Dual USB & Power Socket

Dual Power & USB Sockets ($20 on sale, available for pre-order) are pretty much the answer to our geekiest prayers. Think of it... you won't have to hunt down an empty USB port on your laptop (or hunt said laptop down) when you need to recharge your phone or iPod! Sometimes, it really is the little things in life that make you happy.

More   Life  |  Gadgets $20  Buy  |   4 comments   |   SHARE



Posted on 09.03.10 at 12:03 PM

These get invented every few months and NEVER make it to market. Good luck, I wish they were available.


Posted on 09.03.10 at 2:27 PM

Will this charge an iPad?


Posted on 09.06.10 at 1:57 AM

They certainly don't seem happy.


Posted on 08.13.12 at 4:31 AM

This drive is received under the Vine proagrm, but I try to rate it as if I bought it at its current price. I own a number of external drives, including a 200GB Maxtor Firewire bought 6 to 7 years ago (still functional) and a number of removable drives (ranging from 320GB through 1.5TB) that connects through eSATA. Pros: Comes with USB 3.0 cable Relatively quiet (especially when no read/write activity), cool Spins down when not connected, or after 30 minutes of no activity Power adapter can handle international voltage (100-240V, 50/60Hz) Preformatted in NTFS Lots of space! Cons: Not very stable, easy to knock over Requires USB 3.0 cable, may be hard to find No real advantage to having USB 3.0 Bulky, requires power adapter (but that's the same for everything near this capacity) No hardware encryption if you want to secure your files, use something like TrueCrypt Let me start off by saying that, if a USB 2.0 version is available for less money, get that one instead. You don't really gain much, if any, advantage with USB 3.0 with this drive. If you're interested in bragging rights by having the latest and greatest, you should wait for Thunderbolt / Light Peak to be available (or affordable). You sacrifice some convenience with a USB 3.0 drive you need a USB 3.0 cable since the connector on the drive is a mini USB 3.0. Although the drive works perfectly on a USB 2.0 computer (which is what I tested on), you need the USB 3.0 cable. The package is fairly simple. The drive, a USB 3.0 cable and a power adapter. The adapter does work with international voltage (100-240V, 50/60Hz) if you plan to travel with it you'll need adapters for different countries, of course, since this has a 2 prong ungrounded US style adapter. There's also a quick install guide that should not be necessary. Software is on the drive, but I did not check it out. According to the documentation, in its default setting, it will back up your computer's drive. The drive is designed to be placed vertically. The front and side surfaces are glossy plastic. The top, bottom and back have ventilation holes. It does not look designed to be placed on its side, which is a pity because vertically it is not stable. If you get some small rubber feet and stick it to the right side (the cables are close to this side), you can use it horizontally without worrying about it sliding around. In operation, the drive is fairly quiet. I can just make out the sound of the drive spinning in a quiet room when it is 2 feet away from my head. When reading or writing, there is a louder clicking sound. A blue LED flashes to indicate disk activity, stays on when the drive is idle, and flashes slowly when the drive is in power savings mode. Which brings me to what I like about this drive. After you disconnect the drive from the computer physically, or if it is idle for 30 minutes, the drive will spin down. Note that my system is set to never spin hard disks down, so this is something built into the drive or controller, not a setting on my system. If you safely remove the drive from your computer, it might or might not spin down immediately depending on your system. It does not on my desktop, but it does on my laptop. The downside to having it spin down is that there is a 10 second delay when accessing the drive after it has spun down. I did not open it up to take a look, but I believe this to be some variant of the Western Digital Green 5400 rpm drive. The surprising thing is that the retail price of this drive is lower than the price of a bare 3 TB drive. Transfer speed is nothing to get excited over. I copied about 900 images (11685 MB) from my local hard disk over to this drive, and it took about 11 minutes. Calculated it is slightly above 140 Mbps, or 17.7 MB/s. That's well below what USB 2.0 is capable of, let alone USB 3.0 (which should be able to copy files at around 400 MB/s after taking into account protocol overhead). Why so slow? I'm copying a bunch of relatively small files, from hard disk. If I'm to use a benchmarking proagrm, I'm sure I would get higher numbers. But considering the purpose of this drive is for backing up, I'd say mine is a more realistic test. I'm fairly price sensitive when it comes to hard drives, since I buy a lot of them. This one is fairly reasonably priced, but I would definitely have bought a USB 2 version instead, and probably a 1.5TB or 2TB drive if they cost less $ per GB. Being the largest USB 3.0 drive available, this one is surprisingly inexpensive. I will probably connect this one to my router to make it into a NAS, since it can spin down to save power.

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