USB Stories March 4, 2016

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Samsung Galaxy S6 $400, Aukey 20000mAh Power Bank $25, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone 32GB (unlocked): $400 shipped (Reg. $600+) | eBay

Aukey 20000mAh USB Power Bank and flashlight w/Lightning and MicroUSB inputs: $25

Anker SoundCore Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker w/ 24-hour battery life: $30 Prime shipped (Reg. $40)

This emergency flashlight can charge your phone, start your car, or help you break out of it: $80 shipped

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Free wireless charger with new Samsung Pay activation (up to $50 value)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

HDTVs: Toshiba 49″ 1080P: $280 shipped, Changhong 49-inch 4K: $299, Roku 50″: $350

How-to: Save up to $10/month on your cable bill by buying this $40 DOCSIS 3.0 Modem

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

Amazon launches more affordable Echo Dot and Amazon Tap Bluetooth speaker

New Normal blends style and PowerBeats-like design for a new take on wireless earbuds

USB Stories February 18, 2016

nexus-6p-usb-type-c

Very quickly, USB Type-C has this year become a part of every phone’s spec sheet. Either a new phone has USB Type-C, or it doesn’t. And it’s already being seen as a pro (or a con) when comparing phones against each other. Before the introduction of USB-C, pretty much every handset was assumed to have the previous connector, microUSB. And pretty much every phone did. Now, that’s changing.

With the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, and the OnePlus 2 before that, Android smartphones have recently begun adopting the new standard en masse, and as far as we know, many of the phones set to be announced in the coming months — including the HTC One M10 and the LG G5 — are going to make the jump. For me, supporting USB Type-C is absolutely a requirement for my next phone. Here’s why…

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micro-usb

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 launch event is now just a few days away and we’re now at the point where there’s little we think we don’t know about the next flagships from Sammy. Perhaps the one thing that has confused us is what I/O technology it’ll be equipped with. Amazingly, it’s easily the most discussed thing currently in our 9to5Google staff group chat.

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USB Stories February 11, 2016

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Nest (2nd gen.) $170, Fitbit Charge $80, 5-Port USB hub $24, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Daily Deals: Nest 2nd Gen Learning Thermostat $170, Cable Modem $50, more

Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity & Sleep Band w/ OLED display: $80 shipped (Reg. $130)

Tronsmart Titan 5-Port USB Charger: $24 shipped w/ code USBTITAN (Reg. $38) | Amazon

Beats Studio 2.0 Over-Ear headphones: $150 shipped (Orig. $300)

Free MP3 downloads from hit artists like Adele, Ed Sheeran, 1D, more

Anker mega-review: PowerCore+, PowerDrive+, and PowerPort+ USB Quick Charge 2.0 & 3.0 gear is some of the best money can buy

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

RAVPower USB-C/A Charger $38 (Reg. $56), uNu w/ Lightning Cable $12 (Reg. $20)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Moto X Pure Edition 32GB Unlocked Smartphone: $375 shipped (Reg. $400+)

Amazon offers rare 25% discount on Kindle Unlimited subscriptions: 6-months $45 (Reg. $60), more

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

OMBEE’s modular standing desk turns any table into a upright workstation

The new Andy Warhol Where’s Waldo book is perfect for any Pop Art connoisseur

USB Stories January 19, 2016

Deal: USB-C cables w/ Prime shipping: 6.6-ft for $7, 9.9-ft for $8, wall chargers + more

Choetech via Amazon offers its 6.6-ft USB 2.0 Type A to Type C cable for $8.99, but when you use the code L3JGFC9V the price drops down to $6.99. Similarly, the company offers its 9.9-ft USB 2.0 Type A to Type C cable for $9.99, but when you use the code WTZ35GDZ the price drops down to $7.99. Both of these deals are $2 off the regular sale prices and the lowest we’ve seen them sold for at Amazon…

USB Stories November 16, 2015

oneplus-type-c

Recently we brought you news that a Google engineer named Benson Leung was testing a bunch of USB Type-C cables and reviewing them on Amazon, so that you didn’t have to and risk ruining your brand new Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P or Chromebook Pixel. Just yesterday, Leung specifically called out OnePlus on his public G+ profile to shame the company on its use of outdated tech which isn’t just old, but could end up damaging people’s devices. In short: If you have a Nexus 6P, 5X or Chromebook Pixel, you couldn’t buy any of OnePlus’ Type C connectors to charge or connect them…

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USB Stories November 4, 2015

nexus-6p-usb-type-c

A Google engineer by the name of Benson Leung is one of the many proponents of USB Type-C at the Mountain View company, and he’s now doing us the kind service of reviewing dozens of third-party Type-C cables on Amazon. Why? Because some of the cables coming from a variety of manufacturers could be “dangerous,” according to Leung, and are likely less-than-functional… expand full story

USB Stories May 29, 2015

Thanks to USB Type-C support in Android M, you’ll soon be able to send power in both directions

Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke’s presentation on Android M yesterday saw quite a few huge new additions coming to the OS from granular app permissions to improved battery standby management and, of course, Android Pay (check out our roundup). But one thing that might have got lost in the noise for some of you was Google’s newfound embrace of the USB Type-C standard and what it will actually do for you in practice.

USB Type-C is both flippable and bi-directional. That first attribute means that you won’t have to fiddle in the dark with plugging the USB cable connector into your phone the right-side up, because there isn’t a right-side up with Type-C.

More interesting, though, is the bi-directional ability of USB Type-C and Android M’s new interface support for it. What this means in theory is that, while this wouldn’t be practical, you could connect your Android phone to your laptop and charge your laptop with your phone instead of the other way around. You can also send files in either direction as was obviously possible before, but the new interface you see above for managing all these abilities in one place looks quite convenient.

Finally as you might be able to make out from the image above, Google is ready to welcome in more musicians with the warm embrace of MIDI support. This is big because while because 5.0 Lollipop brought support for some audio devices like USB microphones and amplifiers, it left out a lot of musical instruments that use the MIDI standard to send data back and forth between other devices. Maybe this will encourage more musicians and music app developers to consider Android again.

USB Stories January 5, 2015

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0As part of its CES announcements kicking off today, SanDisk revealed its new, faster Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 with micro-USB for use with Android devices as well as PC and Mac computers. expand full story

USB Stories July 25, 2014

google-glass

Google has updated the Google Glass GDK documentation to include support for external webcams attached via an On-The-Go cable (via Android Police). This means that, while developers already have access to the standard built-in Glass camera, they will now be able to incorporate additional camera views in their apps. Sadly, webcams won’t be Plug-and-Play, so developers are going to have to provide their own drivers for the hardware they want to use. expand full story

USB Stories April 2, 2014

Back in December, the the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that a next-generation of USB connectors was under development. The new standard, dubbed “USB Type-C,” introduces a new design, a smaller overall footprint, and usability enhancements such as a symmetrical, reversible connector that doesn’t require users to worry about orientation when plugging in (much like with Apple’s Lightning connector.) It will also allow manufacturers to create thinner and sleeker product designs and scale for future USB performance standards with a transfer speed up to 10Gbps. Today we get our first look at what the cable and connectors will actually look like with a rendering courtesy of Foxconn (via TheVerge). expand full story

USB Stories February 25, 2013

Following the official announcement of Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet hybrid, Asus today made things official for its own 7-inch tablet with built-in 3G calling capabilities. We’re not exactly sure if consumers are asking for a 7-inch or larger device for making calls, but the addition of an HSPA+ radio is on top of otherwise decent specs compared to its competitors. Dubbed the FonePad, Asus said the device includes a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1,280-by-800 HD display, and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Fonepad also packs a 4,270mAh battery that Asus said should bring around 9 hours of battery life.

As for availability, Asus said the Fonepad would arrive to customers in the U.K. sometime in late Q2 of this year with prices starting at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16GB variant.

The company also announced another phone/tablet hybrid today, the next-generation PadFone. Asus has released previous generations of the device including a smartphone and tablet dock that allows users to quickly switch from the tablet form factor to a smartphone. It announced it is upgrading the smartphone portion to a 5-inch, 1080p display, while the 10.1-inch tablet gets a new 1,920-by-1,200 display and upgraded internals (via Engadget):

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USB Stories February 20, 2013

Analogix, the company behind the SlimPort accessory that allows the Nexus 4 to output HD audio and video via its micro-USB port, today announced the next device to include support for the technology: the LG Optimus G Pro. We noticed SlimPort in the specs when LG just recently announced the quad-core, 5.5-inch, 1080p smartphone, but today Analogix confirmed in a press release it would indeed be a SlimPort-enabled device. The SlimPort technology, demoed by Analogix in the video above, allows users to output 1080p video and audio to any HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA or DVI-enabled TVs, projectors and monitors via its SlimPort accessories. We had a chance to try the technology on a Nexus 4 at CES this year and were very impressed with demos of graphic intensive 3D games running smoothly on the big screen while simultaneously charging the device.

“With SlimPort, LG is able to deliver unprecedented functionality at a lower cost, because of its streamlined design and standard USB connector,” said Dr. Ramchan Woo, division leader/smart phone platform division of LG Mobile Communications Company. “SlimPort unleashes content from the Optimus G Pro smartphone, making it a snap to share and enjoy videos, games, photos and more on any screen.”

The full press release from Analogix is below: expand full story

USB Stories February 4, 2013

HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook

We posted a leaked spec sheet late last month that showed off what appeared to be an upcoming 14-inch Chromebook from HP. HP has officially announced the new Chromebook today. While it might have a 14-inch display two inches wider than any other Chromebook, it also happens to be more expensive than Samsung’s latest offering at $329. That’s significantly more than Samsung’s latest $249 model.

HP offered up full specs on the device that is available to order through the company’s website now. Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.

The Samsung Chromebook has been the top-selling laptop on Amazon since it launched; Acer reported that Chromebooks make up 5-10% of US shipments; and in the first two months of 2013 Google announced two new devices from two new partners, Lenovo and HP. In the Enterprise, Google just announced 2,000 schools have deployed Chromebooks and businesses like Kaplan, Dillard’s and Quality Distribution are using Chrome devices as well.

HP’s hoping consumers will opt for the larger display, keyboard, and additional ports for the extra $80, but we’re not too excited about the battery life.

USB Stories January 21, 2013

Galaxy Tab 10.1There have been rumors that Samsung has a new lineup of Galaxy tablets in the works, possibly set to make an appearance next month at Mobile World Congress. Today, SamMobile claimed to have confirmed details of the upcoming Galaxy tabs, citing a “Korean insider,” and provided new information for the Galaxy Tab 3 lineup codenamed “Santos”.

According to the report, Samsung has both 7-inch and 10.1-inch variants of the new lineup in Wi-Fi and 3G configurations. The tablets will also include 5-megapixel cameras, but we don’t get any other details in terms of hardware specs on the four Santos models including GT-P3200, GT-P3210, GT-P5200, and GT-P5210. The report said the tablets are expected to launch in early 2013 in 16GB and 32GB variants.

There was also mention of a Samsung GT-P8200 tablet codenamed “ROMA.” The report didn’t provide many details, but AndroidCentral pointed out the product number isn’t too far off the “GT-P8110” of the Nexus 10.

SamMobile also provided exact specs for the Samsung GT-N5100 Galaxy Note 8.0 it first posted about last week. The full specs for that device, expected to pop up during MWC next month, are below: expand full story

USB Stories January 2, 2013

chromebox_02

Samsung has unveiled a new version of the Series 3 Chromebox this afternoon, a Mac mini-like device offering quick-and-easy access to Chrome OS. We plan to get a closer look at CES 2013 next week, but for now we know the new version of the Chromebox is pretty much the same hardware as the 2012 version, just featuring a new coat of plastic. It features a 1.9 GHz Intel Celeron B840 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 2W mono speaker, 6 USB 2.0 ports, a DVI port, headset jack, and 2 Display Ports. The 2013 model is now available in the UK for 279 GBP ($453.50), with no word on a US release. However for those who cannot wait, Amazon offers the 2012 model for $315. We’ll have more soon, but in the mean time you can find a photo of the back arrangement after the break. It moves away from the Mac mini look, eh? [Samsung via Liliputing]

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USB Stories December 2, 2012

asus-qube

ASUS has played a somewhat important role in the Android ecosystem that includes its Nexus 7 endeavor with none other than Google. The Taiwan-based company looks to go further, as Engadget spotted a Federal Communications Commission filing this weekend that exposed its plan to release a Google TV device. The FCC approved ASUS’ new adapter, dubbed the “Qube”, which is not really like any other Google TV device we’ve seen before. The Qube is more Roku-like, acting as a USB dongle that could pair with an Android-based smartphone and separate keyboard or touchpad.

Source: Engadget, FCC

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USB Stories October 19, 2012

The New York Times has a story today on a $40 Android-powered tablet called “Ubislate 7Ci” made by London-based Datawind. The 7-inch tablet is aimed at students in India initially, and it packs an 800-by-480-pixel touchscreen, Android 4.0.3, a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, and 512MB of RAM, USB port, headphone jack, mic, front-facing camera, and Wi-Fi. The company sold 2.5 million of the tablets so far, and it is about to provide a 100,000 unit to the government for India’s schools:

Mr. Singh says his cost of assembly for a Ubislate is about $37, and he sells it to the Indian government for $40. He keeps the price low by using Google’s free Android operating system and cheap semiconductors found in low-end cellphones. In addition, he says, his company figured out how to make its own touch panel to fit behind the liquid crystal display screen. The LCD is still manufactured by an outside company.

The tablet’s performance looks to be half-decent for the price tag from the video demo below. That is if you can get past its ad-supported apps. However, with recent rumors of a $99 Nexus tablet, we can only imagine what kind of an impact a $50 Nexus 7 could have. According to Gartner, it might be just a year or two before that is a reality. expand full story

USB Stories August 20, 2012

.

OneSaleADay offers the “Google Android Pandigital Planet 7″ Touchscreen Tablet with Android 2.2 OS, 2GB & MicroSD Expansion Slot!” for just $49.99 with $5 for shipping. That’s a pretty insane price even if this thing is just a 2GB photoframe. But it isn’t. It is an Android 2.2 tablet with front AND BACK cameras, SD card slot (take that Nexus 7!), and 802.11N networking.

You are not going to love reading on this, with a 800-by-600 resolution, but it might make a good Google Hangout/web browsing/ general-use Android tablet for those without a lot of cash.  Amazon’s reviewers were not very kind, but “you get what you pay for.” The full specs are below: expand full story

USB Stories July 10, 2012

UPDATE: OUYA met its $950,000 goal. The project is now at $1,252,480…and it still has 29 days left to go.

OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console for the television, just posted its hefty funding goal on Kickstarter, and it already raised over $500,000 in 13 hours.

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based folks behind OUYA had one main premise in mind when undertaking this revolutionary project: “Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy.”

OUYA’s controller, console, and interface will come in one package that doubles as a dev kit. There is no need for developers to buy a license or SDK, and they already familiar with the platform, so gaming production should be a breeze. Developers will even have access to OUYA’s open design, so they can make plenty of games that take full advantage of the television. OUYA only requested that developers make some of the gameplay free either through a demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or subscriptions.

OUYA noted it could even change AAA game development: “Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.”

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USB Stories June 8, 2012

First leaked images bring the Motorola Droid Razr HD to life [Photos]

A couple Motorola Droid Razr HD pictures just hit the Web.

Droid-Life posted the leaks (above), mentioned the smartphone’s upcoming arrival to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, and detailed its visualized design and rumored specs:

While it maintains a bit of the RAZR look of last year, the back plate is now full kevlar without the extra rim of plastic around it. The camera (likely 13MP) has been centered in the middle with flash and speaker on each side. From the picture below, you can see that there isn’t much of a hump left and that is thought to be because of the 3300mAh battery that Moto has included inside. Our source claims that the screen is “amazing” and that the phone also has the expected on-screen navigation keys. They were not able to confirm the processor, which is thought to be Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, but we would be surprised if it was something else. What’s interesting is the move from Motorola to put the micro HDMI and USB ports on the bottom side of the device again, similarly to what we saw from multiple devices like the Bionic and DROID X/X2.

There are no official details on a release date for the newest Razr offering, but rumors indicate a late summer launch.

USB Stories June 5, 2012

Google Fiber ‘IP set-top box’ makes its way through FCC

As noted by Engadget, a Google Fiber-branded “IP set-top” box of sorts just made its way through the Federal Communication Commission’s database sporting Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI in and out, Ethernet, coax, and IR. We heard that Google was testing similar in-home entertainment devices a couple of months back, but it is unclear if this is related. Unfortunately, we only get a view of the bottom of the device. The only other available information is that Google has enlisted Humax to build the boxes:

As seen in the pictures, it’s sporting a Google Fiber label which suggests it’s a part of rolling out video services to the Kansas Cities, and also reveals it’s being built for Google by Humax. The MAC address shown in the picture is registered to Google directly, while the test report calls it an IP-set top box, equipped with WiFi, IR, USB, Ethernet, HDMI input and output and an Ethernet / coax (we assume MoCA?) bridge, which sounds similar to the boxes favored by Verizon’s FiOS.

USB Stories May 11, 2012

Verizon to launch LTE in horde of US cities May 17

Verizon is expanding its LTE rollout by giving the green light on May 17 for many northeast cities in the United States.

PC World tested 3G and 4G wireless data transfer speeds last month for the top four carriers —both indoors and outside with multiple devices across 13 major cities in 130 testing locations— and discovered some surprising results: AT&T won the 4G crown. It clocked the fastest speeds in all but four cities when compared to other 4G network providers. With that said, AT&T may soon lose its place as Verizon vastly continues to increase LTE presence in the country.

Check out Verizon’s full rollout list with each presser linked below:

  1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  2. Benton Harbor And St. Joseph, Michigan
  3. Mansfield, Ohio
  4. Oil City And Franklin, Pennsylvania
  5. Ashtabula, Ohio
  6. Toledo, Ohio
  7. Defiance, Ohio
  8. New Castle, Pennsylvania
  9. Lima, Ohio
  10. Bucyrus, Ohio
  11. Somerset, Pennsylvania
  12. Erie, Pennsylvania
  13. Northern Cambria County, Pennsylvania
  14. Youngstown And Warren, Ohio
  15. Canton, Ohio
  16. Fredericksburg, Virginia
  17. Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
  18. Martinsville, Virginia
  19. Williston, North Dakota
  20. Dickinson, North Dakota
  21. Delaware Shore Points
  22. Northern Vermont
  23. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  24. Lancaster And York, Pennsylvania
  25. Jersey Shore

USB Stories April 26, 2012

Google is constructing a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which would bring the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s total investments in the town to nearly $1 billion.

According to the Associated Press, the search engine said the $300 million data center would add 50 new jobs to the area ranging from computer repair to logistics. Construction on the 1,000-acre project is slated to begin immediately; although, details regarding an end-date are not confirmed.

“Google’s secure data centers are some of the most energy efficient in the world,” explained Google on its Date Centers website. “Each year we save millions of dollars on energy costs, and we use renewable energy whenever we can.”

Google invested $600 million in another Iowa data enter three-years-ago to support an array of its services like Search, Maps, and Gmail. The technical plant spurred 200 new jobs, and Operations Manager for the Council Bluffs Google data center Chris Russell said Google intends to use its latest investment for the same purposes.

“We are glad to be in Iowa, and Google’s future here is very bright,” said Russell to the AP.

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USB Stories April 18, 2012

Hold on to your hats, iHome just turned Android.

The long-time iOS accessory manufacturer unveiled a new line of pocketbook-friendly Android trimmings today.

“The size of the worldwide Android audience and lack of current speaker options gives us a significant opportunity to introduce our products to a new group of consumers,” announced iHome’s Director of Marketing Evan Stein in a press release. “Our new SmartDesign products maintain the high quality and innovation that is synonymous with iHome.”

First up is the iC50 for Android smartphones. It is a $59.99 alarm/radio clock with a microUSB charging cable, stereo audio cable, and 3.5 mm plug:

Wake and sleep to radio (you can also wake to tone). Reson8® speaker chambers and EXB bass enhancement provide great sound that’s perfect for your music, games or apps. Works with iHome Sleep app (free download) to wake and sleep to your favorite music and advanced custom alarms. SmartSlide™ dock with custom micro USB cable for smartphone charging regardless of its charging port location/orientation. Also enjoy FM radio with digital tuning. A microUSB charging cable and stereo audio cable with 3.5 mm plug are included.

An image gallery is below.

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