Fact: Most computer LCD panels are great for viewing high definition content. Fact: Blu-ray won the high definition format war. Fact: Black bears run away from you, brown bears run at you. That last fact doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about, we (and Dwight) just thought you should know.
A Blu-ray optical drive and PC display might seem like the perfect match, especially since prices have dropped from around $100 to $75, but consumers just aren't very interested. According to DigiTimes, the market penetration for BD drives in 2010 isn't going to see much growth over 2009 once all the numbers are tallied.
That's bad news for Lite-On and Quanta Storage, Taiwan's two largest optical drive makers. The two companies combined will only see BD drive shipments total 1.17 million in 2010, a mere 1.5 percent of their total optical disc drive business. On the bright side, that's up half from 2009, though by only half a percentage point.
LaCie is touting what it claims is the smallest SSD USB 3.0 drive around, the FastKey. Living up to its name, LaCie's FastKey boasts up to 260MB/s transfers, enough to scoot 1,000 MP3 or five DiVX files in under a minute, the company claims.
"With most flash drives, transferring a large number of photos and MP3 files can take a few minutes," said Luc Pierart, Business Unit Manager, Personal Storage, LaCie. "With the FastKey, transferring small files is immediate. You can back up or share your music and photo libraries as you head out the door."
The peppy device is also easy on the eyes with what appears to be a brushed aluminum casing. It's also capacious, coming in 30GB, 60GB, and 120GB capacities, each one with AES 256-bit software encryption included.
Razer's new Nostromo Gaming Keypad is a new take on the original n52te SpeedPad it co-developed with Belkin a few years back. So what exactly is new?
"The Razer Nostromo is an update to this illustrious gaming keybpad to meet today's competitive gaming demands," Razer explains. "Building on the SpeedPad's proven ergonomic design, the Razer Nostromo incorporates the latest gaming technologies that Razer has developed over the past few years, including a new chipset and software drivers that allow all levels of gamers to program sophisticated command strings to help decimate their opponents."
The Nostromo sports 16 buttons in a layout designed to provide easy access, along with a soft-touch rubberized wrist pad so you can game well into the night without suffering wrist fatigue. Each button is programmable, and unlike the original, you can switch instantly between eight keymaps instead of just three. You can also store up to 20 gaming profiles, twice as many as the n52te.
Networking specialist Trendnet recently announced what it claims is the world's smallest 150Mbps Micro Wireless N USB Adapter, the TEW-648UBM.
Boring name aside, this nifty device measures just 0.59 x 0.74 x 0.28 inches. Pop it into an open USB port and Trendnet says it will extend a mere 0.3 inches from the edge of your PC. For most people, the adapter should be small enough to keep permanently plugged into your notebook, even as you shove it into your laptop bag.
"The TEW-648UBM eliminates size constraints when using wireless adapters. On-the-go users no longer have to worry about leaving their adapter plugged into their laptop," stated Sonny Su, Technology Director for Trendnet. "As well, the addition of a WPS button makes it really easy to connect to WPS enabled routers and access points."
There's still room for innovation in the USB thumb drive market, as Verbatim just proved with its new Store 'n' Go Clip-it USB drive. Use it as a tiny USB key to store digital files, and as a paper clip for your hard copies.
"We’re very excited to launch the Clip-it USB drive, a unique and ultra-convenient way for consumers to consolidate their digital files and paper documents at home and in the office," said Mark Rogers, Verbatim Product Manager, Flash. "The new unit makes it easy for users to keep all of their data in one place, and, with its diminutive size and light weight, the Clip-it is a great option for physically sending and sharing files."
At least in terms of capacity, Verbatim is taking a one size fits all approach by only offering the new drive in 4GB, though you do have five colors to choose from, including pink, green, blue, orange, and black. The drive will be available at the beginning of December for $20.
Sony this week unveiled its next-gen half-height internal Blu-ray rewritable drive available in both retail and OEM configurations. The new drive includes Blu-ray 3D playback and offers up to 12X writes to single BD-R media and up to 8X speeds on dual-layer BD-R discs.
Sony says the 12X recording speed works on 6X compatible BD-R media, allowing you to record a full 25GB disc in about 10 minutes. Other specs include:
4.7GB DVD+/-R = 16X
8.5GB DVD+/-R Double Layer = 8X
DVD+RW = 8X
DVD-RW = 6X
CD-R = 48X
CD-RW = 24X
DVD-RAM = 12X
No word yet on price of availability, though Sony did say if you pony up for the retail model you'll also receive CyberLink's Media Suite 8 software.
Kudos to Super Talent for jumping on the USB 3.0 bandwagon without price gouging, as is all too often the case with new (or in this case, relatively new) technologies.
For $14, you can pick up Super Talent's 8GB Express Duo flash drive with support for USB 3.0. Transfer rates check in at over 67MB/s, and of course it's backwards compatible with USB 2.0 (with a read speed around 32MB/s).
"The USB 3.0 Express Duo is perhaps our most exciting USB 3.0 flash drive to date. We were first to break the 300MB/s barrier with our USB 3.0 RAIDDrive and now we're breaking the $15 price barrier. There's simply no reason to buy a USB 2.0 flash drive anymore," said CH Lee, COO of Super Talent."
Super Talent is also selling a 16GB version of the Express Duo for $29. Check out the benchmarking video below.
Considering we do most of our typing indoors, a solar-powered keyboard sounds about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Logitech assures us, however, that its new Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 powers itself whenever and wherever there's light, inside our out.
"The keyboard is still the best input device for typing emails and IMs, updating your Facebook page or posting responses to your favorite blogs — and the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is the next big innovation in keyboard technology," said Denis Pavillard, vice president of product marketing for Logitech’s keyboards and desktops. "The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard is powered by light but can work in total darkness for up to three months. Plus, with its PVC-free construction and fully recyclable packaging, it’s designed to minimize its footprint."
The plank comes with an integrated solar panel, which means no fuzting around with a power brick, charging cables, or swapping batteries. And to help keep track of things, the included solar power app (available November 15, 2010) features a lux meter so you'll know if there's enough light or not.
Logitech will begin selling the new keyboard later this month for $80.
Let us clarify something right off the bat. You should NOT whack Asus' WX-DL mouse with a hockey stick, no matter how much it resembles a hockey puck. This round mouse is meant to be touched, not beaten.
Akihabara News, which caught wind of the device and snapped a bunch of pics, says the touch sensitive mouse sports a wireless design and is constructed from aluminum. It also looks very similar to the puck-shaped mice that shipped with the first iMacs, only the WX-DL is tilted slightly and functions more like the Mighty Mouse, another Apple product.
Asus' latest rodent can read some gestures, comes with a few multimedia controls, and features a 1,200dpi laser sensor.
The WX-DL is compatible with Windows PCs and will sell for $80.
At a glance, Razer's newly announced Anansi keyboard looks like any other modern gaming plank. Ask Razer, however, and they'll tell you the Anansi is the world's first MMO gaming keyboard, and a perfect compliment to the company's Naga MMO mouse line.
"The Razer Anansi gaming keyboard is the new weapon of choice for MMO gamers," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Let’s face it, the regular keyboard that came with your PC was designed and built for typing, not for MMO gaming. With its revolutionary seven thumb modifier keys, every key combination that you had before is now multiplied by seven times. The Razer Anansi allows you to use every spell, ability or custom macro in your arsenal -- both instantly and in complete comfort."
Razer's Anansi sports seven thumb modifier keys, over 100 programmable "Hyperesponse" keys with on-the-fly macro recording, 20 gaming profiles with one-button profile switching, five additional gaming keys, customized backlight options, anti-ghosting, and a gaming mode that disables the Windows key.