The flawlessly interconnected smarthome we've been promised remains a mess of competing standards and random devices battling for your attention. To help streamline all that noise, LG has revealed a hub that includes an LCD display for keeping an eye on what your smarthome is up to.
Tagged With hubs
Kensington's just released the world's first Wireless USB universal docking station, conveniently named the Wireless USB Docking Station. The thing suppports five USB devices as well as a DVI monitor, which can then be "attached" wirelessly to your notebook whenever it comes into range. Speaker ports round out the solution, and the whole thing is compatible with any Wireless USB notebook brands. You'll be able to pay US$230 for one at the end of the month at Dell and Kensington. Is the convenience of not having to plug in five USB devices (or one, if you have a USB hub), a monitor and a speaker every time you sit down worth $230? We say yes.
Your house is wired for networking and you probably don't even know it. Wires are wires, and the ones that give you power outlets every six feet aren't much differen than the ones connecting your modem to your network. They're already in the walls and can carry data as well as power, so think about using this Belkin Ethernet-to-powerline conversion hub to let you utilise the wiring you already have, converting the digital signals from up to three devices and transferring it through your house via a "powernet" to other devices.
Those who threw down the extra cash for a first gen PlayStation 3 got a few bonuses in return—the newer 40GB version is shy a few USB ports, a memory card reader and hardware-based backwards compatibility. Nyko is solving two of these problems with their Media Hub, a 3-port USB hub with media card reader (SD and Memory Stick). Compatible with all available PS3s, the Media Hub snaps seamlessly onto consoles and works from a horizontal or vertical position. Expect the Media Hub to hit stores this August for $20. Sorry you're still jacked with the backwards compatibility stuff.
A four-way, USB 2.0 hub. A magnetic paperclip holder. A fake fish tank. A seven-colour LED illuminator. Mix them all together, and what have you got? Yes: possibly the worst USB gizmo ever. I mean, what's next? A USB hub with built-in electric dog-polisher? I don't know though: if you're a collector of USB naffness then maybe you'd prize this thing... available now for US$20.
Brando has given the quirky R&D team the week off. In the meantime, they've actually got the innovative group into replace them, and the new clan has come up with something that's actually useful—a three socket USB hub, with a USB charging cable. The two nice features here are 1). The price point of $12 and 2). The fact that there is no need for an external power supply. Instead, the hub will connect to both USB ports on your laptop and draw enough power to charge up a device via USB mini cable, whilst simultaneously offering up 3 non-powered ports. So, you lose two ports, but gain three and one power positive cable—Kreb's cycle, eat your heart out.
Do you need a constant reminder that you're always late? Perhaps in a four-port USB hub form? Then this USB Running Man Hub is the perfect gift for your birthday, with its four distinct USB 2.0 ports in the guy's base, arm, leg and briefcase. No? You wanted a nose hair trimmer instead? Guess that's too bad then, isn't it Adam Frucci.
Remember that BlackBerry Bluetooth music hub we saw on the FCC? It's made a silent (but deadly) entrance into the marketplace over at Tessco, where it's now available for US$79. It still works the same—plug in your speakers to the output jack, then stream music wirelessly from your BB.
Remember that 62-formats-in-1 card reader for your desktop PC from last week? Old Hat. Check it out: an extra three formats, including SDHC, are apparently readable by this little number, though we're still at a loss as to what they all are. The next edition will also read your mind and your future in tea leaves. Oh look, there's a MacBook Air on that Earl Grey!
This 62-in-1 USB hub can read just about any memory card you can throw at it, and maybe some that don't even exist. Seriously, I had no idea that there were even this many formats out there. It also features an internal 3.5" connect bay, USB, Firewire and SATA slots, and audio in / out. And the best part is that it only costs $US39.99 —which seems a little too good to be true.
There are plenty of unique looking hubs on the market, but there is something about this colorful USB Star Hub that sets it apart. And the fact that each hub can rotate 180° to adapt to your work environment is definitely a plus. The device is USB 2.0 compatible and the product site claims that it has a low power consumption, but it is only available for Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista, which is a little bit of a turnoff. Still, you can pick one up for only $US12, so there really isn't much to complain about.
The petite Venture Mini Bluetooth car hub is a combination FM transmitter, speakerphone, A2DP streamer and 12V charger. It can pair with up to four devices simultaneously and features in/out audio ports to connect your DAP. There's also a standard USB port for charging. For an improved speakerphone experience, there's a noise isolating mic. Its coolest trick is the ability to display incoming call info on your car's radio display using RDBS technology. Look for it in December for $130.