Unit was originally announced in spring 2013, delayed due to upgrades
Sonnet has finally started shipping the Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock, which if first announced more than two years ago. In part, the delay was due to the announcement of Thunderbolt 2 shortly after Sonnet began accepting pre-orders, pushing the breakout box into 2014. From there, production issues have keep the unit off shelves until now, and the now-shipping dock offers four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, a FireWire 800 port, two 6Gb/s eSATA ports, and more.
Apple has finally started stocking the Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter. The new dongle costs $29 and is currently listed as shipping within 1 to 3 business days. Although it can be used by any Mac with an available Thunderbolt port running OS X v10.7.4 or higher, its arrival has been most eagerly awaited by new owners of Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Deals on portable hard drives, iPhone accessories, and more
Today's deals from DealNN include price breaks on portable hard drives, iPhone accessories, and more. Macmall.com's Deal of the Day today is the refurbished LaCie 1TB Rugged Triple Interface Portable Hard Drive, with a rubberized bumper and scratch-proof exterior, and transfer speeds up to 100MBps via FireWire 800. Currently featured at DealNN, the portable hard drive has now dropped 40% in price and can be purchased for only $119.99.
Ethernet adapter out now, FW800 arriving later
In addition to the other higher-profile offerings at Apple's Worldwide Developer's conference today, the company announced two new adapter cables for all Thunderbolt-equipped Macs. Shipping today is the Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt cable, and the Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter cable arrives later this summer.
Storage device follows Apple design cues
Many of Iomega's Mac-oriented storage products merely ship pre-formatted for HFS+, but the new Mac Companion has been entirely designed with Apple's computers in mind. The housing is shaped to match the footprint of an iMac or Cinema/Thunderbolt display, while FireWire connections and a 2.1 Amp USB port complement Apple's computers and iOS devices. In our full review, we explore the Mac Companion's functionality as a storage device and connection hub.
Offers room for two 2.5-inch drives; RAID-0 or 1
Other World Computing has expanded its Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini bus-powered RAID options with two new HD-based and three new SSD-based pre-configured choices for up to two terabytes (2TB) of capacity using either Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB2 or eSATA connections to achieve transfer speeds up to 300MB per second. The RAID unit is remarkably compatible all the way back to Apple OS 8.6 (using Firewire 400), and all the way up to Mac OS X Lion, as well as Windows 98SE and higher.
Converts FW800 into concurrent 800 and 400 ports
Long-time Mac users who have Firewire 400 (aka 1394a or i.Link) devices and want to attach them to newer Macs without tying up the sole Firewire 800 port found on most models can now turn to the Yin-Yang adapter from Sonnet -- dubbed a Firewire "mini-hub" -- that splits a Mac's FW800 port into one FW800 port and one FW400 port, supporting concurrent data transfer.
Mac Pro download corrects audio anomaly
Apple on Monday released several minor updates including a Mac Pro audio download and Epson printer drivers for Snow Leopard. The Mac Pro audio update v1.1 addresses an audio anomaly that caused a noise to emanate from inside the computer when using FireWire-connected devices. The download os geared for the Mac Pros introduced early last year.
Users can select specific connections
Henge Docks has unveiled a series of docking stations designed for Apple's latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The devices allow notebook computers to be integrated into desktop systems or home theater configurations. Each model offers a flexible system capable of connecting USB, Ethernet, audio, mini DisplayPort, FireWire, and MagSafe cables.
Drive offers eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 800/400
OWC has launched its OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini 1TB portable drive, which it claims is the first ever 2.5-inch 1TB drive shipped with a quad interface. The bus-powered drive has eSATA, USB 2.0, and FireWire 800/400 connectivity in a brushed aluminum, fanless enclosure. In addition to the new 1TB capcity, the drives are also available with 7200RPM 500GB drives and solid-state drives up to 200GB.
Systems support several RAID arrays
Sans Digital in Wednesday introduced several four-bay storage systems, the TowerSTOR TS4CT and EliteRAID ER104CT. The TowerSTOR model arranges four hot-swappable drives in a vertical enclosure, which integrates an LCD for viewing status and management information. Users can choose from RAID 0, 1, 10, 3 and 5 arrays, with connection options including USB 2.0, eSATA, and FireWire 800 or 400.
Adapter designed for Macs and PCs
Sonnet on Tuesday introduced the Allegro FireWire 800 PCI Express (PCIe) adapter card. The upgrade features Texas Instruments' XIO2213A FireWire 800 controller, along with three FW ports that support write speeds of up to 70MB/s. Power is provided for bus-powered external drives, audio interfaces, or other equipment, while plug-and-play compatibility automatically supports PCIe 1.1 and 2.0 slots. Users can also connect FireWire 400 devices using an adapter or adapter cable.
Drive burns Blu-ray discs at up to 12X speeds
Other World Computing on Tuesday announced that it is now offering a Mercury Pro external Blu-ray drive with a quad interface. Users can choose between USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or eSATA connection methods. The company claims the Pioneer BDR-205 can reach burn speeds of up to 12X on Blu-ray discs, 16X with DVDs, 4X on DVD-DL media, and 40X for CDs.
On-the-Go portable drives reach 750GB
OWC has launched new 750GB notebook drive products. The new capacity drives arrive in bus-powered On-The-Go Pro models, with three connectivity options. The top-of-the-line triple interface offers FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 connections, while a dual-interface FireWire 400/USB 2.0 and a USB 2.0-only version are available for reduced pricing.
Mac mini box photo leak
A new leaked image appears to show the retail packaging for the next-generation Mac mini. The photo, posted on OneMoreThing.nl, features a Mac mini with five USB connectors, a Mini DisplayPort and a FireWire 800 port. The design elements match a previous image leak and video, while a NVIDIA logo adds evidence to reports claiming the upcoming device will use the GeForce 9400M graphics and controller chipset.
OWC Blu-ray burner
Other World Computing has launched the Mercury Pro BDR-203, a quad-interface external Blu-ray burner that supports 8X write speeds of up to 2GB per minute. Interface options include FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA, with plug-and-play support for both Windows and Mac platforms. Along with Blu-ray discs, the burner can also write to DVD-RAM, DVD Dual-Layer R/RW, DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW.
MOTU Firewire interface
MOTU has unveiled the latest version of its mobile FireWire audio interface, the Traveler-mk3. The device now offers V-Limit signal overload protection, hi-Z guitar inputs, a 32-bit floating-point DSP and two banks of optical inputs and outputs. The traveler can be bus-powered directly from a notebook or desktop computer, or attached to an external battery pack if needed. The system allows all 28 inputs and 30 outputs to be used simultaneously.
EZQuest Thunder Pro RAID
EZQuest has introduced the Thunder Pro Triple series of A/V RAID storage devices. Each unit offers two FireWire 800 ports, a FireWire 400 port and a USB port. The three-drive arrangement ships pre-configured as RAID 0 for the highest capacity and speed. The Oxford-chipset Hitachi SATA II drives run at 7200RPM with up to 64MB buffer cache. EZQuest claims data transfer speeds up to 80MB per second, with support for DV, HDV and DVCPRO HD with real-time effects.
MacBook FireWire issues
The "unibody" aluminum housing on the new MacBooks might have been a contributing factor to the designers' decision to not include a FireWire port, according to Rainier Brockerhoff's analysis. The new internal layout of components aligns each peace to eliminate any overlap, except for the keyboard. This contributes to the strength of the design and the compact form-factor. The motherboard remains on one side, while the SuperDrive sits on the other.
OWC external BD burners
Other World Computing (OWC) on Wednesday introduced its Mercury Pro Blu-ray external drives, the first on the market, the company says, that include a quad interface. This includes FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity options for both Macs and PCs, allowing the external drives to write Blu-ray media at speeds up to 4X or 150MBps, or twice as fast as OWC's previous generation BD burners.
Synchrtotech has introduced two new connectivity products, including a FireWire 800 to 400 adapter and a CFMulti CompactFlash Eye-Fi card. The FireWire adapter plugs into a nine-pin FW800 port and allows a six-pin FW400 device to be connected. The device will allow users of the new MacBook Pro to connect any FireWire 400 devices to their new Mac which now only offers a single FireWire 800 port. The adapter is shielded and is claimed to offer transfer rates up to 400Mbps.
New MacBooks lack FireWire
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has purportedly responded in a typically brief way to a customer complaint about Apple abandoning FireWire on its new MacBook line. The email communications between Jobs and a customer who wrote to complain, reported by AppleInsider, show Jobs' thought process, looking forward with few FireWire ported High-Definition camcorders coming to market. The approach ignores a heavily established base of FireWire-based camcorders and other devices that depend on the high-speed, low latency aspects of the connector.
MacWay TB external HD
French company MacWay has unveiled the SilverDrive Quattro 1.5TB quad interface external hard drive. The new drive offers the highest storage capacity of the SilverDrive Quattro series, and supports USB 2.0, FireWire 400/800, and eSATA connections. The 7200RPM single disk drive is housed in an aluminum housing that allows for passive cooling, eliminating the need for a fan, which the company claims significantly reduces operating noise.
Storage options announced
Vantec has introduced two FireWire 800 devices, the NexStar 3 Quad Interface hard drive enclosure and the
FireWire 800/400 Host Card PCI FireWire adapter. The NexStar 3 enclosure is a 3.5" enclosure and features a SATA hard drive interface with eSata, FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 ports. It also has a power/hard drive access light and is constructed of aluminum for heat dissipation. The case supports up to 1TB hard drives.
MiniStack v2.5 adds SATA
Newer Technology has announced its new miniStack v2.5, an upgrade to its Mac Mini form factor hard drive/powered hub. The miniStack offers three FireWire 400 ports (one in and two out) and four USB 2.0 ports (one in and three out) and now features a SATA interface with the latest Oxford 934 bridge chipset. It is available now at Other World Computing with up to 1TB of hard drive space. Prices range from an enclosure kit with no hard drive for $80 to a 1TB miniStack at $280.
IEEE Approves FW 3200
The IEEE standards organization today approved the next generation of FireWire. Officially known as IEEE 1394-2008 but also referred to as S3200 or FireWire 3200, the connection specification operates at up to four times the speed of FireWire 800 (S800) with up to 3.2 gigabits per second of data while preserving the energy properties that allow it to power some devices without needing a direct power supply. The extra speed is believed to be useful for multi-disk hard drive arrays and other devices where earlier FireWire would be inadequate.
OWC intros Neptune drives
Other World Computing today introduced a new 1TB drive in its line of external FireWire Neptune drives. The range includes seven drives ranging from capacity from 80GB to 1TB, with a 7200RPM speed hard disk common to all. The new range is fully compatible with Apple Time Machine back-up software. OWC claims the Neptune series is affordably priced, sharing its Oxford chipset and heavy-duty power supplies with OWC's Mercury Elite series of external drives.
Newertech has announced its Guardian MAXimus RAID-1 Mirror triple interface model. The FireWire 800/400+USB 2.0 drive has two 300GB 10,000RPM drives in a RAID-1 (mirror) for redundant, high-speed storage. The company claims data rates up to 100MB per second and utilizes Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA drives. The MAXimus is ready for Time Machine and geared toward Audio/Video and photo editing, as well as 3D rendering projects. The drive is available immediately for $900 and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.1 and later (as well as legacy Macs on OS 8.6-9.2), requiring Mac OS X 10.2 and later for FireWire 800 and USB 2.0.
500GB portable FW drive
Trans International on Tuesday announced an expansion to its miniXpress line of external hard drives with the introduction of three new 500GB external FireWire devices. The miniXpress 825, 825s and 425s are fully hot swappable, bus-powered drives -- made of durable Aluminium to provide rugged yet stylish protection (as well as optimal heat dissipation). All three models sport customizable 2.5-inch, 5,400 rpm SATA drives and an array of I/O options including eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports. The 825s and 425s models also include an innovative 2-in-1 connector that combines the eSATA/USB ports to a single connector.
NewerTech green RAID
Newertech on Thursday unveiled its first “green” storage device promising significant energy savings. The Guardian MAXimus eMax is a triple-interface 5400rpm 1TB external drive with a 64MB buffer. NewerTech claims the "plug & play" device uses 15-50 percent less power than competing products while providing the speed and low-noise features sought by creative professionals looking for a back-up solution. The device also supports Time Machine.
LaCie doubles drive speed
LaCie on Tuesday unveiled a new Blu-ray disc burner, capable of writing to single-layer media at 4x speeds across Firewire or USB 2.0. The drive retains LaCie's durable d2 aluminum casing and boasts whisper quiet operation while burning 25GB and 50GB BD-R and BD-RE media, in addition to all common CD and DVD formats. LaCie is offering the dual-interface Blu-ray burner for $650, available from LaCie directly and authorized retailers.
OWC drops Mercury pricing
Other World Computing today announced lower pricing for its Mercury Elite-AL Pro quad interface drive line, offering sizes up to 1TB, which the company claims are among the best values on the market. The drives feature Firewire 400 and 800, as well as USB 2.0 and eSATA, allowing the drives to be connected to almost any computer system. Pricing for the drive line starts at $160, and offers up to 150MB per second over eSATA.
500GB portable drive
Other World Computing on Thursday announced its highest capacity portable, bus-powered storage drive: a 500GB, 5400RPM portable storage drive that offers FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 connections. Immediately available and priced at $360, the Mercury On-The-Go 500GB portable drive is a palm-sized performer with huge capacity that fits in a shirt pocket. It is built with OWC's custom bridge solution featuring the Oxford924 chipset. In addition to the Mercury On-The-Go 500GB drive with 5400RPM performance, OWC also offers a full line of On-The-Go models with USB 2.0, USB 2.0+eSATA, FireWire 400+USB2, as well as additional FireWire 800/400+USB2 models in capacities up to 320GB (pricing starts at $98); and 7200RPM Mercury On-The-Go models in capacities of up to 200GB (priced starting at $120).
FirmTek on Monday announced the SeriTek/SpyderHUB, which provides USB and FireWire host connection options plus hardware RAID, eSATA Mac OS boot capability and FireWire daisy chaining capability in an ultra-small external design. The ultra small, four-ounce device offers the ability to connect to external hard drives using any eSATA enclosure such as the SeriTek/2EN2, allowing users to attach and boot from up to two eSATA hard drives at a remote location. Supporting both desktop and notebook computers, it allows professionals to utilize eSATA enclosures from computers that do not support a Serial ATA host adapter.
G-Tech revs storage at NAB
G-Technology on Monday added a new G-RAID Pro drive to its product line, increased the performance and quiet operation of its G-RAID drive, and added RAID 1 protection and eSATA connectivity to its G-RAID mini portable drive. The company's triple interface G-RAID Pro solution features FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectivity and storage capacities up to 4TB to handle both the bandwidth and storage-intensive requirements of compressed HD formats. The on-board hardware RAID controller supports both RAID 0 and fail-safe RAID 5 operation with auto-rebuild functionality, and utilizes four hot-swappable 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s disk drive modules.
Media 100 v12.5 coming
Media 100 on Thursday announced that it will unveil version 12.5 at the NAB 2008 exhibition held in Las Vegas next week. Media 100 v12.5 will feature HDV support for capture through Apple native FireWire and also the ability to input and edit multiple audio tracks. Using Media 100's user-friendly interface, the video editing package allows editors to easily and quickly assemble segments with very high picture quality using 2D/3D compositing features, professional-grade effects tools, and more. The company says that new Media 100 version 12.5 release expands on the systems workflow acquisition options and finishing capabilities with support for HDV formats and multi-channel audio input.
QuickStream SS drives
MCE Technologies today unveiled the QuickStream SS, a self-powered solid-state drive designed for standard and high-definition video capture. The QuickStream SS is ideal in situations where vibration or other environmental factors contribute to a less-than-desirable shooting environment for standard platter-based capture methods. Size configurations were not mentioned, but MCE will ship both a 2 hour and four hour model, for $1800 and $2800 respectively.
WD Studio Edition drives
Western Digital on Wednesday introduced its My Book Studio Edition II external dual-drive storage systems. Available with capacities of either 1TB or 2TB, the drives are formatted for Mac computers, but also come with software to make them Windows compatible. Both drives share four interface options, ranging from eSATA and FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. Each drive is meant for speed-intensive activities such as video editing, and as such default to a striped RAID 0 configuration; either model can however be configured for a RAID 1 mirrored setup, as necessary.
WiebeTech has announced the RTX200H-QR, a new RAID hard drive solution featuring RAID 0/1 for two drives in TrayFree bays. The TrayFree technology doesn't force the user to install hard drives into trays -- you can imply slide in a SATA drive and shut the door. The RTX200H-QR is compatible with four different interfaces: eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 (via included converter cable) and USB2. The new new metal bays also have two LEDs for power and access. Bays are lockable for added security. Hardware RAID 1 offers best possible protection of data by mirroring the drives in real time. Hot-swappable bays allow the user to remove and replace failed drives without shutting down the system. The new unit is priced at $500.
GFQ external drives debut
Fantom Drives today debuted G-Force GFQ Quad Interface, a new series of photo-ready external hard drives that support USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and eSATA connectivity. Boasting a maximum throughput of 300MB/sec, the enclosure features a compact fan-free heat-dissipating aluminum design for portability and near silent operation, according to the company. The G-Force GF1000Q (1TB capacity) is priced at $400, while the GF750Q (750GB) and GF500Q are available for $280 and $190, respectively.
MOTU's 828mk3 unveiled
MOTU has unveiled the 828mk3, a cross-platform FireWire audio interface with on-board effects and mixing functionality. The 828mk3 features a 32-bit floating point DSP for digital mixing and effects processing, more I/O, 192kHz operation, and true hi-Z guitar inputs. The device also offers signal overload protection, digitally controlled analog input trims on all inputs, two banks of ADAT/TOSLink optical, and MIDI I/O. The 828mk3 will ship in February for $800.
Verbatim SmartDisk Drives
Verbatim's contribution to pre-CES announcements is a significant overhaul of its SmartDisk portable hard drives. The new versions now top out at 320GB of storage but also offer the option of a combo FireWire and USB model; users can pick whichever format they can use. Both are completely bus-powered and run without the use of a power brick, making either an ideal choice for notebook owners whose carrying space is at a premium.
LaCie ups drive capacities
LaCie today announced that it has increased the capacity of its All-Terrain Hard Disk as well as its 2.5-inch Little Disk (shown at right) to 320GB. The full-size external drives, designed by Neil Poulton and Sam Hecht, are designed to make backing up and transferring data easy. Simple plug and play allows the drives to interact smoothly with any laptop or desktop computer’'s USB or FireWire port to add increased mobile storage for all-types of digital media. Both the 320GB All-Terrain Hard Disk and 2.5-inch Little Disk (both start from $200) are slated for shipment in late January.
Micronet Leopard updates
Micronet recently announced full Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility for several of its hard drive and RAID products. The Fantom family of drives – the Titanium II, G-Force Megadisk triple interface, G-Force SCSI and FCAL RAID, Titanium Mini – have all been made compatible, as well as the Micronet SR4, and PlatinumRAID. In addition to Leopard support, the Fantom drives and Micronet USB, Firewire, and eSATA drives can be used in conjuction with Time Machine, Apple's included backup utility for Leopard.
A future version of FireWire will quadruple the speed of today's fastest version, the IEEE 1394 Trade Association has revealed. Officially known as S3200, the format will build on the same connectors and technology used for today's FireWire 800 but operate at a peak of 3.2 gigabits per second, or 400 megabytes per second; this is four times the 800 megabits and 100 megabytes possible through the earlier standard. It does so without losing the qualities that makes FireWire unique, the Association says. Unlike USB, the format uses very little processor overhead and operates near its peak as long as the source is quick enough. It also supplies more power than either USB or external Serial ATA. As a result, the format can transmit quickly at distances of 328 feet or more when using specialized cables.