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
Intel, HP, Microsoft, Nec, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments have announced that they're developing a new USB standard simply called USB 3.0. The new standard is claimed to be ten times faster than USB 2.0 and it will target fast sync-and-go applications on PC's, mobile devices and consumer electronics.
USB 3.0 will remain backwards compatible with current USB standards, but it will be more power efficient and better optimized for low power drain. An optical version is also meant to be developed, but how this is meant to interface with various devices wasn't made clear.
The first draft specifications should be ready in the first half of next year and the first implementations we'll see will be in the form of discrete chipsets. Apparently over 6.2 billion USB devices have been shipped since 2001 and 2.1 billion of those last year alone. Goes to show how many of the peripherals we use are connected via USB.
Buffalo Tech have announced a new range of 2.5 and 3.5" portable hard disks recently, these dubbed the "TurboUSB" series.
The "Turbo" bit in the title is due to a special controller chip which gives the transfer speeds of these USB 2.0 drives a significant boost; supposedly up to 64% quicker for the 2.5" variants and 37% for the 3.5" models.
For more info on the full line-up incl. retail pricing, Nordic Hardware have the scoop.
Buffalo Technology has announced a whole range of new portable harddrives, which looks rather ordaniary at a first glance, but when you look under the hood you find a special controller chip which together with a specialized driver will outperform current USB 2.0 products. TurboUSB will namely reduce file transfer overhead and improve the transfer rate. The company claims the new harddrive will sport up to 64 percent better performance in the 2.5" range, known as MiniStation, and up to 37 % faster with the 3.5" models, DriveStation.
Remember XCM and that Xbox 360 HDMI cable for none HDMI equipped Xbox 360's? Well, they've updated the information on their website and have added some better pictures of the mysterious cable. Now it appears to have an Xbox 360 AV connector in one end and an HDMI connector in the other.
According to XCM it will also be able to output 1080i, as the cable converts the analog signal to a digital signal, which is why it can't do 1080p. It's also got a pair of RCA stereo audio outputs and an HDMI to DVI adapter.
The cable is apparently scheduled to go on sale in the middle of September, which means it's only a couple of weeks away. It's not going to make your old Xbox 360 as good as one of the new HDMI equipped ones, but it will at least allow you to connect your old Xbox 360 to an HD TV via HDMI.
You can check out a couple of additional pictures here
Corsair have introduced some new "Flash Padlock" secure USB 2.0 drives today which have a hardware-authentication lock feature. If you want to keep your data secure whilst on the go, one of these would be a perfect partner.
The drive will "auto-lock" everytime you remove it from a computer, requiring you to key in your PIN number on the simple touch-pad interface.
The Flash Padlock comes in two capacities, 1 and 2GB with pricing of $29.99 and $39.99 USD respectively.
Fremont, CA, August 16, 2007 - Corsair® http://www.corsair.com, a worldwide leader in high performance computer and flash memory products, today launched the "Flash Padlock" family of affordable USB 2.0 drives, the safest way to secure your data while on the go. Priced starting at only $29.99, the Flash Padlock line of affordable USB 2.0 flash drives address the need for secure data storage through hardware technology, rather than software. Flash Padlock features "Auto-Locking," so the user doesn't need to remember to enable the protective feature -- It will automatically lock and protect itself after removal from the computer.
With its simple touch-pad security PIN entry system, Flash Padlock can be unlocked quickly and confidentially for use as a standard USB flash data drive. Flash Padlock is impervious to "brute force" hacks or keystroke loggers that would defeat a software secured USB flash drive.
Buffalo has released four external USB SSD drives with capacities of 8, 16, 24 and 56GB. The 56GB version would set you back US$750, with the 24GB version coming it at $336, the 16GB model at $234 and finally the 8GB one at $142. Although we dig SSD drives, this seems like a strange way of making the most out of them.
Buffalo has designed a fairly attractive drive enclosure for the SSD drives that measures 89 x 57 x 14 mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at just under 61g for the 56GB model. The drives are meant to be shock proof up to a drop of 2.5m, so dropping one of these off your desk shouldn't do any kind of damage to them.
Buffalo has also integrated its Turbo USB interface to the SSD drives, which should speed up data transfers, but the USB 2.0 interface is most likely going to limit the potential of the SSD drive here. Anyone considering the 8GB model should take a look at a 8GB USB pen drive first, as you can pick up one of those for less than $142.
You can check out the official product page here but be warned, it's in Japanese.
Normally we wouldn't cover something as basic as a voice recorder, especially as it comes built into many MP3 players these days, but Olympus has launched four new models that features a built in USB port. Again, this might not seem like a big deal, but it's taken until now for a voice recorder company to release such a product.
The first two models, the WS-110 and WS-210S features 256 or 512MB of built in memory and measures 94.7 x 38 x 10mm (H x W x D) and features a built in LCD screen. They're powered by a single AAA battery and Olympus claims it has enough juice for up to 21h of recording.
The WS-311M and WS-321M offers 512MB and 1GB capacity respectively and measures 94.8 x 38.6 x 11mm (H x W x D). These two models also features an LCD screen and a USB port, but you also get SRS 'WOW XT' audio enhancement technology thrown in for good measure.
All four models will be available from next month and you can read the press releases here and here. Excuse the pictures used, they're of the Japanese version of the same models, so the model names are different.
Microsoft has released a new version of the Xbox 360 Premium that just had a price cut in the US to $349.99 and the new model comes with HDMI as standard, just like the Xbox 360 Elite. However, it retains its 20GB hard drive and it's still white. Don't expect to find an HDMI cable in the box either.
ShackNews got the scoopage on this one, as one of its readers sent them pictures of his newly purchased Xbox 360 Premium. Microsoft has since confirmed that it is indeed shipping a new version of the console, although it will replace the older version over time as stock of the older model sells out.
There's no word on the new model arriving anywhere outside of the US as yet, although the console in question was manufactured on the 4th of July. Nor has it been confirmed if these new consoles will feature the rumored 65nm CPU upgrade or not, but someone will surely crack one of these new consoles open sooner or later to check if this is the case or not.
For now, you can check out some picture of the new console here
Samsung Electronics has revealed the first display to feature the new DisplayPort interface that it has developed together with Intel, AMD, Nvidia, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Philips and others. DisplayPort is also sanctioned by VESA and it's the next generation display interface on computers, set to replace DVI, LVDS and D-sub.
However, there's a little while before you can go out and buy one of these, as they won't be available until Q2 2008. The demo display measures 30-inches and it has WQXGA (don't you just love acronyms?) resolution, which to most of us means 2,560x1,600 pixels.
It's using a S-PVA panel and has a contrast ration of 1,000:1 with a response time of 6ms, which is all quite impressive for a panel this size. The panel was using a chip jointly developed by Samsung and Genesis Microchip for the DisplayPort interface and it features four 2.7Gbps lanes. This allows the panel to display 1.07 billion colours thanks to its 10-bit colour depth.
To do this with DVI would require three DVI interfaces according to Samsung, as DVI only have 1.65Gbps per lane, although dual link DVI is usually used for high resolution displays these days that double that bandwidth, although even this is limited to 2,048x1,536.
Now we just have to wait for DisplayPort enabled graphics cards to appear on the market, which might take a while, since there's kind of a chicken and egg effect until Samsung has its new display available for sale.
SanDisk has announced that it is working closely with Ducati in a sponsorship deal that allows SanDisk to use the Ducati brand for its products. The Ducati Moto GP motorcycles will carry SanDisk branding as part of the agreement.
SanDisk launched three new SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition products, of which the first is the Ducati Edition USB flash drive. It's been designed to resemble the Duacti Moto GP motorcycle and it comes with 4GB of capacity. It has a read and write speed of 20MB/s according to SanDisk, which makes it their fastest USB flash drive.
The Ducati Edition flash drive has a retractable USB connector and a rear light that illuminates when the drive is accessed. It will cost around US$124.99 when it becomes available in August in the US and Europe, with the rest of the world following in September.
The other two products consist of a new Extreme Ducati Edition CompactFlash card and SD Plus card. The SD Plus card features an integrated USB connector so it can be used without a card reader. The CF card features write speeds of up to 45MB/s and the SD Plus card manages 20MB/s.
The SD Plus card will be available in a 4GB capacity for US$129.99 while the CF card will cost US$164.99 for the capacity and an insane US$314.99 for an 8GB version. All three cards will be available in the US and Europe in August.
Ratoc Systems International, a to us unfamiliar company has launched the REX-USBDVI external graphics card. Although it seems like it's only available in Japan at the moment, it's likely that the company will launch it in other markets in de time. Ratoc seems to specialize in PDA graphics solutions and various notebook upgrades.
The REX-USBDVI supports resolutions of up to 1,600x1,200 or 1,680x1,050. It's not going to be powerful enough for playing games with, but you can attach multiple units to your PC or notebook for some multi display action. This isn't the first such device, but it's the first one we've seen with a DVI connector.
At US$130 it might be cheaper to add a second graphics card, even a PCI or PCI Express x1 card. However, if you're looking for a multi display solution for your notebook, this looks like a decent option. Another downer is that the REX-USBDVI isn't fast enough for the new Aero interface in Vista, although it is Vista compatible.
Ever had your MP3 player run out of juice mid-flight? Is there anything more annoying than having several hours left in the air without being able to power on your portable game console. Well, this might just be a problem of the past if we're to believe the claims of the Inflight USB Power Unit.
This is a nifty little box that allows you to draw power from the airplanes audio socket and it outputs regulated 5V power that allows you to charge a variety of devices.
You can charge pretty much any device that connects and charges via a standard USB connector, although two different adaptors are available, one for iPod's and one is a mini USB connector.
Starting at US$34.99 this is a clever device that is ideal for long haul flights as it allows you to boost the battery life of your portable gadgetse, mobile phones and what not.
You can pick one up here
Palit has just announced its Radeon HD 2600Pro Sonic, which features a built in HDMI connector, making it easier to connect the card to HDMI enabled displays and HD TV's. The card retains one DVI and get a D-Sub connector as well, although it's missing a TV-out connector, but if your TV already has HDMI, why bother with analogue?
The card itself looks quite generic and it features a fairly standard cooler. The HD 2600Pro Sonic has 256MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1.4GHz and the GPU is clocked at 650MHz. This is the first Radeon HD 2600 Pro card to feature GDDR3 memory and it should allow for a performance boost against the competition.
Palit also announced its HD 2600XT series which consists of the Sonic and the Super. The difference between the two being that the Super has 512MB of memory. The Palit HD 2600XT cards are clocked at 800MHz for the core and both cards have GDDR3 memory clocked at 1.6GHz. The Super version is one of the first GDDR3 cards with 512MB of memory to be announced, although it's unlikely to add a great deal of performance apart from in games with large textures.
You can find out more by visiting Palit's website by clicking here
A to us unknown console accessory company called XCM is listing a new product that should appeal to owners of older Xbox 360 consoles, as they claim they're working on an HDMI cable that will work with them.
What exactly this cable does isn't clear at this time, as the only reference on the site is that it enables HMDI and 1080P output from the regular white Xbox 360. Our guess is that it combines the VGA or component video signal with the digital audio in the round little box on the middle of the cable and then outputs this as some kind of pseudo HDMI signal.
Considering that it won't add HDCP protection to the signal it's unlikely that it will work with protected HD DVD video, since the console won't be able to communicate with the HD TV and thus the HD video stream will be downscaled. However, to date, this is not being enforced on any HD DVD media we know of.
The cable should finish development in about four weeks time, so expect availability on some six to eight weeks time, if it really works. No pricing information was given, so it's anyone's guess how expensive it will be.
You can visit XCM's website by clicking here
DEAL OF THE DAY - OnSale.com - LaCie 1TB Ethernet Big Disk USB 2.0 and Gigabit 10/100/1000 Networked Storage for $269.99 plus Shipping!
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: This is the cheapest price we've seen on a 1TB networked storage disk, especially one with gigabit networking (10/100/1000). You also have the choice of using the USB 2.0 connection.
Although this doesn't come from Lego officially, as it's made by an Australian company called Zip Zip! it's none the less a cool toy. It's actually not that special, as all they've done is to squeeze a tiny USB memory key into a Lego block.
The Lego USB keys are available in a wide range of colours and you can pick one up in black, white, blue, yellow, red or green. They cost AU$59 plus shipping, which seems quite steep for a 1GB memory key, but I guess you have to pay for the novelty value of owning one of these.
You can buy your own Lego USB key here
DEAL OF THE DAY - Buy.com - Cavalry 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM 16MB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive for $99.95 after Rebate, Shipped Free!
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: This Pre-Formatted External USB 2.0 hard drive from Cavalry boasts a remarkable set of features. The external USB 2.0 Hard Drive dissipates heat so efficiently that it doesn't need a fan - for nearly silent operation. The aluminum enclosure offers remarkable durability and superior all-around performance. Compatible with both Mac and PC computers and supports hi-speed USB 2.0 connections.
DEAL OF THE DAY - HOT! Onsale.com - LaCie F. A. Porsche 500GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive for $109.99 plus Shipping!
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: Great deal here on LaCie's 500GB 7200RPM 8MB Buffer external USB 2.0 hard drive! This F. A. Porsche designed drive is just $109.99 plus shipping. The price shows up after you add the product to your cart. Unknown expiration date, may expire at any time.
HAH! How's this for shoddy :-
Now apparently these things are selling as 2GB pen drives in some piddly PC parts shop in an impoverished country. Hell, it's not like these pen drives are worth much at all anymore as it is... but when you're struggling to put food on the table it's not as surprising that someone would go to these lengths.
DEAL OF THE DAY - Newegg - Logitech MX Revolution USB Cordless Laser Mouse for Only $35.99 with FREE Shipping
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: They've been pulling the free shipping offers on their hot deals so if you want one of these, get it quick. Thanks to a $40 rebate and a coupon, this puppy drops more than 50% off it's normal price and again, it ships for free. Rebate expires 6/30/07, coupon expires some time soon. Use coupon code: EMC517FLOGI (expiration unknown)
DEAL OF THE DAY - Hot! Buy.com - Western Digital Passport Pocket 6GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive for $29.95 $19.95 Shipped Free!
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: Price Drop! Sometimes big things can come in small packages. And that's what this ultra-thin drive delivers, big capacity in a pocket-sized device designed to let you store and carry your photos, music, video, and document files, large and small.