Review: LandingZone’s Secure MacBook Air dock – adds Kensington Lock, Ethernet, USB ports in seconds

I’ve been using the $99 LandingZone 2.0 LITE 13″ Secure Docking Station for the past couple weeks to dock my MacBook Air when I use it at my desk. Until now, when I got to my desk, I would manually plug in MagSafe power, USB hub and sometimes audio jacks – which isn’t a huge pain, but it did add time time and clutter to my workflow.

LandingZone, which started as a Kickstarter project but is now in full production, has a complete solution in a white plastic/steel dock that allows you to secure your MacBook Air, and within seconds, have Ethernet, a 4 port USB hub, power and MiniDisplay Port outs ready for use. Read more

Summer peripheral review and gift guide: All the..small things…

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We often get review items that do not merit their own review for a variety of reasons. Some might have gotten to us late after we have already read reviews, while others might be smaller niche items or some bigger ticket items that might not have blown us away, but they are still interesting nonetheless. Still, we think these guys are all noteworthy…

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Photos of purported next-generation iPhone’s smaller dock port surface

Update: The original source, Nowherelse, posted an update with new information regarding the leaked dock connector images claiming the connector has 16 pins, eight on each side, with eight likely being reserved for future uses:

We have obtained new information about this connector. We have indeed learned that it is not equipped with 8 to 16 pins but distinct functions or 8 on each side thereof to note that one of them would have no basis of record and would be for possible future use.

There has been a ton of alleged next-gen iPhone leaks in recent weeks including images of the device’s thinner, higher capacity 1440 mAh battery, SIM card tray, and other internal components. Today, we get a look at parts related to the smaller, redesigned dock connector, as well as what French site Nowherelse.fr claimed could possibly be the first images of the connector itself. In our own image above, we see an insert component for the new iPhone on the right showing the outline of the new iPhone’s dock connector. The unconfirmed images from Nowherelse below show what appears to be an 8-pin dock connector next to the USB end for context. We recently discovered possible references to a 9-pin dock connector in iOS 6, while previous reports claimed a 19-pin or 8-pin design was in the works. While our leak of the next-gen iPhone backs in May gave us a good look at the port for the redesigned dock connector, the pin layout for the connector itself is still unconfirmed.

Update: iFixit told MacRumors that the metal frame counts as its own pin even though there are eight gold pins. This adds up to nine pins, as we reported the other day based on iOS 6 source code, and this may mean these above photos are legitimate.

Also: We cannot help but notice that these connectors seem to have similar pins and size to MicroSD cards (image via).

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First Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Cinema Displays begin arriving (photos)

Apple’s 27-inch Thunderbolt Cinema Displays have begun arriving to customer’s homes. The display looks virtually identical to the previous generation of the giant 27-inch Cinema Display from Apple, and includes USB ports, a Thunderbolt port, a FireWire 800 port, and an Ethernet port.

More photos courtesy of reader Scott are after the break.

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Apple requests safe return of its 3G MacBook Pro prototype

We told you a couple weeks ago about the possibility Apple was testing 3G MacBook Pro designs back in 2007 after a prototype popped up on Ebay recently. After reaching nearly $70,000 in bids, it looks like Apple is stepping in and requesting the device be returned.

A report from CNET today sheds a little more light on the current situation of the seller, who was allegedly contacted by Apple to return the machine to local Apple employees after the company had the eBay listing removed citing copyright, trademark, and IP infringement.

A little more back story surrounding the device and it’s eBay auction also emerged in the report… Read more

New Apple hardware: What you need to know


The old Cinema Display (left) had three USB ports on the back and required a cable with separate power, USB and Mini DisplayPort connections. The new Thunderbolt  display (right) adds Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800 and Thunderbolt, all fed to a computer via a single Thunderbolt cable (in addition to three USB ports, built-in microphone and FaceTime HD camera).

We take it you’re still digesting the new hardware Apple has released this morning. Before you grab that credit card, here are some observations you may wanna take into consideration.

MacBook Airs

• Built-in FaceTime camera has not been upgraded to high-definition. As a result, you are not able to FaceTime in HD with people who use the latest iMacs or MacBook Pros, which sport a FaceTime HD camera

•Based on the description from Apple  “And because we place the flash chips directly on the logic board, they take up much less space — about 90 percent less, in fact.” , it sounds like the SSD is probably no longer upgradable via OWC and others (thanks commenter)

• Just as previous, RAM is soldered directly on the motherboard so configure your machine carefully because you won’t be able to upgrade RAM yourself later
• Just like with the previous generation, the 11.6-incher lacks an SD card slot found on the 13-inch model
• Last year’s models got a significant discount today 

• New Airs sport Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility versus Bluetooth 3.0 in the previous generation, which gives you low-energy wireless Bluetooth transfer within a short range of up to 50 meters, per this Wikipedia article
New MacBook Airs can use Firewire and Gig Ethernet! If you hook up your new MacBook Air to that latest Apple Thunderbolt Display, you will enjoy the ultimate simplicity because a single Thunderbolt cable is all you need to charge your notebook and transfer data from your monitor’s Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, an additional Thunderbolt port, three USB ports, a FaceTime HD camera, 2.1 stereo sound and a built-in microphone.  Perhaps Apple will release a Thunderbolt to GigE, Firewire, etc. standalone adapter.

• On the Thunderbolt Displays, the old MagSafe would have been a better match, because the new one has to be bent around (see the image below) for MacBook Pros

• Additionally, On MacBook Airs, the Thunderbolt port and MagSafe are on opposite sides of the keyboard meaning that cable is going to Y-Out behind the computer.

The new Thunderbolt Display comes with a new MagSafe adapter, which has to be bent around the computer rather than going straight on, like the old MafSafe adapter could have

Mac Minis:

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