Accessories

Microsoft Brings Intellimouse Back

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Microsoft Brings Intellimouse Back

A surprise listing on the Microsoft hardware website reveals the return of a classic rodent-- the IntelliMouse, in the shape of a modern version inspired by the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0.

Launched in 2002, the IntelliMouse 3.0 was the last version of the IntelliMouse, a mouse line Microsoft started way back in 1996. The first version featured a curvy ergonomic design and introduced the scroll wheel to the world. Actual mouse functionality came through a ball before a 1999 update brought optical tracking technology.

The 2017 Classic IntelliMouse is very similar to the original, if updated with a DPI range reaching up to 3200. It also has 3 customisable buttons, BlueTrack tracking for glass use and a 1000 reports per second mouse report rate. Connectivity remains wired, if via USB. In actual changes, the distinctive red tail light is now a "clean, modern white."

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Sonnet Intros Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI Adapter

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Sonnet Intros Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI Adapter

Sonnet Technologies launches the Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI 2.0 Adapter-- a means for customers to connect up to two 4K displays or one 5K displays to their Windows PC or Mac.

The accessory connects to PCs, such as the 2016 MacBook, via Thunderbolt 3. It is plug-and play, and provides a pair of HDMI ports for the connection of monitors. The computer powers the adapter, meaning no external power supply is required, and native macOS and Windows support allows use without installation of separate driver software.

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The Rugged Romeo Power Saber Battery

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The Rugged Romeo Power Saber Battery

Recently founded battery maker Romeo Power announces a first product-- the Saber, a rugged battery pack offering 23000mAh (or 86 watt-hours) of power, allowing it to charge a laptop twice.

Formed by former Tesla, SpaceX, Amazon and Faraday Future engineers, Romeo Power says it wanted to create a "personal power pack designed to recharge any digital device at full speed," be it smartphones, laptops or drones. The Saber is around the size of a water bottle, weighs 1kg and offers x1 USB-C, x2 USB-A (one 2.1A/10.5W, the other 1A/5W) and a variable AC outlet with a universal port.

“Saber is like having a wall socket in your pocket,” the company adds. “We created Saber to be the most advanced power pack available that gets you out the door faster than anyone else, and with a lifeproof design so consumers can have power wherever life takes them.”

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SmartHalo Arrives in Apple Stores

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SmartHalo Arrives in Apple Stores

The SmartHalo-- an iPhone-compatible accessory providing cyclists with navigation, fitness and safety functionality-- arrives at Apple retail locations, starting from N. America.

A Kickstarter success story, the SmartHalo locks to bike handlebars. It pairs with a companion app (on iPhone 4S and higher) via Bluetooth 4.0, and uses a ring light to guide cyclists to their destination using either a turn-by-turn or compass-style lighting mode system.

In addition, a blue dot light illuminates for incoming lights, and a front light turns on or off according to the time of day and when a trip is in progress. A final feature has it record fitness data (such as calories burned) for syncing with the Apple Health app.

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"Made for Google" Certification on the Way?

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9to5Google reports Google has a "Made for Google" program in the works-- an accessory certification scheme presumably similar to Apple's MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) scheme.

The unnamed sources speaking to the news site don't have any further details on the program, but the aforementioned MFi program provides accessory makers with “hardware components, tools, documentation, and technical support,” and allows the promotion of accessory with Apple certification logos.

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OWC Intros USB-C Travel Dock

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OWC Intros USB-C Travel Dock

OWC launches a smaller USB-C dock option-- the USB-C Travel Dock, a device offering portable connectivity for laptops such as the latest MacBooks through a selection of 5 ports.

The dock connects to PCs or Macs via single USB-C cable. It features x2 USB 3.1 ports, x1 USB-C port (for power), x1 HDMI 2.0 port and x1 SD card reader. The USB-C port provides up to 60W of passthrough charging, and the HDMI 2.0 can handle a 4K display at 30 Hz.

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Belkin presents 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar

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Belkin presents 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar

The Belkin 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar is a fairly self-explanatory accessory-- it is means to add a headphone jack to Lightning-only devices, while providing a source of data or power.

The MFi-certified product is compatible with any 3.5mm audio source, and handles remote and mic control via headphones. It also supports 12W passthrough charging, meaning the iPhone juices up at maximum speeds. As such it is ideal for use with the latest iPhones lacking a 3.5mm headphone jack, namely the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and upcoming iPhone X.

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Pi to Wirelessly Charge from a Distance

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Pi to Wirelessly Charge from a Distance

Wireless charging is set to truly hit the mainstream with the iPhone 8, but a startup named Pi wants to further extend the reach of the technology-- specifically by 30cm, through the imaginatively named Pi Charger.

As debuted at the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield event, the Pi Charger is a conical device able to charge multiple devices within around 30cm in any direction. It is not a full-room wireless charging offering, the the maker promises it actually works, and does so without need to put devices on a charging pad.

The technology behind the Pi Charger is resonant induction, the same used by the Qi standard found in the new iPhones. It is paired with a special beam forming algorithm allowing Pi to shape and direct the magnetic fields around the device. This allows users to charge a smartphone by putting it next to the charger, as opposed to directly on it.

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iPhone 8, X Get Official Accessories

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iPhone 8, X Get Official Accessories

The Apple September event not only involved the launch of the iPhone 8 and X-- the company also took the time to present a selection of cases, as well as wireless charging accessories.

The iPhone X gets a specially designed Leather Folio Case, with a front cover complete with soft microfibre lining to protect the display. It is made out of "specially tanned and finished European leather," has space to hold bills, small notes and cards, and can be kept on during wireless charging.

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How to Charge and Back Up the iPhone

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How to Charge and Back Up the iPhone

Western Digital presents an interesting 2-in-1 SanDisk solution-- the iXpand Base, a device providing customers means to charge the iPhone while backing up its photos, videos and contacts.

The iXpand Base has a Lightning cable on one side and a power cord on the other. According to WD, it is designed for charging the iPhone on a nightly basis, and while the smartphone is charging it backs up all critical files via iXpand Base app, thus providing automatic nightly backups.

Internal storage totals up to 256GB, and it can be used to offload photos and other files to save iPhone space. The backup feature also allows one to easily transfer contents to a new phone, since it simply involves installing the companion app and plugging it in.

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An iPhone Case to Charge the AirPods

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An iPhone Case to Charge the AirPods

Pebble creator Eric Migicovsky takes to Kickstarter to launch the PodCase-- an iPhone case designed to make the life of AirPods user a little bit easier via integrated charger.

Migicovsky describes the PodCase as a "slim case for carrying and charging your iPhone and AirPods." It features a 2500mAh battery (allowing for either 40 AirPod charges or one iPhone charge) together with a USB-C port for the charging of other devices, such as a MacBook. Grooves on the back allow one to slot the AirPods in place when not in use.

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