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Found 10 results

  1. Whether you own a smartphone, tablet, GoPro style ‘action camera’, or the typical mundane camera your choice of SD storage can indeed have a noticeable to large impact on overall performance. Put simply, your device is only as ‘fast’ as the slowest component used. Invariably the bottleneck is going to be your SD card. The sad fact of the matter is the lowly SD/SDHC/SDXC/etc card’s performance is terribly slow by modern standards and the SD has been slow to adapt to the changing times (they only recently announced a PCIe express based specification). Right now, the fastest real-world SD cards are SD UHS-II class of cards which top out at about 300MB/s. While UHS-II adoption is, to put it mildly, slow these cards easily work in UHS-I devices (at UHS-I speeds) and are rather future proof to say the least. The only downside is usually their increased cost. Silicon Power and their new Superior Pro series intend to change that, as their latest models offer blazing fast speeds and yet do not cost all that much more than UHS-I card of similar capacity. Today we are going to look at their latest edition, the Superior Pro microSDXC UHS-II series. Specifically, the 128GB capacity model. Full Review
  2. Very recent we took a long hard look at the hunter orange-clad LaCie Rugged SSD 1TB and walked away very impressed with what LaCie had created. That model was a USB 3.1 gen 2 beast. One which it was as rugged as it was fast. As we made mention in that review the LaCie Rugged SSD was not the premier/flagship ‘rugged’ model, rather the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro took that honors. Thanks to the good people at LaCie’s we can show you what this $399 (USD) 1TB model has to offer that the LaCie Rugged SSD series cannot. Without going too deep into things just yet, these differences vary from the subtle (better data protection) to the blatant (Thunderbolt 3 instead of USB interface) and are how LaCie was able to create a ‘Pro’ model which takes nothing away from the non-Pro variant. Instead is in and of itself a unique model worthy of its own special ‘pro’ moniker. This is rather refreshing as usually when companies create a pro and non-pro model variants… it is nothing more than a cash grab with only slight differences separating one from the other. That is not the case with the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro. There are indeed a lot of similarities but the obvious time and attention to detail makes this a new and different external storage device. Different in a good way. We will go over the ins and outs of what has and has not changed, but with an asking price a hundred dollars more than the non-Pro model, the burning question everyone will have is simple: is this price difference justified? Is this model really that much better than the LaCie Rugged SSD? Considering how potent and robust the non-Pro model is that is indeed a rather high threshold to clear. By the end of this review you will not only have a firm idea on what each model has to offer, but which will be right for your personal set of circumstances, needs, requirements… and even wants. So, without further preamble let’s take this beauty for a spin. Read Full Review
  3. In the recent past we have looked at a couple BlueTooth enabled earbuds and walked away fairly impressed with the state of the industry. In just a few short years BT earbuds have gone from (at best) mediocrity to actually being viable options. A relatively newcomer to the scene is the Chinese based TriBit whose intention is to not only push the boundaries of this quickly developing market niche, but actually make wireless earbuds that can outperform similarly priced wired earbuds – and thus their moto of “Unleash the True Sound”. Their latest addition to their lineup is the $55 USD Flybuds and today we will be putting them to the test. On paper the Flybuds certainly hit all the right notes. They offer six hours of run time on a single charge; the included carrying case is good for five full charges; said carrying case promises to be compact and easy to use; they are IPX5 rated and thus resistant to even 30 kPa’s worth of water pressure (aka they can be washed under a running tap without fear of nuking them); they come with a touch interface for ease of use, make use of BT 5 connectivity… and thanks to a timely firmware update they also promise to offer a much more balanced and nuanced listening experience. One that does not rely solely on eardrum shaking bass to cover a myriad of sins, and rather allow you to experience the music like it was meant to be. When you mix in the asking price of, these Chi-Fi earbuds certainly have a lot going for them. Of course, this new marketplace is quickly heating up with contenders seemingly coming out of the woodwork to compete for your hard-earned dollars. To us the major question worth answering is clear: are they worth tracking down, or are you better off steering clear of this Chi-Fi earbuds and looking in ‘greener pastures’. That is indeed the question we want to provide you with an answer to as for every good Chi-Fi set of buds there are literally dozens or even hundreds that are utter trash. Let’s find out! Full Review
  4. Very recently we took a close look at the Silicon Power Blast Plug BP81 series of Bluetooth enabled earbuds and walked away impressed with the state of the wireless industry. While far from perfect their combination of ease of use, durability, reasonably good clarity, and at a very reasonable price made for a very good argument in their favor. Today we are going to look at the $37 Blast Plug BP82 series to see what has and has not changed. On the surface, these two sets of earbuds do share a few things in common. The most obvious is both are making use of the same BT 5 bus and the same underlying BT5 controller. Both come with a carry case that doubles as a charger. Both offer 3-4 hours of run time before the earbuds need to be recharged. Both models are reasonably lightweight (with the 81s weighing a waifish 7.9grams and the 82s barely more at 9.2grams). Both come with the same 3-year warranty. Both are even reasonably priced at about $37 USD. Where they differ however is the secret to understanding who each model has been designed for. The Blast Plug BP82’s forgoes the IP certification and in return have replaced it with a simplified interface. Precisely, instead of two small buttons per earbud the BP82’s make use of a touch interface with LED glow ring. This certainly adds a dash of style at the same time making it extremely easy to use. Also changed is the carrying case. Gone is the long tubular chassis with a slide-out holder. In its stead is a more compact case with flip-open lid. This change makes carrying the 82s extremely easy, to say the least. These are the most obvious differences, but their sound profile also differs. By the end of this review, we intend to make it crystal clear the pros and cons of each, and armed with this information can make an informed decision on if the Blast Plug BP82 is right for you and your specific needs. Full Review
  5. If you talk to a hundred video or photography professionals every single one will say the same thing: never trust your precious images/videos on the cards you shot them on. Get them off as soon as you can. Doing otherwise just invites Mr. Murphy to your photo/video shoot… and when Murphy shows up that ‘perfect’ shot will be the one to disappear. This is why some form of On Set Storage is in nearly every single professional’s equipment bag. The downside is to get the precious data off SD/QXD/etc. card as soon as possible requires a couple more pieces of equipment. Namely a card reader and a laptop. Considering how much is in the typical pro’s bag already finding room for even more stuff is never easy. It sometimes means leaving a lens or three at home. LaCie obviously took feedback they received from industry professionals seriously and has created a solution for this rather niche problem: the $629(USD) LaCie Rugged BOSS SSD 1TB. BOSS stands for Backup On Set Solution… which is a touch kludgey turn of phrase but does get the point across. This one device is meant to be an all in one solution for on site (aka ‘on set’) backing up of a professional’s pictures, videos… and anything else on their cards. Furthermore, it promises to all this without the need of any other electronics device. The Rugged BOSS SSD is able to promise to do all this because it not only comes with 1TB of internal storage (in a fairly ‘rugged’ rubber enclosure) but also comes with a System on a Chip ‘computer’, an integrated LCD, am integrated USB hub and compatibility with everything from USB 2 to Thunderbolt 3 enabled devices. As it is basically an uber portable computer system it should come as no surprise that, unlike typical USB storage devices, the Rugged BOSS SSD has a built in battery and requires no external power source while on the set (or at least as long as the 5300mAh battery lasts that is). If all this does not sound like a great idea, and allow you to stop futzing with that homebrewed Raspberry Pi based BOSS type device you have been working for way too long already…. you probably are not the right person for this specific model. This is a model designed by professionals for professionals. This is not the typical mass produced, mass appeal model. That certainly makes it rather unique these days but do not be surprised if after reading more about it that it is not your cup of tea. Of course, the opposite may be true too. You may find yourself loving all the detail and TLC that went into this model. In either case, with that caveat taken care of let’s see what makes a BOSS… a LaCie BOSS. Read Full Review: LACIE RUGGED BOSS SSD
  6. It is always highly interesting to see how different companies overcome the same problem. We are of course referring to the fact that NVMe M.2 drives run hot, and when used in an external enclosure they run even hotter. ‘Sadly’ the sheer performance NVMe drives offer is unmatched and is the only way to get a single drive capable of easily saturating a USB 3.1 Gen 2 bus. Recently we looked at Crucial’s X8 and saw how they overcame this issue (they went with a ‘single sided everything’ solution). Today we will be looking at LaCie and their Rugged SSD series to see how they have solved this issue. Specifically, the $299 1TB capacity version of the Rugged SSD series. Full Review
  7. It seems that being a PC gaming enthusiast has become one rather expensive hobby as of late. Ever since the mining craze video card costs have sky rocketed, and so too has other essential components. Take for example the typical ‘gaming’ orientated monitor. No doubt it is an essential piece of equipment… but the moment you add the word ‘gaming’ to your list of requirements the cost quickly balloons. Nowadays there really seem to be two camps of PC gaming enthusiasts: those that can afford mega-sized monitors which promise levels of immersion once only dreamed about… and those that use two or three 24-27inch monitors to get the same immersion. With the recently released $599 (USD) Nixeus NX-EDG34S series that is about to change. Nixeus has a long and proud tradition of flipping the monitor industries status quo on its head. Be it excellent 1billion color plus professional monitors meant for professionals, or gaming orientated monitors which do not cost an arm and a leg Nixeus has built their reputation on offering the one thing we always look for in a review sample – value. The new NX EDG 34S is no exception. With an asking price more in line with that of a good 16:9 27-inch monitor, the EDG 34S offers 34-inches of curved gaming goodness. We will go over in greater detail on how they were able to do this and still come in $150 or more less than the competition, but the main take away is that by using Samsung’s latest VA panel, dropping integrated speakers from the build, opting for FreeSync 2 not G-Sync, lowering the color gamut reproduction abilities to 8-bit ‘sRGB’ (16.7 million colors) instead of 10-bit ‘RGB’ (1.073 Billion colors), and opting for 3440x1440P resolution Nixeus’ design team was able to offer a lot of bang for your buck. The end result of all these tweaks is a monitor that does not cost a fortune but is destined to become a cult classic. It however is not perfect, nor perfectly suited to every potential buyer. By the end of this review we hope you have a clear understanding of the strengths and weakness of this excellent value PC gaming monitor, and how those pros/cons line up with your needs. Then you can decide if this is the right choice for you. Read Full Review Please Like, Share and Comment Please Retweet,Share and Comment
  8. Almost since their inception portable Flash based solid state storage devices have fallen into roughly one of two camps: cheap yet ultra-portable drives that are known to be slowpokes, and those that may be larger and cost noticeably more per GB but are USB bus saturating speedsters. Recently we took a long hard look at the Crucial X8 series and walked away very impressed with what it had to offer. That model did indeed blur the lines between the two camps and made it a lot easier to have 1TB worth of portable performance in your pocket. Seagate however begs to differ on what it takes to bridge the divide and has released a new One Touch SSD series which promises to do what no ‘high performance’ model has done to date: be nearly as portable as a thumb drive, nearly as fast as high performance drives and do both while not costing a fortune. Full Review Please Retweet, comment and Like Please Like, Comment and Share
  9. As time marches on, more and more mainstream buyers are starting to opt for multiple Solid-State Drive based storage solutions instead of the more ‘classic’ SSD+HDD configuration. This in turn has created a demand for SSD’s that are fast enough, large enough, and above all else inexpensive enough to serve as secondary storage devices. For those with a need for speed these secondary storage orientated devices are NVMe and not SATA based. NVMe options may typically cost noticeably more, but the performance benefits are tangible to say the least. We say ‘typically’ as recently Silicon Power became aware of this emerging market and created a newer, more value oriented, addition to their M.2 NVMe line – the P34A60 series. Today we will be reviewing the $55 512GB capacity option. As the name suggests this new A60 series is not intended to replace the slightly more expensive A80 series. Instead it is meant to compliment that series and create a more cohesive line up for Silicon Power. One where they have you covered regardless of your specific needs – be they price, small file performance, large file performance, or even just capacity. This complimentary philosophy is why the A60 series does not make use of PHISON controller, nor Toshiba BiCS 3 NAND… nor even onboard RAM cache. Instead these higher performance components have been swapped out for more budget friendly options. Make no mistake the A60 series still offers performance well in excess of what SATA based drives can do. These components are still very good… they just do not cost as much to use as their P34A80 series counterparts. This is why this new series is within grasping distance of the mythical 10 cents per Gigabyte milestone. To be a bit more precise the NAND is still TLC 3D NAND, it just is IMFT 3D TLC NAND not BiCS3 TLC NAND. This NAND is a touch older and thus a touch less expensive, but it is not lower performance QLC (4-bit) NAND like its main competition the Crucial P1 series makes used of. On the NVMe controller side of the equation, the Phison E12 has been substituted for a Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller. As we will go over in this review, this choice of a DRAM-less controller has many side-effects. Some of them good, some of them… not so good. The end result though is certainly interesting, and certainly ‘outside the box thinking’ for late 2019. Read Full Review
  10. Gigabyte may not be as well known for their Solid-State Drives as their video card or motherboard models, they indeed been offering entry and mainstream SSDs for quite some time now. In the past they were SATA based only storage solutions, but their offerings now run the gamut from entry level SATA based models (the UD series) to mainstream NVME (Aorus RGB NVME) to even cutting edge PCIe 4.0 based models (Aorus NVME 4.0) models. Today we will be paying careful attention to their middle option. To be precise we will be putting the Aorus RGB 256GB capacity model under the microscope. Before we start, and to be crystal clear this is not a review sample sourced via Gigabyte, rather is a bought and paid for drive by a close personal friend… and why it is the smallest capacity 256GB option not the 512GB model. Regardless of how it was sourced, this is this particular model was chosen as it is offers a rather enticing list of features without really any price premium over the competition’s version. For example, it is a PHISON E12 NVME controller-based model that makes use of Toshiba’s tried and true BiCS3 TLC NAND. If this combination sounds familiar… that is because it is. This is a combination that has proven itself time and time again to be both powerful and yet reasonable in its build cost. What is however unusual is Gigabyte has not only included an integrated heat spreader but also bestowed upon it RGB lighting abilities which are fully customizable and controllable via the M.2 port itself. This actually marks one of the first times the marketplace has seen fully controllable RGB LEDs integrated into a M.2 form-factor. Yes, there have been numerous examples of single color (the most obvious example being Intel’s Optane 905P series) and even multi-colored RGB LEDS in a pre-set/pre-defines pattern (which Plextor became… infamous for). So, this is indeed a big deal. However, going hand in hand with these value-added features is the fact that the price premium is almost non-existent. Right now the 256GB capacity Aorus RGB M.2 NVME SSD routinely sells for $60. This within $5 dollars of what Silicon Power’s E12 based models demand (which do not come with a heat spreader, nor LEDS), and is about $3 less than Western Digital’s Black SN750 500GB drive – which comes with a heatsink but no LEDS. Needless to say, on paper the Gigabyte Aorus RGB NVMe SSD series does have a lot going for it. Let’s see what Gigabyte has done (and not done) in order to offer such a seemingly great bargain. Full Review Twitter Facebook
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