Porsche Design may not be directly involved in building German supercars, but there are certain expectations to be met, aren’t there? LaCie is rolling out a new version of its Porsche Design hard drive skewed towards Mac owners that should offer more of the performance you’d associate with the automotive brand. The P’9223 Slim SSD is a third thinner than its ancestor but carries the option of a 120GB SSD that makes the most of the USB 3.0 port. If all runs well, nearly any Mac launched in 2012 can shuttle data along at a brisk 400MB per second. Demanding Mac fans will need to pay $150 for the flash-based edition to have the P’9223 feel truly Porsche-like; others only have to spend $100 if they’re content with the Volkswagen pace of a 500GB spinning drive.
Blue Microphones Mikey Digital portable microphone for iOS devices hits shelves, offers mobile tracking for $100
The second of Blue Microphone’s CES trio has broken cover. Mikey Digital, a mobile recording peripheral for the iPad and iPhone is now available at select retailers. If you’re in need of a refresher, the retooled version of the original Mikey tracking unit connects to you Apple smartphone or tablet via the dock connector. The mic houses the same two condenser capsules found on the more robust Snowball and Yeti USB mics while sporting built-in sensitivity control and CD-quality analog / digital conversion. A 3.5mm audio jack is included for monitoring or either stereo line-in or mic-in — if you’re looking to tack on a few more gadgets when recording with the 230-degree rotating kit. USB pass-thru allows for charging while in the midst of a session and a LED clipping indicator keeps tabs on volume levels to ensure the best results. If all of that sounds too good to pass up, the Mikey Digital will hit your wallet for $99.99 just as soon at you can enter your shipping info.
Remember that fancy-looking DDJ-AERO we saw from Pioneer recently? Well if that was a bit too “buttony,” or perhaps just too expensive for your beginner DJ pockets, how about that which you see above? Announced today, this is the DDJ-WeGO an (or is that another) all-in-one DJ controller — squarely aimed at the cheaper end of the market. With a suggested retail price of $399, it’s Pioneer’s cheapest controller to date, and comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE software. For your money, you get two platters and a mini-mixer, FX buttons, a choice of five colors (white, black, red, green or the pictured violet), as well as some built-in LED effects that help you learn to mix (the lights get brighter as the pitch of the two songs gets closer, etc.). On a more practical level, the unit is compact, USB-powered, and has a built-in audio-interface (no extra sound card required for headphone monitoring). You can get your spin on from next month, at the aforementioned quad-benjamin price-point, or tease yourself with the PR past the break.
Aw, wouldn’t you look at the cute little… wait. Right, there’s a Chrome OS update. At its heart, the upgrade to Google’s cloud-based platform introduces a streamlined app list that both occupies less space and carries an internet-wide search box. It’s also possible to save files directly to Google Drive, and audio can now play through either HDMI or USB. Don’t lie to yourself, however: the real reason you’ll rush to update your Chromebook today is newly added support for custom wallpapers, which guarantees all-day, everyday viewing of your most favorite dog in the whole wide world. Or at least, a nice change of pace from Google’s run-of-the-mill backdrops. Isn’t it so sweet?
Gemini unveiled the original FirstMix last yearand now it’s just introduced two more models for the beginner DJ. The FirstMix I/O looks little more than a revision of the original, with some minor aesthetic tweaks, although we’ve not yet been given full specs for a proper comparison. The FirstMix Pro, however, definitely brings a little more to the DJ booth. We spy what appears to be three hot-cue buttons on each deck, expandable to six via a shift function, as well what looks like a three channel EQ. Loop-in and out buttons also make an appearance, along with — most significantly — a 3.5mm headphone jack, which suggests a built-in sound interface for pre-cueing. Gemini wants $129.95 for the FirstMix I/O and $199.95 for the FirstMix Pro and both come bundled with MixVibes LE. Fans of the original can now pick it up for a reduced $79.99. Check the PR after the break for the run-down.
Even though all signs indicate Samsung will be joining the Google TV party shortly, it’s not going to give up on its own existing Smart TV platform just yet. We don’t know if it will run the two side by side as it has operated with Yahoo! Widgets, but the Korean manufacturer has announced it plans to release version 3.0 of its SDK January 5th. The new Samsung Apps toolkit supports mobile devices and TV sets, and lets developers build in support for remote controls, as well as USB mice, keyboards or gamepads. Of course, not all devs will work for free, so they’re also adding a way for them to get paid through the built-in payment system or advertisements. Currently, Samsung claims 25,000 developers from 140 countries in its forums, but we’ll have to wait until CES 2012 to find out if its products live up to the hype and attract more innovative software to the segment.
In the world of DJ’ing there are few certainties, be it the music you play, where you play it, or what you play it on. One thing’s for sure, and that is that technology is changing the craft of mixing as we know it. Controllers in particular are responsible for bringing the craft closer to the masses: they’re bedroom-friendly, full of gadgetry and they bring the time honored two-decks-and-a-mixer set up into the 21st century.
Native Instruments already has offerings in this area in the form of the Kontrol X1 and Kontrol S4, both of which have been hugely popular. How, then, will its latest addition to the family – the Kontrol S2 – hold up against its established elder siblings, along with an increasingly crowded pool of competing models? Is this an evolutionary refinement of its bigger brother – the S4 – or a stripped-down, slightly more economical ($669) controller for those looking to dip a toe into the whole DJ thing? Let’s get under the hood and find out.
Looking to step your game up when capturing surfing footage from atop your longboard? Swannis aiming to lend a helping hand with its newfangled Freestyle HD wearable video camera. This offering is the company’s first that sports a detachable 1.5-inch LCD viewer for taking a peek at your 1080p video capture in real-time — which you can capture at up to 30 fps. You’ll also be able to snap eight megapixel JPEGs should you so choose with 3x digital zoom at your disposal. Waterproof at depths up to 65 feet, the Freestyle HD can be helmet-mounted, attached to your favorite fixed-gear or the roof of your rally car via the three included mounting brackets. The camera will connect directly to an HDTV for viewing, or you can hop over to a PC via a microSD card or USB transfer. You can expect 2.5-hour battery life and a $279 price tag to boot — too bad that flight to the southern hemisphere isn’t nearly as affordable.
Swann Freestyle HD press photos
Looking to harness all the power of your smartphone PC-style? Motorola is looking to help with its Lapdock 100 for a number of devices, including the Atrix 2, Photon 4G and Droid Bionic. The laptop shell sports a 10.1-inch screen (smaller and hopefully cheaper than the Atrix 4G’s axed lapdock), keyboard with dedicated Android keys, touchpad, multi-tasking and tabbed web-browsing via WiFi or your phone’s data plan. You’ll also be able to utilize a full Firefox browser, Adobe Flash, Quick Office, Google Docs and a PC-esque File Manager. Just in case your smartphone’s SD card doesn’t offer enough storage space, the dock packs two USB ports for all those extra documents you might collect. Looking to stay ultra-portable, the peripheral weighs a hair over two pounds (less than 1Kg) and touts five hours of battery life — which can also be used to recharge that tired handset if needed. If you’re looking to snatch up one of these bad boys, you’ll have to wait until October 17… and even then, it’ll only hit shelves at AT&T. Verizon and Sprint customers will get their chance “later this quarter” and there’s no word yet on pricing. Need more info? Hit that coverage link for product page and get yourself better acquainted.
Have a soft spot for wireless speakers? There were tons of options out there already, but JBL just threw one more into the ring with its On Tour iBT. As we’d expect form the audio gurus, the system boasts wireless audio internals that play nice with both A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth devices. In addition to four JBL Odyssey transducers, the kit packs a built-in microphone for Facetime or hands-free calls, an adjustable iPad stand and a USB connector for charging — when the Katy Perry tune blastin’ device is plugged in itself, of course. Interested? It can be yours now via the source link for $150, but if you’d care to take a closer look before committing, peep the gallery below.
AOC’s latest may not have the IPS viewing angles of recent tablet offerings or high-end monitors, but this portable 16-inch screen connects — and powers itself — through just one USB port. Priced at $139, the AOC e1649fwu also includes a fold-up stand and can be propped up in both portrait and landscape. The 16:9 TFT screen packs 1366×768 resolution, and AOC promises that it won’t immediately suck all the life out of your laptop, though we’ll hold our judgement until we can get our hands on one. It could be a very canny addition to your portable office arsenal; it weighs in at a spritely 2.3lbs (just under over 1kg) and the 1.4 inch thickness means it may squeeze into some (admittedly more capacious) lappie bags. You’ll finally be able to look like you mean business while pluggin’ away in your own private corner at Starbucks after this launches next month.
If you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the incredibly crowded portable storage space, you can innovate and create something totally awesome, or you can do this. The mDock from mLogic is an external hard drive, port extenderand port blocker all rolled into one pricey coffin-like chamber of fail. $219 will net you an eternal resting place for 500 gigs of data, while $299 ups the ante to an entire terabyte. Plus, with a pair of front-facing USB ports, you can add a third-party portable storage yokel for the less-than-princely sum of 50 bucks. If you haven’t already gathered, the mDock is designed for mMacbook Pros, but there’s also the iMac-mountable mBack (curiously not the iBack), designed with Apple’s familiar desktop flavor in mind. That variant is slightly more affordable, with pricing ranging from $169 for 1TB to $349 for 3TB, but you’ll forgo the dock-like USB hub and headphone jack. There’s no word on when to expect these life-changing devices in stores, but it’s never too early to dust off the iChair and park yourself on 5th Ave.
Update: As pointed out by many in the comments most ports that are blocked by the mDock are replicated on the silver brick, including the Magsafe. The only restriction appears to be a lack of pass-through for Thunderbolt, but you do get a mini DisplayPort for hooking up external monitors. We’ve added one more pic after the break.
Not to be outdone by Seagate’s 4TB GoFlex Desk, Hitachi’s G-Technology unit has now unleashed a jumbo-sized external HDD of its own, with the 8TB, dual-drive G-RAID. Demoed at this week’s IBC conference in Amsterdam, the company’s new storage house consists of two 4TB drives nestled within an aluminum enclosure, each of which clocks in at 7,200 RPM. Configured for OS X, the G-RAID also sports a Thunderbolt port that offers transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, though it can also support Windows with some simple reformatting. G-Technology will begin shipping its 4TB drives in October (with eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 ports), whereas its “4TB-based” Thunderbolt-equipped drive won’t hit the market until Q4 — though it’s still unclear whether either model will ship as single drives, or as a two-headed, 8TB beast. Pricing remains a mystery for the moment.
No points for calling this one, but Microsoft confirmed today that Windows 8 will indeed boast support for the USB 3.0 specification, and “robust” support at that. That includes not just the higher transfer speeds you’d expect, but the promise of better battery life thanks to the improved power management measures the specification allows. Naturally, Microsoft will also continue to support all of your less speedy USB devices, and says that it’s actually created a brand new Microsoft USB Test Tool (or MUTT) to ensure everything works without a hitch — it’s described as “1,000 devices on a USB thumb drive.” Head on past the break for a quick demo video.
Wow. Those rockstars at the USB 3.0 promoter group haven’t taken the threat of Thunderbolt lying down. They’ve been working long into the night (we imagine) screaming “More Power!” and “Liiiiive, damn you, liiiive!”. In a press release, the group announces a new power delivery specification which will push USB 3.0′s limit from 4.5 watts all the way up to 100. You all of course remember that Thunderbolt’s maximum is a mere-by-comparison 10 watts. Brad Saunders, the promotion group’s chairman, believes that the new standard could enable USB 3.0 to supply a laptop with energy at the same time as it delivers data between your devices. (After all that time sponging off your laptop’s meager battery it’s about time your USB-powered foot warmer started returning the favor.) At the moment it’s only a specification and won’t be implemented until 2012 at the earliest, but this could just turn into an arms race of electrifyingproportions.
Today’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 event in NYC wasn’t just about software — okay, it was mostly about software, but the company also unveiled a slew of accessories for its slick Android tablet. High atop the list is a number of new docks for the slate, including a $50 Multimedia Dock, which props the device up in landscape mode while charging it and offering HDMI out. The $80 Ultra Productivity Tool, meanwhile, also charges the device and includes a full-sized keyboard with Android shortcut keys. The $150 Premium Protective case turns the Tab into a makeshift notebook with a full-size Bluetooth keyboard and a hinge that lets the user adjust the tab’s viewing angle.
A new $40 HDTV adapter gives the tablet full 1080p HDMI output. The company also announced a $40 SD card adapter and a USB adapter for easy accessory input. For $60, Tab owners can pick up the Premium Book Cover, a high end case for the device that lets you prop it up for typing or viewing movies. And somewhere in the distance, you could hear Steve Jobs audibly shudder when the company unveiled a pen stylus for the device. The stylus has an aluminum body and a silicon tip, for when you need to give your fingertips a break. It’ll run you $20, and sadly won’t include meat.
How to get a hefty new hard drive for your Mac without making your other gadgets jealous? Iomega is offering up a solution with the fairly elegant Mac Companion Hard Drive, a two or three terabyte external drive designed with Apple computers in mind that adds a high-powered charging port for your peripherals. The drive also packs additional USB and FireWire ports (no Thunderbolt, guys?), plus a set of four LEDs, which let you know how full it is with a glance. The drives are available via Apple at $195 and $295, for 2TB and 3TB, respectively.
We’ve seen some rather inventive USB chargers in our time, but surprisingly few have managed to make charging while traveling a painless process. Aviiq’s new Portable Charging Station, on the other hand, has threatened to make the outside world a more welcoming place when it comes to juicing up. Acting as a sort of USB hub in a bag, this little black travel sleeve lets you pack and power three USB devices — even an iPad — with one outlet. What’s more, the station allows for easy syncing by way of a retractable USB port. So $80 ain’t cheap, and it won’t cook up pork and beans while you sing Camptown Races, but if you’re willing to shell out a little extra scratch for a practical USB travel charger, you can get your hands on one at the source link below. Full PR after the break.