Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

Intel SSD 730 Series Review

Today, Intel launched the SSD 730, a new enthusiast-grade SSD designed with the most intensive client workloads possible in mind. The 730 is highlighted by its specially qualified 3rd generation Intel controller, 20nm NAND, and optimized firmware. Intel has also stepped up its game with their new SSD by factory overclocking these components, pushing the limits of performance by increasing its controller speed by 50% as well as offering a 20% boost in NAND bus speed.

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by Adam Armstrong

CalDigit T3 Review

The Caldigit T3 is a 3-Bay Thunderbolt direct attached storage enclosure that is unique in that the device allows users to employ RAID 0 or RAID 1 with two drives, while also allowing JBOD for the third. This feature alone gives the T3 substantial versatility, which depending on use cases can get even better thanks to support for both 2.5" SSD drives and 3.5" HDD drives. The T3 has a maximum capacity of 12TB with HDDs and up to 3TB with SSDs across the three bays.

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by Corinne O'Brien

Kingston SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 Review

The Kingston SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 flash memory card comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage capacities.  The UHS-I U3 flash memory card is designed for use in D-SLR or D-SLM cameras and 4K camcorders, advertising impressive 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write speeds to smoothly capture new high-resolution video output standards. 

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by Lyle Smith

SanDisk Extreme PLUS microSDXC Memory Card Review

The SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card is designed for consumers looking for speed and performance on their smartphones, tablets, or cameras. Its UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and Class 10 designation, which is currently the fastest read-write performance class for SD cards, enables full 1080p HD video recording and playback ability as well as quick data transfer rates. SanDisk quotes up to 80MB/s for read activity and up to 50MB/s for write activity, which is right up with the other top-in-class cards in the microSD market. This seems to be the norm for SanDisk, as they constantly set themselves apart from their competition with quality memory cards they consistently release. SanDisk also states that their Extreme PLUS line are waterproof, x-ray proof, temperature proof, and shockproof.

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by Lyle Smith

Toshiba FlashAir II Wireless Review

The FlashAir II Wireless is Toshiba’s versatile SD Card with a built-in wireless LAN chip and antenna, allowing users to deliver  high-res images to their computer, smartphone or tablet wirelessly and without the need of an Internet connection. Toshiba’s updated FlashAir line now also boasts a Class 10 speed designation compared to its predecessor’s Class 6.

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie Fuel Review

The LaCie Fuel is the company's first mobile, wireless hard drive and is also the first product collaboration between Seagate and LaCie since Seagate acquired LaCie last year. Wireless drives--those that generate their own Wi-Fi networks so users can stream content to Macs or iOS devices--have been around for a little while now. Seagate's own Wireless Plus has seen two generations in this space. LaCie, as they are oft to do, has taken this concept a bit further by taking the design forward and making Apple-centric enhancements. 

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by Chris Looney

OCZ Vertex 460 SSD Review

Fresh from their recently-announced bankruptcy and acquisition by Toshiba, OCZ's newest consumer-grade SSD makes a bold statement during the company's important transition phase, aiming to provide a value-minded SSD solution while simultaneously catering to the enthusiast with high performance needs. The OCZ Storage Solutions Vertex 460 is a mainstream SSD that takes advantage of the new partnership by marrying OCZ's Barefoot 3 M10 controller with Toshiba's 19nm MLC NAND technology, providing a product that benefits from quality engineering and the lower operational costs that stem from the work of a strong collaborative team. This is a major boon for OCZ, both in terms of finance and technology, and the Vertex 460 can be rightly considered a positive indication of things to come from the company.

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by Adam Armstrong

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD Review

The Samsung 840 EVO is an mSATA SSD that is the first to hit the 1TB capacity point. Though it has a compact mSATA form factor, roughly a quarter of the size of a standard 2.5” SSD, it packs the performance punch of its larger siblings. Ultra-thin laptops have been limited in their storage capacity up until now. Taking advantage of Samsung’s advances in flash memory, the 840 EVO mSATA SSD will take portable computing capacity and speeds in ultra-thin computers that was previously unattainable. To get to the 1TB capacity point, Samsung uses a total of four flash memory packages, each having 16 dense layers of 128Gb TLC chips.

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by Chris Looney

WD My Cloud EX4 Review

The WD My Cloud EX4 is a four-bay NAS designed for power users and small offices that builds on WD's new My Cloud platform. With a full array of applications and easy-setup design, the My Cloud EX4 offers a feature-rich, stable, and secure network storage solution of up to 16TB. Building on the design philosophy of its smaller sister, the EX4 retains the My Cloud's ease of use while offering an expansion of up to 4 total bays, a dual power supply, and additional data management features. WD aims to make the EX4 a performer as well, with a 2.0GHz processor, 512MB onboard memory, and dual Ethernet ports (which provide link aggregation, allowing for transfer increase and redundancy).

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 2TB Review

The LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt is designed to give consumers the ultimate physical protection of their data against all kinds of threats. Not only is the Rugged beast of a device, it is arguably is one of the more affordable drives of its class and even includes a standard USB 3.0 cable as well as a Thunderbolt cable. The Rugged USB 3.0 2TB is also currently the highest capacity bus–powered storage solution on the market that uses Thunderbolt technology; the single connected cable can draw enough juice to power the drive from the host computer. The new 2TB model is essentially the same as its lower-capacity brethren performance-wise, quoting speeds of 110MB/s, while LaCie offers SSD models for those who need a higher transfer rate.

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