The 'Book Review

MacBook Air Hits the Sweet Spot?, Notebooks Sales Down, Ultrabooks to Add Touchscreens, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.01.13

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in Mac News Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Tech Trends

Products & Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

MacBook Air: The Sweet Spot Between Laptop Power and iPad Portability?

In his latest 'Book Mystique column on MacPrices, Charles Moore says:

"For me, a computer is primarily a writing and communications tool, and when I bought my iPad 2 last June I had hoped that it would be a usable substitute for a laptop, at least for relatively light-duty computing tasks. I was more curious than under any illusion. The dominant school of thought was that the iPad is an excellent content consumption device, but a content creation tool not so much. However, I wanted to find out for myself.

"Now, with more than half a year's iPadding under my belt, I have, and the preponderance of critical opinion was right. The Pad is great for Web surfing, music listening and so forth, tolerable for email, but mediocre to miserable for the sort of work I mostly do with computers. Definitely not a comprehensive laptop substitute answer for me, but I have been seduced by the easy tote-ability enabling me to do stuff virtually anywhere in the house, or for that matter out of it where there's WiFi access. I would find that tough to give up. The iPad has roped me in at least that far.

"Consequently, I was interested to read in a review of the MacBook Air by BusinessInsider's Dylan Love last week, relating his impressions after using his Core i MacBook Air for about four and a half months, noting that he carries it around all day as he used to do with the iPad but doesn't any more, preferring to sacrifice a little more room in his carry bag in order to have a fully capable computer available wherever he happens to be, with a more comfortable and tactile keyboard, a larger screen, full access to parts of the Internet that aren't immediately there for the iPad, and so forth."

Notebook Shipments Shrink in Q4 2011, but Apple Grows

DigiTimes Research's Joanne Chen reports that notebook shipments from Taiwan makers declined 5.7% on the quarter and 4.4% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2011, volumes impacted a slumping global economy and shortage in the supply of hard disc drives, according to researchers' latest findings.

However, the Taiwan OEM fared better than some competitors elsewhere, with global notebook shipments showing an apparent 8.7% decline sequentially to 48.59 million units in the fourth quarter.

Ms. Chen also notes that Apple was the only notebook vendor whose fourth-quarter notebook shipments sustained the pace recorded in the third quarter, and even saw its shipments of MacBook Air models increase to 1.2 million units in Q4 '11 from one million in the previous quarter. The MacBook Air's market buoyancy in the face of a sinking market generally was partly due to its exclusive use of solid state storage media, production of which was not seriously disrupted by the flooding in Thailand.

Emergence of Ultrabooks Driving BYOD Trend in the Enterprise

PR: "I believe that within the next couple of years ultrabooks will drive the current 'BYOD' (Bring Your Own Device) trends that are currently pervasive in smartphones which will result in another push towards the end of company-provided PCs," says David Danto, Principal Consultant for Dimension Data. "This category, plus virtualization and the Cloud, will get the Fortune 1000 companies out of the PC buying business, which will likely have an effect on the large PC manufacturers, as one could easily anticipate."

"I think its questionable whether the new content and features being shown at CES will be enough to spur the huge growth in consumer sales and the economy that most manufacturers are hoping for," Mr. Danto, continues. "This could result in the failure of some of the big consumer box houses and a complete change in the paradigm of consumer electronics buying. Anyone not buying their gear and components on the Internet may be spending too much, since superior service at the big box houses are thing of the past. We seem to be at an inflection point where Internet sales could potentially overtake them within the next 18-24 months."

Intel Ignores Steve Jobs, Adds Touchscreen to Ultrabook Spec

The Register's Rik Myslewski reports that Intel's research department has defied the Steve Jobs dictum and added touchscreens to the chipmaker's next generation Ultrabook specification.

"Touch skipped the notebook, skipped the Ultrabook. It was dedicated to phones, it was dedicated to tablets," Myslewski cites Intel's PC Client Group general manager Mooly Eden commenting to an audience on Monday morning at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. "It's not going to skip the Ultrabook any more."

In October 2010, the late Mr. Jobs said Apple's research department had determined that touchscreens weren't appropriate for vertical displays such as are found on PCs and notebooks. "We've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work," Jobs said. "Touch surfaces want to be horizontal."

Your editor agreed with him at the time and still does, and Myslewski reports that Mr. Eden conceded that a lot of folks at Intel agreed with Jobs as well, noting that "There was a lot of dispute about this." On the other hand, he said that some at Intel "have been almost religious, believing that an Ultrabook with touch would be an ultimate solution," affirming that he himself himself is firmly in the touchscreen camp, with he and his his pro-touchscreen like-minded not wanting want to replace the keyboard with a touchscreen, but rather to have the two modes coexisting in harmonious synergy, enjoying both worlds - "the real keyboard and the screen." He further observed that in Intel market research testing touchscreen-enabled Ultrabooks with users in Europe and the US, "The reaction was unbelievable. People loved it."

Of course anyone who's been paying close attention will draw a parallel between the development of touchscreen capable Ultrabooks and forthcoming Windows 8, which will incorporate both a touch-based UI called Metro and a traditional mouse and keyboard driven desktop mode in the same OS, with users able to switch back and forth as they prefer.

As long as full legacy input support remains available for those of us who prefer it, there seems no harm in adding touchscreen capability. More choices and flexibility are usually positives.

Mobile PC Outlook Shows Growing Influence of Tablet PCs

PR: The tablet PC category expanded its role in the mobile PC market, with shipments of 72.7 million units, accounting for 25.5% of mobile PC shipments in 2011, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report. The Y/Y shipment growth rate for tablets in 2011 is expected to reach 256%, as strong tablet shipments in Q311 appeared to be a prelude to equally vigorous demand in Q411. Introductions of significantly competitive new devices in Q411, strong demand for incumbents, and additional distribution channels have been catalysts for accelerated tablet PC shipment growth.

Tablet PC shipment growth is happening as NPD DisplaySearch has slightly lowered its notebook PC shipment forecast. Notebook PC shipments in 2011 are now expected to reach 187.5 million units, up 12% Y/Y, but slightly less than the previous forecast of 188 million. Mini-note PC shipments are expected to reach 25.2 million units, up 20% Y/Y. Overall mobile PC shipments in 2011 are projected to reach 285.4 million units, up 31% Y/Y.

In the short term, tablet PCs will be the growth accelerant in the overall mobile PC market, as macroeconomic factors and hard drive motor supply issues impact the market for notebook PCs, said Richard Shim, Senior Analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. In the longer term, notebook PC shipments will bounce back as ASPs continue to decline, Windows 8 launches, and new form factors, such as ultrabooks, continue to emerge.

By 2017, notebook PC shipments are forecast to reach 432 million units, and tablet PC shipments are projected to reach 383.3 million units. Ultrabooks are an emerging form factor that is expected to contribute to demand in later years of the forecast. Demand for ultrabooks will be driven by consumer interest in sleek design and convenience like instant-on and long battery life. For the next two years, the premium price points of Ultrabooks will temper demand, and there may be some supply limitations in production of displays thin enough for Ultrabooks.

Tablet PC shipments will be driven by increasingly powerful multicore processors, mature operating systems, growing application libraries, and higher resolution panels. NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that tablet PCs with 250 to 300 pixel per inch panels will make up nearly 25% of shipments in 2012.

The updated forecast also points to the following:

  • Mobile PC shipments into emerging regions are growing, with 2011 shipments projected to be 138 million units, up 48% Y/Y, and increasing to 452.8 million by 2017. Mobile PC shipments into mature regions are estimated to reach 147.5 million units in 2011 and grow to 371.6 million units by 2017.
  • Mobile PC shipments will be up in late 2012 and 2013 with the introduction of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and new mobile processors from Intel.

The NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report covers the entire range of mobile PC products shipped worldwide and regionally. With analysis of global and regional brands, the Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report provides an objective, expert view of the market with insight into historical shipments, revenues, forecasts and more.

Tech Trends

Combining Ultrabooks and Tablets?

DisplaySearch's Stephanie Ethier notes that CES 2011 was all about tablets, as computer OEMs rushed to announce models to compete with the successful Apple iPad, but CES 2012 is shaping up to be all about ultrabooks, which she observes are all shaping up to be Apple MacBook Air clones in terms of design and usage.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

And as computer OEMs continue to struggle to put out products as streamlined as the MacBook Air and as game-changing as the iPad, a hybrid solution has been introduced, Ms. Ethier reports. Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga combines the Ultrabook and touchscreen tablet form factors to create a market crossover with a 13.1" display and a 360° flip-and-fold design, allowing the user to convert the ultrabook into a touchscreen tablet using a hinged case.

However, she predicts that this ultrabook plus tablet strategy is not likely to slow Apple's iPad momentum, and that with consumers just wrapping their brains around how to use tablets. throwing a new product category into the mix just creates confusion, and the iPad will continue to be the true game-changer.

Lenovo Unveils First ThinkPad Hybrid Laptop

PR: Lenovo has announced the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop, combining the thin, light, and performance benefits of its predecessor - the X1 - claiming double the battery life, up to 10 hours, via the hybrid's Instant Media Mode, powered by a second processor and operating system. Lenovo also announced the ThinkPad T430u Ultrabook, the company's first business ultrabook giving professionals exceptionally thin and light design without sacrificing performance and productivity.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid

"The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid and T430u ultrabook represent the next generation in thin and light computing," says Dilip Bhatia, vice president, ThinkPad Business Unit, Lenovo. "From small businesses that literally live their business on the road to corporate professionals working in a managed environment, these new crossover laptops fundamentally change the way people think about mobile computing technology."

Instant Media Mode - Double Battery Life, Instantly

The hybrid doubles as a second PC thanks to its battery-stretching Instant Media Mode (IMM). IMM includes a Qualcomm dual core processor, up to 16 GB of memory, and a custom Linux-based operating system. To switch to IMM from Windows, users simply click on an icon on the laptop's home screen. With IMM, the laptop operates much like a smart phone, remaining turned on and requiring fewer charging sessions.

Via IMM, users can watch videos, view photos, listen to music, and browse the web while preserving precious battery life. Pioneered by ThinkPad, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop also includes Rapid Charge2, technology that charges the battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes.

The Best of ThinkPad X1

Measuring less than 0.6" and weighing less than four pounds, the 13.3" ThinkPad X1 Hybrid goes heavy on performance by doubling the CPU performance and quadrupling the graphics performance of previous Lenovo 13" laptops. The hybrid comes equipped with choices of the latest Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors and the Windows 7 operating system.

A great crossover PC, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid also remains a business-class laptop first with features like optional mobile broadband, a high definition display that includes Corning Gorilla Glass and a high definition web camera and microphones for video and voice calling. It also has robust security layered with Intel vPro3 technology, encrypted hard drives with remote management support and a fingerprint reader. Content on the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid looks good and sounds good in both Windows and IMM. The laptop features Dolby Home Theater v4 sound, an HDMI port and Intel Wireless Display technology to connect and stream 1080p video wirelessly to a TV or projector.

Ultrabook That's All Business

Lenovo's first business ultrabook, the ThinkPad T430u, equips business users with the same thin and light designs found in consumer ultrabooks without sacrificing business-class performance, and it comes at a mainstream price starting at $849.

The stylish ThinkPad T430u ultrabook borrows some of the elements typically found on premium laptops, such as a matte finish that's soft to the touch and an aluminum top cover that complement its small frame - less than 0.8" and less than four pounds. It also sports ThinkPad's new modern and minimalist island-style keyboard.

The 14" laptop has business-primed features including:

  • Choices of the latest Intel Core processors and Intel integrated or NVIDIA graphics
  • Choice of SSD storage or up to 1 TB of HD storage
  • Up to six hours of battery life
  • Quick resume and fast boot up
  • Lenovo Solution Center powered by Intel Small Business Advantage, a set of productivity and security tools helping to enable overnight energy savings and automatic patch updates

The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop and ThinkPad T430u ultrabook will be available starting in Q2 2012 and Q3 2012, respectively, through business partners and online. Pricing for models starts at approximately $1,599 and $849, respectively.

Samsung Next Generation Series 9 Laptop Features Ultraslim, Aluminum Single Shell Body

PR: Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., has announced the second generation Samsung Series 9 notebook at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Following the former models premiere at the CES 2011, the new Series 9 represents Samsung's best-in-class innovation and craftsmanship in the premium notebook segment.

"When designing the new Series 9, we focused on improving key elements that our customers loved in the original award winning Series 9, including the sophisticated, lightweight design," says Todd Bouman, vice president of product marketing at Samsung Enterprise Business Division. "Our engineers worked very hard to develop the amazingly thin form factor and one of the most compact chassis in the world, which allowed us to house a 15" display in a 14" chassis. We also made changes to the new model based on customer feedback, such as the inclusion of a 1600 x 900 high resolution screen, to truly make this a top-of-the line, irresistible laptop that represents the ultimate in Samsung precision engineering and premium design."

Samsong NP900X3B specsWeighing as little as 2.5 pounds and measuring just a half inch thick, the second generation Samsung Series 9 was crafted by Samsung's team with over 33,000 hours in research, design and development. The end result is a laptop that is 37% thinner and 0.4 pounds lighter than the original Series 9, as well as more visually striking. The build is nearly seamless, using an aluminum single shell body and featuring a more pronounced Series 9 hallmark polished edge. Key components such as the LCD panel, keyboard, motherboard, cables, fans and battery have been customized with precision to fit into the Series 9s extra flat single shell body. Additionally, the Series 9 has been sandblasted for fingerprint resistance, keeping the Mineral Ash Black colored body and natural matte aluminum sides pristine at all times.

The second generation Series 9 display is astonishingly thin thanks to Samsung's engineers, who carefully thinned the layers of the LCD screen without sacrificing quality. Featuring 1600 x 900 resolution and Samsung's SuperBright Plus technology (400 nit), the 13.3" or 15" screen is ideal for viewing everything from photos and movies to work documents. The display is housed in one of the thinnest and most compact chassis ever, enabling Samsung to fit a 15" screen in a 14" chassis, reducing the products overall size. The wide viewing angle and matte nature of the display makes for easy use both inside and out, while the backlit keyboard lets you remain productive even in low lighting.

A Larger Screen Size Option

Samsong NP900X4B specsFor the first time, the new Samsung Series 9 will offer the worlds thinnest and most compact 15" premium notebook. The Series 9 15" features a vivid SuperBright Plus display that fits into a compact 14" chassis. With a stunningly slim profile measuring just 0.58 inches and weighing just 3.5 lb., makes this 15" Series 9 almost 50% more compact than any existing 15" thin & light notebooks.

Performance and Signature Samsung Technology

For powerful performance on-the-go, the second generation Samsung Series 9 will include a 128 GB SSD and Intel Core i5-2467M processor at launch. Accessible connectivity was also highlights major improvements, moving everything to the corners without any impedance; users can easily access video, audio and data connectivity including USB 3.0 and a multi-card reader.

Thanks to Samsung's Fast Solutions technology, the new Series 9 boots in as little as 9.8 seconds and wakes up in 1.4 seconds and offers web browsing speeds that are up to twice as fast.

For road warriors, Samsung's Easy Settings make it effortless to connect the Series 9 to wireless networks, projectors and more by providing easy access to commonly used PC settings, resulting in stress-free business travel and presentations. With Samsung Easy Migration, users can seamlessly transfer existing files to the new laptop by connecting their old PC to the new one and simply launching and starting Easy Migration.

For optimum mobility, the Series 9 offers up to ten hours of real-time battery life for the 15" and up to seven hours on the 13.3", keeping users connected to both their professional and personal lives all day. Additionally, the inclusion of Samsung Battery Life Plus technology means that the battery will retain 80% of its original capacity for up to 1,500 charges giving users a battery that can last up to five times longer than other notebooks and works whenever and wherever they need it, even after three years of use.

The second generation Samsung Series 9 will be available starting February 27, 2012. It will retail for $1,399.99 for the 13.3" and $1,499.99 for the 15". All Samsung mobile PC products are available through Samsung resellers and distribution channels.

LG Announces Super Ultrabook Series

PR: LG Electronics (LG) will showcase four new notebook models and an all-in-one PC at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas.

Marquee products are LG's brand new Super Ultrabook Series, the Z330 and the Z430, and the 3D P535 notebook models. The V300 is a 23" all-in-one desktop PC for entertainment with an immersive 3D display and In-Plane Switching (IPS)-enabled wide viewing angle.

"At this year's CES, LG will showcase products that are not only new, but also establish categories defining new standards for personal computing devices," says J.J. Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of LG Electronics IT Business Unit., "Our new products feature a range of breakthrough technologies from LG, such as IPS display, glasses-free 3D and Super Speed Boot, that will noticeably elevate the personal computing experience. These technologies reflect our goal of satisfying various consumer demands, as well as our aggressive strategy for 2012."

Z330: Super Ultrabook

LG Super Ultrabook Z330
LG Super Ultrabook Z330

The Z330 is the most compact model in LG's Super Ultrabook Series, with several features above and beyond Intel's Ultrabook boilerplate category requirements, including LG's proprietary Super Speed Boot technology that LG says enables rapid booting roughly three times faster than other 13" notebooks in the market. Powered by the second generation (Sandy Bridge) Intel Core i7 processor, the Z330 is claimed to require less than 10 seconds to boot up, and a mere two seconds to recover from standby mode. The Z330 is also equipped with a SATA3 Solid State Drive (SSD), touted to be more than 11 times faster than an ordinary hard drive, and offering data access performance in the same ballpark as Apple's MacBook Air.

LG Z330 specifications
LG Z330 specifications

The Z330 features what LG calls its Super Compact Clutch design which reduces the width of the display bezel to minimal levels, allowing the notebook to cram a 13.3" HD display into a chassis of a size roughly equivalent to that of 12" notebooks. Unlike the wedge-shaped MacBook Air and many Ultrabook models, the Z330 is uniformly slim at 14.7mm throughout, not just at its thinnest edge. The Z330 is also extremely light, weighing a mere 1.21 kg, making it lighter than most competing Ultrabooks in this class. The enclosure has a metallic cover with a gyro-brush line finish.

Z430: 14" Display in a 13" Size Ultrabook

LG Z430 specifications
LG Z430 specifications

LG's Z430 is the 14" notebook of LG's Super Ultrabook Series, powered by Intel's Core i7 processor and equipped with both SSD and HDD the Z430 offers Super Speed Boot with a claimed 12 seconds boot time and storage capacity of up to 500 GB packed into a svelte 19.9 mm thick chassis. LG touts the Z430 as the most compact 14" notebook available, with its slim display bezel enabling the notebook to employ a 14" display panel in chassis dimensions more typical of 13" notebooks. This 1.50 kg Super Ultrabook features a metallic cover with a gyro-brush line finish.

P535: 3D Capabilities in a Lightweight, Slim Notebook

A CINEMA 3D notebook, the P535 builds on the slim design philosophy of LG's P-Series notebooks. The 15.6" super-slim LED backlight display contributes to the thinness of the P535's 24.1mm chassis and its weight of 2.2 kg, making the P535 up to 24% slimmer and 27% lighter than the closest competing 15" 3D notebooks. The slim body allows the P535's 15.6" display to be placed in a chassis normally reserved for 14" notebooks.

The P535 is powered by the second generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia's latest GeForce GT 630M graphics card, with a widescreen display panel to showcase its CINEMA 3D capabilities.

A540: Glasses-Free 3D Entertainment with Enhanced 4.1 Channel Sounds

Also powered by an Intel Core quad-core i7 processor LG's A540 offers consumers a full package of 3D entertainment through its glasses-free 3D display panel, the SRS premium sound effect and the 4.1 channel 3D sound. Thanks to its CINEMA 3D display technology, movie fans can enjoy immersive 3D content on the A540's 15.6" Full HD LED backlight display without eye fatigue according to LG. The NVIDIA. GT555M graphics card adds significant horsepower when watching HD movies, playing games or editing videos. The A540 comes with a 3D editing program that allows users to personalize their 3D images and videos.

LG V300: LG's First All-in-One PC with Top-Line Display Technology

Initially unveiled in 2011 with a Intel Core i7 processor, the V300 is LG's first-ever all-in-one PC featuring Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) 3D technology and an IPS display. FPR technology enables the V300 to offer the most vivid, immersive full HD 3D viewing experience on a 23" Full HD display without any eye fatigue. Meanwhile, the employment of an IPS display significantly widens the viewing angle to 178 degrees and also allows users to enjoy multimedia content with superior picture quality. Unlike some competing all-in-one PCs with a dual camera touch sensor, the V300 is equipped with a triple camera system that offers a superior multitouch experience.

LG will be launching its Super Ultrabook Series and the new 3D notebook models worldwide during the first quarter of 2012.

Products & Services

Elgato Thunderbolt SSD Portable Drive

ElGato Thunderbolt SSD Portable DrivePR: Elgato started working on what became the most advanced TV and video solutions for the Mac, they were part of the revolution of innovative storage technology. The vast majority of FireWire drives contained Elgato software, and even early flash-based products were powered by Elgato.

Over a decade later, Elgato's developers were thrilled when Thunderbolt was introduced. So they decided to go back to their roots and create what they had always been longing for: a truly portable, ultra-fast external drive.

ElGato Thunderbolt SSD Portable DriveThe Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is claimed to be the fastest single-drive storage solution for your Mac. Using a Solid State Drive (SSD), it dramatically outperforms state-of-the-art portable FireWire or USB drives.

Truly portable

While you're on the go, less is more. That's why the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is engineered to draw power directly through the Thunderbolt port, without needing a separate power supply. This way, your data is always there with you, even when you're not near a power source.

Due to the absence of moving, mechanical parts, solid state drives are far less prone to accidental damage than traditional hard drives. The Elgato Thunderbolt SSD also uses a rock-solid metal enclosure, guaranteeing not only good looks, but also added protection for your valuable data.

Quieter Than a Whisper

ElGato Thunderbolt SSD Portable DriveThe Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is designed to work without the need for a noisy fan. With its advanced enclosure and the inaudible Solid State Drive, that means you'll never hear a sound, despite its constantly screaming performance.

Slated for release in February, The Elgato Thunderbolt SSD will be available in 128 GB and 256 GB versions with prices starting at $429.95.

j5create Wormhole Products Enable Easy Device-to-Device Data Transfer via USB

j5create WormholePR: j5create, a manufacturer of computer usability and interface peripherals, offers several products featuring the company's exclusive Wormhole technology, a cool solution for multiple platform, or multicomputer businesses and families, as a means to copy and share large data, photo and video files. With a simple USB to USB interface, the Wormhole products allow for easy drag-and-drop and copy/paste transfers for files of any size at speeds of up to USB's theoretical (but seldom achieved in real-world use) 480 Mbps. The Wormhole products also allow users to connect a laptop or tablet to desktop computers and share keyboard and mouse inputs as well as drag-and-drop file transfers.

j5create products are sold by major retailers including Fry's Electronics, Buy.com, Sears.com, Walmart.com, and Micro Center.

Wormhole Keyboard/Mouse Switch JUC 400
Wormhole Keyboard/Mouse Switch JUC 400

j5create's Wormhole products include:

  • Wormhole Keyboard/Mouse Switch JUC 200 - The JUC 200 allows two computers to share a keyboard and mouse, while supporting drag-and-drop file transfer between two PCs as well as Android devices, in a simple USB-to-USB cable. (MSRP $29.99)
  • Wormhole Keyboard/Mouse Switch JUC 400 - The JUC 400 expands upon the JUC 100 by supporting PC-to-Mac as well as PC-to-iPad sharing and file transfer capabilities. With this device you can connect your PC to a Mac since it supports Mac compatibility, or even connect your PC to an iPad for sharing and data transfer purposes.(MSRP: $39.99)
  • Wormhole Station V.2 JUH 320v2 - As an official CES 2012 Innovations Award Honoree, The Wormhole Station V.2 adds PC-to-Mac compatibility to j5create's USB 3.0 Wormhole Station, a docking extension for laptops featuring Ethernet connections, audio connections and USB 3.0 support. With two USB 3.0 ports and a flash memory card reader, the sleek design of the Wormhole Station V.2 also lifts a laptop off the ground enough to provide better air flow without interrupting comfort. (MSRP: $129.99)

Wormhole Station V.2

Wormhole Station V.2
Wormhole Station V.2

"j5create provides customers with easy-to-use tools that are functional and essential to everyday computing," says Fred Schweer, director of North American sales, j5create. "We pride ourselves on creating unique products in design, capability and simplicity of operation. We're taking our one-of-kind, high speed transfer, keyboard/mouse sharing Wormhole products to the next level by giving them cross-platform compatibility between PC and Apple computers."

The plug-and-play feature will allow even technologically un-savvy customers to easily use the products. The exclusive j5create platform will allow the Wormhole Keyboard/Mouse Switches to transfer files at speeds up to 480 Mbps or 15 songs per second, while the Wormhole Station will support USB 3.0 speeds, up to 5 Gbps or 160 songs per second.

Belkin Previews Thunderbolt Express Dock at 2012 CES

PR: Belkin has unveiled new details about its upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock. The latest version of Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock is currently on display in Belkin's booth, LVCC South Hall #30651, at the 2012 International CES.

Belkin Thunderbolt Express DockThe Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock enables MacBook and Ultrabook users to instantly access multiple desktop peripherals with one cable. The dock allows users to simultaneously connect to multiple USB devices, watch movies in Full HD 1080p, transfer volumes of data in seconds, and view online content at gigabit Ethernet speeds. The dock provides an easy transition from a desktop workstation to unrestricted mobile productivity.

"People purchase MacBook Airs and Ultrabooks for ultimate portability, but constantly plugging-in and unplugging numerous cable-connected peripherals is an annoying and time consuming ordeal," says Martin Avilla, general manager of Belkin's Core Business Unit. The Thunderbolt Express Dock provides a much-needed solution that creates a cleaner, faster, more productive workspace and reliable connectivity to desktop devices and the Internet.

Belkin Thunderbolt Express DockFeatures:

  • Quickly connects into a desktop workstation and instantly accesses multiple devices with a single cable
  • Adds reliable, gigabit Ethernet connectivity to your laptop
  • Includes three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one HDMI port, one 3.5mm Audio port, one gigabit Ethernet port and two Thunderbolt ports (one upstream and one downstream) for daisy-chaining to another Thunderbolt compatible device.
  • Utilizes Thunderbolt Technology for data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps bidirectionally

The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock will be available in September 2012 for $299 at select retailers worldwide and on Belkin.com.

Bargain 'Books

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

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