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Accessories

The PowerUp USB-C Charger/Hub Combo

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The PowerUp USB-C Charger/Hub Combo

The PowerUp is a 3rd party solution for an issue familiar to any owner of a laptop featuring only USB-C ports such as the latest MacBook Pro, namely adding more ports while charging the device.

Designed by startup Homey Lab, the PowerUp is a charger roughly the same size and shape of the old Apple MagSafe bricks. It has a built-in USB-C cable together with three USB 3.0 ports, adding more legacy ports without need for dongles.

Interestingly, while the PowerUp is technically a charger it still operates as a USB hub even if not connected to mains power. It offers 72W power output, meaning it can charge 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro at full speed but will be a bit slow if charging with the 15-inch MacBook, which uses an 87W charger.

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Razer Launches Lancehead Mice

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Razer Launches Lancehead Mice

Razer announces a pair of gaming mice-- the Lancehead and Lancehead Tournament Edition, both featuring an identical ambidextrous design, mechanical switches and 16000 DPI 5G sensors.

The Lancehead is the wireless option of the two, featuring what Razer claims is "revolutionary" Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT) to ensure fast and stable wireless communication between mouse and PC. AFT connects on the strongest frequencies within the 2.4GHz band, and switches frequences when necessary to reduce lag. Battery life promises to reach 24 hours on a single charge.

On the other hand the Lancehead Tournament Edition is the same mouse, only featuring a wired connection to push 450 inchis per second (IPS)/50G acceleration. The 7-foot braided cable carries both data and power and, obviously, it needs no batteries.

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Logitech Intros Slim Folio Keyboard Case

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Logitech Intros Slim Folio Keyboard Case

Logitech presents the Slim Folio-- a Bluetooth keyboard-case combo designed for the 5th generation 9.7-inch iPad, with a battery the company claims lasts up to 4 years on 2 hours of daily use.

The keyboard has a comfortable laptop-style layout with "large, well-spaced keys" that are "stretched from edge-to-edge." It includes dedicated function and iOS shortcut keys for switching between apps, summoning the search function, Home screen access and volume control without need to touch the iPad display.

Connectivity comes through Bluetooth LE, and the keyboard automatically activates when placed in typing position. It runs on replaceable coin cell batteries able to last up to 4 years, with no need for replacements.

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The SteelSeries "Dual-Surface RGB Illuminated Mousepad"

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The SteelSeries

Accessory maker SteelSeries announces what it claims is "the world's first dual-surface RGB illuminated mousepad"-- the QcK Prism, a mousepad featuring a dual-textured reversible surface, as well as the obligatory LED lighting.

The "dual-surface" portion of the above claim comes via insert users can flip to choose between either a hard polymer surface (for fast-paced gaming) or micro-textured cloth (for extra control). SteelSurface says one can insert some of its QcK and Dex pads in the Prism base, but separately supplied mousing surfaces might not fit due to 1-5mm manufacturing tolerances.

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OWC Intros Thunderbolt 3 Products

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OWC Intros Thunderbolt 3 Products

OWC announces a range of Thunderbolt 3 products at the 2017 NAB Show, including a 13-port dock, the Envoy Pro EX portable SSD, Mercury Helios 3 PCIe expansion chassis and the Helios FX external GPU.

Customers wanting to add more ports to their Mac Book or Thunderbolt 3-enabled laptop should find the OWC Dock useful. It adds 13 ports, including analog audio in/out, x5 USB 3.1, S/PDIF, FireWire 800, ethernet, x2 ThunderBolt 3 and even mini DisplaPort, allowing one to drive 5K displays, x2 4K displays or a combination of 4K, HD and other displays.

On the storage side, OWC offers a pair of portable storage options-- the Envoy Pro EX, a bus-powered portable SSD with the Thunderbolt 3 interface allowing speeds of up to 40GB/s, and the Mercury Viper, a similar SSD allowing daisy-chain expansion from a compact form factor. Also seen is the Thunderbay 6, a 6-bay RAID powered by SoftRAID designed to offer performance reaching up to 40Gb/s.

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Logitech Presents G413 Gaming Keyboard

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Logitech Presents G413 Gaming Keyboard

The latest Logitech gaming keyboard fails to look like its overdesigned brethren-- the G413 is a mid-range option with an understated aluminium case.

The G413 still features the LED backlighting seemingly required by gaming keyboards, in a choice of red or white colours. The keys are mechanical, armed with Logitech's own Romer-G switches (which are equivalent to Cherry MX Brown switches in terms of force), while the F1-F12 keys provide programmable macro access.

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Belkin Strengthens USB-C Cable With Kevlar

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Belkin Strengthens USB-C Cable With Kevlar

Belkin announces an addition to the Mixit DuraTek durable cable line-- a USB-C cable featuring Kevlar-reinforced conductors and double-braided nylon shielding on the outside.

The USB-C cable is certified by both the USB Implementers Forum, and includes a 5-year limited warranty. The length is 1.2m, and it comes in pink, gold, silver and black colours. The Kevlar used in the conductors is the same used in a broad range of industrial and consumer products, while longer, flexible strain-relief absorbs stress from bending, avoiding breakage.

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Logitech Aims Rugged Combo at Education

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Logitech Aims Rugged Combo at Education

The Logitech Rugged Combo is a combination of case and keyboard allowing 9.7-inch tablets such as the iPad to withstand the knocks and drops faced by devices used by children in the classroom.

The Rugged Combo protects tablets from drops up to 1.8m, and includes a kickstand with mechanical hinges promising to hold the device sturdily at any angle. Meanwhile the keyboard is physically connected via secure proprietary connector, and provides "laptop-like typing" as well as a secure data entry point in case teachers want to submit tests on the tablet.

A transparent window on the back of the case allows authorities to scan and mark tablets before and after students use school property.

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A "Flow" Battery Powers and Cools Chips

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Scientists at ETH Zurich and IBM Research Zurich build what they call a tiny "redox flow" battery-- a battery able to simultaneously power and cool chips, especially those stacked on top of each other, pancake-style.

A flow battery creates electricity through the electrochemical reaction of two liquid electrolytes. A closed electrolyte loop pumps the two liquids into the battery cell from outside, and the liquids also serve as a cooling medium, dissipating excess heat from the chip stack via the same circuit.

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