USB 3.0 may not have had a very good start, but this seems set to soon change if the variety of SuperSpeed-ready devices from the CeBIT expo in Hanover, Germany is anything to go by. Most new motherboards presented at the show, if not all, have support for the standard, especially those based on the new chipset developed released by Advanced Micro Devices. An especially aggressive promoter of the standard is ASUS, which, in addition to USB 3.0 motherboards and laptops, among others, has also brought along a USB 3.0 media player.
Known as the ASUS O!Play HD2, the device is described as the world's first media player to sport USB 3.0 technology. This standard, as end-users likely are well aware, has a theoretical maximum transfer rate that is ten times faster than what is possible through USB 2.0 and, as such, will allow multimedia content to be played in high quality without any sort of problem.
The O!Play even has access to a very rich media library made up of over 20,000 digital radio stations and 100 Internet TV channels. The new interface will allow the accessing and streaming of content from such sources to be done faster. In addition, the O!Play HD2 boasts 7.1-channel audio, which completes the multimedia experience.
In order to add to its already wide functionality, ASUS made the O!Play HD2 capable of handling a large variety of file formats. The product supports JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF and TIFF images.
Secondly, audio files may be encoded in MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, FLAC, AIFF, LPCM, WMA, Dolby Digital AC3, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Digital Surround. Finally, the list of supported video formats includes MPEG 1/2/4, H.264, VC-1 and RM/RMVB.
In addition to supporting a USB 3.0 PC link, the device also has two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port, a card reader and an RJ-45 LAN port for input, as well as HDMI 1.3 for output.
No word on prices and availability so far, but such details should become available soon.
Live report by Traian Teglet from CeBIT 2010 in Hanover, Germany.