Improved HyperDrive is the USB-C hub your iPad needs [Review]

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Sanho HyperDrive USB-C 6-in-1 Hub for iPad review
Attach the Sanho HyperDrive USB-C 6-in-1 Hub to your iPad to use a wide variety of accessories.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Sanho HyperDrive USB-C 6-in-1 Hub clips to an iPad and adds a collection of ports, allowing the tablet to make use of a variety of popular accessories, from mice and headphones to external displays. The multiport adapter offers outstanding functionality in minimal space.

The original version is one of the best iPad accessories ever. I tested the followup and it’s even better.

Linedock 16” adds everything to MacBook but the kitchen sink [Review]

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Linedock 16” review: 10-port USB hub, 2TB storage and 100Wh battery
Linedock 16” gives you a MacBook Pro+ with loads of additional ports, terabytes of storage and a huge battery.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Linedock 16” is for anyone who’s ever thought, “I wish my MacBook had more ports and a longer battery life. And more storage!” The docking station fits under your notebook and adds ten ports, a 99.9Wh battery and up to 2TB of storage.

I tested the version of Linedock for 16-inch MacBooks. It totally blew my socks off.

Linedock MacBook docking station grows to 16 inches, 10 ports, 2TB

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Linedock 16 and Linedock 16 are available for order now.
Linedock adds extra ports, battery life and storage to a MacBook.
Photo: Linedock

Two new, larger versions of the Linedock multi-port USB-C docking station make room for additional capabilities. The Linedock 16” and 15” sit under a MacBook where they take up minimal space but add ten ports, up to 2TB of storage and a 99.9Wh battery.

The new versions can be ordered now and ship later this summer.

Diagnose your charging woes with Plugable’s tiny power meter [Review]

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Plugable USBC-VAmeter review
The Plugable USBC-VAmeter tests the quality of the connections between your computers and chargers and other peripherals.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Your MacBook isn’t charging right and you can’t figure it where the problem is? Plugable’s USBC-VAmeter can help. Connect it to the power cable running to your Mac, iPad or iPhone to see the voltage, wattage and amperage.

I’m no electrical engineer, but I tested this miniature power meter. I found it both useful and kind of fun.

Maotoam Pro brilliantly combines laptop stand with 13-in-1 USB-C hub [Review]

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Maotoam Pro review
Maotoam Pro is a robust tablet/laptop stand and a multifunction USB-C hub all in one well-designed package.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Maotoam Pro is two popular desktop accessories in one. It’s both a laptop/tablet stand and a USB-C hub with 13 ports. It can prop up a MacBook or iPad at your preferred angle, and connect it to up to a monitor, three USB devices, Ethernet and more.

I used the stand/hub in my everyday life for days. Here’s why I like it so very much.

SanDisk’s 2-in-1 flash drive lets iPhone, Mac, iPad securely exchange files [Review]

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SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe review
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe has both USB-C and Lightning connectors for maximum compatibility.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe includes both Lightning and USB Type-C connectors so it plugs into almost any computer. You can easily access the same collection of files from an iPhone, Mac or iPad without resorting to iCloud, etc. Even better, the drive is small and comes in an all-metal casing.

I tested the iXpand Luxe with multiple devices. Here’s its strengths and weaknesses.

Plugable’s USBC-Vameter diagnoses your charging woes

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Plugable USBC-Vameter diagnoses your charging woes
Is your iPhone charger working like it’s supposed to? Find out with the USBC-Vameter.
Photo: Plugable

Plugable’s USBC-Vameter voltage and amperage meter shows how much power is moving through a USB-C connection. It helps users see what’s happening when their devices are charging… or not charging.

On Tuesday, Plugable released a new version of the tiny multi-meter with an easier-to-read OLED screen and other improvements.

SanDisk Luxe flash drive uses Lightning and USB-C to support all Apple devices

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The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe debuted on Wednesday
Securely share a collection of files between your iPhone, Mac and iPad with a new 2-in-1 flash drive from SanDisk.

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe lets you access its files on all your Apple computers, no adapters needed. It supports Lightning and USB Type-C, so it can plug into an iPhone, Mac or iPad. The same goes for many Windows and Android devices.

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.