macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 prevents USB hubs from damaging MacBooks

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macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 was released Thursday, February 25.
A MacBook Pro or MacBook Air might be damaged by a USB-C hub. Get macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple on Thursday released a critical macOS update that might save your MacBook from being damaged by a misbehaving USB-C hub or dock. The problem is severe enough that macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 was rushed out solely to fix this problem.

This new version might not be available for all users, as it affects only certain models.

iMac Pro-based setup handles whatever this animator throws at it [Setups]

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Curtis Sponsler's iMac Pro-based setup requires both processing power and huge storage capacity.
Curtis Sponsler's iMac Pro-based setup requires both processing power and huge storage capacity for animation..
Photo: Curtis Sponsler

Miami-based Curtis Sponsler has been a 3D animator and motion graphics designer for more than 30 years. These days, that work takes copious amounts of computing power and massive storage capacity.

Fortunately, his current iMac Pro-based setup handles his needs well.

The man even built his own render farm in a closet with dedicated air conditioning to store and cool his video-rendering machines.

Check your credit limit before preordering Kensington’s StudioDock for iPad

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The Kensington StudioDock was named a CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honoree.
Kensington StudioDock could be the iPad productivity tool you’re looking for.
Photo: Kensington

iPad users wowed by Kensington’s StudioDock at CES 2021 should be happy to hear it took a big step toward release on Wednesday. It’s now possible to preorder this stand that boasts an extensive collection of built-in ports and wireless charging mats. The product is good enough to take home a CES 2021 Innovations Award.

On the other side of the coin, Kensington is just now revealing the price. And it’s not cheap.

Plugable 7-in-1 USB-C hub promises top-tier performance on a budget

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Plugable USBC-7IN1E promises high quality for a low price.
Plugable’s USB-C adapter offers plenty of ports. All of which can be used at the same time.
Photo: Plugable

CES 2021 bugPlugable freely admits its new 7-in-1 USB-C hub for Mac or iPad is entering a crowded market. But the accessory maker promises its new USBC-7IN1E multiport adapter stands out from cheap competitors with better hardware.

Nevertheless, the cost is just $30.

OWC portable SSD is so tough it survived a trip into space

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OWC Envoy Pro FX was unveiled at CES 2021.
The OWC Envoy Pro FX portable SSD is designed for the urban jungle or a chaotic movie set.
Photo: OWC

CES 2021 bugThe Envoy Pro FX is a 2 terabyte SSD that’s “built like a tank” according to OWC, its maker. The solid state drive is compatible with Mac, iPad, and many other devices. Plus, it can transfer data at up to 2800 MB/s.

Monday is the kickoff of CES 2021, so OWC also took the wraps off an updated version of its travel USB-C multi-port adapter.

This mobile charger quickly juices up MacBook and iPhone simultaneously [Review]

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Aukey Omnia Mix3 Charger review
The Aukey Omnia Mix3 Charger is smaller than Apple’s MacBook one, but boasts 3x as many ports.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Aukey Omnia Mix3 90W 3-Port PD Charger can juice up your MacBook Pro at nearly full speed. Or it can power your iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch all at the same time.

Since Apple stopped bundling chargers with its iPhones, but they do come with a Lightning to USB-C cable, now is a good time to consider a multi-port USB-C solution like this one.

I put the Aukey wall charger to the test powering up my devices. Read on to see how well it did.

This inexpensive portable display makes working from home easier [Review]

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Lepow Z1-Gamut review: Portable, affordable display
Whether for work or entertainment, the Lepow Z1-Gamut makes a fine MacBook companion.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Lepow Z1-Gamut external display adds 15.6 inches of extra space to your computer for work or school. And it’s portable, so it can be folded away when not needed. The screen connects easily to a Mac or iPad, and costs under $200.

Plugable’s very affordable HDMI adapter connects your Mac and TV [Review]

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Plugable USB-C to HDMI Adapter review
Using an external display with a MacBook is a breeze with the Plugable USB-C to HDMI Adapter.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

MacBooks don’t have HDMI ports, but the Plugable USB-C to HDMI Adapter makes it easy to connect your laptop to an external monitor. Even better, this accessory is inexpensive and very portable.

I tested the adapter for work, watching video, and playing games. Here’s how it held up.

Plugable’s USB-C Multiport Adapter rivals Apple’s, but costs way less

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Plugable USB-C Multiport Adapter offers HDMI, USB-A and USB-C ports.
The Plugable USB-C Multiport Adapter provides access to frequently used laptop and tablet add-ons.
Photo: Plugable

The just-released Plugable USB-C Multiport Adapter offers the same video and USB ports as an Apple adapter, but at a much lower price.

Both products include HDMI, USB-C, and USB-A ports, and can be used with a MacBook or iPad Pro. But the Plugable version is better suited for those on a tight budget.