External and Portable Storage Devices
One of the best things about having a Thunderbolt compatible Macintosh is…well…using it. That sounds stupid, yeah, but for many of us, that Thunderbolt port is often left empty, due largely to the a relative lack of Thunderbolt hardware and the general cost that accompanies the hardware that is available. Western Digital’s My Passport Pro includes such a cost, but if you’re looking for speed and functionality, it’s completely worth it.
My wife and I cut the cable last year with few regrets. We were paying for channels we never watched, and spending more time with Netflix and Amazon Prime. We kept the most basic tier of cable service, though, for weather emergencies and events like The Oscars, and resigned ourselves to dealing with the standard definition broadcasts that came with paying as little money as possible month-to-month. But now with the FlatWave Indoor HDTV Antenna, we might just cut the cable completely.
MacBooks are more powerful than ever, and that means users are making heavier demands of them. Out in the field, those demands often include storage and speed, and that’s where Western Digital comes in with their newly introduced My Passport Pro Thunderbolt-powered mobile storage devices. I was able to check them out at Macworld / iWorld 2014, and can say with certainty that they’re going to solve a lot of problems.
Drobo, the automated local backup system, has just been updated with a slew of new features, including USB support, faster build times, and enhanced support for Time Machine. The four-bay system will also be four times faster than previous versions, and will feature a loyalty discount for previous users.
LaCie’s Little Big Disk now features Thunderbolt 2 with speeds of up to 1,375 MB/s (that’s up to 10 times the speed of USB 3). To achieve these speeds, the Little Big Disk uses two 500 GB PCIe Gen 2 SSDs that allow it to transfer 300GB of 4K footage in less than three minutes.
The Akitio Thunder Dock Thunderbolt docking station supports older and newer technologies, including two Thunderbolt ports, two eSATA host ports (up to 6Gb/s), one 7 watt bus-powered FireWire 800 host port, and two bus-powered USB 3.0 host ports.
LaCie makes so many external storage devices that it’s hard to keep up with all of the products they release in a year. However, the company keeps its products popular by creating a lot of buzz over design and craftsmanship. As such, we get the LaCie Culbuto as dreamed up by French designer Constance Guisset.
The LaCie Culbuto is not only a 16 or 32GB USB 3.0 key. It’s also a roly-poly toy that bobs from side to side when poked, and it’s a picture holder. It has a spherical, solid metal base topped with a silicone rubber stem that ends with a USB 3.0 connector. The cap at the top has a slit that can be used to hold a business card or picture.
LaCie is promoting their new silver-plated LaCie Sphère hard drive—designed by Christofle—by saying it would look great “gracing the table of a 19th Century prince.” Would I be dating myself by saying it would look great carrying a drugged Jennifer Connelly to David Bowie’s dream masquerade ball in Labyrinth? You tell me.
External drives are usually not something you can rave about, but Elgato has created something users can truly enjoy while using it. Elgato has added the best of both worlds—Thunderbolt connectivity and solid state storage—to create a companion for the MacBook Air. It felt very natural to use with my Air, and I noticed a big speed improvement over the external hard drive I currently use.
I’ve given up on calling it Cyber Monday, because everybody seems to be running week long sales. In fact, the sales seem to start about three days before Thanksgiving, but that’s another story. Right now you can find some great deals on Hyper’s impressive products, from their external batteries to cables to cases during the HyperShop Cyber Week sale.
Western Digital has revealed the My Passport Air, a portable storage device with up to 1 TB in a stylishly thin all-aluminum enclosure. “Its ultra-slim, high capacity design and advanced content security features make it a must have accessory for even the most discerning Mac aficionado.”