Company: Blue Microphones URL: www.bluemic.com
Price: $199 (£126)
Blue Microphones displayed its latest products, which are due to ship this spring. Its $199 Spark Digital microphone uses the same condenser capsule and costs the same as the company’s analogue Spark XLR microphone, but it also comes with two adaptors – one for iOS dock connectors and another for USB, so you can record directly to your Mac. Blue claims that it’s the first professional recording option for the iPad.
The Spark Digital also includes Focus Control, providing two different sonic options: Focus Off captures crisp, powerful audio with enhanced low frequency sensitivity for recordings with greater impact and definition; while Focus On captures greater clarity and detail for a tighter, more focused sound, according to the company.
The microphone includes an adjustable desk stand and built-in shockmount, so users can position the Spark Digital without any additional mic stands or hardware. It also includes a y-cable with an attached, extended female headphone jack for direct monitoring.
GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter
Company: Seagate URL: www.seagate.com/uk
Price: $99.99 (£63)
Rather than introduce a Thunderbolt drive, Seagate has introduced a Thunderbolt adaptor for its GoFlex hard drives and the company was showing off some early units at Macworld | iWorld.
Seagate’s GoFlex series of external storage use removable adaptors, so they can connect to FireWire 800, USB 3.0, eSATA, a network, a television, and now to Thunderbolt. The GoFlex Adapter doesn’t come with a drive or a cable and it doesn’t require external power. It also has just one port, so it needs to be at the end of the Thunderbolt chain. Seagate said a desktop version with two Thunderbolt ports should be out before the second quarter of 2012.
Company: Dev-Audio URL: www.dev-audio.com
Dev-Audio’s Microcone is a microphone designed to record group meetings. But it isn’t just a mic: the small, cone-shaped device contains six separate directional microphones, so it can capture audio from six directions on six audio channels. You put the Microcone in the middle of the table, then start talking. As each person speaks, the mic closest to him or her picks up what he or she is saying.
(Unfortunately, the device is only effective in meetings with six or fewer participants.) The device then relays each person’s utterances as a separate audio signal to your Mac (via USB).
The Microcone comes with software that lets you adjust the volumes of each of the six channels.
LaserJet Pro 300, 400 & TopShot
Company: HP URL: www.hp.com/uk
Price: LaserJet Pro 400 from £326; LaserJet Pro 300 from £495; TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 £299
HP introduced several new colour printers. The LaserJet Pro 400 color M451 is a single-function model for businesses that want to create colour documents. It prints up to 21 pages per minute (ppm) and comes in three models – M451nw, M451dn, M451dw.
Also on show was the LaserJet Pro 300 color M375, which prints up to 19ppm in mono and colour, and can scan at 1200dpi in monochrome and 600dpi in colour.
Our favourite was the TopShot LaserJet Pro M275. Targeted at small and home-based businesses, it represents a new category of multifunction printer due to its TopShot scanning technology for scanning 3D objects.
JUC400 Wormhole Switch
Company: J5Create URL: www.j5create.com
Price: $36 (£23)
We were impressed by the JUC400 Wormhole Switch from J5Create. It’s a simple-looking cable, but it lets you do some pretty amazing things. With it, you can share a keyboard and mouse that’s connected to one Mac or PC with another Mac or PC. But that’s not all; you can also drag and drop files and folders from one computer’s desktop to another, as well as share the contents of clipboards between them.
Most keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) switches allow you to share a keyboard, mouse and display between multiple computers, but you can only use one computer at a time. The JUC400 lets you access two Macs simultaneously. Using the keyboard and mouse connected to one of the systems, you drag the cursor to the edge of one display and it jumps to the other. You can drag and drop files between computers this way, and you can also open a text document on one Mac, copy some text, and then paste it into a document on the other computer. We were even more impressed to see files dragged and dropped between a PC and a Mac.
If you have an iPad and a Camera Connection Kit, you can attach one end of the JUC400 to the iPad and the other end to a Mac or PC, and use the computer’s keyboard to type text into an open iPad app. Unfortunately, drag and drop to and from an iPad is not supported.
My Book Thunderbolt Duo
Company: Western Digital URL: www.wdc.com
It’s been a year since Apple added the 10Gbps Thunderbolt port to the MacBook Pro, but there are still very few hard drives that use the technology. So we were delighted to see Western Digital’s My Book Thunderbolt Duo.
Two versions of the dual-drive storage system will be available (likely to be in 4TB or 6TB models). Users can either run the drives in RAID 0 or 1 configuration, either using the two drives as one storage unit, or allowing one drive to back up the other. The Duo has two Thunderbolt ports, so it’s possible to daisy chain more than one drive.
No official pricing or release information has been announced, but we should see these drives hitting the market soon.