Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

Drobo Review (Gen 3)

Created by Connected Data, the Drobo Gen 3 is a direct attached storage device (DAS) with four 3.5" SATA II/III HDD carrier-less bays and one USB 3.0 connection port. The new Drobo sports a new design and continues Connected Data’s focus on simplicity for their storage solutions. For example, this simplicity includes the ability to use drives from any manufacturer, capacity, and spindle speed with no carriers or tools required for installation. This type of functionality is definitely welcomed, making this little storage solution quite a versatile DAS.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Book Duo Review

The WD My Book Duo is the newest addition to the company’s easy-to-use family of desktop storage solutions for both the home and office, which is comprised of two WD Red drives (which are optimized for small RAID environments), hardware-level RAID, and USB 3.0. The My Book Duo comes bundled with software that creates secure local, cloud and system-level backups for a complete data protection package. Quoted to boast transfer speeds of up to 290MB/s, WD’s newest desktop storage solution comes preconfigured in RAID0 (for performance and capacity) and allows users to configure the My Book Duo to mirror mode (RAID1) for increased data protection as well as the JBOD configuration so that users can work with the drives individually.

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by Adam Armstrong

Samsung SSD 850 PRO Review

Samsung today has launched their new enthusiast class SSD family, the SSD 850 PRO. The SSD 850 PRO is the successor to the 840 PRO and comes with quite a few new updates. The 850 PRO is powered by Samsung’s 32-layer 3D V-NAND technology, the first such drive to hit the market. Comparing 3D NAND technology to traditional 20 nm planar NAND flash, 3D can deliver up to two times the density and write speed performance. The capacity points for the 850 PRO run from 128GB to 1TB with DRAM cache memory going up to 1GB LPDDR2. The drives come with Samsung’s newest version of Samsung Magician, version 4.4 and all drives include a 10-year warranty.

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by Alexandra Haskell

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review (SSD)

Durability and style once again collide with LaCie's latest portable drive release. The Rugged Thunderbolt portable drive puts a new spin on LaCie's lineup by enhancing shock, dust, and water resistance. SSD and HDD versions are available, both feature an integrated Thunderbolt cable and a USB 3.0 port if needed. Like past versions of the Rugged line, this solution is all-terrain storage built for the active professional facing the elements.

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by Lyle Smith

SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD Review

The SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD is designed specifically for gamers, PC enthusiasts, and media professionals who require consistent, top-in-class real-world performance out of their storage. With its quoted sequential read speed of 550MB/s and write speed up to 520MB/s, the SanDisk’s new Extreme PRO certainly is specced to deliver the performance needed for graphics-intensive applications in addition to speedy gaming load times. The Extreme PRO also boasts an industry first a 10-year warranty to assuage any concerns about the drive's expected longevity and SanDisk's commitment to the drive.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Cloud Mirror Review

The WD My Cloud Mirror is a personal dual-drive (2-bay) NAS designed specifically for mainstream consumers looking for data protection with the ability to access content anywhere from computers, tablets, and smartphones. It is equipped with Gigabit Ethernet and a 1.2GHz processor to deliver file transfers and high-speed streaming to suit the needs of consumers with different use cases. The My Cloud Mirror is very similar to the SOHO focused My Cloud EX2, the core differences come down to feature set. The EX2 includes SNMP, DFS, Active Directory, iSCSI and Volume Encryption for the business set, while the Mirror is more streamlined to appeal to the typical home user.

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DiskStation DS414j Review

The Synology DS414j is a 4-bay NAS that is aimed at small and home offices, with budget in mind. Like the other NAS servers from the “j” series, the DS414j offers a fair amount of performance for its price point. Unlike the previous entries in the "j" series, the DS414j is the first to offer a dual core CPU and a USB 3.0. The processor is a MindSpeed Comcerto2000 this time around instead of the Marvell Kirkwood that had been used in previous models. The DS414j allows cross-platform file sharing, mobile access, and features Synology's award winning OS DiskStation Manager 5.0.

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by Alexandra Haskell

Brinell Drive SSD Review

Brinell left no corner unexplored when designing the flawless appearance of the Brinell Drive portable SSD. This drive is for the mainstream consumer who prefers the luxury appeal, as much as performance, of this portable storage device. The Cadillac of SSDs (or perhaps Mercedes), this drive’s attention to detail is unrivaled in the industry. The German company is known for it’s personal selection of high-end materials and award winning design.

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by Adam Armstrong

SanDisk Ultra Plus SD Memory Card Review (32GB)

The SanDisk Ultra Plus SD memory card is a small step up from their Ultra memory card.  Available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, the SanDisk Ultra Plus memory card boasts of speeds "twice as fast as ordinary SDHC cards;" claiming read speeds of 40MB/s. It is ideal for taking pictures and recording in full HD, while maintaining a budget-oriented approach. The SanDisk Ultra Plus is compatible with SDHC/SDXC enabled and SDHC-I/SDXC-I UHS-I enabled devices.

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by Lyle Smith

Crucial MX100 SSD Review

The Crucial MX100 (a brand of Micron) is a mainstream consumer SSD targeted toward users who are looking to upgrade PCs or laptops from hard drives to an SSD on a budget. The MX100 is a direct replacement for the M500, the core changes are in a NAND die shrink and firmware enhancements. Crucial claims the net result is the MX100 boasts significant performance improvements over the M500 line at all capacities. To make it easy for upgraders working in a variety of environments, Crucial includes a handy 7mm to 9.5mm adapter bracket as well as the Acronis True Image software for cloning an existing drive to a new MX100 SSD.

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