Gadgets :: May 1, 2019

by Gregg Ellman

USB-C has been out for a few years, but many know little or anything about it. My impressions is, if can you switch to it, do so. If anything, it is simple because the plug is easier to use than other versions of USB, thunderbolt, etc. 

Computers, smartphones and tablets are switching and I even managed to switch my wife to a new MacBook Pro with USB-C. Along with the connector, the speeds are equal or most often better than existing USB 3.0 speeds.

Accessories for the USB-C are way easier to find vs. just a year or two ago. The latest I tried from IOGear are the USB-C Docking Station with power delivery 3.0 ($179.95) and the Thunderbolt 3 six-slot card reader. Both expand your work station at home, office or while traveling.

Assuming you have the accessories to use with them, they are essentially plug and play and simplifies your cords, cable, connections and desktop clutter instantly. 

With the USB-C accessories, a single USB-C plug connects to your computer and now gives you a variety of ports and options to dock up to 10 devices. 

With the USB-C Docking Station with power delivery 3.0 you have an expansion dock, giving you a USB-C port with a100W pass-through to charge laptops and 3x USB-A 3.0 ports. Another USB-C port is there for data.

There’s an ethernet port, 3.5 mm audio input, SD/MicroSD memory card reader/writer, video options to support HDMI (4K), Mini DisplayPort (4K) or VGA (1080p) and dual video outputs for  via for mini DisplayPort for up to 1080p @60Hz3.

The bottom of the 13.78-by-2.96-0.39-inch desktop accessory has a silicon rubber pad so it stays in place and keeps the surface scratch-free.

The 8-in-1 USB-C Pocket Dock with power delivery 3.0 ($99.95) is a portable and pocket-sized version, with many of the same features, but not all.  It also has the 100 w  USB-C pass through for laptop charging, connects a VGA or HDMI display, SD/MicroSD card reader, ethernet and USB-A ports. 

It’s built with a rugged aluminum housing and has a detachable USB-C cable with hideaway storage is included.

Check the IOGear site for system requirements and compatibility. 

One of my favorite companies in the tech world always has been Garmin for portable GPS units (and also have an amazing App, which I use often).

Garmin’s DriveSmart 65 and Traffic, if for looks alone, is amazing. It’s built with a 6.95-inch diagonal edge-to-edge display and very responsive multi-touch screen with a 1024 x 600 pixel resultion.

Right out of the box it’s fully loaded to help you drive anywhere with preloaded street  maps. Using it with realtime directions for your destination, getting points of interest, landmarks and even showing where you can get your next meal. The software has TripAdvisor ratings and Foursquare points of interest. Garmin traffic will even suggest alternate routes when needed.

What I liked best is the voice-activated navigation. Just like voice assistants you may have heard of (Siri, etc) speak your commands of where you want to go and the Garmin maps it out. You’ll quickly get used to saying “OK, Garmin.”

You can also set your locations up (while you’re not driving of course) and then have the voice-activated navigation get you there. Bluetooth calling works with compatible smartphones. Driver alerts for school zones, tight turns and speed warnings are always helpful.

With the accompanying Garmin app, smart notifications can be setup. With built-in Wi-Fi, updates can be loaded into the GPS with ease.

A Vehicle suction cup mount, traffic receiver/vehicle power cable and a USB cable along with instructions are included. The DriveSmart 65 will work with the Garmin BC 30 wireless backup camera (sold separately). 

Posted by at May 2, 2019
Filed in category: Gadgets, Imaging Insider, Newsstream, and tagged with: , , , , ,

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