| Cult of Mac

Belkin revamps 3-in-1 charging stand with faster Apple Watch charges

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This MagSafe charger from Belkin might be the coolest iPhone 12 accessory.
Belkin's iPhone/Apple Watch/AirPods charging stand just got better.
Photo: Belkin

An improved version of the Belkin BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand supports fast charging Apple Watch Series 7 – up to 33% faster than Series 6.

And the stand still charges MagSafe iPhones at up to 15 watts. And it provides 5 watts to AirPods wireless charging cases.

Belkin’s new ANC earbuds with Find My support challenge AirPods Pro

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Belkin SoundForm Immerse noise cancelling earbuds
SoundForm Immerse earbuds are Belkin’s top-of-the-line audio solution.
Photo: Belkin

The just-launched Belkin SoundForm Immerse Bluetooth earbuds offer more than just great sound. They have active noise cancellation, and also work with Apple’s Find My network so they can be located with an iPhone.

They offer many of the same features as Apple’s AirPods Pro but at a lower cost.

Simple Mac mini workstation packs more than meets the eye [Setups]

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This computer setup simply has more in it than there appears.
This computer setup simply has more in it than there appears.
Photo: curious_being512@reddit.com

At a glance, today’s featured computer setup appears simpler than it really is. It showcases a Mac mini, a pair of mounted monitors and some typical-looking input devices. A row of water bottles stands to the right because the owner, who lives in India, is big on hydration as summer hits the subcontinent.

But there’s more to the setup than meets the eye. And some of it escapes the camera’s lens.

Belkin’s Thunderbolt hub packs a whopping 12 ports

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Belkin’s Thunderbolt hub packs a whopping 12 ports
The Belkin Connect Pro Thunderbolt 4 Dock can be the center of your home office.
Photo: Belkin

With a dozen ports, the Belkin Connect Pro Thunderbolt 4 Dock lets users connect a Mac to multiple accessories for data, video, Ethernet and power. All through a single high-speed cable connection.

Belkin also introduced a Thunderbolt 4 cable capable of handling data transfers at 40 Gbps.

Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections

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Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections
The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread offers simple and inexpensive home automation.
Photo: Wemo/Belkin

The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread simplifies controlling lamps, fans, and other appliances with an iPhone or Siri. Anything that plugs into a standard wall outlet can be turned on or off.

Rather than Wi-Fi, the HomeKit accessory communicates with other accessories over Thread, a mesh networking standard.

Learn to automate your home office like an IT pro [Setups]

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After seven years working at home, Derek Seaman built this computer setup.
After seven years working at home, Derek Seaman built this computer setup.
Photo: Derek Seaman

Blogger Derek Seaman may be an IT systems architect in his day job, but he also designs and builds advanced computer setups. That is, if his home office is any indication. Which it is.

He shared his MacBook Pro-driven workstation — actually, the whole room — with Cult of Mac recently.

What the puck? Belkin’s new iPhone charger comes with a kickstand [Review]

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Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W review
Belkin’s Portable Wireless Charger Pad is a MagSafe charger and desktop stand in one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Belkin found a way to improve on Apple’s MagSafe charging puck for iPhone. Both charge equally fast, but Apple’s lies flat, while Belkin’s includes a built-in kickstand. Plus, the third-party accessory maker put in a much longer cable. And these are just some of the benefits of the (deep breath) Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W.

I put the wireless charger through a round of tests. It came through with flying colors.

Why Belkin’s new MagSafe charging puck costs more than Apple’s

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Belkin bets you'll pay more for the pop-up stand and the longer cable.
Belkin bets you'll pay more for the pop-up stand and the longer cable.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin rolled out an official, Apple-certified MagSafe iPhone charger this week — the Belkin Boost Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe. And it bets you’ll pay more for it than you would for Apple’s own MagSafe charging puck.

Why would you pay more? For two reasons. And no, the extra-long product name is not one of them.

‘Death Star’ Mac Pro and ‘worst’ MacBook power global IT ops [Setups]

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Another trash can Mac Pro is still doing its thing.
Another trash can Mac Pro is still doing its thing. Here you see it elevated to help with cooling.
Photo: Andrew-UK

Reader and technologist Andrew (last name redacted, so to speak) runs a “boutique AV, IT [and] cyber systems integration company from a home office” in London — though he supports sites worldwide. Clearly, he has a lot to do.

And he does it using a late-2013 Mac Pro he fondly said should be on the Death Star from Star Wars, plus a 2017 MacBook Pro he described to Cult of Mac as “perhaps the worst-constructed laptop I have ever owned.”