MacDirectory Magazine

Warren Manser

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 102 of 115

FEATURE G-Technology which safely and conveniently ejects the drive from the connector so you can easily lift it out of the dock without damage. The Quad interface is state of the art, including USB 3, eSATA, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. You really have to see it to understand both how simple it is to use and how non-threatening. We can't understand why nobody has thought up such a great product before. Even more versatile, though not quite as elegant, is Newer Tech's SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter. This connects any2.5", 3.5" or 5.25" drive to any computer, Mac or PC, that has a USB 2 or USB 3 port. Anydrive means G-Tech is the Rolls-Royce of external hard drives — as anyone in Hollywood will tell you. And the data Hollywood trusts to G-Tech drives is more valuable per byte than any other. G-Tech drives are fast, reliable, stylish, and very solidly built. G-Tech is also a cautious company. It was slower than we would have liked to embrace USB 3 and Thunderbolt throughout its lines. But the company would doubtless respond that it waited until the new interfaces were fault-free enough for the G-Tech community, which prizes absolute reliability before all else. This year we award the G-Tech Slim, which offers 500 GB and is bus-powered so there is no need for an external power supply. Interface is USB 3/2 for maximum speed and flexibility. It's Mac- formatted and Time Machine ready, and can be reformatted for Windows. We do not think lack of Thunderbolt is a minus on this model, because every Thunderbolt-supplied computer also has USB3 and because Thunderbolt would not offer a speed advantage on any single drive now made. Also, dare we say, USB 3 might actually be more reliable at present? If you need G-Tech reliability and G-Tech style in the smallest possible package, this is your choice. And from the Apple Store, it's only $79.95. You can't get such high-level creds for less. OWC and Newer Technology OWC has been doing great work year after year, providing reliable and economical products that are primarily marketed towards Mac customers, though nearly all of them work equally well with PCs. Among the award-worthy standouts are several products from the Newer Technology brand that OWC is primary distributor for. The Newer Tech Voyager Q is a Quad-Interface SATA hard drive docking station. It boasts on the package that it is "The Easiest Way to Access Data from ANY 2.5" or 3.5" Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Drive Up To 3.0 TB" — and this is true. No screws, no headaches. You take the bare drive, slip it into the slot, attach it to your system, and when you're done, you press the button any SATA drive, or the older IDE drives many of us still have important archives on. It includes any kind of optical drive or burner you might have as well. We've called this product the Swiss Army Knife of connectivity, and it's a tool no computer user should be without. For only $29.99 from OWC, it's probably the best money you can spend on your digital life. We awarded it last year, and as it's a product we never stop using, we're awarding it this year too. A product we awarded several years ago, Newer's miniStack, now merits a new award in its much-developed latest incarnation. The miniStack is designed to be an additional drive enclosure specifically for the Mac Mini, but it makes a stylish enclosure for any computer, Mac or PC. As is typical of Newer Technology products, it contains as many interfaces as possible. The miniStack includes USB 2/3, Firewire 400/800, and eSata. You can buy it either with a hard drive of your chosen capacity, or without a drive, to use with a drive you already own. When you buy it bare, it's one of those products that really is remarkably easy to assemble yourself, even if you are uncomfortable with a screwdriver. The new miniStack also has a superior fan to the one in the original model—in fact it's the same kind Apple uses in the Mac mini. Good as that is, by the time you read this OWC will probably be shipping the miniStack MAX, which will include in addition to the hard drive, a full-feature CD/DVD drive. Now that's exactly what so many of us need, when many computers are dropping optical drives. OWC has been doing a great job for several years providing Mac and PC customers with products and upgrades they actually need. We think of OWC products as having a well-judged balance of innovation, reliability, style, and value. This is a company we admire. Part II As happened last year, there were too many exceptional products to include this month. So tune in to Part II in our next issue for more award-worthy technology. MacDirectory 101

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