Microsoft’s recent barrageofanti-iPadads have nearly all featured third-party tablets rather than boasting about Microsoft’s own iPad-killer, the Surface RT. Now that it’s desperately slashed prices on RT units, Microsoft is feeling inexplicably cocky in its latest ad, which pits the hardware and software specs of the iPad against that of the Surface RT.
Basically, Microsoft is praying the iPad’s lack of a keyboard (that you have to purchase separately), Microsoft Office, and a USB port will be enough to entice some unlucky nerds to buy a Surface RT instead of an iPad now that it’s cheaper than ever but still deprived of quality apps.
Apple has added a new page to its website in China which urges customers to use official Apple USB adapters with their iOS devices. The move comes after two Chinese iPhone users were electrocuted by third-party chargers this month, which left one dead and the other in a coma for ten days.
That’s right, $50 nabs you the Anker Astro 3, an external battery with three USB ports and 12,000 mAh, which is — in theory — enough juice to completely charge any iPad.
Why the in theory disclaimer? Because although the Astro 3’s 12,000 mAh capacity exceeds the 11,560 mAh capacity of the battery in the two latest iPads (the iPad 2’s battery is about half that of its successors), there’s always some energy loss when transferring energy from one battery to another.
The AOC screen plugs into a USB 3 port (and only a USB 3 port), and just like any other external monitor can either mirror or augment a MacBook’s screen. The screen’s resolution is 1366×768, which covers an area of 15.6 inches — not quite the resolution of the standard 15’ MBP’s screen, but not that far off.
USB thumb drives are fast becoming useless, simply because we have nothing to plug them into. I used to get excited when PR folks gave me a 1GB stick instead of a DVD containing their press info, but how am I supposed to stick it into my iPad?
SanDisk’s new Connect Wireless Flash Drive fixes that. It’s a 16GB or 32GB thumb drive, only it has a Wi-Fi radio inside
PowerCycle is a hip-flask-shaped USB battery pack which is designed to be charged by your bike. You’ll need to be running a dynamo hub with an electrical output to actually charge it, so this is more a bike-friendly design than a bike-only one.
Travel Charger by DigiPower Category: Chargers Works With: Various Cameras Price: $50
The modern digital camera is a miracle. It can take photos in light so low that you can’t even focus the lens manually. It can record thousands of images onto a single SD card, or it can shoot RAW and let you make incredible adjustments back in the comfort of your own home.
But one thing that has driven me crazy with pretty much every digital camera I have ever owned is its charger. They’re almost universally terrible. Which is why I bought this Digipower alternative. But is it actually any better?
This is the Bracketron, a robot which will help you fill out your NCAA tournament charts. Not really. The Bracketron is in fact a robot which will help you put up shelves that won’t fall down as soon as you place something breakable up there.
NOT REALLY AGAIN. The Bracketron is a USB charger which leeches its power from an outlet that is already in use. Which actually makes it better than my first two lies… Except for the robot part.
It’s gotten to the stage that I’m so loaded up on cloud storage for my photos that I could toss my iPhone into the toilet and not lose a thing (well, apart from the action shot of the toilet bowl framing my shocked face as the iPhone shoots its last photo). But while Dropbox and Everpix are great, sometimes you just want to rock an old-school USB stick and transfer photos to and from you iPhone with a stick of plastic.