Accessories Reviews
Accessories reviews balance between a spectrum of products from computer cases to video surveillance cameras and even to accessories that enable users to squeeze more storage into smaller footprints. Accessories reviews form a large catch-all to compile all of the tech extras that users require, but that don't quite fit into our other categories of SSDs, HDDs, SOHO NAS and the like.
by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock ToughArmor Series Backplane Cage for 5.25" Bay

The backplane cage from Icy Dock, which is part of their new ToughArmor Series, allows up to eight 2.5” SSD or HDD drives (up to 7mm height) to be consolidated into one 5.25” bay. This product aims to save space, reduce workspace clutter, and provide a reliable means of building a workstation or compact server. It would be best used in a gaming rig, home server, HTPC, or any non-RAID JBOD storage setting. Icy Dock has equipped this device with Medical & Military standard housing, promising to protect drives and maintain function through a wide range of environments.

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by Lyle Smith

Netgear CM500 Cable Modem Review

The Netgear CM500 is a high-speed cable modem that is certified for DOCSIS 3.0 to work with providers such as Comcast XFINITY and Time Warner Cable as well as most major cable service providers.  Third party modems, such as the CM500, are becoming more and more popular as they offer customers various useful benefits, such as eliminating the monthly fee of renting/financing the provider’s modem, which can amount to roughly $10 a month in some areas. In addition, users get to choose a modem from a company with an established pedigree like Netgear instead of having to settle for what the ISP has to offer as well as the ability to have much more control over its functionality, including firmware updates, connection, and security features. Service providers often give lackluster support in this domain, which usually result in a ton of frustration for the customer. That being said, the Netgear CM500 is certainly designed to offer these perks in addition to its aesthetically pleasing design, the latter which allows users to place the device virtually anywhere versus hiding it in some closet.

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by Lyle Smith

Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 Review

The Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 is a four-bay reader and storage drive hub that uses both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity, allowing for compatibility with both Windows and Mac OS platforms. We previously review its predecessor, Professional Workflow Reader, and were very impressed with its multi-card performance speeds and sturdy build. With the new Lexar hub, users can pick and choose from a variety of combinations of readers and storage drives to suit specific use cases and specialized workflows. The biggest advantage of Lexar’s Professional Workflow line is that users will be able to save time due to its ability to transfer and back up data from multiple cards at once, which allows professionals to quickly edit and share their files. Not only does the Professional Workflow HR2 offer quite a bit of flexibility, Lexar indicates that the hub provides the performance needed for high-speed transfer and backup of RAW images, high-res photos, and HD, 3D, and 4K video. In addition, the HR2 is also backwards compatible with Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 using the same cables and connectors.

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by Lyle Smith

Netstor TurboBox Thunderbolt 2 Review (NA211TB-LD)

Previously, we reviewed the Netstor TurboBox (NA211TB-LD) equipped with a Thunderbolt 1 connection and found it to be a good companion for creative professionals who need high performance storage in a portable form factor. The TurboBox itself is a very slick looking storage solution with three PCIe slots and four 2.5" bays that can handle SSDs or SAS/SATA HDDs. It also has a 250W power supply with plenty of ventilation located on both the front and back of the high-end aluminum enclosure. We recently upgraded the device with Netstor’s Thunderbolt 2 upgrades kit, which essentially doubles its throughput capabilities and as a result will allow for an even more efficient workflow for users. The upgrade process itself was quick and seamless and consisted of simply switching out the PCIe boards.

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by Adam Armstrong

Blackmagic MultiDock Review

The Blackmagic MultiDock is a 4-bay SSD dock that enables users to insert multiple SSDs from a production video camera and then edit files directly from a Thunderbolt enabled computer. The MultiDock installs quickly by using the drivers already installed on Thunderbolt enabled computers. Users can mount up to 4 2.5” SSDs by simply plugging them in and then the drives will be mounted to the computer the same as regular hard disks. The BlackMagic MultiDock is compatible with both Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 connections on both PC and Mac platforms. 

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by Adam Armstrong

Netgear Arlo Wireless HD Camera System Review

Netgear has updated its VueZone Wireless Camera system with the new Arlo Wireless HD Camera System. The cameras are completely wireless, the only wires are the Ethernet from the Base Station to the router and from the Base Station to an outlet. Users can have the system up and running in under 10 minutes, with a few more minutes to put up the mounts and place the cameras. The cameras are then monitored using a smartphone or tablet, or through a web browser. The Arlo system supports up to 30 cameras and has a slew of use cases such as security, baby monitoring, pet monitoring, nanny cams, or a way to share videos with friends and family.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock TurboSwap 3.5" Tray-Less Mobile Rack Review

Ideal for applications such as medical and military systems, industrial PCs and servers,  the Icy Dock TurboSwap 3.5" tray-less mobile rack (MB171SP-B ) allows for the mounting of a 3.5" hard drive into a 5.25" bay while providing stability, thermoregulation, and lots of added features. 

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by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock EZConvert Air HDD/SDD Converter Review

Icy Dock has recently released the EZConvert Air converter/mounting kit, which consists of two cost-effective products that are designed to maximize airflow while mounting a 2.5" HDD/SSD into a 3.5" bay (the MB382IP-3B and MB382SP-3B respectively); the only difference between the two products reviewed herein is that one serves SATA drives and the other serves SAS drives.  The EZConvert Air is comprised of the same form factor of a 3.5” hard drive, such as the outer dimension, location of the SATA connector, and the mounting holes. This allows users to fit it perfectly inside any standard 3.5" SATA/SAS drive bay. Icy Dock indicates that any system that uses 3.5” SATA HDDs is compatible with the EZConvert Air. 

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by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock FLEX-FIT Trio 3.25" to 5.25" Converter Kit Review

The Icy Dock FLEX-FIT Trio allows users to load up to two 2.5" drives and one 3.5" device or drive into a 5.25" bay. The 3.5" device can be secured via optional screws (which we recommend using), and like many of Icy Dock's new products, the FLEX-FIT Trio utilizes passive cooling. Although the 2.5" bays are reserved for SSDs or HDDs, the 3.5" bay can be filled with drives, USB 3.0 hubs, multimedia card readers, HDD/SSD mobile racks, or HDD/SSD brackets.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock EZ-Fit Lite Dual 2.5" to 3.5" Bracket Review

The Icy Dock EZ-Fit Lite Dual 2.5" SSD/HDD mounting kit easily combines two 2.5" drives in to a 3.5" bay, allowing users to maximize storage space in reduced form factors or in use cases where more drive density is needed. The bracket can accommodate all 2.5" drives between 7 and 9.5mm and features tool-less installation (unless the optional reinforcing screws are desired). The EZ-Fit Lite features an open-air design that provides passive cooling for the drives through side vents and slightly elevated ridges to keep the drives raised within the housing. It also has 60 screw holes strategically placed over its casing to accommodate most chassis designs.

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