Few flash drives incorporate the advanced controller circuitry to deliver SSD-like performance in a slim, keychain drive form factor.That nakes it one of the fastest Mac flash drives we've ever seen. No only is the VisionTek XT pocket SSD keychain drive insanely fast, it's also very, very competitively priced in 128GB to 1TB capacities.
For Mac desktop users, four USB3 speed ports is more than they'll ever need. Especially when they might be using WiFi to connect a printer, Bluetooth to connect some external speakers, and maybe even using a ThunderBolt external drive for TimeMachine backups. However, the majority of Mac users are mobile and 3 out of 4 Macs sold are MacBook laptops. The MacBook line only include two USB 3.0 ports these days so there may be a need for a Mac USB3 hub to connect additional devices when Apple users are at at their home or office desk.
One of the computing technologies I track has been the USB 3.0 peripherals market. Years back I knew that SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports would become the de-facto successor to USB 2.0 and that both Windows PC manufacturers and Apple would eventually adopt this emerging device connectivity standard. A website dedicated to USB 3.0 Hubs has languished amid fierce competition and the delayed and rather slow adoption of USB 3 over the past few years. It made sense to recently make the site Mac-specific to target a less competitive niche, and to find Mac friendly products with both function and flair that's more in line with an Apple users technical needs as well as their aesthetic sense of style and design.
We've yet to see USB 3.0 take over in a huge way: Currently USB 3.0 has become ubiquitous for external hard drives, USB 3.0 flash drives, and ultra-fast SSD drive solutions. USB 3.0 has also appeared on high-demand A/V devices like music and video recording gear. Other peripherals like printers, scanners, keyboards and mice don't really NEED the potential 5Gbpa bandwidth USB3 provides, so those sorts of peripherals have yet to see SuperSpeed upgrades.
These trends are of interest to Apple computer users. Many of us use both a Macintosh desktop or MacBook laptop AND have one or more iOS gadgets like an iPad, iPhone or iPod to complement it. So our notion of shopping for the “Best Mac Accessories” these days should really take into account the kinds of Apple compatible peripherals that will work well on MULTIPLE computing platforms.
One good example of shopping for tech peripherals with the most versatility and usefulness for both Mac OSX and Apple iOS would be in the Bluetooth computer speaker market. Ideally, look for wireless Bluetooth speakers that can pair with - and remember the configuration for MULTIPLE devices. And if you use an iPhone, HANDS-FREE Bluetooth speakers with built-in microphone and call management features are the smart buy.
For more private audio needs - a stereo Bluetooth headset for Mac and iOS can serve both Mac desktop and MacBook users - as well as mobile computing needs for music listening and handling calls on your iPhone as well. Again, look for on-earpiece controls for call management if you plan to use a handsfree capable headset for your cellphone needs.
Another example is the insane demand for Apple AirPrint compatible printers for iPad - iPhone or iPod Touch. More and more laser, inkjet and All-In-One multifunction printers now support wireless iOS AirPrint printing, as well as compatibility with Mac OSX.
Lastly, compact wireless Bluetooth keyboards for iPad, iPhone and Mac which implicitly support some of Apple iOS or OSX special function keys are available when keyboard input is needed as well.
In conclusion, when you’re shopping for Apple accessories, think with a multi-device big-picture view so that your peripheral purchase can work well on existing platforms you already own -- and those mobile gadgets you’re more likely to acquire in the future.
USB 3.0 MacBook Air
$999 11.6" Display
USB 3.0 MacBook Pro 13"
Dual USB3-USB2 Ports
USB 3.0 Retina Display MacBook
New Ultra-Thin NoteBook
The bad news is the transition to a Mac SuperSpeed future is going to have a slow ramp-up phase, with some nasty glitches and got-cha’s along the way. For example, the Digital Music creation market is finding some of their legacy USB 2.0 audio hardware is not playing nice on either PC or Mac USB 3.0 ports even though they’re supposed to be fully backward compatible.
At least the external hard drive market embraced USB 3.0 whole-heartedly last year. As a result, most new backup drives now incorporate USB 3.0 as the defacto standard interface - usable on older and current systems - and ready to plug into the SuperSpeed future. That’s a good thing and anyone pondering a Mac backup drive solution ought to make sure it has USB 3.0 to ‘future-proof’ their purchase. The downside - as the Windows market already learned - is that in spite of USB 3.0’s Ten-Fold theoretical bandwidth increase over USB2, the real-world performance doesn’t come anywhere close to the specs on paper. Part of that is simply the limitations of mechanical hard drives which can’t fully leverage USB 3.0’s bandwidth potential. So realistically expect backing up your Mac to cut your data transfers and backup times in half, but no where near ‘a 10th of the time’ we were all hoping for. Solid-State SSD backup drives do leverage USB 3.0 bandwidth a lot better - but unless you can fit your Mac data onto a 120GB or 240GB SSD, you might find the more impressive performance of flash memory drives over USB 3.0 to be a bit too pricey.
There are USB 3.0 card readers that work well on a new Mac, however you’ll find most SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards don’t have data Read/Write speeds that can keep up with a USB3 port anyways. Other devices like USB keyboards, mice and graphics tablets simply don’t have the ability - nor the need - to max out USB 2.0 speeds, let alone USB 3.0.
Things get more interesting in the Audio-Video market, where USB 3.0 accessories for A/V enviroments can and will take advantage of USB 3.0 for high-bandwidth, low-latency needs like multi-channel audio and high-definition HD video streams.
Nanocom announced the official release iSpQ 9 for Mac OSX. ISPQ is a great online chat community that's been around for years. It offers PC and Mac compatible messaging and online video conferencing privately 1:1 or multi-party. Whether you're naughty or nice, Gay or Straight, there's a wide range of both General and Adult chat rooms to explore, meet and optionally play with others online. ISPQ recognizes your Cinema display or MacBook's built-in iSight webcam - or can be used with any number of OSX compatible USB external webcams for Mac which offer more flexibility in webcam angles and placement for showing your stuff.
Mac Compatible HD Webcam
Logitech HD Camera For Mac
iSpQ is unique for Mac while also offering great features such as quick messages, profiles and video chat cross-platform. One notable and much welcomed addition is a Gallery View of the directory so it is easy to quickly see thumbnails pictures of who's online. ISPQ offers a free edition through premium level paid accounts. There's also dozens of minor fixes. iSpQ Mac 9 is compatible with Intel Macs running MacOS 10.5 or higher - including the latest OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion release. The Windows or Mac version can be downloaded from this page.
Combo interface hard drives are often a Mac users best shopping choice over the long haul. While many may only use a single interface - say USB or ThunderBolt or FireWire for their own use, sometimes when you need to transfer your data to a new Mac - or share files with someone else - the versatility of having more than one interface to choose from can come in very handy.
Just released - and on the bleeding edge of high-speed connectivity - Buffalo Technologies is now shipping a portable laptop drive with dual interfaces - the Buffalo miniStation USB3 + TBolt drive. This portable external hard drive is now the cheapest ThunderBolt backup drive option available - AND - it's first to market which also offers a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, So it's the first combo interface storage solution ideal for nearly any Apple user.
COMBO Interface Laptop Drive
USB 3.0 + ThunderBolt Interface
With a 500GB drive currently selling for $210, and 1TB for $250 it's now the cheapest ThunderBolt drive Per-Gigabyte out there - with the added benefit of USB 3.0/2.0/1.1 connectivity - AND IT INCLUDES BOTH A USB 3.0 AND THUNDERBOLT CABLE as well for a complete TimeMachine and data backup solution. It's pre-formatted for Mac OSX, ready to use out of the box.
Remember, USB 3.0 is BACKWARD COMPATIBLE with slower USB 2.0 (and even USB 1.1) though they'll operate at slower speeds. That's perfect for the MAJORITY of older Macintosh systems and MacBooks out in use today - while offering future ultra-fast drive connectivity as well. It's also perfect for the current crop of both ThunderBolt and USB 3.0 enabled Apple MacBook Pro systems now shipping. Other desktop Macintosh models that will have both ThunderBolt and USB3 - namely the iMac and Mac mini - are expected to get revisions later in the year.
The appeal of the updated Ivy-Bridge Intel architecture is its in-built support for USB 3 which we'll see explode across both Mac and Intel PC desktops and laptops in the year ahead. They're projecting BILLIONS of USB 3.0 enabled computers and gadgets by the end of the decade - and that's nothing to sniff at.
Beyond sheer data transfer speed improvements - approximately 10 TIMES the current USB 2.0 spec, there's also more 5 volt power (milliamps technically) available on the port to provide more current to recharge battery powered USB devices faster and reduce the likelihood of self-powered peripherals complaining with 'There's insufficient power available…' messages you occasionally see when connecting a USB device. Internally the USB3 spec also handles power-management better than USB2, offering more sleep and low-power idle modes to prolong battery life in laptops and gizmos.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is simply backward compatibility with slower legacy USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices - all will operate at their usable speeds on a USB 3 port, thus preserving your investment in legacy Apple accessories.
Right now, new MacBook owners can take advantage of USB 3.0 drives, hard disk enclosures, cables and hubs that are currently on the market. (Visit this USB 3.0 site for SuperSpeed external drive options.) Before year's end we're likely to see a much broader range of shipping SuperSpeed peripherals such as USB 3.0 TV tuners for Mac, Audio and Sound Recording gear, Video Capture devices, Flash Card Readers, Printers, Scanners and more. The era of USB 3 on a Mac is just beginning… Expect Apple to continue to roll out USB 3 iMac and Mac mini desktop systems before the Holiday shopping season starts...
It all starts with a Mac compatible TV tuner to record and export your fave TV shows and movies on your Mac. Adding a USB HDTV tuner to your Apple computer opens up a world of television viewing enjoyment at your Mac desktop or laptop - or on the go!
Your best tuner choices are the Equinux Tubestick TV Tuner for Mac (or PC) - or any number of tuner capture devices from ElGato such as the latest model; the 2010 EyeTV Hybridfor OSX (as wel as Window Media Center PCs.) Both offer ways to either remotely stream TV over WiFi or 3G -- or sync your recorded television content to your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone for TV enjoyment when you're out of range.
The P2V webcam has built-in hardware Auto-Focus with switch-selectable override for manual zoom - and a snapshot button (but alas, no microphone.)
$50 Mac Compatible USB SuperDrive Replacement
This Mac friendly Samsung USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive gets all it's power from its USB cable.. For some it's a viable and low-cost alternative to paying $200 or more to have a MacBook or iMac's Super-Drive replaced. It may be a good stopgap solution to still be able to read and burn DVD's and CD's on an aging Mac that you don't want to sink alot of repair money into, but still has some life left. T
ElGato Systems MacWorld 2009 Expo introduction of the revised 2009 Model 10020974 EyeTV Hybrid TV Tuner Stick for Analog, HDTV and FM Radio Reception takes HDTV viewing on the Macintosh to the next level. Post Expo, these were initially ONLY available direct from ElGato's Online Store. But within a few weeks, Amazon now lists this TV tuner for Apple Mac OSX: t's available, in-stock, less than full retail, and eligible for free shipping. The best HD computer TV tuner for Mac just got better - and cheaper.
In all of MacGizmoGuy's years of Apple computer life, only a few really dramatically transformed my Mac experience. The introduction of the first iPod and iTunes was a huge shift that clearly impacted hundreds of millions of people world-wide. But it was the addition of a USB TV tuner - video capture gizmo right around the year 2000 that really changed the way I enjoy TV - Forever.
Do you own a computer TV tuner or a DVR/Tivo? Have you thought about TV on your Mac? Leave a comment...