Consumer Reviews
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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by Josh Shaman

Crucial M500 SSD Review

The Crucial M500 (and the OEM-tailored Micron M500) are a new mainstream SSD family that offers a SATA 6Gb/s interface, Marvell controller, 7mm drive height and Micron's latest 20nm MLC NAND. Along with the top-level hardware components, the Crucial M500 comes with Micron's firmware which is made in-house. The M500 builds on a longstanding heritage of reliability and compatibility - Micron's calling cards with both their consumer and enterprise SSDs. What makes the M500 family unique though isn't blazing burst speeds; this time the story is more about price and capacity. The M500 is the first mainstream SSD that offers a drive at the near terabyte capacity, 960GB. The suggested MSRP is under $600 as well, which while still expensive, presents the market with the first viable opportunity from a trusted brand to go SSD-only. What's more, this is all within a 7mm drive body, which makes the M500 a solid fit for just about any client computing platform.

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by Doug Crowthers

Intel SSD 525 mSATA Review

Intel's SSD 525 mSATA drives are the latest iteration in the line and utilize 25nm MLC NAND memory with LSI SandForce SF-2281 controllers. According to Intel, SSD 525 drives can reach up to 50,000 IOPS random read and 80,000 IOPS random write, while sequential read performance runs up to 550 MB/s with sequential writes of 520 MB/s. The SSD 525 series measures 50.8mm x 29.85mm x 3.7mm, weighs 10 grams, and includes a PCIe mini-connector intended to support applications from netbooks, thin-and-light systems, mini and sub-notebooks, all-in-one computers, and embedded platforms. The SSD 525 Series offers additional key features such as: Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128-bit Encryption, End-to-End Data Protection, and Data Compression.

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by Josh Shaman

Corsair Voyager Air 1TB Review

Corsair's Voyager Air is an portable storage device with capacities of 500GB and 1TB designed to dramatically increase smartphone and tablet media capabilities by producing and broadcasting its own wireless network. A novel feature that Corsair brings to the market is an Ethernet port that enables the Voyager Air to act as a NAS when plugged into a router. This feature, not found on similar devices, gives Corsair a significant differentiator in a market that has very fine degrees of separation. When on the go, the Voyager Air has a battery life of up to 7 hours for continuous video streaming and a range extending up to 90 feet. Additionally, Voyager Air can support streaming up to 5 HD movies to 5 devices at one time.

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