USB

These are Google’s USB-C accessories (and they’ll work with MacBook, too)

These are Google’s USB-C accessories (and they’ll work with MacBook, too)

Google has embraced USB-C on the new, 2015 Chromebook Pixel, revealing a handful of accessories for the new connectivity standard alongside the Chrome OS notebook. As well as the Pixel itself - which promises up to twelve hours of battery life, as well as a recharge good for two hours of use off just 15 minutes of being plugged in - there's also a variety of adapters and dongles to get legacy devices up and running. Best of all, since USB-C is an industry standard, rather than something cooked up by Apple or Google individually, it doesn't matter whose branding is on the packaging: the accessory will work with both the new Pixel and the new MacBook.

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We need to talk about USB-C and Apple’s new MacBook

We need to talk about USB-C and Apple’s new MacBook

A lot can change based on your intonation. When Apple says "the new MacBook only has one port!" it means it as a compliment. The reaction many had to the new ultraportable was the same phrase, but voiced in unhappy astonishment instead: even with the wealth of wireless options out there, you still can't quite escape cables. USB-C is more than just a smaller USB port, but it's easy to get distracted by eighty dollar dongles and questions over what Apple's new connector-of-choice means for the existing peripherals on your desk or in your bag.

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USB-C adapters: a MacBook must

USB-C adapters: a MacBook must

This week the folks at Apple have revealed the new MacBook, a notebook with just 2 ports. One is for your headphones - a standard headphone jack that also allows mic-in. The other port is a USB-C, a sort of "universal" port which allows you to charge the notebook up as well as run video out and peripherals in. To make use of this port for power, you won't have to do anything special - there'll be a power cord in the box. For everything else, you're going to have to pay a little something extra.

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WonderCube accessory has everything except the kitchen sink

WonderCube accessory has everything except the kitchen sink

How many "smart" keyrings and chargers have you come across lately? Three? Five? A dozen? If you've lost count, here's one more to add to your list. WonderCube is frighteningly true to its name because it is such a wonder to behold. This tiny cube that can fit on the palm of your hand has almost everything, and we mean everything, you'll need for a mobile phone accessory: charger, external storage, stand, or even a torch. All it's missing is the kitchen sink. Well, that and some location-based features.

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USBduo cable features integrated card reader, wooden ends

USBduo cable features integrated card reader, wooden ends

As the number of gadgets that complement our daily lives grow, consolidated devices that serve more than one function become increasingly attractive. The USBduo cable is one such device, and it aims to cut down on the number of dongles and card readers you tote around. At its core, USBduo is a USB cable with a microUSB end. Under its sleeve (or wooden block, in this case) are a couple hidden treats, as well, such as a micro SD card reader.

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Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive includes physical keypad

Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive includes physical keypad

The cloud and micro SD cards make toting data around easy, but sometimes a USB flash drive is the best choice. Protecting sensitive data on a flash drive has largely involved creating an encrypted partition or using an application like USB Safeguard. Toshiba is doing away with all of that via its new Encrypted USB Flash Drive, an ordinary flash drive with one big obvious difference: a physical mini-keyboard on the back. With this keyboard, users can enter their passcode and gain access to their otherwise secured content.

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Connect Plus keychain adapter has micro USB, Lightning connectors

Connect Plus keychain adapter has micro USB, Lightning connectors

Echo's Connect Plus is a "Y"-shaped USB connector with a standard USB connector on one side, and both a micro USB and Apple Lightning connector on each arm. This allows both Apple devices and gadgets that use micro USB to be charged without carrying around separate compatible cables, and the addition of flexibility means it can be re-adjusted and bent to work with different gadgets that might have unusual port placements. In addition, the device is small enough to fit on a keychain, and includes a keychain loop.

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Apogee Groove USB DAC makes your laptop sound better

Apogee Groove USB DAC makes your laptop sound better

If you travel a lot and find yourself listening to music or movies frequently from your notebook, you may want to improve the sound as much as possible. A company called Apogee has a new USB DAC that promises to give your notebook a big boost in audio performance in a very small package. The device is very small making it easy to take with you on the road.

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JBL Ambient Aware hands-on: Apple Lightning earbuds have arrived

JBL Ambient Aware hands-on: Apple Lightning earbuds have arrived

It's time for the officially Apple licensed Lighting-connector earbuds and headphones to begin arriving, and they're starting with Harman's audio brand JBL. The JBL Reflect Aware earbuds bring on the lightest-in-class ABL headphone technology with features that'd normally require a separate power source to function. Here, though, the audio product works with a Lightning Connector or Micro-USB - depending on the pair you get. While JBL and Harman haven't announced a release date yet, these headphones (or earbuds, whatever you want to call them), are fully functional right here right now.

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