Even though Thunderbolt debuted back in February of 2011, outside of Apple’s own hardware and a few dedicated manufacturers, it had only made a small flash in the hardware world.
Until now. At CES 2012 the rumblings of what this faster data port can do are being heard, with manufacturers like Belkin, Elgato, LaCie, and others releasing a slew of new devices that take advantage of the faster transfer rates and the ability to daisy chain multiple devices from one interface.
Belkin made a big splash at the show by debuting their Thunderbolt Express dock. Designed to allow Macbook Air users to connect all their peripherals via just one cable, it makes occasionally docking the Air less of a hassle for users constantly on the go (or just those of us who hate connecting and disconnecting cables).
Taking advantage of the power capabilities along the Thunderbolt cables, the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD makes accessing data on the go easy and quick. By taking advantage of the Thunderbolt’s speed, this wallet sized drive can transfer at up to 80 MB/s — a welcome boon for anyone who’s stared at a progress bar while transferring photos or movies from a storage drive.
For those with big storage needs, LaCie debuted a dual drive system (aptly named “2big”) that can hold up to 8TB of data. Multiple configurations make this amazing for those looking for performance or reliability configurations, but what’s even cooler is that a second Thunderbolt output allows you to daisy chain even more devices for more storage or displays (maybe throw the Elgato at the end).
Check back daily! We’ll be covering the CES conference before, during, and after to give you the preview of the next superstars in consumer electronics.