Accessories

The Lightning-Enabled LXORY Wireless Charger

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The Lightning-Enabled LXORY Wireless Charger

Mobile accessory maker LXORY presents a first at CES 2018-- the Dual Wireless Charging Pad, a wireless charger featuring a Lightning port, as well as the regular USB inputs.

The addition of a Lightning port makes the charger particularly useful for iDevice users, since they will not need to change cables when switching between wired and wireless charging. The pad charges up to two Qi-enabled devices simultaneously, and also includes a USB-A port for the wired charging of just about anything else.

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The Humanscale Compact M/Connect 2 Dock

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The Humanscale Compact M/Connect 2 Dock

Humanscale presents a sequel to the compact M/Connect workplace dock at CES 2018-- the M/Connect 2, featuring the same split docking station design while adding USB-C charging and support for 4K and 5K resolution monitors.

The M/Connect 2 splits connectivity in two, with one part sitting on the desktop offering essential connections, while the other fits below the desk to hide some cables from view. The dock can act as a support for the Humanscale monitor arm range, and looks like the foot of the arm assembly when used as such, since the clamped dock can carry the weight of the display.

The dock offers seven USB 3.0 ports, two of which with 2.4Amp Quick Charge capability. One of the Quick Charge ports is power-only, meaning it does not pass data to connected PCs. Also included are two USB-C ports (une full-feature USB 3.1 type-C with up to 64W power, the other power-only) and two DisplayPort 1.2 outputs able to handle either two 4K monitors or one 5K display.

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Elgato Intros Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

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Elgato Intros Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

The Elgato Thunderbolt 3 dock range gets an addition at CES 2018-- the Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock, featuring HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and ethernet ports with up to 40Gb/s throughput.

A built-in Thunderbolt 3 cable powers the Mini Dock. This can be tucked away, making the dock easy to carry around.

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Belkin iPhone Chargers at CES 2018

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Belkin iPhone Chargers at CES 2018

Accessory maker Belkin offers a number of wireless charging products designed for use with the latest iPhones at CES 2018-- including the Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad and Wireless Charging Stand.

The Boost Up Bold wireless charging pad is similar to the current Boost Up charging pad. It comes in a number of colour options, including black, white, pink and navy, and offers up to 10W output for fast charging on Qi-enabled devices.

The Boost Up wireless charging stand is also a similar device, but features a charging surface propped by a frame to allow charging in landscape or portrait mode (as opposed to flat on a surface).

Meanwhile users in need to charge multiple Qi-enabled devices have an option with the the Boost Up Dual wireless charging pad. As the name suggests, it features two Qi charging pads, each with 10W fast charging.

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Satechi Intros Clamp Hub Pro

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Satechi Intros Clamp Hub Pro

Users of the 2017 iMac and iMac Pro get a new Satechi accessory-- the USB-C Clamp Hub Pro, an add-on plugging into one of the rear Thunderbolt 3 slots to add more ports.

Made out of aluminium, the Clamp Hub Pro offers three USB 3.0 Type-A ports with 5Gbps data transfer, as well as an SD card reader. Setup promises to take just a few seconds thanks to an adjustable knob, and the slim design should add little visual bulk to the iMac.

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The First Apple-Branded Thunderbolt 3 Cable

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The First Apple-Branded Thunderbolt 3 Cable

The launch of the iMac Pro brings about a first Apple-branded Thunderbolt 3 cable with support for 40Gbps data transfers, USB 3.1 gen 2 transfers (up to 10Gbps), DisplayPort video output (HBR3) and charging up to 100W.

The cable is 0.8m long and features an etched Thunderbolt logo to stand up from other cables. It is also ideal for daisy-chaining, with the standard able to handle up to 6 Thunderbolt 3 devices linked with each other.

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Charge Your Phone on the Pikachu Charger

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Charge Your Phone on the Pikachu Charger

iPhone 8 and X users (or owners of any smartphone with wireless charging capability) get a more adorable charging accessory option-- a wireless charger modeled after Pikachu, the yellow Pokemon with appropriate electric powers.

Made by TeknFun, the Pikachu charger uses Qi induction technology, making it compatible with the latest Apple and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, among others. A trio of USB ports allow it to charge other devices, and Pikachu's cheeks glow red while charging is taking place.

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Magnesium Key for Bigger, Safer Batteries?

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Magnesium Key for Bigger, Safer Batteries?

Berkeley Lab researchers announce a "major step" towards energy dense and safe solid-state magnesium-ion rechargeable batteries through the discovery of the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor yet.

Magnesium promises higher energy density than the currently used lithium. However it lacks good options for liquid electrolyte, with most being actually corrosive against other parts of the battery. As a result, the researchers bypassed the liquid option in favour of creating a solid-state alternative, the impressively named magnesium scandium selenide spinel.

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HEX Presents Official Star Wars iPhone Cases

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HEX Presents Official Star Wars iPhone Cases

Disney chooses accessory maker HEX to reveal official Star Wars cases for the iPhone, ahead of the 15 December premiere of the latest film in the series, The Last Jedi.

The cases fit the most recent iPhone models, namely the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. They are made from genuine leather, and come in a number of styles, such as snap-on cases, folio wallets and zipper wallets with slots for cards and cash.

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AirPods "Most Important" Wireless Apple Accessory?

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AirPods

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states the AirPods are "the most important accessory in Apple's wireless ecosystem," before predicting the earbuds will be a big seller come next year.

According to note from the analyst obtained by MacRumors, AirPods shipments will double in 2018-- from 13-14 million in 2017 to 26-28 million units. The analyst believes AirPod demand is "strong" and, thanks to improved assembly and increased capacity from manufacturer Luxshare, shipping has been reduced to 1-3 days.

Previously the Airpods were manufactured by one supplier, Invetec, but the addition of Luxshare has helped smooth manufacturing issues. As a result Luxshare might become main AirPod supplier, and even enter the HomePod supply chain.

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Promise Intros TD-300 Dock

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Promise Intros TD-300 Dock

Promise Technology launches the TD-300-- a Thunderbolt 3 dock designed for use with the latest MacBook Pro models with both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 offering a variety of ports.

The dock features x5 USB 3.0 ports (x3 back, x2 front), x2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, ethernet port, audio in/out port and an HDMI 2.0 port. As such, it allows the connection of a pair of 4K displays (or one 5K display), device charging, Thunderbolt 3 HDD daisy-chaining, USB device connection and the transfer of SD card content, all from a single connection.

In addition it has transfer speeds of 40GB/s and delivers up to 60W of power when charging a MacBook Pro.

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