Consumer Reviews
by Josh Shaman

OWC Envoy Pro EX Review

The OWC Envoy Pro EX is a USB 3.0 bus-powered portable storage device that offers capacities up to 480GB and is pre-formatted and primarily designed for Apple systems, though PC users can reformat and use the drive as well. The OWC Envoy Pro is the bare unit, while the EX models add SSD storage using OWC's Aura 6G SSDs. OWC's intent when they engineered the Envoy Pro EX was to create storage for the MacBook family that is ultra-portable, high-performance and protected from potential user-damage. The Envoy Pro EX meets those criteria: it can easily fit in a pocket, it offers SSD memory for superior speed compared to HDD-based portable drives, and in using SSD the device has no moving parts and is safe from physical damage in its anodized aluminum body.

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by Josh Shaman

WD My Passport Ultra Review

The WD My Passport Ultra, announced today, is a USB 3.0 portable storage device with capacities from 500GB up to 2TB that features local and cloud backups. The My Passport Ultra includes software for automatic backups to the host system or to the My Passport Ultra as well as the ability to use Dropbox to backup to the cloud. The Ultra, WD's latest My Passport iteration, also enables users to setup password protection and hardware encryption to keep data stored on the device secure from unauthorized access. Cosmetically-focused, the WD My Passport Ultra is available in four different colors (titanium, red, blue and black).

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by Josh Shaman

Kingston MobileLite Wireless Review

The Kingston MobileLite Wireless is the company's latest portable wireless storage device that ships without embedded storage and instead enables users to use memory cards (SD/SDHC/SDXC and microSD with included adapter) or USB flash drives to increase storage for tablets, phones and other mobile devices. MobileLite Wireless provides a battery life of up to 5 hours for playback and viewing files, and it conveniently charges over USB. The 5-hour life is 25% more than on the previous generation Wi-Drive portable wireless flash drive that Kingston continues to offer in 64GB and 128GB capacities. Uniquely, the MobileLite Wireless also offers the ability to serve as an emergency charger for mobile devices such as phones.

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by Josh Shaman

Newer Technology miniStack MAX Review

Newer Technology's miniStack MAX functions as an external storage device, optical drive, SD media card reader and USB hub simultaneously while matching the footprint and taking styling cues from the Mac Mini. This design makes it a great companion to the Mac Mini or any desktop or notebook. The miniStack MAX interfaces over USB 3.0, two Firewire 800 ports or an eSATA connection. The machine also features a USB hub with a total of three USB 3.0 ports, two of which have been designed to charge less power-hungry devices while one offers 2.1Amp power to charge tablets and other devices. The miniStack MAX is designed for backup and general storage as well as the needs of creative professionals.

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate 600 SSD Review

The Seagate 600 SSD is a performance-focused 2.5-inch MLC NAND client SSD in z-Height 5mm and 7mm form factors with a capacity up to 480GB that is primarily designed as an upgrade for laptop users who are gamers, enthusiasts or road warriors or simply need the drive for read-intensive applications. Additionally, as an SSD with no moving parts, there is less of a disk failure risk if users accidentally drop their laptop. Primarily though, Seagate developed the 600 SSD with performance focused on reducing wait times; its boot speed and load times are 50% faster than traditional HDDs. As far as endurance goes, the Seagate 600 SSD offers up to 40GB of data written per day for a maximum of 72TB written over its 3-year warranty period.

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by Josh Shaman

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Review

The PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD is a portable storage device compatible with all Apple iPods, iPads and iPhones using the included 30-pin connector and Lightning to 30-pin adapter that enable users to expand the capacity of their iOS devices by 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. Those capacity steps optimize the i-FlashDrive HD for users who require portable storage, those with existing devices who need more capacity but aren't quite ready to shell out for an upgrade, and for those who simply need more capacity than Apple products natively feature. Enhancing its strengths, the i-FlashDrive HD is the only two-way storage device between iOS devices and Mac/PC utilizing dual connectors.

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by Josh Shaman

Toshiba Canvio Connect 750GB Review

The Toshiba Canvio Connect is a lifestyle portable storage device that interfaces over USB 3.0 and has capacity up to 2TB while simultaneously offering significant backup tools and remote access to digital content. The Canvio Connect is Toshiba's latest addition to the Canvio line of drives which are designed for everyday media and file storage applications. It replaces the existing the Canvio USB 3.0 in the series which falls in the middle by offering backups not found with the Basics model, but not the high-end automatic backups found in the company's highest-end portable drive. The Canvio Connect features several enhancements over the previous generation. While the existing model tops off at 1.5TB, the new Connect can hit 2TB. Additionally, Toshiba has now integrated the USB interface onto the circuit board, replacing the bridge connector and thus shortening the Canvio Connect's length by a third. 

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by Brian Beeler

WD Blue UltraSlim 500GB Review (WD5000MPCK)

The WD Blue UltraSlim blends affordability with capacity and is WD's latest effort at a mainstream hard drive designed for OEMs. This WD message has long been utilized by the Blue line of hard drives, but this time WD has pushed the boundaries even further, or perhaps you could say contracted those boundaries by releasing the drive in an amazingly thin 5mm body and 2.5" form factor. Just how thin is a 5mm hard drive? About half as thick as a standard 9.5mm form factor and thinner than three SD cards. An engineering feat for sure, UltraSlim 500GB contains just a single platter that spins at 5400 RPM and connects via the diminutive SFF-8784 edge connector and SATA 6Gb/s interface. The drive isn't just thin for thinness sake; OEMs are demanding thinner hard drives for their increasingly skinny portable computing designs and on the enterprise side, embedded solutions have the same requirement. Hardware designs are slimming down and manufacturers either don't want to give up the capacity hard drives offer or don't want or need to take on the expense profile of SSDs.

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by Josh Shaman

Icy Dock 3.5" SATA Dual Bay RAID Enclosure Review (MB662U3-2S)

The Icy Dock 3.5" SATA Dual Bay RAID Enclosure is the newest offering in the ICYRAID line, and it gives users the ability to externally store and cool two 3.5" HDD's. Much like the rest of the Icy Dock line which has garnered an impressive reputation for its hard disk enclosures and its removable storage kits, this model has a sturdy exterior. Designed for photographers, video and audio professionals and any users looking to purchase an enclosure as a backup storage solution, this model has premium features accentuated by demand for RAID customization options and USB 3.0 connectivity.

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by Doug Crowthers

Corsair Obsidian Series 900D Case Review

Corsair's Obsidian Series 900D Super Tower is the manufacturer's most robust, high-end case with ten expansion slots, up to fifteen internal 3.5" drive bays, support for dual bottom-mounted power-supplies, and loads of other features for a wide-range of applications. The 900D has vaulted to the top spot as Corsair's most premium case, adding to the well-established Corsair Obsidian Series 800D. This rig is for serious builders with big projects; whether users want to build an ultimate dream PC, add state-of-the-art liquid cooling, create a monster file server, or design a workstation capable of the most challenging design tasks, the 900D provides plenty of configurable space.

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