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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
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.