Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

QNAP TS-253B NAS Review

The QNAP TS-253B is the company’s latest 2-bay NAS solution to hit the market. Completely redesigned with a slick new build, the TS-253B features a PCIe port that can be equipped with a QNAP QM2 expansion card that supports dual M.2 SSDs and 10GbE connectivity, compatible wireless cards to turn the NAS into a wireless access point, and a USB 3.1 10Gbps card for faster backup transfer speeds to and from multiple external storage devices. The TS-253B also comes equipped with a USB Type-C QuickAccess port and a SD card slot, and supports 4K (30Hz) video playback with real-time transcoding.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS HDD 12TB Review

Seagate has expanded its Guardian Series of HDDs with even higher capacity version. On the NAS front, Seagate has taken both its IronWolf and IronWolf Pro and expanded the capacity up to 12TB per drive. The IronWolf Pro is designed specifically for use in NAS devices and is aimed toward creative professionals, SOHO, and SME markets. While both drives share many of the same features, the Pro version supports up to 16 drive bays, has a higher mean time between failures (1.2 million hours), has rotational vibration sensors on all capacities, and is better optimized for multi-users (300TB/year).

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by Lyle Smith

Seagate IronWolf Review (12TB)

As data requirements continue to rapidly grow, so does the cost of managing storage through devices such as NAS solutions. This puts organizations in a tight spot, as their budgets don’t necessarily correlate with this massive growth, which is why new high-capacity releases like Seagate IronWolf 12TB is so attractive: it helps to lower the total cost of ownership and gives organizations the ability to and stay within and better manage their budgets. The company has also released a Pro version of the drive, reviewed here.

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by Lyle Smith

Toshiba TR200 SSD Review

The Toshiba TR200 is a budget-friendly drive that features both low power consumption during operation and cost savings. The TR200 Series is the company’s first consumer SSD equipped with 64-Layer 3-bit-per-cell TLC BiCS FLASH, technology that previously only shipped with OEM products. Though Toshiba has indicated that their retail SSDs will now be branded under their name (while OCZ will act as a sub-series), they will have the same performance of OCZ drives and will still target the same markets.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Book Duo 20TB Review

WD is a household name when in the external storage market largely due to the highly reliable and successful My Book line, which the company continues to expand and update. To this end, WD has added a new massive capacity model to their veteran My Book Duo line with a 20TB model. Compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.0 (including two USB 3.0 Type-A hub ports), this massive dual-drive storage solution is meant for consumers and professionals who store a ton of media or those looking for a proven and easy-to-use backup solution.

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by Adam Armstrong

NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi System Review

In recent months NETGEAR has released two new WiFi systems: the award winning Orbi for home use and more recently the Orbi Pro aimed at small to medium businesses (SMB). The Orbi Pro WiFi System is quoted to deliver secure, reliable, and blazing fast WiFi doing so without the need to run Ethernet cords to access points throughout the office. The Orbi Pro is a tri-band WiFi system that uses patented Fastlane3 technology.

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by Brian Beeler

Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB Review

Seagate has launched the latest update to their high-performance desktop 3.5" HDD line in the BarraCuda Pro family. Now available in capacities up to 12TB, the BarraCuda Pro is designed to meet the needs of professionals who want the high capacity that 3.5" hard drives offer, with as much performance as possible. To that end, the BarraCuda Pro features a 7,200 RPM spindle speed with 256MB cache, offering up to 250MB/s in sustained sequential transfer rates. Incidentally, 250MB/s is 30MB/s faster than the prior top capacity 10TB Pro drive. Seagate is also making sure they take care of their BarraCuda Pro owners with a five-year warranty and two years of Seagate Rescue data recovery included. 

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by Lyle Smith

CalDigit AV Pro 2 Storage Hub Review

The CalDigit AV Pro 2 Storage Hub is the newest generation of the company’s single drive solution line designed specifically for Thunderbolt 3-compatible computers. The AV Pro 2 supports both full size 3.5" and 2.5” solid state drives, which can easily be removable via the hubs module design so users can seamlessly expand their systems as their storage needs change. Though the AV Pro 2 is marketed for use with Thunderbolt 3 machines, it can also to connect to laptop or desktop via its USB-C port while supporting USB Micro B connectivity. These ports also allow users to connect USB peripherals--including external drives, card readers, and Apple SuperDrives--with the ability to also daisy chain to another AV Pro 2.

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by Lyle Smith

ADATA SE730H Portable SSD Review

ADATA has released the SE730H, the company's most compact portable SSD to date. Improved in every way over previous drives, the SE730H is a high-performing portable drive that now leverages 3D TLC NAND. In total, this allows for lower cost per gigabyte, more efficient power consumption, better reliability, and faster write performance. In addition, with the transition to 3D NAND, ADATA claims the SE730H boasts a 25% longer lifespan compared to previous models in the SE730 line.

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by Lyle Smith

HP ZBook 15 G4 Review

HP is back with a series of new impressive-looking workstations. Among these releases is the ZBook 15 G4, marketed as a high-performance mobile workstation for professionals on the go. Not only can it be equipped with 7th generation Intel Core i7 CPUs, users can now leverage the massively powerful Xeon processor for the ultimate performance build. In addition, the ZBook 15 provides a new range of heavy-duty professional graphics from the new NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro graphics lines, while also offering a less expensive integrated GPU option. The HP ZBook 15 G4 can also be expanded up to 64GB of standard or ECC 2400 MHz memory and 3TB of NVMe PCIe SSD storage via multiple M.2 HP Z Turbo Drives.

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