Review: HyperJuice 2 External MacBook and iPad Battery MBP2-100

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Talk about good timing. A few days before Sandy hit our town, Hyper sent me its new MacBook + iOS charging external battery device, the Hyperjuice MBP2-100.

Hyper has made external MacBook/Air/Pro batteries for years, and if you’ve ever been to an Apple (or any big technology) keynote event, many of the live bloggers have their rigs hooked up to them. HyperJuice’s latest line, dubbed the “MBP2 series”, expands on the capabilities of the big power batteries…

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Holiday Shopping Guide: Every single great Lightning accessory we could find

With Apple’s latest MFi summit taking place earlier this month to school accessory makers on adopting Apple’s new smaller Lightning connector standard, many accessories from reputable companies are quickly starting to roll out. Unfortunately, the delay in getting the new standard out to third-party accessory manufacturers means many well-known companies might not get a product on the market in time for the holidays. Some that have released products are unable to keep up with demand and ship before the Dec 25.

For those of you looking for a Lightning dock, car chargers, adapter, or any other accessory before the holidays, we put together a guide to all the Lightning accessories currently available to order.

Many of the products below are also discounted for Black Friday and through the weekend: Read more

Fender launches new $199 Squier USB Stratocaster for iOS devices exclusively at the Apple Store

While there are a quite a few USB guitar solutions on the market already, Fender is bringing a USB version of its popular Squire Stratocaster series exclusively to the Apple Store. Priced at $199.95 on Apple’s online store, the guitar features a traditional 1/4-inch output, Type Mini-B USB connector, and two included cables for connecting via USB or directly to iOS devices. Unfortunately, Fender is including a 30-pin cable for iOS devices, so users of newer iOS devices will have to grab a Lightning to 30-pin adapter.

The NEW Squier Strat Guitar with USB & iOS Connectivity gives you a huge range of tones and all the features you expect from Fender—plus the convenience of direct connection to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

Also included is a 3.5mm headphone jack and “a high-quality headphone amp so that you can monitor the processed guitar signal right from the guitar itself.” It’s clear Fender is aiming this product directly at the GarageBand iOS users, but you’ll have no problem hooking up to your Mac or PC with an included USB cable or using it as a traditional guitar with the 1/4-inch output.

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Zorro Macsk Review: Instantly add touchscreen gestures to your iMac with infrared sensors (Video)

For a few years now PC manufacturers have been attempting to pack a touchscreen into their all-in-one iMac competitors. It’s a feature Steve Jobs made clear back in 2010 that Apple had spent significant time testing on Macs before determining touch was “ergonomically terrible”  on a vertical display. Steve noted “you start to fatigue and after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off.”  While that does not mean Apple will never do it (see iPad mini), for now Apple has made its bet on hand gestures staying horizontal on Macs– trackpads in its notebooks, and multi-touch gestures with Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad for desktops.

Third-party touchscreen solutions for Mac do exist: Troll Touch will install a resistive touch panel on your Mac for no less than $800 and up. However, with that price on top of the cost of the iMac itself… for obvious reasons it has not been an extremely popular solution. We’ve been playing with what appears to be the only affordable product on the market bringing touchscreen like gestures to iMac, the $199 Zorro Macsk from Shenzhen based TMDtouch.

Early reviews of the Zorro Macsk should perhaps be updated, as we’ve been playing with the product following an update at the end of October that the company said vastly improved performance and fixed many of the issues reviewers were experiencing.  Read more

Apple confirms that 12W adapter will charge iPads quicker than older 10W adapters

The morning of Apple’s iPad mini event earlier this week, we told you there was a handful of new accessories coming including four new Lightning adapters and a 12W USB power adapter. We didn’t hear much about them during the event, but the new cables and adapters have hit Apple’s online store now, including a Lightning Digital AV adapter and Lightning to VGA adapter, with most shipping in “2-3 weeks”.

On the product page for the new 12W USB charger, Apple confirmed it would indeed ship with Retina iPads. With the new fourth-gen replacing the third-gen iPad—that would essentially cover just the iPad 4. It is, however, selling the adapter by itself for $19 online and listing compatibility with iPad 2, iPhone 4S, and iPod touch fifth-gen and up. Many readers have wondered whether the adapter would allow for faster charging with the iPad 3 and fourth-gen iPad. A big complaint among third-gen iPad users is that the device took up several more hours to charge than previous generations due to its larger battery. Also, on Apple’s discussion forums, some users asked if a software update would be required for the iPad 3 to draw additional power.

When we asked Apple about the 12W adapters, we were told the following:

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More 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro pictures surface: 2 Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, 2560×1600 resolution


15″ Retina MacBook Pro above, 13″ Retina MacBook Pro below (note no speaker and port/keyboard alignment):

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Another visit to WeiPhone.com forum thread [Google translation] (via MacRumors) from last week yields some additional new pictures of the upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro. You can see different placement of the side jacks as they relate to the keyboard and lack of speaker.

There’s nothing unexpected but it does seem to confirm a few things:

  • 2 Thunderbolt ports like 15-inch Retina and unlike 13-inch Pros
  • The Windows screens seem to confirm the 2560×1600 pixel display
  • HDMI port like Retina 15, unlike Pro 13.

We expect to see the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at the October 23rd event with a base price in the $1599-1699 area. More pictures below:

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ZAGG launches super-thin backlit Bluetooth keyboard for iPad, ships Sept. for $130

ZAGG, perhaps best known for its invisibleShield screen protector, is adding two new additions to its also popular lineup of keyboards and cases tonight with the unveiling of two super-thin Bluetooth keyboards designed specifically for iPad.  The keyboards, ZAGGKeys PRO for $99 and PRO Plus for $129, feature the usual iOS specific functions such as media playback and volume controls, copy and paste keys, as well as keys for the Home button, search, etc.

Think the backlighting might drain the battery? HA! If you use the keyboard for eight hours a day, you will get up to three weeks of normal use…and remember that is the backlit model! The keyboard will come in English, French, and German models at launch.

We got our hands on the new keyboards tonight at the ShowStoppers IFA press event and were quiet impressed with the overall build quality. They do not feel cheap (the opposite), which is not too surprising given ZAGG’s reputation of building military grade screen protectors and other quality protective accessories.

The two models are identical to one another, including a magnetic closure that allows it to act as a screen protector when not in use. However, an extra $20 will upgrade you to the Pro Plus model with a backlit keyboard, which is a feature that has noticeably been missing from the go-to iPad keyboards currently on the market.

Will Zagg leapfrog our current favorite ultrathin iPad keyboard from Logitech?

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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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Toys Weekend: AppleTV: $90, MacFlux 4, New MacBook Pros $999

Lot of stuff happening at 9to5Toys.com this weekend…

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Amazon has the Apple TV for $89.99 with free shipping.  That’s the lowest price going (remember it just got Hulu – 1 week free here). Speaking of Amazon+free, you can get a free month of the new Prime streaming to iPad using the new app.

StackSocial offers downloads of the popular “Dreamweaver killer”  Square_fluxMacFlux 4 website building editor application for $40.  There is a huge list of great Mac software currently on sale at Stack Social here.

Fry’s Electronics offers the current-generation MacBook Pro Intel Core i5 2.5GHz 13.3″ LED-Backlit Widescreen Notebook, model no. MD101LL/A, for $999. Shipping adds around $11, or choose free in-store pickup. That’s the lowest total price we could find by $129 and even lower than Apple’s refurbished price.

All4Cellular has Applecare for iPhone for $39.99 (usually $99).

Vaas FM Transmitter with Car Charger and Remote for iPhone and iPod – $9.99+free ship

Western Digital USB 3.0 1TB portable drives for $89+free shipping at Go4Computer/Ebay, Tax in Florida.

Viewsonic VX2450wm-LED 24″ Widescreen LED Backlit Monitor: 49.99+Free shipping from Buy.com

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LaCie announces re-engineered USB 3.0 products for new MacBooks including ruggedized USB stick

LaCie introduced the RuggedKey this week. It is an IP-54 water and dust resistant USB 3.0 key that provides speeds up to 150 MB/s and a bumper that offers protection from “heat, cold, and 100-meter drops.” The RuggedKey is now available in Apple stores or from the company directly starting at $40 for 16 GB, but LaCie also announced today that it updated its entire USB 3.0 portfolio with optimizations specifically for Apple’s latest lineup of MacBooks. LaCie said it re-engineered its USB 3.0 products for Lion and Mountain Lion by taking advantage of USB-attached SCSI Protocol support in Ivy Bridge Macs:

Thanks to UAS (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), people with the latest Macbook Air, Macbook Pro and Macbook Pro with Retina Display will experience maximum USB 3.0 performance… Everything from cables and USB keys, to professional RAID storage solutions have been re-engineered for advanced performances. LaCie’s recently announced RuggedKey achieves top speeds up to 150MB/s in 32GB of flash memory – making it one of the fastest USB keys on the market. LaCie’s popular Rugged Triple, and Porsche Design P’9223 and P’9233 have also been optimized for Mac and are available in Apple retail.

On top of Apple stores, the redesigned lineup of LaCie USB 3.0 products is available through LaCie stores. The company’s full press release is below:
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Check out this redonkulous 300W iPhone portable DJ controller/Hi-Fi Party Machine [Video]

The Philips FWP3200D 300W Mini Hi-Fi System, often simply referred to as the “Party Machine”, is essentially a set of rotatable iPhone docks (made to look like turntables) atop a 300W speaker system that includes two speakers boxes and packs a 2-inch tweeter and a 5.25-inch woofer. The turntables do little more than allow you to rotate the docked iPhones to either side of the system, providing a traditional DJ setup from behind the speakers or a more casual setup when docked in front. As for the controller itself, the majority of your DJing will be done from the iPhone’s touchscreen via the supported Djay iOS app. While it is not as feature-filled as your typical DJ controller, it does provide physical controls with a 13-key remote for fast reverse/fast forward, play/pause, repeat, etc., and a number of other features you will not find in your average docking station…

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Want to make a Mountain Lion USB stick or SD Card Installer? Here’s how

Apple will not offer a USB or Optical Disk external installer to Mountain Lion (as far as we have heard). That does not mean you cannot sneaker net the install around your home, office or lab like Apple Store employees do (sometimes). Lion Diskmaker has been updated to allow you to make a bootable USB or SD Card installer on a 8GB piece of media.

The process is straightforward:

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