"Portable flash drives come in all shapes and sizes now and there is hardly a form factor that isn’t available these days. OnTop Technologies, which was founded in 2007, offers a wide variety and asked us to have a look at their TurboJet line of flash drives. They have lines of products for both corporate and consumer customers. The particular model they sent us is a "glistening gold" Whisper 4GB drive which functions as both a flash drive and a necklace pendant. Also available in "sparkling silver" and "dark chrome"…."
"Today I have quite the treat, Kingston’s fastest set of DDR3, their brand spanking new HyperX DDR3-2400C9. In the press release they claim it to be the fastest Intel-certified memory in the world. What this means is that Intel has certified this kit to run on their P55 platform at the rated speeds. In short this is as close to an overclocking guarantee as it gets. The Intel document with Core i7 XMP certified modules can be found here. Keep in mind that these sticks are rated to run on LGA1156 Core i7 processors like the Core i7 860 and 870.."
Rosewill RX358 USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure @ [OC]ModShop
SuperSpeed USB (otherwise known as USB 3.0) is a new standard for PC peripheral connectivity. Although Intel has been hesitant to make this interface truly standard, more and more vendors are including the technology on their motherboards , and you can even purchase add-on cards to upgrade your current system. The increase in data transfer naturally lends itself to increased hard drive performance, and PC equipment manufacturers are now revealing hard drive enclosures featuring USB 3.0. Rosewill has been making good PC peripherals for several years, including external hard drive enclosures. They have recently introduced their RX358 USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure, which promises the ease of USB with the data capabilities of SATA.
A-DATA Nobility N002 128GB USB 3.0 + SATA-II Portable HDD QUOTE:"USB 3.0 is capable of transferring data faster than the SATA II interface, so for the most part we expect to see performance that is on par with SSDs running similar controllers. So far we have not had luck with this assumption, but NEC has a new driver for their USB 3.0 controller and I am told it fixes the SSD shuddering issue with USB 3.0; we shall find out today. Previous experience aside, today’s article is all about the new N002 128GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD from A-DATA. A-DATA has been on a roll with their solid state products; just recently we reviewed their first SandForce controlled SSD, only the second we had come across with the new SF-1200 controller. The A-DATA N002 at first glance appears to be a standard SATA II Indilinx Barefoot based solid state drive. Once you get a glimpse of the side, though, you see the USB 3.0 power and data port and that is when things start to get interesting." Link: http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3225/a_data_nobility_n002_128gb_usb_3_0_sata_ii_portable_hdd/index.html
QNAP TS-439 Pro. We have recently taken a look at the QNAP TS-809 Pro NAS. It was one of the most expensive and features packed NAS we have looked at with its 8 unit storage space, Core 2 Duo processor, and 2GB of RAM. Unfortunately, these features come with a premium pricing. Thus, not everyone is able to afford such a unit. If you are looking to have a NAS with similar features but at significantly lower cost, then the TS-439 Pro may just be the unit for you. http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1815
Today for review our friends at USBFever have sent me over two products to take a look at. One is a USB 3.0 PCIE card adapter and the other is the compliment to the card, a USB 3.0 extension cable. You really can’t have one without the other right? So read on to learn more about these two products and see how USB 3.0 compares to USB 2.0.
Vantec SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Card Review @ [OC]ModShop
The Vantec SuperSpeed USB 3.0 card is definitely fast. It can supply enough bandwidth for SATA hard drives to work at their full potential, and works much better than the chipsets on many motherboards. While testing USB flash sticks in our test labs, we have discovered that the quality of the chipset on the motherboard greatly affects the USB throughput. Even if you don’t need the extra bandwidth right now, the NEC D720200F1 chip on the SuperSpeed card provided the best performance we have seen on all of our existing USB 2.0 devices. So if you think you’re not getting the most out of your USB devices, then it’s probably your motherboard’s USB chipset and you may want to upgrade to the new technology. I would recommend Vantec’s SuperSpeed USB 3.0 card to any PC enthusiast, but I have a few improvements for the next generation of cards:
"It’s always fun to have a peek at the guts and we are more than happy to crack open the Corsair Force Series 100GB SSD so you don’t have to. Peeking inside, the Sandforce SF-1200 controller lies more or less in the middle of the PCB flanked by the Micron MLC-NAND flash chips. Notably absent is the DRAM cache which is unneeded due to Sandforce’s DuraClass technology. The cost of the controller is partially offset by the lack of dedicated DRAM which is good because Sandforce controllers are not cheap. We’ll see if the absence of this has an impact on performance but this is the reason for the 100GB capacity rather than the 128GB physically on the drive. The layout is the same as other Sandforce-based SSD’s we have seen recently but if you look closely, visible is the Corsair brand along the PCB’s edge…"
Crucial DDR3 1333 Value Ram Kit @ TechwareLabs
Quote: Crucial is popular for good reason, the reviews for their RAM have always been on a positive, with good reliability and overclocking ability. We will see if this is the case for their Value Ram kit as well. LINK: http://www.techwarelabs.com/crucial-ddr3-1333/
I was recently trying to go for the “hat trick” and multitask the mess out of my uber powerful Intel Core i7 system. It usually lives up to multitasking expectations with a mere 8GB’s of RAM. But I finally asked too much of it when editing some pictures, encoding a massive 1080p video and keeping all my various MS Office and desktop apps running all at the same time. It definitely got a little bogged down and there’s only one reason for that: memory.
Quote: "The Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB hard drive (WD6000HLHX) has been rumored for many months now and it is great to finally see the drive come to market. The drive doesn’t bring many new features other than SATA 6Gbps and the larger 32MB cache to the table, but WD has double the capacity of this 10,000 RPM drive series and did manage to boost performance as advertised. In fact we noticed more than a 15% performance increase in some benchmarks, which was great to see. It was also interesting to see how large the performance gap has come between hard drives and solid-state drives. The VelociRaptor series is an enthusiast class product and is ideal for those PC users who don’t want to jump into the SSD market right now. The new 450GB and 600GB VelociRaptors would also make for great secondary storage drives to those that have an SSD as their primary storage drive…"
Like the first-Gen VelociRaptor, the new 600GB variant employs a 2.5" form factor, with a 10K RPM spindle speed. This new offering, however, sports denser platters, more cache, a SATA 6Gb/s interface, and a dual-core processor; all features designed to crank performance up a notch or three. Will the new VelociRaptor hit the same speeds as an SSD? No. But it is the fastest HD we have ever tested. Read on and see for youself…
Ineo Technology I-NA317U+ – Review Article Clip: Being a geek is a tough job. I often run around the place looking for things as my work area is often a messy one. The same pretty much applies with my files. Finding the right image or a video could be difficult at times if you are like me. I am looking on my table and there are about 14 hard drives on it. Some are 2.5" and some are 3.5". Finding the right folder would be a mess. Luckily there are hard drive docking stations are available for geek like me. Today we are going to be taking a look at the newest product line from Ineo Technology, I-NA317U+. Article Link: http://umlan.com/reviews/hardware/h117.html
Thecus N4200 Zero-Crash with Dual Power NAS Review
Thecus has spent a long time devising their NAS servers and this shows with the design of the N4200. It supports all of the major file systems including the Mac, Windows and Linux. The unit can take up to four drives in RAID 0, 1,5,6,10 or JBOD mode. The N5200 is not inexpensive at nearly $750 USD, but is a fully functional computer in its own right with a dual core N510 CPU, and 1GB of memory. Overall Thecus has done a bang-up job with the N4200 with a Battery Backup Module and Dual DOMs to prevent data loss when a failure occurs in the hardware, software or power.
Western Digital Velociraptor 600Gb @ LanOC Reviews DESCRIPTION: With the SSD market growing it wasn’t a surprise when Western Digital joined the market recently with their SiliconEdge Blue SSD. Even with the prices dropping SSD’s are still out of range for most enthusiasts. The only way most people can pick them up is settling with 30 and 60 gig SSD’s, of course this leads to a balancing act trying to keep from filling up your SSD. Today Western Digital is introducing their newest version of the Velociraptor, a 600Gb (or 450Gb), 10k RPM monster than should hold anything you need without any worries. ARTICLE URL:http://lanoc.org/review/hardware/storage/2950-western-digital-velociraptor-600gb
Mobile / Netbooks / Laptops Etc:
Gateway FX 6831-03 Gaming Desktop PC Review http://www.techspot.com/review/265-gateway-fx-6831-gaming-desktop/ While many hardcore gamers and hardware enthusiasts will tell you it’s better to build your own rig, some still choose to go with a custom-built model from a recognized brand name. These often come attached to higher premiums, but also to comprehensive customer support and warranties covering the entire system, plus the peace of mind of not having to deal with any troubles that may occur while assembling it piece by piece.
We’ve had the opportunity to review a few tablet / netbook combinations here at HotHardware (the Eee PC T91 from Asus immediately comes to mind), but in the 10+ years of covering computing technology, there has yet to be a tablet as polarizing, alluring, and promising as iPad. We’ve got one in house and have given in a thorough evaluation. Come on by and check it out…
There is a simple way to keep your netbook or laptop from turning your legs into a hot iron griddle. They’ve been around almost as long as laptops themselves and have proven themselves time and again: Notebook coolers. From the ultra-compact foldaway ones to the gigantic models intended for those widescreen behemoths that people are using now, notebook coolers are everywhere. And they seem to get more inventive, more practical, and uglier by the minute. The Coolermaster Choiix Air-Through Stash we’re reviewing today meets all that criteria, except the ugly part, and even gives you room to put in up to 500GB of storage. That’s right, you can take an old 2.5� SATA/SSD HDD (up to 500GB) and put it in this bad boy for nondescript data storage. All I can say is that it’s about time someone found a use for all that extra space on notebook coolers that didn’t involve some faux fur-lined drawer that’s just big enough to fit a USB stick.
‘The conundrum that is Android 1.6 on Xperia X10’ Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 was today introduced to the UAE market. It runs Android 1.6 at the same time as other handsets are launching with 2.1. The Full Article can be viewed at http://tech.tbreak.com/2010/04/the-conundrum-that-is-android-1-6-on-xperia-x10/
‘HP Mini 210 Netbook Review’ Mixing a refresh of internals and external design, the Mini 210 is HP’s latest netbook. The Full Article can be viewed at http://tech.tbreak.com/2010/04/hp-mini-210-netbook-review/
Tablets of 2010: Apple’s iPad and Other Alternatives http://www.techspot.com/article/267-tablets-of-2010/ As you’ve undoubtedly heard, 2010 is being hailed as the year of the tablet PC (yes, again). That may come as a shock considering the fact that very few big-name tablets are currently available and forthcoming works are mostly shrouded in secrecy. Unless you follow tech news closely, you’re probably only familiar with Apple’s iPad which launched this weekend and perhaps HP’s Slate that was showcased during this year’s CES.
Today, we’re taking a look at a new Core i3-350M powered ultraportable notebook from Asus dubbed the U30Jc. The U30Jc combines the best in new mobile CPU technology with NVIDIA’s Optimus technology, and the result is a reasonably priced, yet extremely promising machine that will easily fit on a tray table in coach. Come on by and check it out…
Apple iPad 16GB WiFi Slate Computer QUOTE:"Not too terribly long ago the internet was awash with rumors of an Apple tablet. Everyone was talking about it; what was it going to look like? What would it be like to use? We all had our theories. For the record; when we thought about it we always envisioned a large scale personal media player combined with an e-book reader. Well, last month Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad. Despite the terribly funny (and pointless) name, the iPad came very close to what we expected it to be. It is a content delivery system that is looking to knock the current e-book readers and personal media players into a cocked hat. It is also taking a stab at some of the lower end netbook space." Link: http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3226/apple_ipad_16gb_wifi_slate_computer/index.html
Futurelooks’ Wish List of Features For The Perfect Notebook Cooler
As more and more people choose to embrace the mobile lifestyle, the more they’ll realize that it’s perfectly suitable to rely on a notebook for all of their computing needs. Even hardcore gamers, coders, graphic artists, and the like have been able to enjoy the mobile lifestyle with some very powerful portable system. With power though comes heat and heat is a very real enemy to portable electronics, especially laptops, even netbooks.
Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand Notebook Cooler Review @ Vortez.co.uk DESCRIPTION: "Cooler Master announced the release of the latest addition to their extensive notebook cooling range just a few weeks ago and it is with great pleasure that we bring you the NotePal ErgoStand, a device which combines the traditionally seperate functions of a desktop notebook stand and an active cooler. Sporting a single massive 140mm fan the NotePal ErgoStand certainly looks to be well equipped to tame the hottest running notebooks. Add to that an impressive range of additional features along with Cooler Master’s renowned attention to detail and design flair, and you have the makings of a fantastic bit of kit – let’s hope it performs as well as it’s specifications suggest it should!" LINK:http://www.vortez.co.uk/review.php?id=153
Today for review I’ve got the Casio G’Zone Brigade from Verizon Wireless and I like it a lot. It’s a rugged phone that’s meant to take a beating, it’s built and tested to military specifications. This phone is made to withstand extreme temperatures, drops, water, shock, vibration, dust, altitude and even solar radiation. This is one tough phone, but it’s more than just rugged, it works well, it has decent battery life and good call quality. This a phone for people who like to work and play rough and like to take things to the extreme. If you’re looking for a phone that can work and play with you and your active lifestyle then this in the phone you want.
SNIPPET: “3M’s MPro15 is a cool piece of gadgetry which any tech-savvy business professional will love. It’s no bargain, but it is an easy way to manage your common business files. And because it’s cordless, there’s no need to pack a separate laptop or projector so you can travel a lot lighter. The downside is that its display size is limited to 50-inches, it’s not very bright, and its built-in speakers aren’t loud enough to wake those nodding off at the back of the room. Nevertheless, it probably is good enough to let you leave your laptop at home.”
Grado iGi Earphones http://www.topreviewshop.com/grado_igi_earphones "When it comes to headphones, Grado Labs is easily one of the most respected names in the business. How does their iGi – the first sub $100 earphone from one of the world’s most beloved audiophile brands – fare against the stiff competition? That’s what we’re here to find out today."
Logitech S125i Portable Speaker Dock QUOTE:"Logitech have been around for a long time now and produce some of the most well made gadgets and speaker systems for your PC. They have also been busy producing some fantastic mouse and keyboard solutions, too. You might call Logitech the ‘all-rounder’ of all things multimedia. Today i have one of their newer products, the small and lightweight S125i speaker dock for use with Apple’s ever growing range of portables and smart phones." Link:http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3224/logitech_s125i_portable_speaker_dock/index.html
Cooling and Enclosure Contest Contest Link : http://www.bayreviews.com/blog/contests/5376-cooling-and-enclosure-contest Quote : "It is time for our second contest. Three lucky winners will be able to walk away with either a SilverStone DS221 2.5" HDD Enclosure, a set of 3 Coolink SWiF2 series cooling fans or a Titan TTC-G9TZ Notebook Cooler. This contest starts on April 10th 2010 and will end on May 10th 2010 at 5PM PST. Entering is simple…"
Quote: "Before things really got started at the Gadget Show Live on the 7th, the XSR team were lucky enough to visit the Press Morning which allowed us to wander around and checkout the stands and exhibits before Joe public showed up. This gave us a great chance to scout out the show before really getting into it with some of the manufacturers and stand owners.
10 Things Linux Does Better Than Windows Link:http://techgage.com/article/10_things_linux_does_better_than_windows/ Quote: There is no such thing as a "perfect" OS, but given that Microsoft’s Windows costs a pretty penny and Linux is free, it’s a little strange that the latter can do certain things far better than the former. We’re taking a look at our favorite ten, which includes the partitioner, automatic logon, troubleshooting, customization and more.
Touring The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident Site In 2010 @ Phoronix Direct Link: http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14747 Summary: "I just returned to the United States after being in Ukraine the past five days over Easter weekend. The purpose of this trip was to explore the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and surrounding areas — Kyiv, Pripyat, the Red Forest, etc. Contrary to some initial beliefs, it was not an April Fools’ Joke. Due to the great interest in Chernobyl among those interested in science and technology whether it be due to the fascination with nuclear power or finding Chernobyl popularized by video games, documentaries, and the like, I have published my collection of these photographs of Chernobyl showing what the area looks like in 2010 — just days prior to the 24th anniversary of this catastrophic disaster — along with some of my thoughts and information collected from this journey."
Overclockers.com Benching Team SuperPi Competition Summary: "The OCForums Benching Team cordially invites you to our first annual Overclockers.com SuperPi 1M and 32M competition! This competition is open to anyone who is a member of the Overclockers.com forums. Signing up is very easy! We’re proud to announce there are prizes to give away courtesy of our sponsors! – Corsair has provided a modular, 750W beast of a power supply, the HX750W. – Lamptron has provided three very nice prize packs: o Their top-of-the-line FC-5 fan controller and an Evo-G IMP1 illuminated mouse pad. o A black/blue 5v-off-12v Fan-Atic five port switch fan controller and an Evo-G MP1 gaming mouse pad. o An Evo-G MP3 mouse pad and an Evo-G Mouse Anchor." SOURCE: http://www.overclockers.com/overclockerscom-benching-team-superpi-competition/
Just Cause 2 Xbox 360 Review QUOTE:"When Just Cause was released a few years back the title showed great promise, but not much more. Riddled with bugs and not the most interesting storyline, Just Cause became yet another forgotten title in the deluge of games that was released a few years after the consoles themselves. Rico, however, is back and this time he is better than ever. Avalanche took the criticism of the original game whilst retaining what made it fun and awesome and amped it up tenfold. Just Cause 2 is one of those games that comes out of nowhere, slaps you in the back of the head and doesn’t let up until the final credits roll. And even when they do you will still go back trying more and more crazy things and side missions to get that ever elusive one hundred percent completion. Can you tell we like this game yet? – To see why, read on." Link: http://www.tweaktown.com/gaming/3227/just_cause_2_xbox_360_review/index.html
Hands On and Swinging with the PlayStation Move "Motion gaming isn’t just for kiddie titles anymore. With the PlayStation Move, Sony hopes to bring motion controls to a variety of games, including some that most players would typically send players reaching for a DualShock. Check out this sneak peak at some of the titles Sony plans to offer this fall when Move launches." Link to the article:http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/hands-on-and-swinging-with-the-playstation-move/
System Update Re-Enables Hard Drives on Banned Xbox 360 Consoles Quote: "A few months ago, Microsoft had disabled hard drive functionality on banned Xbox 360 consoles and corrupted its data (profiles, savegames, achievements) through an Xbox 360 system update. Now, it seems that Microsoft has finally realized that move was both inappropriate and illegal. We have just confirmed that April’s Xbox 360 system update re-enables hard drive functionality on banned Xbox 360 consoles. However, it still does corrupt profile data (during system update), but at least now banned consoles are allowed install games to the hard drive once again." Link: http://www.ngohq.com/news/17609-system-update-re-enables-hard-drives-on-banned-xbox-360-consoles.html