Consumer Reviews
by Tucker Mindrum

WD My Passport for Mac Review

WD has released a seventh generation of their popular My Passport line of external hard drives. The most notable upgrades with this line are an increase in maximum capacity (3TB), customization options, improved backup capabilities, and a line of models designed specifically for use with Mac OS. This review explores the Mac models, but the other new features are detailed in the new My Passport Ultra (7th Generation) review.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Passport Ultra Review (7th Generation)

The 7th generation My Passport Ultra is a USB 3.0 external HDD designed for ultimate portability with the ability to back up user data automatically and to the Cloud. The My Passport Ultra is a tried and true technology that WD has been selling for some time. The latest version comes with a maximum capacity of 3TB, comes in a variety of colors, and comes with a Grip pack of soft band accessories that encircle the device. WD is also selling a version that is specifically formatted for Mac users, WD My Passport for Mac. Though it really doesn’t add anything new to the market, the Ultra is certainly a proven device, as it adds plenty of value to consumers with its speed and included software.

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by Lyle Smith

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Review

The Lexar Professional 2000x is the company’s latest top offering in their SD card portfolio, catering to media enthusiasts and professionals who require quick capture and transfer of both high-quality photos and 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video. To achieve this high-speed performance, Lexar’s new cards leverage UHS-II technology, allowing for quoted read transfer speeds up to 300MB/s, which is double the performance of the 1000x model. For added flexibility, the cards also support UHS-I devices at UHS-I speeds, and are backwards compatible with older generation cameras and readers by performing at Class 10 speeds when being used with these non-UHS devices.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung PRO Plus MicroSD Memory Card Review

Announced earlier this month alongside the EVO Plus line, the Samsung PRO Plus microSD cards are the company’s latest enthusiast offering designed for levels of high end digital imaging and mobile devices. The previous PRO model we reviewed showed bar setting performance at a great price, so it’s unsurprising to see an upgraded release almost exactly a year later. That being said, the new PRO Plus line features a slight increase in read and write speeds quoted at 95MB/s and 90MB/s respectively (compared to the previous 90MB/s and 80MB/s), which satisfies both UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3) and Class 10 performance levels (the previous version only supported Class 1). The PRO Plus line also come in capacities of 64GB and 32GB, with the 128GB model to be released at a later date, which is a pretty big boost in storage.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung EVO Plus MicroSD Memory Card Review

Samsung has once again added to their industry leading portfolio of memory cards with the Plus versions of their very impressive PRO and EVO lines. For this review, we will be looking at the Samsung EVO Plus line of microSD memory cards (or Evo+), which are specifically designed for content creation and the increasing storage demands of the newest smartphones, tablets, compact cameras and Full HD camcorder users. Last year, we looked at the 32GB version of the Samsung EVO line, and found it to be easily one of the best available microsSD cards on the market for its class, offering great performance at an unbeatable price. The new Plus version improves on its predecessor in every way, including a boost in storage capacity to 128GB, which is double the maximum of the previous EVO line.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung SM951-NVMe M.2 SSD Review

Designed for ultra-slim notebook PCs and workstations, the Samsung SM951-NVMe is the industry’s first M.2 NVMe PCIe to hit the market. Samsung has been offering an AHCI-based PCIe 3.0 version of its SM951 line for several months now. With this new highly-anticipated NVMe edition, Samsung is adding a powerful and welcomed drive to its quality SSD portfolio all the while reinforcing its dominance in the flash memory market. Samsung also has indicated that it will be incorporating its 3D V-NAND technology into the SM951-NVMe sometime in the future, which will further increase the drive’s density as well as help it to boast even better performance.

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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 Tucker Mindrum

Lexar JumpDrive P20 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Lexar recently announced updates to several of its JumpDrive line, including replacing its P10 drives with a faster, higher capacity P20 drives. The P20 is built for speed, and certainly delivers with reported transfer rates of 400MB/s read and 270MB/s write. Lexar estimates that a full HD movie transfers in about 40 seconds. It predecessor, the Lexar P10, was one of the fastest flash drives available at the time of its release, as is the P20. Its impressive boost in performance coupled with modern capacity standards (available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB) makes the P20 line well equipped to serve media enthusiasts and professionals.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung SM951 PCIe M.2 SSD Review

The Samsung SM951 M.2 is a high-performance, low-powered PCIe SSD that is designed for use in both ultra-slim notebook PCs and workstations. The SM951 is very similar to the HP Z Turbo drive that we reviewed inside the HP Z620 in both specifications and performance, which offered twice the performance of standard high-performance SSDs all at a similar price tag. Since this impressive debut, consumers have been asking for this drive to hit the market, so the recent release of Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe SSD is a huge deal for many, including here at StorageReview. That being said, consumers will have to pay a premium if they want to reap the benefits of this impressive drive. To avoid confusion, we are reviewing the AHCI version of the SM951 not the soon to be released NVMe version.

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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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