updated 03:20 pm EST, Mon January 17, 2005
MWSF: BookEndz Docks
Last week at Macworld San Francisco we had the opportunity to look at several interesting new peripherals and accessories for the Mac. In this report, we look at the BookEndz Docks, LaCie's d2 DVD+/-RW Drive with LightScribe, and Circus Ponies NoteBook.
The BookEndz Dock for the 15" PowerBook is an elegant solution for eliminating cable clutter and the hassle that is involved in plugging and unplugging peripherals from a laptop. Instead of dealing with cables sprouting out the sides of your PowerBook, just set it in the BookEndz docking station and then push the connector boxes into place. Each "bookend" has all the plugs for connecting into each slot on the Powerbook, allowing the user to plug in all the peripherals behind the docking station. To unplug the PowerBook, just pull a handle to disengage the connectors, leaving all your peripherals still plugged into the dock and your PowerBook free of cables. This is ideal for users who have a lot of peripherals plugged in while at the desk but often take their PowerBooks on the go. BookEndz Dock retails for $270.
LaCie d2 DVD+/-RW Drive with LightScribe
LaCie has put HP's LightScribe technology in its 16x d2 DVD+/1RW drive. Using special LightScribe enabled media, the user can burn data as with any other drive and then flip the disc over and burn an image or text with the exact same laser, producing a black and white silk-screen quality image. It takes about 30 minutes to burn a full-size image. LaCie is currently developing template software for easy image creation that will be available at end of the month. The drive itself supports dual layer technology for up to 8.5 GB of data on a single disc. The required LightScribe capable media costs about 25 cents more than regular media. The d2 DVD+/-RW drive retails for about $220.
Circus Ponies NoteBook
Circus Ponies NoteBook provides a robust notebook application for easy, freeform notebook creation. The user can input movies, audio, and text. To share your ideas you can either create a "Page Bundle" for other NoteBook users or export to PDF or HTML. Both PDF and HTML export functions have many options to customize the output. Version 2.0 (a free upgrade from 1.2) will add several new HTML output options for even more customizability and sophistication. This function will offer a quick way to generate rough but functional multi-media Web sites. NoteBook retails for $50.