Consumer Reviews
by Ed Hardy

Synology DiskStation DS216play Review

One option for those looking for network-attached storage (NAS) to store and stream up to 16 terabytes of video is the DiskStation DS216play from Synology. This 2-bay NAS can handle playing 4K video across a local network as well transcoding it so it can be streamed to a range of devices, including tablets and phones. Synology's new offering is built around an 1.5 GHz dual-core STM STiH412 Monaco chip. This is the source of the H.265 (HEVC) hardware-based transcoding, but only in Synology's own Video Station app. At this time, Plex isn't supported. A floating point unit helps speed up thumbnail generation.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

In the Lab: Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor (UP2715K)

The Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K (UP2715K) is touted as the industry’s first 5K monitor designed for media professionals or others looking for an Ultra High Definition monitor. Coupled with high-quality, built-in speakers by Harman Kardon, Dell’s new monitor features 14.7 million pixels at an optimal native resolution of 5120 x 2880 (seven times greater than a 1080p monitor), which allows it to boast some serious color definition: both precise and accurate.

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by Adam Armstrong

NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 Review

The NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 (RN212) is a NAS aimed at home users and small offices. The NAS has two bays and a maximum capacity of 12TB, populating both bays with 6TB drives. The NAS uses a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM Cortex processor that allows them to deliver real-time 1080p high-definition video transcoding, according to NETGEAR few other consumer NAS can claim real-time HD transcoding. NETGEAR goes on to say that this NAS, along with its 4-bay model (RN214), are the first ARM-based designs to support this transcoding feature in a cost-effective solution.

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DS216se Review

The Synology DiskStation DS216se is Synology’s latest affordable 2-bay NAS aimed at small home office and home users. The DS216se is ideal for users looking for a budget-friendly method of setting up a private cloud, a full-featured server, or a media server. The DS216se uses Synology’s award winning DSM as an operating system. Though this is a lower-cost and “se” or single-edition option, its still comes will all of the features that DSM has to offer.

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DS416 Review

The Synology DiskStation DS416 is its newest 4-bay NAS aimed at small to medium businesses or home users that need a high performing, higher capacity storage server or private cloud. The DS416 comes with an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.4GHz, 32-bit processor and 1GB DDR3 giving claimed average speeds of 220MB/s read and 140MB/s write. Synology further claims that the DS416 can also transfer encrypted files at speeds of 146MB/s read and 65MB/s write. As with all of Synology’s DiskStation and RackStation devices, the DS416 has the award-winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) as its operating system.

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by Tucker Mindrum

WD My Cloud OS 3 Review

WD has revamped its web and mobile interface for all My Cloud devices with My Cloud OS 3. They seem to have modeled this new interface after some of the other successful interfaces, pursuing a simplistic and functional design with some new features. This OS still provides remote access to content stored on My Cloud units, but WD has made it much easier to share or sync files, and administrative functions are more streamlined.

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by Lyle Smith

Crucial BX200 SSD Review

Crucial has released their newest addition to their economy line of drives with the BX200 SSD, Micron’s first TLC-based solid-state drive. Like their BX100 before it, the BX200 is firmly targeted toward budget-minded consumers and those looking to upgrade their hard disk-based system to solid state technology. There are significant benefits and performance gains when leveraging SSDs; even with the more budget-friendly drives. As such, the BX200 allows users to experience speedy load times with their applications, system boot ups that occur almost instantly, and improve the overall performance to every day applications. Coupling its equipped Silicon Motion SM2256 Controller, 4-channels of Micron NAND flash and custom firmware, the BX200 also offers ultra-low power consumption.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 950 PRO M.2 SSD Review

It’s always exciting when Samsung releases a new solid-state product, as they have been the clear market leader over the past few years in price-per-performance; each new addition to their portfolio has been an impressive and worthwhile upgrade. That being said, the Samsung 950 Pro M.2 line has finally hit the market, which is a tiny SSD designed to meet the demands of high-performance consumer and professionals. Because of its small M.2 form factor, the Samsung 950 Pro satisfies a plethora of uses cases where space is an issue, such as with ultra-slim notebooks and M.2 compatible workstation PC users that want to leverage Samsung’s pedigree in storage endurance, reliability and energy efficiency, not to mention performance. However, perhaps the most significant draw to this new drive is the company's focus on giving their customers enterprise durability in the price range of a consumer-grade SSD.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Game Drive For Xbox Review

Seagate recently announced a 2TB external HDD designed specifically for Xbox consoles, including both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. The drive is fairly small with Xbox branding and is bus powered through its USB 3.0 cord. The drive comes with 4 times the capacity of the initial Xbox One (and still twice the capacity of the currently offered console) and 8 times the capacity of the Xbox 360 Elite. The drive is designed to automatically work with Xbox consoles; there is no need to do anything other than plug it in and it will automatically set itself up.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung Bar USB 3.0 Drive Review (MUF-64BA)

The Samsung USB 3.0 Bar (or MUF) compact flash drive is designed for transferring files between PCs and Notebooks. Samsung new slate of premium USB drives has put a lot of focus into their design, and the Bar is certainly no exception. It’s a really one of the nicest looking devices we have seen and would make a perfect storage companion to the design-savvy consumer.

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