CES 2012: Thunderbolt devices from OCZ, LaCie, Belkin, Elgato and even PCs from Acer and Lenovo


The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock.

If Consumer Electronic Show announcements are an indication, 2012 will be the year Thunderbolt technology picks up significant steam as this year saw a limited uptake stemming from exclusive industry support by early adopter Apple, which rolled out Thunderbolt across its MacBook Air, iMac and Mac mini range.

First up, Belkin is out with a Thunderbolt-enabled dock that allows your MacBook Air to connect to a wide range of peripherals using just one Thunderbolt cable. Akin to its IDF prototype device, the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock provides a selection of ports that mirror the new 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt display.

According to Belkin, which previewed the stylish port replicator at CES 2012 yesterday, it will feature a Gigabit Ethernet port, a FireWire 800 port, one HDMI port, 3.5mm audio port, three USB 2.0 jacks and two Thunderbolt ports —one upstream and one downstream. If it came with USB3.0, it would be a must-have. The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock will be available in September 2012 for $299.

Next up, the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD, pictured below. It is first bus-powered Thunderbolt drive that does not need a separate power brick. CNET explained it is quite a feat considering that 10 volts of power of the Thunderbolt interface is shared by the interface itself plus the cable, which has active parts. Sporting a 2.5-inch 128 GB or 256GB SSD unit capped at SATA3 speeds of 6Gbps, the drive will be available in February for approximately $400 or $600, respectively.

Elgato also promised a thinner and short Thunderbolt cable that will be more suitable for this thin external drive than Apple’s standard $49 Thunderbolt cable. Go past the fold for much more Thunderbolt gear unveiled at CES 2012. Read more

ION Audio unveils three new iCade products at CES; iPhone and iPod Touch now supported in handheld options

The iCade is an attachable accessory for the Apple iPad that functions as a portable arcade cabinet, but now the device’s manufacturer unveiled three new products under the popular line that toggle the iPhone and iPod Touch.

ION Audio showcased the products at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The manufacturer recreated the original arcade setup by ditching the cabinet exterior in favor of landscape support.

The first product is the iCade Mobile for iPhone 4/4S or iPod Touch. According to Engadget, it is a handheld with gaming buttons and a D-pad, which subsequently adds 1.5-inches onto each side of the iOS mobile device. The iCade Mobile also allows users to switch between portrait and landscape mode. ION said it expects about 100 games to be compatible with the product, and the retail price is currently set at $79.99 USD.

Pictures for each new iCade product are displayed after the break.

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Corning Gorilla Glass 2 to debut at CES 2012: Will latest innovation be on iPad 3 or iPhone 5?

Corning Inc., announced today its plan to unveil Gorilla Glass 2 at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, and the company said more product details would be made available Jan. 9.

The Corning, N.Y.-based company plans to “showcase the critical role of highly engineered specialty glass in addressing emerging trends” at CES 2012. Some of the highlights include increased functionality from smaller form factors; connected devices in new applications; touch technology; and, large-format design aesthetics.

However, the main attraction to the Corning booth will be the introduction of Gorilla Glass 2, which is the next generation of the damage-resistant cover glass found on practically every consumer electronic today. CES attendees will have access to Corning experts and products featuring the latest Gorilla Glass applications.

The timely debut of Gorilla Glass 2 comes just before the rumored early-2012 launch of the iPad 3, as well as the rumored summer-to-fall launch of the iPhone 5, leaving room for Apple to include the latest technology on its upcoming devices.

Although not confirmed, it is worth speculating whether Corning supplied Apple, before today’s announcement, with Gorilla Glass 2 for iOS device production. The idea does not seem far-fetched considering the nature of both companies’ relationship…

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LG announces 55-inch OLED HDTV, looks good enough for an Apple Television

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Various reports throughout the year claimed LG is providing the television behind the Apple HDTV.  However, nothing conclusive has surfaced.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays, some iPad displays, and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009. The net investment was a temporary exclusive on panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays now use. Sony also makes OLEDs, but it does not have a strong relationship with Apple – at least as far as displays are concerned. The other big OLED maker is Samsung, and it is currently tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

With that said, look at the things that will be shown at the Consumer Electronic show. They have a 4 mm bezel -that is half the thickness of an iPhone 4S- and weighs in at a paltry 16.5-pounds. In addition, things like “1,000 times faster than LED/LCD displays” and “infinite contrast ratio” makes this sound like one of the best displays of 2012.

(Full sized images and the press release are below.):

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Behringer iNuke 8-foot iPhone dock levels the earth with 10,000 Watts of power

That iPhone dock up above is no joke (notice the scale of the iPhone in it). It was built as a one-off for CES 2012 by Behringer, the award-winning innovator of affordable professional audio and music equipment.  Known appropriately as iNuke, this $30,000 8ftx4ft, 700 pound dock pumps out a handy 10,000 Watts of power.  All in a package the size of a refrigerator.  How about a giveaway, Behringer?

We’ll be on hand at CES this year to check it out. PR below: Read more

What we think we know about the Verizon iPhone

COMPUTERWORLD: After a CES no-show, Verizon is teasing us with an iPhone-generated Tweet today on the eve of its press event where it is expected Verizon will at last introduce the iPhone, meaning US customers will now enjoy some choice of which network carries their iPhone. The move should also boost Apple in its battle with Android. So, what do we know?

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CES: AirPlay systems are heading for prime time

More news from Apple’s AirPlay partner, BridgeCo, the company which manufactures the silicon used in AirPlay devices.

AirPlay devices weren’t so apparent at CES this year, though iHome, B&W and Klipsch all showed solutions implementing the standard, which enables users to stream audio from an iOS 4 device to an enabled speaker system. Read more

iCade iPad enclosure born as an April Fools’ Day joke comes to life

http://www.viddler.com/simple/59e74182/

Remember that Thinkgeek iCade Arcade box that was ‘demo’ed on April Fools’ Day last year?? Well, it got such a warm reception, and frankly isn’t rocket science to create.

ION has partnered with Atari®, the first name in classic arcade games, to bring a huge suite of classic arcade titles including Asteroids® to market with iCade support built right in. Grab hold of iCADE’s full-sized joystick and smash the arcade buttons for commanding control of iPad’s on-screen action. This truly unique arcade cabinet and game-controller for iPad will provide hours of action and nostalgia for years to come. Enter the iCADE and go back to the future

Full Press Release below: Read more

Clear stops selling iSpot 4G Mifi for iOS devices

Clear discontinued the iSpot personal 4G hotspot for iOS devices yesterday.  The iSpot was easily hacked to work like its more expensive counterpart with all computers and even had trouble with some iPads without hacking.

Clear recently dropped the price of the iSpot by 80% and will continue selling them until they sell out of retail inventory.

Sprint (who own 54% of Clear) is also about to announce a new Mifi device which may also account for the iSpot discontinuation (below).  One major drawback of the iSpot is that it only works in the few spots that have Clear 4G, it doesn’t drop down to 3G if you leave a 4G area.  The new device, which also uses Sprint’s 3G network, does.

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