At CES, a large number of companies were introducing their Thunderbolt devices. As with previous innovative interface technology that Apple pioneered, the equipment was a bit slow to appear, but 2012 seems to be the year of Thunderbolt.
Belkin introduced a nice hub with multiple interfaces, including FireWire 800 and USB. Sadly though, it’s USB 2 and not USB 3. LaCie’s eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series gives new life to existing eSATA drives, just as Sonnet Technologies’ Echo Thunderbolt Adapter does, but LaCie takes a different approach.
It took a ‘Little Big’ enclosure and stuffed it with two Thunderbolt ports and two eSATA ports. This lets the user connect two eSATA external hard drives to the Hub and get full eSATA speeds. The second Thunderbolt port lets the user connect other Thunderbolt peripherals. This means up to 12 eSATA drives (6x Dock, 2x eSATA links per Hub) can be connected via a single connection to a Mac with full eSATA 3Gb/s speeds. I’m sure Sonnet’s solution will be less costly.
ioSafe introduced a Thunderbolt rugged SSD, which it demonstrated by electrocuting it. That;’s also a way of attracting people to your product, although the association with Thunderbolt somehow escapes me — aaah, now I “see”…