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D-Link adds new USB 2.0 Hardware
by Keith Benicek, Managing Editor
July 7th, 2003

D-Link is battling for the No 1 spot in USB devices; that’s right that is the same S/MB and SoHo network Hardware Company you and I are very familiar with. OK, I was surprised too when talking with a spokemen for D-Link that they have been the number two or three in USB accessory devices for a very long time, right behind the “B” company (Belkin).

With the release of three new and exceptionally nice USB 2.0/1.1 port devices, D-Link is definitely making successful moves on the that number one spot.

The new DFB-A5 5-Port Combo USB 2.0/1394a FireWire PCI Card from D-Link came to our rescue in our Buy or Build a Video/ Multimedia Workstation article. Our “home-brewed” AMD and ASUS workstation didn’t have “on-board” FireWire support, 1394 is the standard high-speed port type in video, audio and multimedia production.

The DFB-A5 has two USB 2.0 and two powered 1394a (400 Mb/s) Firewire ports on the tailpiece facing out the back of the PC; and it has one 1394a FireWire port on the card internal to your computers case. Handy if you have a front mounted FireWire female plug as our Antec Workstation case does. This card is also Windows plug & play; it may also find USB 2.0 support on Mac’s when Panther is out. We’ll also be testing soon.

List price is US$99.95 and street prices we found online, are around US$67.50

The DUB-C2 2-Port USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter is also new from D-Link, for the PC notebook

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user needing to upgrade an older or even recent portables. No port dongles here, the 2 USB 2.0 ports are built into a small pier that will extend slightly from the CardBus slot on your notebook. Please note, this is not a PCMCIA card which is only 16-bit. USB 2.0 requires a 32-bit CardBus slot only found on notebooks in the last five years of so. The card supports plug & play very well in Win ME, 2000 and XP.

This card is for Windows notebooks running Win 98SE through Win XP; however, with Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) reputedly supporting USB 2.0, it could work in older PowerBooks. We’ll be testing to find out with a beta copy of Panther.

Price for the DUB-C2 is US$59.00 retail and street prices online are running around US $39.

The DUB-H7 is a 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub is the nicest one we’ve ever seen and clearly our favorite. It’s compact, yet not absurdly small for a crowded production desktop; a wee bit bigger than a bar of bath soap. We hope some of you Bill Gates wanna-be geeks remember what a bar of soap looks like. A fairly small 110VAC wall plug power supply is also included.

It’s psychedelically cool too! All of the front located USB 2.0 ports light up in a neon green LED glow when your Windows PC recognizes the plug-in play hub. Street price online is running around $40.

Just announced last week, the D-Link Air
DWL-122
is the first wireless USB adapter compatible with both PCs and Macs. From what we have heard, this tiny 802.11b USB 1.1 WiFi adapter is nearly the same size as D-Link thumb-tip sized DBT-120 Bluetooth USB adapters they make for both PC’s and Mac’s. We’re looking forward to a review test of the DWL-122 in the very near future, so stay tuned.



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