standard in value. The V33 allows you store a whole lot more of your personal files, documents from work or school, digital photos, movies and music on a flash drive smaller than your finger. Never worry about running out of space again! The JetFlash V33 supports Windows® Me / 2000 / XP / Vista, Mac OS® 9.0 / OS X and Linux® Kernel 2.4.2 or later, providing seamless data exchange between different operating systems.
Galaxy recently informed us about the release of their brand new 8800GT graphics card with native HDMI port for HD output up to 1080p resolutions.
As the Hong Kong based company likes to do, it comes with a customized cooler along with higher 3-phase power system compared to the usual 2-phase, SLI (but not 3-way SLI since it only has one SLI bridge connector) and all the usual GT trimmings.
Hong Kong -DEC 06, 2007 - Galaxy proudly announces to launch the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT graphics cards featuring High Definition multimedia VGA solution with Certified for HDMI and HDCP supported.
Galaxy GeForce 8800GT with certified-HDMI features the latest generation HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) which combines both the high-definition video and audio signal into one cable for exceptionally smooth and sharp image quality and crisp audio without distortion. Additionally, Galaxy GeForce 8800GT HDMI Version supports HDCP encryption, allowing users to experience the highest-resolution HD broadcasts at 1080p. Galaxy GeForce 8800GT HDMI Version also supports PureVideo HD technology and works with video editing software, allowing users to build the ideal digital media PC.
Since this card was probably designed more for HTPC users, clock speeds remain the same as the Nvidia reference card at 600MHz core clock and 1800MHz DDR on the memory clock.
The folks at HotHardware have come through with the goods today as they bring us details and images of AMD's upcoming mid-range RV635 based graphics card. The biggest highlight however is in the fact that this card is confirmed to bring DisplayPort connectivity to the masses which carries several advantages over DVI-D.
Though there arn't any monitors on the market with DisplayPort just yet, it is said that these should start showing up roughly around the same time RV635 is set for release (Q1'08).
This XT variant of the RV635 cards also appears to carry with it a HDMI port, and of course DVI.
To learn more about the card and advantages of DisplayPort connectivity, head over to HotHardware.
We've got a bit of show-and-tell for you here this morning. You might recall recent announcements of a new digital display interface, dubbed DisplayPort by VESA, the Video Electronics Standards Association. This new interface will supplant DVI and VGA connections eventually and its micropacket architecture offers significantly more bandwidth with multi-monitor support over a single cable.
Memory maker A-DATA have recently announced a complete new range of USB flash drives dubbed the "NTSC" Series. The full lineup comprises flash drives in five different styles; these being the N702, C701, C702, S702 and Disney T703 series.
To learn more about their individual characteristics, you can find the official PR here.
November 28, 2007 - A-DATA Technology, a global leader in memory modules and flash memory application products, announces plans to introduce the fashionable N702, C701, C702, S702 and Disney T703 series of USB flash drives. These series of USB flash drives advocate the sophistication that today's user demands and transforms the plain oval shaped USB flash drive into a showpiece worthy of a conversation. Each series is crafted with the utmost care highlighting the product's elegance and high quality design.
Finding an 8800GT in stock at the moment is still proving to be a bit of a challenge, but as more add-in partners release cards based on this kickarse performing GPU, you hope it's a sign that stock availability is growing as well.
Palit have added a variant of their own to the market, and this isn't your typical reference based 88GT either.
What we have here is the new GeForce 8800GT Sonic 512MB card which has been heavily modified with such features as an improved 3-Phase Power circuit, superior heatsink/fan design over the stock reference version which also results in factory overclocked core and memory speeds of 650MHz and 1.9GHz respectively; and lastly Palit have also added HDMI support.
The only worrying aspect of the card is of course availability, but you always hope that'll change very soon.
More details on the card can be found within the official PR.
Palit Microsystems, the leading graphics card manufacturer, today announces its own design GeForce 8800GT Sonic which offers something more and above the other GeForce 8800GT in the market.
Lower Noise is produced by Palit's own design GeForce 8800GT. With Palit's revolutionary cooling system, the noise is successfully reduced to 29.5dB, provides better environment for noise concern customers.
Asus has quietly launched two motherboards based on Intel's G35 chipset which relies on Intel's integrated graphics, but this time the graphics engine is somewhat different, as the G35 chipset relies on the GMA X3500. Intel claims that the new graphics engine supports DirectX 10 as well as Shader Model 4.0 and OpenGL 2.0. The G35 chipset is long overdue, but it looks like Intel has finally managed to ship it out to its partners, as the Asus boards have just gone on sale in Japan.
The two models are the P5E-V HDMI and the P5E-VM HDMI, with the main difference between the two being that the first one is ATX while the second one is mATX. Interestingly enough, Asus claims CrossFire support for the full size P5E-V HDMI board and it looks like the design is similar to a P35 board in terms of CrossFire support. Both boards feature an HDMI connector as well as a D-sub for the onboard graphics and an HDMI to DVI converter comes in the box.
The boards offer support for up to 1,333MHz bus and can take up to 8GB of DDR2 800MHz memory in four DIMM slots. Interestingly enough, Asus has somehow managed to marry the G35 MCH to Intel's ICH9R on both boards, something that Intel didn't intend for the G35 chipset, as it's meant to be paired up with Intel's ICH8-series. The benefits of this aren't great, but you do at least get support for two more USB 2.0 ports as well as command based port multiplier support for SATA.
Both boards packs 7.1-channel HD audio with coaxial S/PDIF out, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, six SATA ports and an IDE connector. The P5E-V HDMI has two x16 PCI Express slots, although the second one only has x1 or x4 times bandwidth, a single x1 PCI Express slot and three PCI slots, while the P5E-VM HDMI manages a single PCI Express x16 slot, two x1 slots and a PCI slot. Both boards also has a small riser card which we haven't quite managed to figure out what it's for, nor is there any mention of what it is supposed to be on the Asus website nor in the manual.
'Tis the season for giving as they say and MSI are also in the spirte of giving... USB Christmas trees!
It does not quite top the two can Coke fridge given to us by Nvidia a few years ago but still quite cool nevertheless.
We happened upon a few pictures of a somewhat different Radeon HD 3850 card from a Chinese manufacturer that we're not familiar with and we can't really make out the name, as it's only in Chinese, although the card also says Zero on it, but if this is the brand, then we're still not familiar with the company behind this card.
What makes this card so different is the fact that an onboard HDMI connector, rather than relying on a DVI to HDMI converter commonly used on ATI cards. This could be an advantage in tight spaces, as you don't need to make room for those extra couple of centimetres that the dongle takes up.
The downside of this card would be the custom made cooler, as although it's a novel idea, the two small fans are likely to add more noise, which is not desirable, especially for anyone thinking about putting this card into a HTPC type environment.
Hopefully some of the more well known ATI partners will sell cards with a built in HDMI connector as well, but skip the dual fan cooler in favour for something a bit quieter.
You can find a few more pictures of the card here
PROLINK have released a new PixelView PlayTV series tuner into their lineup this week, this dubbed the PlayTV "USB 415".
As the model name implies, this tuner is primarily suited to notebooks as it connects directly to a vacant USB 2.0 port. It accepts analog signals and handles real-time MPEG2/DVD video recording. Furthermore, this tuner is compliant with Vista's Media Center.
Check out the announcement here for further information on its key features.
Taipei, Taiwan (techmessenger.com) -- PROLINK Microsystems Corporation today announces "PixelView PlayTV USB 415 " which brings next generation laptop TV features. With application versatility, "PixelView PlayTV USB 415" owns advanced silicon tuner for Analog TV receptions with powerful real-time MPEG2 recording. "PixelView PlayTV USB 415" can be function as time-shifting, schedule recording, auto scan TV cannel with PixelVeiw PVR or Vista Media Center. While you are busy, just control your remote control. Pause, forward, you will never miss any favorite shows.
Leadtek has announced a new dinky graphics card for those that need something affordable with HDMI output. The good news is that the PX8500 GT TDH HDMI as Leadtek calls it, still has a DVI connector. As the model name suggests this card is based on the GeForce 8500 GT GPU and it's paired with 256MB of 128-bit DDR2 memory
The Core is clocked at 450MHz and has 16 stream engines while the memory is clocked at 800MHz. The GPU is cooled by a heatpipe and a passive heatsink which should keep the card nice and cool. It's a low profile card and this should make it a great option for home theatre PC machines.
For those that only have an external S/PDIF connector on their sound card or motherboard, the inclusion of an external coaxial S/PDIF connector should be a welcome addition. This allows you to use a single cable for audio and video thanks to the addition of HDMI on the card.
You can check out more info over at the Leadtek website
The USB standard is on the way to eventually going entirely wireless; the Wireless USB promoter group announced yesterday that the development of "Wireless USB 1.1" should reach final status within the first half of next year. v1.0 of Wireless USB has already been finished however 1.1 is said to bring such advancements as better power efficiency, support for UWB frequencies above 6GHz and more options in relation to the first-time association of devices.
XBit Labs have the full story.
"The Wireless USB 1.1 Specification builds on the key features - speed, ease of use, and security - that have made the 1.0 specification so successful. The Wireless USB Promoter Group will define new features that make a great specification even better to improve product offerings for manufacturers and ultimately enhance the end-user experience," said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president.
Leadtek have just announced their latest WinFast PX8600 GT TDH HDMI graphics card, the first Nvidia 8600GT card from them to sport a HDMI port, making it an ideal solution for your HTPC.
Grab the official PR here for full details on it.
Taipei, Taiwan, September 29th, 2007-- Leadtek Research Inc., known globally for extreme visual graphics technology development, takes pride in announcing the launch of a new mid-class graphics card, WinFast® PX8600 GT TDH HDMI. This new card supports high definition multimedia interface (HDMI), the latest transmission standard in audio and video, which greatly helps users experience pure pictures and sounds without any compression or conversion. All that's necessary is the connection of single cable for all the enjoyment of home digital theater.
Belkin has launched what it simply calls a Network USB Hub which allows you to share and access printers and USB storage devices over your wireless network. Rather ingenious, although being able to share printers on a network is hardly something new and there are already routers that can share USB storage devices. The trick here is that Network USB Hub can connect to any and all routers or even a switch or a hub.
The neat thing here is that the Network USB Hub can share some devices that traditional print servers or network sharing routers weren't too fond of, such as multifunction printers, digital cameras and scanners. It can also be used for backing up data from a USB storage device or even a digital camera to a NAS.
One odd thing that doesn't make a lot of sense to us is that it says that it can play music from an MP3 player attached via USB by using a pair of USB speakers, any care to elaborate? The Network USB Hub actually tricks your computer into thinking that the networked device is directly attached to your PC, something that as far as we know, no other device of this type has done before it.
It has one 10/100Mbit Ethernet port, which is a shame, since with the possibility of attaching so many devices, Gigabit Ethernet would've been ideal in our opinion to prevent bottlenecks. It does of course have five USB 2.0 ports and it's powered by a small power brick. You can pick one up for US$129.99 which might seem a little bit steep, but it is a one of a kind device.
You can find the product page here