USB 3 Stories March 27

AAPL: 105.67

-0.46
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In addition to Apple’s newly released USB-C to Lightning Cable, which allows for faster iPad Pro charging, Apple also released a new Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. This new $39.00 adapter is geared towards allowing users to easily transfer photos and videos from digital cameras to the iPad Pro.

But it’s no secret that this adapter has other talents, such as being able to power USB microphones for applications like podcasting, song recording, and voiceovers. Apple says that you can also connect USB accessories like hubs, Ethernet adapters, MIDI interfaces, flash readers, and more.

12.9″ iPad Pro owners received an added bonus as well, that being able to take advantage of the iPad Pro’s USB 3 transfer speeds. All of this considered, is the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter a worthwhile investment? expand full story

USB 3 Stories December 8, 2015

AAPL: 118.28

-0.75
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A bumpy battery case isn’t the only new product from Apple this month. The iPad-specific Lightning to SD Card Reader has been replaced with a newer version with the same name, appearance, and price, but one important electronic difference. It now takes advantage of the faster USB 3 transfer speeds supported by new iPad Pros and works with iPhones…

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USB 3 Stories December 3, 2015

AAPL: 115.20

-1.08
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Mechanical hard drives will continue to be available — though decreasingly important — into the foreseeable future. New drives are cheaper and higher-capacity than increasingly popular solid state drives, and old drives pulled from computers are hard to throw away, even if they’re past their prime. Most people would seek out an external hard drive enclosure, which is ideal if you want to commit to repurposing one internal drive for an extended period of time. But what if you want to swap multiple internal hard drives in and out on an as-needed basis?

Sporting a substantially metal chassis with Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 ports, OWC’s new Drive Dock ($245) is a premium solution for people who want high-speed, on-demand access to internal hard drives. The top has two SATA-compatible drive bays, each capable of holding 2.5″ laptop drives or 3.5″ desktop drives, while the bottom holds a power supply capable of safely powering both drives as plug-and-play volumes…

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9to5toys 

USB 3 Stories October 29, 2015

AAPL: 120.53

1.26
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Other World Computing doesn’t just dabble in Mac accessories — it’s one of the most popular third-party Apple RAM and SSD vendors, and sells some of the only Blu-Ray drives marketed at Mac users. So it wasn’t a surprise to learn that OWC had developed its own Thunderbolt 2 Dock ($228), entering an accessory category that was simultaneously worthwhile and fairly stagnant. Almost all of the best Thunderbolt 2 docks have the same core features and design elements, mixing silver aluminum, black plastic, an external power supply and a bunch of ports together to make one-point connectivity hubs for Macs. OWC’s design is similar, but it’s functionally unique.

Measuring 9″ wide by 3.5″ deep by 1.1″ tall, OWC’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock is the largest such accessory I’ve seen, looking like an elongated Mac mini with a glossy black top. The right side has two always-powered USB ports, while the back includes a collection of 10 additional audio, video, and data ports, plus wall power. That means OWC’s design is both the biggest and most capable Thunderbolt 2 dock out there, but does that also make it the best? From my perspective, that depends on your Mac’s needs…

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USB 3 Stories October 28, 2015

AAPL: 119.27

4.72
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USB 3 Stories October 27, 2015

AAPL: 114.55

-0.73
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Apple and Intel’s Thunderbolt 2 standard has given Mac users — particularly professional Mac users — a premium, high-speed connector option for situations where bandwidth and speed are necessary: hooking up big, fast hard drives, high-resolution monitors, or even external graphics cards. The latest iMacs, Mac Pros, MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs all feature at least one Thunderbolt 2 port, a boon for expandability.

This year, Thunderbolt 2 docks have really taken off. Long-time Mac accessory makers have come up with a few different riffs on the same basic idea, leveraging a single cable to connect a bunch of Thunderbolt, USB, and audio/video accessories all at once to a Mac. This enables MacBook users to return home and make one connection to everything from an external monitor and speakers to external hard drives and card readers; it can also allow iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini users to connect devices built with connectors not found on their machines.

Here are the best Thunderbolt 2 dock options out there — and my suggestions as to which of them are best-suited to various usage scenarios…

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