Link to TechCrunch » Gadgets

Alienware Releases The X51, A $699 Small Form Factor PC That Looks Like A Gaming Console

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 04:55 AM PST


The Alienware line just got a little brother, its Mac Mini if you will. The X51 is the gaming company’s smallest form factor desktop to date. But, since it’s an Alienware, it still packs plenty of gaming horsepower and customizable options.

Prices start out at $699 for the Core i3/Nvidia GT 545 but prices can quickly rise once different options are selected. For $1149 (sans a monitor) gamers can buy a system powered by a Core i7, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 550. A 1TB hard drive, HDMI 1.4, WiFi, USB 3.0, a slot-loading DVD burner and digital 7.1 are standard options while a Blu-ray drive is available for a little more.

The X51 signals an interesting departure from the standard Alienware. The Dell brand has long unabashedly sold massive gaming beasts. The bigger the better. But the X51 shows that gamers are looking to smaller form factors. The Mini-ITX system isn’t as small as a Mac Mini, but is rather the size of a traditional desktop. This new system can be oriented vertically or sit on its side allowing it to go on a desk or fit in an entertainment system — that is, of course, if you want a glowing desktop under your HDTV.

Look for the X51 to start shipping next week.

Daily Crunch: Another Castle

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 01:00 AM PST

A Close Look At Samsung And Microsoft’s Surface 2.0 (AKA SUR40)

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 03:03 PM PST


The Surface has been around since 2007, but the new and improved SUR40 is a much more usable device. Microsoft and Samsung were showing off the new touch-capable table in NYC today, and I was lucky enough to get up close and personal with it.

The specs in and of themselves are impressive: 40-inch 50-point multitouch screen with a 1080×1920 resolution, AMD processors, 1GB of memory dedicated entirely to graphics, a 4-inch profile, and a host of USB/HDMI ports. It’s the computer you always wanted, save for the fact that it looks like a kitchen table and costs about $9,000.

But chances are this won’t end up in your living room. Instead, it’ll show up in your favorite retail store, at a hotel, or at the mall. That’s because this device has been specially engineered for that environment, and the needs presented within it.

That is where PixelSense comes into play. It’s an engineering technique that basically replaces the original five cameras on the Surface with hundreds and possibly thousands of tiny sensors embedded straight into the LCD panel. That means it’s no longer the conductivity of your finger directing the screen, but the screen reading your movements.

In fact, the screen sees you even as your hand hovers over the table; Microsoft has simply told it not to recognize that.

Another cool feature of this PixelSense-equipped screen is that it can detect the orientation of your finger. That means that if I want to drag an image of some shoes I’m interested in over to my corner of the Surface, the screen immediately recognizes the direction of my finger (and thus, which direction I happen to be facing) and can realign the image to face me.

But that’s just a tiny piece of what makes this thing awesome. Since the screen reads everything (and not just conductive energy), it can also handle real world objects. Oh, and it can tell which way they’re facing thanks to a small optical tag located on the bottom of the object.

Before I delve into it, just think about the retail implementations of this. Here’s one I didn’t see in action but thought would be cool:

You walk into a Foot Locker and see a pair of Nikes that are calling out to you. The only problem is that they only have them in all white and you know you’ll scuff them up. You’d prefer something a bit louder. Perhaps a royal blue?

Plop the shoe down on the Surface where a unique optical tag on the sole of the shoe can be read. Instantly you’re in Nike ID, customizing that same pair of shoes into what you want them to be.

As it does with just about any product, the Surface will generate a Microsoft tag for your shoes that can be read by your smartphone, which can then take you to a purchasing site or be saved for girlfriend’s input.

The new SUR40 is made with Gorilla Glass and is also spill resistant, using drains around the bezel to keep any spilled liquids out of the internals. Again, perfect for retail. What’s interesting is even a few drops of water are read by the Surface thanks to PixelSense.

In short, it’s all about interacting in a new way with the brands you enjoy. I saw a few different implementations of it and found myself wishing that all shopping was done this way.

For example, FujiFilm has a deal in place in Australia (but was too shy to name the retailer just yet) where the Surface can be used to make picture books. Just plug in your USB, SD card, or the like, and your pictures are then uploaded to the device (no worries, they’re never saved to the hard drive). From there, you can drag, drop, customize, add text, and finally print out a receipt to be taken to the front counter.

Absolut Vodka also has a Surface-friendly app, though no one was that clear on whether or not it’ll be live in any venues anytime soon. Still, the app lets you be the DJ, and offers different mixed drinks based on the music you’re playing. Again, you can whip out your phone to read the tag matching this or that drink and save the recipe straight to your phone.

Kia has an app that works in a very similar way to my imagined Foot Locker/Nike app, which will let you customize the vehicle (paint job, interior colors, rims, entertainment system, etc.) while you’re in a dealership.

If high-end makeup is your thing, you’ll also be excited to learn that Neiman Marcus’ luxury beauty brand Le Métier de Beauté is using the SUR40 as a consultation table in the coming months. You can customize shades of certain eye shadow or blushes which appear on-screen as soon as the actual product is placed on the table, save the “recipe” of your end-result to your phone, along with a picture of yourself post-makeover. That way you can go back home, apply the makeup yourself, and still look like you walked out of the salon.

Two of my favorites mostly concern information, and the transference of information.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), for example, created an app that lets you work out your finances, savings, and any other special offers from the bank right on the Surface. That way you aren’t relying on the employee to give you information that is in your best interest, but can actually see the effects of whatever change you might be making to your account right in front of you. Full transparency is something the banking industry could use a hearty helping of, and also something that would probably lead more bank users to participate in programs and special offers.

Microsoft also showed me an app that will map out the inside of an airport and show you various retailers and food vendors in your terminal. The app not only shows special deals and offers from said vendors, but gives you the time it takes to walk there so you don’t miss your flight.

Of course, the possibilities are endless. If you have a loyalty or member card at a certain retailer, you can use that on the Surface to bring up your information and see if you have any rewards points to go towards a purchase, or take a look at which products are on sale. Companies can also choose to use the SUR40 for product comparisons, removing the employees and all of their “sell-more” mentalities from the purchasing decision.

Performance-wise I didn’t see any hiccups or issues at all, and I’d honestly love to have one of these in my living room as a coffee table. Sadly, I’m about $8,400 short. (The SUR40 costs $8,400.) Luckily, it’s available and shipping now so if you’ve got the dough it can be yours for the buying. If not, it’ll still be a lovely new technology to have in stores, train stations, and the like, and I can’t wait to see this thing roll out big time.

What Is A 3D Printer Good For? Stop-Motion Cartoons Featuring Princesses, Of Course!

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 01:10 PM PST

Makerbot creator Bre Pettis and his musician friends from Scary Car made this cute little video featuring 3D printed action figures being created in (near) real-time and then discovering love.

The video is celebration of Makerbot’s big debut at CES last year and the launch of the Replicator, the company’s new complete 3D printer that we featured on our CES stage.

A lot of folks would equate a 3D printer with frippery but it’s clear that these things are plain fun and, more important, they work.

Do We Need A “GarageBand For Books?”

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 11:46 AM PST

Screen Shot 2012-01-17 at 12.50.44 PM

My Dad used to take me to Long’s Bookstore on the Ohio State University campus when I was young – I’d say this was during the 1980s and very early 1990s although in my mind these afternoons spent on campus are tinged with a 1970s wash out of color, as if I were remembering my time in Kansas before Oz. We’d rumble through the stacks, picking out used titles from the basement that were beaten and worn by years of the students’ buy/read/return-for-a-pittance cycle so common at universities. Most of the books there were, obviously, but Long’s stocked quite a bit of ephemera including my favorite Mad Magazine digests and sci-fi.

Long’s is now a Barnes & Noble, its handsome neon sign taken down during a massive restructuring of OSU’s student core. Most of the old book stores are gone. The local head shop, Monkey’s Retreat, turned into a Taoist center. Long’s and its competitor, the University Book Exchange, are gone. Even Larry’s, where I went to poetry readings as a petulant high-schooler is gone. To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, they paved paradise and put up a Quizno’s.

If all goes according to plan, on Thurday OSU can expect even more changes afoot. The biggest racket in publishing – textbook sales – is apparently going to be shut down by Apple this Thursday as they announce what many are calling “GarageBand for books:” a system for authoring and selling ebooks that is so simple that even the benighted publishing industry will shift their brandy in their large crystal glasses and admit, between toots of Adderall, that these Apple fellows are onto something with this whole ebook business. And, just like that, their industry will change overnight.

First, where are we getting this from? Most prominently we’re seeing some quotes by Matt MacInnis, CEO of Inkling, who believes strange things are afoot.

“When you think about what Apple is doing… they are selling tens of thousands of iPads into K-12 institutions,” MacInnis told Ars. “What are they doing with those iPads? They don’t really replace textbooks, because there’s not very much content on offer,” he said.

Clearly, then, what we’re looking at is an opportunity to own the educational space much as Apple owns it now and much as it owned it in the days of the Apple II. However, rather than selling Macs to schools and then having the students go home to work on their parents PCs, most of these kids already have access to an iPad and I doubt any school administrator would be fired for rolling out a fleet of iMacs and iPads rather than a similar number of PCs and… Xyboards?

But Apple isn’t in the content business. It’s in the hardware business and, more important, the creation-enabling business. Building an e-book is actually very difficult. It is akin to building an HTML website circa 1997 – standards are constantly changing, what is considered state-of-the-art is still up in the air, and the devices being used to view the content all run competing formats. For Apple to step in and say “Put your Word file here, the program will do the rest” is a revolutionary prospect, one akin to the endless possibilities afforded by GarageBand and iMovie. They’re essentially building a still for the purification of written text. What liquor comes out at the end depends on the mash that’s put into it.

It won’t, of course, be just a simple conversion tool for your folder full of fanfiction .rtf files. Like iMovie and iPhoto, it will be a suite of tools for creating a few kinds of e-books: travel books, children’s books, things that require a little rich media but not a lot. You can put a text file right onto many e-readers and tablets, but doing things like deep formatting, in-line images, and interactive elements are still in the dominion of more sophisticated publishing tools.

This is not to say we won’t have a glut of e-books that are unreadable and generally unacceptable. However, it will give an entrenched industry the opportunity to make the jump into ereading without much investment and with the benefit of state-of-the-art tools made by a company that is synonymous with the production of good content.

So, Long’s is dead as are most paper book bookstores. Long live whatever Apple is working on. Huzzah and excelsior. Whether all this will come to pass (and I’m betting on it) is up in the air. Thursday is two days away.

The only thing that I will regret is that I will never have a rainy Sunday afternoon spent with my son browsing the aisles of a cavernous bookstore’s basement, looking for comic books. On the other hand, he will never have to spend $200 on a textbook to use for a few months and then sell back for a pittance. It is in a way bittersweet, but that’s the flavor of most rapid and complete change.

Try-Before-You-Buy Gadget Site YBUY Launches With $750K In Funding

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 11:22 AM PST


Good news, gadget hounds! The new “try before you buy” subscription service called YBUY is exiting its public beta, backed by $750,000 in seed funding. The concept is simple, and should have major appeal for the gadget-obsessed: for just $24.95 per month, you can test drive the latest electronics, home and kitchen gadgets for 30 days before deciding to purchase or return the items.

At launch, the site is serving up highly sought-after gadgets like the iPad 2, Dyson heaters, Jawbone headsets, iRobot Roombas and more.

The gadgets are shipped to customers for free, and the package also includes a return label for free shipping on the way back to YBUY if you decide you’re not interested in purchasing. However, if find that you can’t bear to part with your shiny new iPad 2 (as is the exception, of course), you can proceed to purchase the item minus the $24.95 you already paid.

The company says it will also discount items under regular retail prices to make buying through YBUY more compelling. This isn’t always the case, though. For example, YBUY lists the iPad 2 for $499.99 and the Jawbone Jambox for $199.99 – those are the going rates. Explains CEO Stephen Svajian, “for manufacturers, we provide an easy-to-use sales channel that allows them to offer refurbished products to consumers without the added cost of marketing and sales." In other words, not all the gadgets are the cheaper (but manufacturer-certified) refurbs.

The Manhattan Beach, Ca.-based startup was founded by serial entrepreneur Stephen Svajian and Kevin Wall, a Managing Partner at Craton Equity Partners and CEO of Live Earth, among other things. The company’s $750,000 in seed funding comes from the founders themselves and other angels.

An Interview With DECE/UltraViolet President Mitch Singer Goes Horribly Right

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 11:07 AM PST


Our readers are probably familiar in passing with UltraViolet, a new content rights management system that is supposed to unify the rights architecture on the web, allowing cross-platform sharing and authentication of movies and TV. But for such a major effort by so many device makers and content producers, very little has been heard or said about it. Probably because it’s still in its infancy: only 19 titles with UV compatibility were released in 2011, and the first signups occurred in October. Yet despite its tender age and low profile, the most common sentiment has been one of preemptive rejection.

And why shouldn’t that be the case? Consumers have been treated like thieves by content companies for years, experimented on with DRM schemes, ripped off with faulty authentication systems, and generally disappointed in the efforts to meet consumer demands. This feeling is premature, however: 2012 will be the year UltraViolet makes its real debut, and it is in 2012 that it will prove itself or fail.

It was with this in mind that we spoke to Mitch Singer, President of DECE (UltraViolet’s creator and controller) and CTO of Sony Pictures, at CES. And believe it or not, he convinced us that UltraViolet may in fact be the beginning of a very good thing.

Watch the whole 15-minute interview here, or skip ahead for discussion:

The point I took away from this talk is that Singer gets it, but is in the unenviable position of having to wrangle reasonable content rights out an industry whose livelihood is in restricting those rights. The entire film industry revolves around the slow unfurling of access: first in theaters, then in physical media, then online, usually, with other media and paths working their way in as well. That won’t change much, and has little to do with UltraViolet; it merely illustrates the fact that the MPAA companies make money by clutching their content tightly and releasing that grip only as quickly and to the extent that is absolutely necessary.

Singer has the advantage that he is originally a content guy. Coming from that side of the equation, you understand the mindset of the people there. Normally content guys’ mission is to fight for greater control, for restrictions in a age of free digital love. But when you see a fellow content industry, like the RIAA, drowning in a sea of missed opportunities, the long-term portion of the mission changes to transformation.

He told me an anecdote off-camera that back in the early 2000s, he was experimenting with the tools pirates were using to rip DVDs and create easily copyable, easily distributed versions of the films his company took so much care to control. He ripped a few and brought his boss down to show him how easy, how versatile, and how inevitable the technology was. His boss said “make it.” UltraViolet, he says, is the result of years of research to essentially make that, but legal.

Valve’s CEO, Gabe Newell, has famously said (as I paraphrase in the interview) that piracy isn’t a security problem, it’s a service problem. What people resent is unreasonable restrictions on their content: buy a disc in the US and it won’t play in the hotel in Tokyo. Buy an episode online, and you can’t lend it to a friend. Rent an episode on your home TV, and you can’t bring it with you on the subway. The solution to all these things is piracy because the content providers don’t provide a solution. UltraViolet is supposed to be that solution. A sort of Steam for movies, though incredibly, Singer hasn’t heard of Valve’s hugely popular platform.

It’s natural enough to doubt that, of course. It’d be ridiculous not to, in fact, in light of the problems I just set forth. I too, will only believe it when I see it. But talking with Singer didn’t fill me with skepticism, it filled me with cautious optimism.

In a nutshell, UltraViolet wants to be the authority any service calls when it wants to know whether you own something or not. And if you own it, you have certain guaranteed rights: watch it on any device, watch it in several places at once, share it with a certain amount of people, and so on. And because your rights are not tied to a service, you’re not tied to that service either. Don’t like their interface, their selection, or their stance on SOPA? Skip out and keep your rights intact. Got some Blu-rays from a while back? Scan them with the UV app and get access to them on the web.

It sounds too ambitious, too good to be true, but that may be a factor more of our justified pessimism as consumers than of the feasibility and reach of this service. Wouldn’t unlimited streaming of millions of songs sound too good to be true a few years ago?

And while there’s plenty of room for skepticism, it must be tempered with realism as well. What if you have a big family and run out of devices to register? What if big movers like Apple won’t play nice? What if you want to run it on non-compatible hardware?

These things are more exceptions than objections to the rule. Consumers buck at unreasonable restrictions, not just restrictions. Restrictions are part of any real system: you don’t get content unless you pay for it in some way or another — is that unreasonable? Even on services like Spotify you have to contribute. Content can’t go on unlimited devices — is that unreasonable? Should you be able to add all 700 of your Facebook friends as people authorized to privately watch the content you bought?

Some restrictions are okay. Make it easy to pay for and consume content and don’t prevent people from doing the things they want to do with it 95% of the time. That’s what Singer says UltraViolet is supposed to do; DRM, Singer said, should be “completely invisible.” It should “enable the consumer to do a whole lot more with the content they’ve acquired.” Ideally, they shouldn’t even have to interact with UltraViolet except to configure it once and add movies as they buy them, a process that will likely be largely performed by services. If it fails, it will fail because of forces outside its control: content companies unwilling to authorize certain rights, most likely. These are the people who make the unreasonable restrictions consumers hate.

Information, they say, wants to be free. But goods don’t. And when information costs money, it becomes a good. This is simply part of how economies work. Goods must be paid for, and part of this payment system must be reasonable restrictions. The first step in establishing reasonable restrictions is to have a reasonable person making them. Mitch Singer strikes me as a reasonable person. The industry he is attempting to coax into submission to this new system is not reasonable, and so we have grown to distrust it. Over the next few years, we may find that distrust further justified, or no longer required. 2012 will welcome many titles and many users into the UltraViolet fold. Over the next year we will see if the system DECE has created will enable more than it restricts.

Cálmate: Put Down Your Smartphone To Feel Better

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 08:23 AM PST

Screen Shot 2012-01-17 at 11.17.07 AM

A study by the British Psychological Society found a link between stress levels and the number of times a person picks up their smartphone to check messages and mails. As an addict, I can completely agree with this finding. In short, the more you do it, the worse you feel.

Oddly, the study found that less stress was induced when checking work e-mail rather than other online interactions. The group conducted a survey of 100 Britons in different lines of work.

The study found something they called a “helpful-stressful cycle” in which a smart phone is purchased to help manage the workload and then becomes the bane of their existence, inciting compulsive behaviors and stress.

Quoth the BPS:

“Organizations will not flourish if their employees are stressed, irrespective of the source of stress, so it is in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off; cut the number of work emails sent out of hours, reduce people’s temptation to check their devices,” said psychologist Richard Balding from the University of Worcester, who presented the findings.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the monkey mind will recognize that cell phones, while making us more connected, actually change our brain chemistry and encourage some obsessive behaviors. I, for one, find myself waking up at night to check e-mails that I know are unimportant at best and a distraction at worst. I don’t smoke but I do slide to unlock in the morning before I roll out of bed.

What we really need, is a Gmail plug-in that will shut down e-mail for certain period of time during the day – perhaps a three-hour window of freedom during the workday and another evening window that prevents all e-mail from rolling in while eating dinner and enjoying some family conversation. The assumption that everyone is always on and always available is a rude one and this study only points to further proof that our mobile lives are encroaching negatively on our corporeal existence.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to Tweet out a funny cat picture from my Nexus.

via BPS

BMW DesignworksUSA, Thermaltake Team Up For The Level 10 M Mouse

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 06:44 AM PST

level 10 m mouse

The Level 10 brand is back with the M Mouse. BMW Designworks and Thermaltake joined forces again for another unconventional PC peripheral. The two teamed up previously for the spectacular (and expensive) Level 10 case. Hopefully the Level 10 M Mouse will be a bit more accessible. Not everyone can afford a $800 case.

The Level 10 M Mouse is said to be the first in a line of Level 10 PC peripherals. The open design, the metal casing, the love-it-or-hate-it design, it’s all very reminiscent of the Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. mouse sans the gaming-specific additions like adjustable thumb rest and optional weights. Still, the Level 10 M Mouse is unique. A set screw can adjust the height. The top platform is perforated for passive hand cooling while the hollow design helps with air flow.

There’s no word when this mouse will hit the market or the target price. High-end gaming mice can cost well north of $100. With the Level 10 case as a pricing barometer, the Level 10 M Mouse could hit $200.

Location, Location, Location: MIT Builds A Bracelet That Controls The Office Thermostat

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 06:36 AM PST


The WristQue may look like one of those cloth bracelets worn by old soul Sophomores who spent a semester in Prague and came back with dredlocks and an absinthe fetish, but it’s not. It’s actually a personal climate control system. Let me explain.

The bracelet identifies you to the building and allows it to follow you from room to room. Is the meeting room too cold? Press a button and it starts to warm up. It will also prepare rooms for your arrival, reading your patterns of movement over time. If it sounds creepy, it is.

MIT researchers Joe Paradiso and Brian Mayton began the project in October and connects with a number of environmental sensors to ensure a “smart” building stays smart yet allows “fine-grained” control over the environment.

It’s a concept right now but expect your building to know what’s up with you sooner than later.

via phonerpt

RIM To Release 7-Inch And 10-Inch PlayBooks This Year?

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 06:08 AM PST

Screen shot 2012-01-17 at 9.05.57 AM

At the beginning of 2011, RIM was doing fine. The company still started the year with a relatively high market share in the smartphone arena, even though Android and iOS were growing rapidly. Then the PlayBook struck. I say it like that because the original PlayBook will be remembered as a calamity to the company, a horrible mistake. It was a rushed premium product missing all of RIM’s specialty, high-end services. What did they expect?

But it’s a new year, with new opportunities for the company to redeem itself (possibly the final opportunities), which is likely why we’re hearing rumors of two new PlayBooks this year. The first will be another 7-incher and I’d expect it to have almost all the same hardware specs as its predecessor. However, the new model will pack a 3G radio which will make the tablet much more worthy of what I’m sure will be another high price tag out of RIM.

N4BB also reports that the company will release a 10-inch model at the end of 2012 with an LTE radio in tow. Both models will run the new version of BlackBerry PlayBook OS (2.0), which is set to be released in February.

The tablet segment won’t be where RIM makes its comeback. A lot is riding on the BB 10 OS, and RIM’s ability to adapt in the hardware arena. At the same time, the last PlayBook ended up being a huge loss for the company, both financially and in terms of mind share. Putting two solid tablet offerings into the market this year should gain back some credibility, but to rake in the dough the company will need to be smart about pricing.

Rockers One Like Son Record Full Album Using Only iPhones

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 05:52 AM PST


In August, I remember seeing YouTube links for the band One Like Son, who recorded an entire song using only their iPhones and a few iPhone peripherals (in addition to their instruments and drum programs). Today, I received a press release indicating that the band have finished recording an entire 10 song album using the same setup.

Intrigued, I contacted Stephen Poff, the mastermind behind the record, to get a few more details about the impetus and methods behind the project.

The 10 song record was an intentional project by Mr. Poff that started on January 1, 2011 and was recorded, mixed and mastered right up until December 31, 2011. So it took a full year to complete this side project, amidst an undoubtably busy day job as a videographer/photographer at the agency LWT in Montgomery AL.

As a former "four-tracker" myself, I have to say the results are surprisingly good. Poff clearly has a flair for writing pop punk/rock songs and he and his remote bandmates are adept at using some of the audio tools we have reviewed here at TechCrunch.

Here is an example from the new release so you can hear the quality – Glory Days by One Like Son

Remote bandmates? It was interesting to hear that Poff and fellow musicians Bill Rester (Bass and Backing Vocals), Perry Brown (Backing Vocals), and Bryan Segraves (Piano/Organ) crafted these songs together in different locations using Dropbox as their repository for adding their parts. Apparently, Poff would lay a MIDI drum part, guitar riff and main vocal line, then upload the file to Dropbox where his bandmates would download, add their parts and then put the files back into Dropbox.

The main technology the group used in the recording process, other than iPhones included:
GuitarJack, AmpKit and the AmpKit LiNK, FourTrack, Multitrack DAW, Pocket Organ, ThumbJam, the Moog Filtatron and GarageBand.

One Like Son are not the first band ever to do this (see The Gorillaz and The Ultramods—both using iPads), but they may be one of the first groups from more of the “Pop/Rock ‘n Roll” tradition to attempt recording this way. I would estimate that tracking analog riffs this way could present many different challenges than music styles rooted purely in synth pop, mashup, or minimalism. So props for this effort!

The Sony MicroVault Mach Flash Drives Uses USB 3.0 For SuperSpeed Transfers

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 05:47 AM PST


Sometimes you just need a file transferred onto a flash drive quickly. Enter The Sony MicroVault Mach. These boys are fast. Some would say SuperSpeed fast.

These metal flash drives use the latest USB spec to achieve up to 60MB/s read speeds. The USB 3.0 drives are of course backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports. The drives use Sony’s tried-and-true “Click and Plug” mechanism that hides the USB connector within the body when the drive is not in use.

Sony has yet to release pricing information on the MicroVault Mach line although they’re supposed to start shipping later this month. Look for them in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB sizes when they eventually hit stores.