Consumer Reviews
by Doug Crowthers

Toshiba Canvio Personal Cloud Hard Drive Review

The Toshiba Canvio Personal Cloud hard drive is a personal cloud server that doesn't require a monthly subscription and/or usage fees. It's an ideal solution for storing, sharing, and streaming your music, pictures, videos, and files between your desktop computers, laptops, tablets and or smartphones across your personal cloud. Unlike typical Cloud solutions, your content is stored on your own personal network and not a remote unknown location out on the Internet. Users gain peace of mind knowing that they can access and share files anywhere in the world at any time.

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by Lyle Smith

Icy Dock ToughArmor MB996SP-6SB 6-in-1 Adaptor Review

Icy Dock's ToughArmor MB996SP-6SB 6 x 2.5" SATA HDD Hot Swap Rack is a 6-in-1 adaptor that slots up to 6 9.5mm drives into a single 5.25" desktop computer bay. Creative professionals and high-performance enthusiasts are often looking for the best performance available in local dense storage arrays, with SSDs being a popular option for their superior read/write performance. Most desktop workstation cases however, weren't designed for 2.5" drives, nor were are they generally built with such density goals in mind and the need for multiple 5.25" bays is fading. The new Icy Dock 6-in-1 then is a creative way to give users an option to increase the number of small form factor drives in their systems with an easy to use rack and tray system.

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by Doug Crowthers

Icy Dock Blizzard 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure Review

The Icy Dock MB080U3S-1SB Blizzard is an easy to use tool-less 3.5" external enclosure that is designed for professional media, IT users and computer enthusiast, who require max cooling performance for their external devices. The enclosure supports an 80mm fan that offers three settings of Low, High and Auto, to go along with a direct air flow design, which allows for excellent cooling for your external drive. For added user awareness, the drive provides a LED notification, where the LED color will turn red when the hard drive temperature is over 50°C.

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by Josh Linden

Kingston Secure USB Flash Drives with ESET Review

Kingston’s DataTraveler 4000 and DataTraveler Vault Privacy USB flash drives are now being offered with enhanced security functionality as part of a new partnership announced today between Kingston, ESET, and ClevX. Securely managing portable digital storage is one of the growing challenges for organizations rolling out infrastructure to support mobile devices and workers while maintaining the security and confidentiality of corporate systems and information. ClevX's DriveSecurity brings additional value to the DT4000 and DTVP, which secure the contents of the drive with hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption in case the drive is lost or stolen. While our review features the DataTraveler Vault Privacy, the two devices are functionally identical other than with regard to FIPS certification, where the DataTraveler 4000 has been certified compliant for FIPS140-2 Level 2.

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by Kevin OBrien

OCZ Vector SSD Review

The OCZ Vector is a new client SSD designed to appeal to mainstream and high-performance enthusiasts. The Vector is designed around OCZ's Barefoot 3 controller and firmware, finally giving OCZ a near end-to-end in-house solution, which means improved reliability and support for consumers. This is OCZ though, and if we know anything about the company it's that they like to ensure their high-end SSDs have top-tier performance. The case is no different with the Vector, which brings burst sequential reads and writes of 550MB/s and 530MB/s to the table, along with random read and write IOPS of 100,000 and 95,000 respectively. OCZ calls this scale of performance the "fastest sustained computing experience there is;" a point that may be hard to argue in many cases as we dive into this review.

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by Tom Streeter

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt Review

The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt/USB portable HDD is a relatively inexpensive way of carrying a lot of data in a small package without having to worry too much about how you're going to connect it to your computer. It was previewed last summer and is clearly aimed at Mac notebook users with its styling, the fact that it's formatted with HFS+ by default and the inclusion of the Mac-centric Thunderbolt interface. The drive retails for $209, though street prices are closer to $180.

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by Doug Crowthers

Toshiba Canvio Desk 3TB Review

Over the summer, Toshiba released three new Canvio Desk external desktop hard drives that are available in capacities of 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB. Today, we have the opportunity to get our hands on and review the  3TB Canvio Desk Desktop external hard drive. The drive  is USB 3.0 compatible, which Toshiba was kind enough to include the USB 3.0 cable within the package. It comes formatted NTFS for Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8. Mac users aren't to be left out though, as the drive can be reformatted to work with Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard or Snow Leopard.

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by Tom Streeter

Western Digital My Book Essential 4TB Review

Western Digital has taken a "more is better" approach with its latest iteration of the WD My Book Essential HDD. The top model features a single 4TB drive and a USB3.0 interface to help speed up the process of filling it up. Like its predecessors in the Essentials line, the My Book is marketed primarily as a backup storage device. It ships formatted as NTFS and includes WD SmartWare backup software for Windows 7 and Windows 8 pre-installed. After a straightforward initial setup and backup session, the software will run in the background and create incremental backups transparently and with adjustable levels of version control. Mac users who want to take advantage of the USB3.0 interface shipping on current generations of Apple hardware can reformat the drive to HFS+ and use the drive as a Time Machine volume.

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by Doug Crowthers

Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive Review (1TB)

Last year we reviewed the USB 3.0 Lenovo ThinkPad that was available in capacities of 500 GB and 750 GB. Today, we are taking a look at their newer 1TB USB 3.0 enabled hard drive. The 1TB USB 3.0 drive is highlighted by the same security, as we saw last year - a ten digital number pad on the front of the enclosure and 256-bit AES XTS hardware encryption running in the background. The security offers an eight to sixteen digit password for one user ID and one administrator ID. To add to the ease of use of the drive, the drive requires no software drivers and it's built upon the legendary ThinkPad quality.

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by Kevin OBrien

Intel SSD 335 Series Review

The Intel SSD 335 Series is a progressive update of the SSD 330, which was released in April of this year. Aside from minor software changes, the only major iterative difference with the SSD 335 is the NAND. Where the SSD 330 used 25nm MLC NAND, the SSD 335 takes advantage of a die shrink, thus using Intel's 20nm MLC NAND. All other hardware components remain the same, including the SandForce SF-2281 controller and SATA 6Gb/s interface. From a performance perspective, the SSD 335 still offers burst throughput of 500MB/s read and 450MB/s write, but does get a boost in IOPS. The SSD 335 posts 4K random read IOPS of 52,000 and random write IOPS of 52,000, which is up from 22,500 and 33,000 respectively in the prior generation SSD 330. One other small change, the SSD 335 will only come in a 240GB capacity, where the SSD 330 came in 60GB, 120GB, 180GB and 240GB capacities.

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