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 Kevin OBrien

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini Review

OWC makes the only MacBook Air SSD replacements, which offer tremendous performance improvements especially with the latest generation MacBook Air which can leverage the benefits of the SATA 6Gb/s interface. To help upgraders get some use out of their stock SSD, OWC released adaptations of two of their 2.5" drive enclosures. We tested the Mercury On-The-Go and enjoyed its sleek design, but for those who want more interface options and the benefits of an all aluminum body, the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini has a ton to offer.

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by Brian Beeler

OWC Mercury On-The-Go USB 3.0 Enclosure for Apple MacBook Air SSD Review

When OWC made the first MacBook Air SSD replacement earlier this year, they vowed to also release an external storage solution so buyers who were upgrading could also use their old SSD for external storage. OWC has made good on the promise, releasing adaptations of two of their 2.5" drive enclosures. The Mercury On-The-Go is the first to hit our test bench. The enclosure features an polycarbonate acrylic outer shell to deliver the style, with a USB 3.0 interface that's Mac and PC friendly.

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by Brian Beeler

Western Digital WD TV Live Review

Western Digital has added to their line of media streaming products with their latest effort, the WD TV Live (WDBHG70000NBK). TV Live is designed to get both your networked media files and streaming services into new places in the home. Where the WD TV Live Hub is the bigger brother with 1TB of internal storage and geared to be in the home theater, the WD TV Live has no local storage and is designed to go with the bedroom, office or other TV in the house. TV Live is not only much smaller than the Live Hub, but it also features WiFi, making setup about as easy as it gets. 

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by Brian Beeler

Icy Dock 4 in 3 SATA Internal RAID Backplane Review (MB974SP-B)

The Icy Dock 4-in-3 backplane gives users easy access to four hard drives in the space occupied by three 5.25" drive bays in a typical PC case. The unit is highlighted by tool-less/tray-less hard drive slots and dedicated SATA connections making it an ideal RAID backplane. Icy Dock has also thrown in a bunch of extras like individual drive power buttons, front mounted USB and eSATA ports and a three mode, user-replaceable fan.

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by Brian Beeler

Icy Dock Hard Drive Docking Station Review (MB981U3-1SA)

Icy Dock released a new hard drive docking station this summer that offers great flexibility; the MB981U3-1SA has a long list of supported drive types including 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives, but if that's not good enough for you, they also include legacy IDE support. The dock connects to a computer via USB 3.0 interface, which can power the unit when used with 2.5" drives.

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by Thomas Sullivan

Icy Dock SSD/HDD Conversion Kit Roundup

Icy Dock is perhaps the most prolific storage accessory company out there - case in point, in this review we look at a trio of 2.5" to 3.5" conversion kits. With street prices ranging from $15 to $30, the products are designed for almost any budget and interface need. On the high end is the aluminum SATA and SAS compatible MB982IP-1S. Icy Dock also sells a SATA-only metal version called the MB982SP-1S, although we don't cover it in this review. The mid-range MB882SP-1S-1B and entry-level MB882SP-1S-2B are SATA only and switch to black plastic to cut cost. They all simplify the issue of converting a 2.5" SSD or hard drive to the proper dimensions for mounting in a desktop or server.

 

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by Kevin OBrien

Lenovo ThinkPad T520 Review

Certain notebooks gain a reputation over the years, be it good or bad. The Lenovo ThinkPad-series has been one of those families that has grown for almost 20 years, while still retaining the namesake of being one of the best business notebooks money can buy. Today we look at the new Lenovo ThinkPad T520, which is a 15.6-inch mid-range business notebook that can be equipped with NVIDIA Optimus graphics and a wide range of unique storage options.

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by Charles Jefferies

Patriot Convoy 425XL 4-Drive Backplane Review

The Patriot Convoy 425XL provides desktop users with the ability to add up to four 2.5” hard drives to their desktop using just one 5.25” device bay. The hook though is RAID, the Convoy supports RAID 0/1/3/5/10 Clone, Large, and JBOD via onboard JMicron controller. 

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by Charles Jefferies

USB 3.0 to Dual SATA Cable Adapter Review

The USB 3.0 to dual SATA adapter can connect two SATA hard drives to a computer using a single USB port. Both 2.5” and 3.5” drives are supported. Does it work as advertised? Read our review to find out.

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by Ben Stafford

Addonics CipherChain ExpressCard Review

The Addonics CipherChain ExpressCard gives your ExpressCard 34/54-equipped notebook the ability to connect to eSATA or USB external storage devices. Additionally, when using an eSATA drive, the Addonics card can provide hardware-based AES 256-bit full-disk encryption.  In this brief review we put this Addonics device through some quick tests to make sure it works as advertised.

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