Consumer Reviews
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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by Lyle Smith

Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 Review

The Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 is a four-bay reader and storage drive hub that uses both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity, allowing for compatibility with both Windows and Mac OS platforms. We previously review its predecessor, Professional Workflow Reader, and were very impressed with its multi-card performance speeds and sturdy build. With the new Lexar hub, users can pick and choose from a variety of combinations of readers and storage drives to suit specific use cases and specialized workflows. The biggest advantage of Lexar’s Professional Workflow line is that users will be able to save time due to its ability to transfer and back up data from multiple cards at once, which allows professionals to quickly edit and share their files. Not only does the Professional Workflow HR2 offer quite a bit of flexibility, Lexar indicates that the hub provides the performance needed for high-speed transfer and backup of RAW images, high-res photos, and HD, 3D, and 4K video. In addition, the HR2 is also backwards compatible with Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 using the same cables and connectors.

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by Lyle Smith

Netstor TurboBox Thunderbolt 2 Review (NA211TB-LD)

Previously, we reviewed the Netstor TurboBox (NA211TB-LD) equipped with a Thunderbolt 1 connection and found it to be a good companion for creative professionals who need high performance storage in a portable form factor. The TurboBox itself is a very slick looking storage solution with three PCIe slots and four 2.5" bays that can handle SSDs or SAS/SATA HDDs. It also has a 250W power supply with plenty of ventilation located on both the front and back of the high-end aluminum enclosure. We recently upgraded the device with Netstor’s Thunderbolt 2 upgrades kit, which essentially doubles its throughput capabilities and as a result will allow for an even more efficient workflow for users. The upgrade process itself was quick and seamless and consisted of simply switching out the PCIe boards.

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