Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DisplayPort and HDMI: Battle for HD Connection Market

In the battle for High Definition connectivity, two technologies have become the dominant market holders. DisplayPort (DP) and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) have virtually eliminated the older connectivity of VGA and DVI. These two technologies are not competing directly against each other, but have instead dominated different segments of the A/V connectivity market.

DisplayPort technology is becoming the HD connection of choice for the PC and mobile computing market. According to iSuppli forecasts, “…global shipments of DisplayPort-enabled equipment will grow to 263.3 million units by 2012, up from zero in 2007.” The DisplayPort interface will begin to replace the older VGA and DVI on PC monitors and in desktop and notebook PCs. Intel, AMD, and Nvidia have announced their intention of adopting DisplayPort in future products.

HDMI has focused on the Consumer Electronics markets and has been able to make amazing gains in market share. One iSuppli report states, “HDMI-enabled equipment will grow to 772.8 million units in 2012, rising at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32% from 193 million units in 2007.” HDMI has become the de-facto connection for Blu-ray players, DVD players, video-game consoles, and flat-panel HD televisions.

What does this struggle for market dominance mean for the final consumer? Consumers can start to look forward to simplified connectivity, no matter which technology wins out. Most experts do not anticipate for either technology to replace the other anytime soon. With the use of adapters, the two technologies can even co-exist and still provide the best HD available. Expect to see more of these connections as both take over their own segments of the HD market.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Top Benefits of USB 3.0

USB 3.0 has raised the bar for data transfer technologies. This version of USB was not a simple rework and improvement of the previous versions; rather, it was a rebuilding of the standard from the ground up. Known as SuperSpeed USB, the new specifications have made many improvements over the previous versions. The most outstanding improvement is the transfer speed. Other benefits include backwards compatibility, lower power consumption and the wide adoption of USB.

Increased Speeds
USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 had data transfer rates of 12Mbps and 480Mbps respectively. SuperSpeed USB has raised the bar to a staggering 4.8Gbps as a top transfer speed. While these numbers may look impressive, many people do not understand what that means in real application. To help understand the differences between USB technologies and competing data transfer methods refer to the chart below. The chart includes the different technologies and how long it would take to transfer a 25GB file (the size of a typical High Definition movie).

USB 1.1: 5 hours, 27 minutes, 7 seconds
USB 2.0: 8 minutes, 11 seconds
FireWire800: 4 minutes 54 seconds
SATA 3Gbps: 1 minute 17 seconds
USB 3.0: 43 seconds

Backwards Compatibility
Compatibility to previous versions of USB was essential for the creation of the USB 3.0 standards. Allowing people to be able to use older devices with newer controller cards and visa versa was essential. By maintaining backwards compatibility, users are able to integrate the newer products at their own pace. Cables, controllers and peripheral devices will all work together even if the USB versions are not the same. Backwards compatibility encourages adoption of the new technology, without putting financial and technical burdens on the user.

Low Power Consumption
With all of the emphasis on mobile computing, SuperSpeed USB has lowered the power consumption requirements. This provides more efficient use of battery power and prolonging run time and overall life of SuperSpeed USB devices. The lower power consumption also reduces heat build up, which can damage devices and reduce the life span. The less heat a system produces, the less money and power has to be spent in cooling the system.

Wide Spread Adoption
USB technology is the market leader in data transfer technology. The wide spread usage of USB for peripheral devices and direct connection to storage devices is another strength for USB. One connection type for multiple devices from mice, keyboards, enclosures, printers, hubs, hard drives, adapters and more use USB for connectivity. The wide spread adoption ensures that USB will remain a strong technology for many years.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New MANHATTAN Pouches Protect iPad and Kindle

MANHATTAN recently added three new sleeve cases to its accessory line designed to fit the Apple iPad and other portable PCs and tablets including the Amazon Kindle. Built from easy-care, durable water- and scratch-resistant neoprene, each MANHATTAN iPad Pouch stretches to provide full coverage and snug, cushioned protection for iPads, Kindles, digital readers and other devices against common hazards and mishandling encountered during typical use and daily commutes. Select from black/gray, purple/beige and green/blue color schemes with contrasting trim that easily reverse to match most any mood, preference or other travel accessory. Slip inside luggage, stow in a briefcase or tuck under the arm and confidently carry an iPad, Kindle or tablet between meetings, from room to room or to the next flight.

MANHATTAN is a leading global provider of single-source personal computing solutions protected with a lifetime warranty for work, home and mobile venues. For our full line of mobile accessories and desktop organization products including iPad pouches and other cases including briefcases, backpacks, messenger bags and more for notebook and netbook computers and tablets, visit

Monday, August 2, 2010

Choosing between Laser and Optical Mice

One of the most common questions I am asked, by people looking at mice, is “What’s better, a laser mouse or an optical mouse?” There is no ‘better or worse’ and purchasing decisions should be based on other factors. These factors include price, environment and the user’s application. In order to answer these questions, it is important to understand the differences between a laser and an optical mouse.

Lasers and Optics
Both technologies replaced the mechanical ball mice, for tracking technologies. They offer much higher DPI (Dots Per Inch) than the older mechanical mice and neither technology has moving parts, making them less prone to mechanical failure and minimizes any required maintenance. Laser and optical mice rely on light ,from laser or light emitting diode, as the method of tracking motion.

Optical Mice
The technology relies on an LED that illuminates the surface, under the mouse, and a camera that would take as many as 1500 images a second. These images are compared and are used to determine the motion of the mouse. This has the benefit of being used on just about any solid surface, however, clear glass desktops can cause problems for the LED sensor. Optical mice have power saving designs, but not as advanced as those used in laser mice. They average 800 dpi but can go as high as 1000 dpi, providing usage for most web browsing, office applications and gaming.

Laser Mice
The major difference between laser and optical mice involves the dpi. Laser technology allows for a higher resolution, up to 2000 dpi or more. This allows for faster movement of the pointer and far more exceptional accuracy. Laser mice are highly sought after by professional graphic artists, architects and high-end gamers. Power management is enhanced by the laser mice design. Laser mice do not require the use of a mouse pad and there are varieties of different lasers that have better resolution on more surfaces, including glass.

What to Choose
There is a great deal of personal preference in the final decision of what to purchase. For budget-minded individuals, the optical mouse provides great quality at a lower price. Mobile users may enjoy the power saving feature of the laser mouse over the ‘always on’ status of most optical mice. For people that require high precision, there is no competing against the laser mouse. Graphic artists and designers can benefit from the precision and gamers, requiring speed and accuracy, tend to favor the laser mouse.

Take a moment to look over the wide variety of optical and laser mice that MANHATTAN can provide for you.