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NEW YORK — Arriving just in time to complement all of those computers given as holiday gifts, a variety of PC accessories announcements recently hit the wires.
CTA Digital has debuted a number of PC accessories, including several USB hubs.
The Fold N' Go enables users to connect USB devices to four ports and then fold the hub when it's not being used. It features a 28-inch USB cord. Suggested retail is $12.99.
The Reel N' Go ($14.99) also features four ports and has a 34-inch plug. It has a handle that lets users reel in the USB cord when they are finished using it.
The Pull N' Go ($12.99), meanwhile, has four USB ports and a 25-inch-long USB pull-string plug, while the company's USB Stick ($16.99) has an extending 34-inch-long USB plug for powering up to four devices. The handle on the USB Stick rotates in reverse to reel in the cord.
CTA Digital also introduced a travel laptop kit (LT-USTK) that comes with a USB mouse, two retractable USB cables, ear bud headphones with built-in microphone, an Ethernet cable and a carrying case. Suggested retail is $29.99.
Finally, the LT-LPM laptop microphone ($9.99) from CTA Digital plugs into the microphone input on a laptop and is Skype compatible.
All of these products from CTA Digital are currently shipping.
EzGear recently introduced its Wall Mount UFO, a six-outlet surge protector. Its round design is meant to save space, the company said, and it comes with a built-in 1,050-joule surge protector.
iLuv has debuted portable speakers designed specifically for the Macbook Air, although they can be used with any other laptop or desktop. The iSP200 2.1-channel speakers feature master/bass/treble volume controls, magnetically shielded satellite loudspeakers, a built-in USB 2.0 hub with three ports and a 3.5mm aux-in jack.
The portable speakers come with a carrying case for a $99.99 suggested retail. Availability is scheduled for June.
Jasco will introduce at CES, being held in Las Vegas Jan. 8-11, several GE-branded PC accessories, including two Web cams and a convertible mouse.
The GE Slim Web cam for notebooks ($39.99) features a credit card-sized design that's meant for easy storage when not in use. It can capture 640 by 480 video, uses USB 2.0 connection, and includes ArcSoft Web Cam Companion software. Jasco said the camera weighs less than 20 grams.
The second Web cam introduced at CES is the GE Flex Web cam ($45.99). It twist design allows the camera to fit anywhere, said Jasco, and it has a CMOS image sensor, a resolution of up to 1,280 by 1,024, and integrated microphone.
Finally, the GE convertible mouse ($19.99) can be adjusted to two comfortable sizes, Jasco said. Its ergonomic design is contoured to provide a comfortable fit for a hand and can be converted by sliding the top down or up. It also features a a retractable USB cable.
Kensington will announce at CES its line of Ultra Thin notebook power adapters. The adapter is 33 percent thinner than a traditional power adapter, the company said, and it reportedly uses 33 percent less energy than other adapters, in standby mode.
These new products are the first Kensington notebook power adapters to receive the Energy Star qualification, the company said. They are designed to work with more than 90 percent of top-selling notebooks and have a built-in USB power port to simultaneously charge other mobile devices via a USB charging cable. The Wall/Air version includes a travel pack containing a pouch, an airline powering cable and a mini-USB cable.
Built-in protections featured include over-current protection, short-circuit protection and over-temperature protection. It also comes with a six-foot cable and a shorter wall cable.
Suggested retail for the Wall/Air Ultra Thin notebook power adapter is $139. The Wall Ultra Thin model retails for a suggested $119. They are currently available.
Kensington will also introduce at CES its SlimBlade trackball for Macs and PCs. The product's design is meant to combine hardware and software into one integrated interface for smooth operation, allowing users to navigate and manipulate digital content through the ball itself.
"With all functionality now integrated into the ball, users can control all the many interface functions that support navigation, media control adjustments, document and photo browsing with the rotation of the ball," said Kensington. Suggested retail is $129.
Features include the ability to easily navigate through music, pictures and documents with Media or View mode while the heads-up display allows users to keep their eyes on the screen by showing which function is being performed.
The trackball lets users gain fingertip access to image and media controls as well as control the cursor and scrolling, volume, play/pause, stop, next, zoom in/out and pan.
Finally, its low-profile shape and stationary design is meant for comfort and to eliminate the need for a wrist pad.
It is reportedly Mac and PC compatible, including Mac OS 10.5X, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Suggested retail for the Slimblade trackball is $129. It's scheduled to be available at retail at the end of the month.
Shure, which is introducing earphones at CES (see p. 130), will also debut the PG27USB and PG42USB side-address condenser microphones and the X2u XLR-to-USB signal adapter
XLR is the standard electrical connector for microphones, the company said.
The PG27USB and PG42USB microphones are designed to connect professional-caliber Shure microphones to any USB computer port with plug-and-play performance. The cardioid condenser microphones feature built-in headphone monitoring with zero latency and monitor mix control, enabling users to instantly hear their recording through headphones and make adjustments on-the-go, the company said. Both microphones feature a dark gray body.
There are a few key differences between the PG27USB ($199 suggested retail) and PG42USB ($298) microphones. The PG27USB features a flat, neutral frequency response for natural reproduction of a wide variety of instrument and vocal sound sources, while the PG42USB was specifically engineered to reproduce the subtle nuances of lead vocals. It features a larger diaphragm for higher sensitivity to clearly reproduce refined performances.
Other features of the PG27USB and PG42USB include a large diaphragm capsule that reportedly provides wider dynamic range, clear highs and strong lows; integrated pre-amp with microphone gain control, which allows control of input signal strength; and zero latency monitoring for real-time playback and multi-tracking without disorientation. Both also have a headphone jack and a monitor mix control.
Finally, the X2u adapter ($129) is a modular accessory that reportedly connects any XLR microphone to a computer to create better-than-CD quality recordings. It offers USB plug-and-play connectivity, an integrated pre-amp with microphone gain control, zero latency monitoring, a headphone jack and monitor mix control.
All of these products from Shure are scheduled to be available in the spring.
ThermaPak recently launched its HeatShift laptop cooling pad, which will be on display at CES. The HeatShift is made of safe, laboratory-tested cooling crystals, the company said, and it requires no power or generates no noise.
According to the company, the product "has proven to lower temperatures in computers between 9 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit." It's currently available for a $28.00 suggested retail.
Trust has introduced its Ultra Small Bluetooth 2.0 USB adapter Gold and the Ultra Small Bluetooth 2.1 USB adapter – 25m. Both USB adapters quickly and easily add Bluetooth technology to a notebook or a PC, said the company.
They are engineered to "hardly protrude" from a computer, and both adapters also have a gold connector for optimal signal transfer. Pricing and availability were not given at press time.
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