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Portable, Plugable USB Type C Dock Station

With the single USB-C port of the new MacBook laptop we knew a power station and/or dock station was right behind.  Here is a Kickstarter compaign to address the single port computer and connecting all your peripheral gadgets to your new computer.

The ultimate dock station will power and charge your system using USB’s new Power Delivery specification, while providing an additional alternate mode video output up to 4K resolution, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and 4 USB ports.  The tall slender design of the dock station packs a number of sockets to support any type of peripheral you need to connect.

In addition, the USB 3.1 Type-C specification supports a feature called “VESA Alternate Mode” which works with the built-in graphics processor on supported systems to provide video output at resolutions up to 4K.  This is particularly important given the up-tick in TVs and monitors which are being released with a 4K specification.  The other two display outputs in the Ultimate Dock are enabled by the DisplayLink DL-3900 graphics processor, which can support two additional 1080P displays at 60Hz.  The DisplayLink driver is still in development, but the Kickstarter campaign claims the driver will have a final release by the time the dock station hits full production.

The Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station supports:

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Tech Hack: Alesis IO Dock with USB Hub

The Alesis IO Dock is a great product for iPad musicians – this small hack makes it even greater. It overcomes one limitation of the IO Dock: You can’t simply hook it to a USB hub. So I decided to build in an additional hub – which allows me to hook up additional class-compliant interfaces like my M-Audio Axiom master keyboard, and power them via the hub.

Yes, it works. No, it hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet. So try at your own risk.

Full Tutorial (nice)

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USB Hub – 13 Ports in 5 Inch Bay

Just last week GetUSB.info reported on a solar charging USB hub and a USB power strip and for noting more than to recharge your gadgets.  It’s clear that USB is the common thread in recharging – and moving forward I only expect this trend to continue.

Speaking of continue, now we have a 13 port USB hub which fits right into your 5.25″ computer bay.  I do say, the picture is inviting enough to get this add-on component and integrate it into your tower, but then we’ve got two questions for you.  1) Don’t most people use laptops these days and 2)  Imagine all the cables coming out of this thing.  I say this because you’ll quickly realize the ports are much too close for anything but cables.  Even the most slim USB stick would have a hard time fitting into each port.

USB hub, 13 port

What I do like about the design is the power connection you can make to the internal power supply of your PC.  This means the 13 port USB hub will support larger devices with more power thurst…say hard drives and large 64GB flash drives.

The 13 port hub isn’t on sale yet, but will be in late August 2010.  Pricing was not given.  Here is a link you can bookmark to check availability.

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iMONO 13 Port USB Hub

Will this USB hub give you chub?  With 13 ports all rolled up into one case, it’s a gadget lovers dream to power all those things USB.  In addition iMONO went green with giving us the ability to turn off a port and save energy going to a device.

A quick glance through the specifications shows that an external power adapter is not available so you might run low on the bus powered juice if you’ve got too many power hungry gadgets [say several USB hard drives], but for powering your MP3 players, sticks, and humping dogs, should be ideal.

13 port hub

The 13 port hub runs for $30.

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Our First Report On USB 3.0 Hub

We’ve seen the first step in USB 3.0 which is the USB host controller.  This gives motherboards the opportunity for USB 3.0 devices to connect.  Now we are starting to see other system support peripherals such as the USB 3.0 hub.

USB 3.0 hub

VIA announced their USB 3.0 four port hub this week just days before CES 2010.  We fully expect others to make a similar announcement during the CES show, but VIA, thus far, has beat everyone to the punch.

The USB 3.0 hub supports 4 downstream ports and one upstream port.  The board is powered via AC and VIA claims to have improved the power management in the USB 3.0 hubs to allow attached devices to enter into a lower power state when not being used. The chip itself is based on advanced 80nm CMOS technology which makes it a more power efficient USB hub controller.

VIA did indicate the USB 3.0 hub is not only backward compatible, but also supports the full 5Gb/s transfer rate USB 3.0 calls for.  No word on price, but I’m forecasting a 50% increase in price over traditional USB hubs.

VIA press release.

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