Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

Synology DiskStation DS216j Review

Released in March of this year, the Synology DiskStation DS216j is touted as the more affordable model of the DS216 line (which includes the DS216play and DS216se). Even though this is considered a more budget-oriented model, this 2-bay DiskStation still features a dual-core CPU with a hardware encryption engine, the latter which helps diverts encryption calculation tasks away from the main CPU for optimized efficiency. Synology has specifically designed the DS216j for home users with looking for an effective storage solution that focuses on multimedia streaming as well as seamless file management and synchronization.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Crucial MX300 SSD Review

As the first Crucial product leveraging Micron's new 3D TLC NAND, the MX300 SSD promises to bring single-level cell endurance and triple-level cell density and value to consumers. The MX300 is currently available in a 750GB 2.5-inch form factor, with more models slated for release later in 2016 (including more capacity options and M.2 form factors). Crucial reports transfer speeds of 530MB/s read and 510MB/s write as well as an endurance rating of 220 TBW.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Seagate Mobile HDD Review

Seagate’s new Mobile HDD provides 2TB of storage in a 7mm form factor. During a time when SSD innovation leads the market for this form factor, this drive holds unique appeal for users who want to upgrade their laptop storage without switching over. Although SSDs indisputably outperform HDDs, the Mobile HDD allows users to load up to 2TB of storage into their laptop at a fraction of the cost of an SSD.

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by Lyle Smith

Dell 23 Monitor (S2317HJ) Review

Designed to improve the overall home and workspace experience, the Dell 23 Monitor (S2317HJ) features a full HD screen with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz. The nicely designed S2317HJ comes equipped with VGA, HDMI, audio line-in, and audio line-out ports for the usual connectivity options, and offers both wireless Qi and PMA charging. The S2317HJ also has built-in dual 3W integrated speakers for some pretty decent audio, and boasts a 23-inch 178°/178° ultra-wide viewing angle with full-tilt capabilities. This allows users to easily maneuver the screen in all kinds of different positions and angles, which is ideal for those who work in places where their monitor might be situated in an unconventional location.

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by Lyle Smith

Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Over the past few years, NVMe drives have been gradually increasing their place in the storage market. The main reason for this is how drastically they improve the storage I/O path, which can significantly improve overall system performance. The Toshiba OCZ RD400 is OCZ’s first NVMe SSD targeting the consumer demographic, specifically enthusiasts and gamers. Casting a wider net, the RD400 also includes an M.2 PCIe adapter for those desktop PCs that do not have an M.2 slot.

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by Chris Thomas

SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable SSD Review (480GB)

Any photographer can tell you: when it comes to storage, speed is king. Bringing back the Extreme 500’s successful design, SanDisk updated its Extreme series portable solid-state drive with the new 510 model. Able to withstand far more physical abuse than a portable HDD, the Extreme 510 will appeal to photographers and videographers of all stripes. While this particular drive won’t be adequately suited to stand in for a larger-capacity external storage device for archival purposes, the 480GB storage and notably improved transfer speeds will be more than enough for just about any on-location professional shoot.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Synology DiskStation DS416slim Review

The 4-bay DS416slim was designed to serve home users or professionals in need of a compact and energy-efficient NAS. Although the DS416slim is part of Synology's J Series, which is their budget line, it includes everything that a personal user or small business would need. Unlike most of Synology's DiskStation models, the DS416slim uses 2.5" drives, which is key to its compact size. However this comes with capacity limitations versus models that leverage 3.5" drives.

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by Lyle Smith

Plextor M7V Series SSD Review

Available in both 2.5 inch and M.2 form factors, the release of the Plextor M7V Series SSD marks the company’s first venture into TLC NAND. Traditionally, this type of NAND is featured in budget drives, as it is less expensive than other NAND technology and is thus making it much more affordable for consumers. TLC comes with technical limitations, however, as endurance and performance are much lower than higher-class MLC-based SSDs. Plextor boldly claims that the M7V Series will change that, indicating it exceeds the current TLC SSD's key technical limits and has the ability to reach a P/E cycle of up to 2,000 times.

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by Tucker Mindrum

SanDisk X400 SSD Review

The X400 SSD release establishes SanDisk as one of the only companies currently offering 1TB of storage in a single-sided M.2 card. Although the X400 also comes in a 2.5" 7mm-height form factor (which is the focus of our review), the M.2 configuration is the main selling point of this line of SSDs. Installing a 1TB M.2 X400 card will allow users to get the most out of their ultra-thin notebooks in terms of storage, without sacrificing performance or battery life. The X400 makes use of SanDisk's nCache 2.0 technology, which leverages multi-tiered architecture and provides improved performance during taxing operations like sustained-sequential writing. SanDisk's 2nd generation TLC flash node works to maximize reliability and energy efficiency so that the X400 uses minimal power, making it ideal for use in a mobile setting.

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by Lyle Smith

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim Review

Comprised of a variety of different sizes and designs, the Seagate Backup Plus family is the company’s line of portable storage solutions focused on capacity, performance, and portability. The Ultra Slim was announced in January of this year and touted as one the thinnest 2TB portable hard drives on the market. Using the company's latest 7mm 2.5” HDD technology, the Ultra Slim follows the Backup Plus Slim Drive, offering the same generous 2TB in storage capacity but in an even thinner form factor at just 9.6mm in overall thickness.

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