Accessory provider Other World Computing announced the release of its new Mercury SuperDrive Internal Upgrade Kits for Apple’s 13″ MacBook and 15″ MacBook Pro notebooks. The new OWC Mercury SuperDrives offer faster burn speeds than factory – up to 8X DVD, 6X DVD-DL (Dual-Layer 8.5GB), 5X DVD-RAM, and 24X CD burn speeds with support for DVD+/-R/RW, DVD+/-R DL (Dual-Layer), DVD-RAM, and CD-R/RW media.
The new SuperDrive Internal Upgrade Kits for MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks available immediately:
OWC Mercury SuperDrive Dual-Layer Internal Drive Kit for the 13″ MacBook and 15″ MacBook Pro(Non-“Unibody”) features up to 8X DVD+/-R burn, 6X DVD-R DL burn, 5X DVD-RAM, 24X CD-R burn, and 1 year OWC warranty and is priced at US$147.99.
The “Value Bundle” of this same SuperDrive Kit, priced at US$159.99, also includes 10 pieces of 8X DVD-R media in jewel cases, Prosoft Data Backup 3 software, and NTI DragonBurn CD/DVD authoring software.
Accessory provider QuickerTek announced the release of a new external battery/charger for Apple’s MacBook Air notebook on Tuesday. The external unit powers the pack while simultaneously charging the internal battery and QuickerTek has cited 12 to 16 hours of run time or about 6 to 10 extra hours of power. According to MacNN, the charger is also said to charge the internal battery in only three hours.
The unit measure 7″ x 3.5″ and is housed in a machined aluminum case with an anodized finish. QuickerTek claims the cells are capable of up to 1,000 full recharges.
The MacBook Air external batter can be purchased for US$349.95 but customers must also have a QuickerTek-modified MagSafe adapter, available for US$100. An existing MagSafe adapter can be converted for US$25.
Apple apparently stopped selling its official Bluetooth headset for the iPhone, as noted by MacNN today. Although the product’s page still exists over on the Apple Store, the company has marked the device as “discontinued”.
The headset, which was launched along with the original iPhone in June of 2007, dropped in price from US$129 to US$99 in 2008, while also losing its bundled dual-dock.
Though exact reasons for the disappearance are unknown, this could be connected to future iPhone hardware changes, especially those tied in with the recently-announced iPhone OS 3.0 firmware — and possibly iPod touches — that are expected to gain full Bluetooth functionality in the summer. Though the current iPhone technically supports Bluetooth 2.0, it does not allow stereo audio, nor does it support many of the advanced data functions possible on other cellphones.
Apple may intend to introduce a new generation of headset at the same time as a new iPhone, incorporating stereo and more advanced controls.
If you have any ideas on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.
Accessory provider Elgato announced the release of its new Turbo.264 HD video converter on Thursday. The USB hardware converter can convert HD and AVCHD content into a wide range of standard and HD video formats.
Users can then edit movies before copying them from a camera, splice movies together, and download movies to your Mac or YouTube account. Turbo.264 HD supports AVCHD Video, QuickTime, AVI, DV, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 Program/Transport Stream, MPEG-4, MP4, M4V, H.263, H.264 AVC, Xvid, VIDEO_TS and more. It also includes a QuickTime component that improves H.264 exporting for other applications including Apple’s iMovie.
The Turbo.264 HD retails for US$149.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later to run.
If you have a hardware converter of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.
By David Klein
Moshi’s latest product, the iLynx, immediately caught my eye at January’s Macworld convention in San Francisco. When I saw Moshi’s booth I ran over to see what they had coming in the near future. My first question was: “What is that and when can I buy it?!” (Yes, I love cool looking products.) The Moshi employee told me it was a USB and Firewire hub. Somehow, they took a relatively dull concept and made it surprisingly sexy. Moshi demonstrated expertise in this style of design again. (more…)
Accessory maker QuickerTek has begun selling its 2009 Apple aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro External Battery and Charger for Mac notebooks. According to MacNN, the unit is design for use with the latest unibody 13″ MacBooks and 15″ MacBook Pro notebooks. The battery is said to provide between eight and 10 hours of total run time as opposed to the five offered by Apple’s batteries. When attached, internal batteries are depleted before the QuickerTek one takes effect.
The QuickerTek battery is additionally said to charge in only three hours instead of five, as well as significantly extend the useful life of a MacBook by separately lasting between 2,000 and 3,000 recharge cycles. The unit retails for US$450.
If you’ve worked with QuickerTek batteries before or have an external battery of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.
On Monday, accessory maker USBFever.com announced that it had released its Ultra Slim USB Travel Charger.
The USB Travel Charger, which retails for US$12, functions as a charging unit for either an iPod or an iPhone. According to Electronista, the unit measures 42 x 70 x 15 mm, weighs 43 grams and uses a five volt output capable of charging other devices such as PDAs, cell phones and USB-powered MP3 players. The unit features a retractable power plug and is smaller than a credit card as well as half as high as a SIM card.
If you’ve have any thoughts or feedback about this or similar chargers, let us know in the comments or forums.
It only took ’em a year and a half to do it, but the ginormous monstrosity that is Apple MacBookPro 85W MagSafe power adapters have finally seem to have been reduced to a more manageable size. (Scale comparison above.) The same $80 that before got you the rather large 1st gen A1172 brick will now bring you home a 2nd gen MA938LL/A
The head writer for the Late Show with David Letterman recently had a mildly shocking experience with the power adapter for his PowerBook G4. While at work in Manhattan last week, Stangel starting to smell something burning after firing up his PowerBook, and noticed that the cord was frayed near the adapter, giving off smoke and occasional sparks. Sensing a potential gag for the show, he had a producer tape him playing with the cord, moving it back and forth in order to reproduce the smoke and sparks.
That was my reaction when I saw this little diddy from our friends at WiebeTech. The Mouse Jiggler (US$30) is actually pretty self explanatory and quite simple. Just stick this little device in your USB port (no, it’s not a USB flash drive) and it jiggles your mouse around on your screen. Since Mouse Jiggler registers as a Human Interface Device (HID), no new software is installed or required. An LED counts off the number of minutes Mouse Jiggler has been working.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Why would I want something that jiggles my mouse around?” Good question. It’s sole purpose (at least that I can think of, anyway) is to prevent timed screen savers and sleep mode from invoking and their associated password dialogs.
The Mouse Jiggler is available in two speeds (fast and slow). The fast version makes constant large motions that it’s obvious at a glance that it’s working. The slow version makes constant small motions allowing you to use the computer while Mouse Jiggler is attached.