We preface this post by saying we don't know how practical this really is, but PLX's idea of using a netbook's keyboard to type on the iPad is definitely an intriguing one. How does it all work? Well, it relies on the company's USB Duet technology, but the setup isn't exactly what we'd call streamlined. You'll need a netbook like the Fujitsu MH380 or NEC LaVie Light with the built-in PLX chipset / mini-USB port, an iPad with the camera connection kit, and of course the applicable USB Duet software. Regardless, the demo we saw today at the Netbook Summit worked fairly well. When all was said and done, we laid the iPad on top of the netbook's screen and we were able to use the keyboard to type in Safari and in Notes faster than when we were pecking on the virtual keyboard. Additionally, PLX says the same USB feature enables you to use the netbook's speakers as well as transfer files from the iPad to the laptop without iTunes (we should note here that USB duet also allows you to hook up a netbook to other laptops to transfer files, etc.). Truth is, we could debate the value of this iPad hook-up for quite a few hours, but instead we'll just direct you to the video and press release after the break, and then let you duke it out for yourselves in the comments.
Gallery | 14 Photos
PLX USB Duet Demo
PLX USB Duet Simplifies Apple iPad Photo, Keyboard, Audio Sharing
Users Just Attach Enabled Netbook to iPad via Standard USB Cable; iTunes Not Needed
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- May 18, 2010 -- PLX Technology (NASDAQ: PLXT), a leading global supplier of silicon and software interconnect solutions for the enterprise and consumer markets, today announced its unique USB Duet® solution for mobile PCs enables plug-and-play connectivity with the Apple® iPad™ tablet. PLX® USB Duet instantly allows users to load content to the iPad or, conversely, easily share the mobile PC's larger tactile keyboard, and speakers - all without the need for iTunes® software.
USB Duet is an exclusive combination of PLX-engineered hardware and application software designed directly into OEMs' new netbook and notebook computers. USB Duet allows Windows®-based computers to easily share content and functionality with the iPad -- or other PCs -- simply by attaching a standard USB cable, thus enabling effortless connectivity without the need for special drivers or setup. Common usage models of USB Duet-enabled PCs include sharing an optical disk drive to load multimedia or software, file sharing, storage and backup - all of which is much faster than engaging the cloud.
"Leading OEMs in Japan already are delivering USB Duet-enabled netbooks and notebooks to customers and PLX is working closely with other global mobile computing designers today to utilize this powerful connectivity technology," said David Raun, vice president of marketing and business development at PLX. "Our vision is for USB Duet to become the gold standard mobile connectivity solution for the entire computing market."
TechNow -- the popular Silicon Valley-based television program broadcast in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas, as well as available as a Webcast -- recently featured PLX USB Duet and the segment can be seen online at www.youtube.com/user/plxtech. More information about USB Duet, including a series of video tutorials on how it operates, can be found on the PLX Website at www.usbduet.com.
PLX will deliver a presentation on USB Duet at the upcoming Netbook Summit on May 24, 2010, in South San Francisco, California. Register here www.netbooksummit.com.
PLX Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLXT), based in Sunnyvale, Calif., USA, is an industry-leading global provider of semiconductor based connectivity solutions primarily targeting the enterprise and consumer markets. The Company develops innovative software-enriched silicon that enables product differentiation, reliable interoperability and superior performance. www.plxtech.com.
PLX Technology and the PLX Technology logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of PLX Technology, Inc. All other product names that appear in this material are for identification purposes only and are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.