So another Saturday is here and it’s time for the news once again. Things are picking up so we’ve got a lot of stuff coming for review, small and large. Lots of stuff from CES of course.
The Intel 310 80GB MiniPCIe SSD COMPLETE Review @ The SSD Review
Our featured picture does a great job of portraying how truly small Intels new 310 Series 80GB SSD really is.
It offers the punch of the X-25m in 1/8th of the size and Intel is gambling that this is going to add a whole new dimension to notebook configurations. First up to bat with the 310 will be new Lenovo Thinkpads destined for market in 2011 but don’t think other oems aren’t far behind.
USB 3.0 is the most sorely needed peripheral interface upgrade in recent memory. Cheap notebook drives can make good use of the extra bandwidth, and solid-state drives are even faster. Today, we’re taking a quick look at Kingston’s HyperX Max USB 3.0 SSD.
Corsair Vengeance 1600 MHz CL9 12 GB DDR3
Brief: Corsair has introduced their new line of memory called Vengeance. Available in high capacity kits up to 16 GB we got a hold of the triple-channel one with 4x 3 GB modules. That said we push the trio to the max and see if it comes back with a vengeance or fizzles into thin air quietly.
Corsair Force Series F180 180GB SSD Review at Overclockers Online
Quote: Picking a good hard drive is not an easy task. Everyone likes to focus on the fact that the CPU, Motherboard and RAM and make up the heart of the computer. I would argue that your hard drive is just as important if not more important. If you’re motherboard dies you can buy a new one and be on your way again for less than a hundred bucks. If you’re hard drive dies you may forever lose those precious memories.
ioSafe SoloPRO USB 3.0 1TB Disaster Proof External Hard Drive Review
One of the biggest reasons why you may choose to have an external hard drive is so that you can make backup copies of all your critical data. This gives you peace of mind in case the hard drive in your primary computer happens to crash. How, then, can you get peace of mind if your home or office happen to catch on fire?
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 64GB Review @ XSReviews
Review Link: http://www.xsreviews.co.uk/reviews/drives/kingston-hyperx-max-30-64gb/
Quote: "While little pen/flash drives have increased in capacity in recent years, those that want a bit more storage space are still forced with going with portable hard drives, or SSDs. However, if you don’t want to utilise a drive of your own, or sort out hard drive cages or covers, the pre-built option is also available. Today we look at such a device from Kingston, the HyperX 64GB Max 3.0 device that utilises USB 3 technology to give it incredibly quick transfer rates with a reasonable capacity behind it too. "
Zalman N Series SandForce 128GB Solid State Drive
QUOTE: "It is no secret that solid state drives are very profitable and every company is looking to take a slice of the green pie. The latest addition to the growing number of companies offering SSDs is Zalman. Zalman, a company best known for their high performance CPU heat sink coolers and high quality PC cases, might seem to be late for the party, but their entry comes at a time when the winners have been established and little chance of faultier was possible.
Zalman’s highest performing SSD, the N Series, is controlled by a SandForce SF-1200 controller, the highest performance SATA 3G controller on the market and our pick for any SSD with less than 256GB capacity. The SF-1200 is a beast of a controller and it is aging very gracefully. New firmware from SandForce and their partners has given the highest rated even better performance; something we will look at today since the new N Series uses the latest firmware offering."
Aten IC320U PCIe Card.
Quote: "USB 3.0 specification was released in year 2008 but end products are only being shipped since Jan 2010; either in a small quantity or for showcase purpose. Most of the new laptops and desktops are being shipped with USB 3.0 but no worries if you are still having old machince as Aten IC320U is a PCIe card that allows you to enjoy the blazing speed; 10x faster than USB 2.0 without emptying your pocket."
Plextor PX-B120U @ LanOC Reviews
DESCRIPTION: With internal Blu-Ray players starting to become normal and prices becoming very reasonable it’s no surprise that Plextor would look at other options to continue to grow their product line. They have had an external Blu-Ray drive for some time, but it would be hard to call it portable. With the introduction of the PX-B120U they could finally call their external Blu-Ray drive portable. Just like the PX-610U it doesn’t require external power making it much easier to take with you on the go. Let’s take a look and see if the PX-B120U is as portable as it looks.
ARTICLE URL: http://lanoc.org/review/hardware/pc-hardware/4594-plextor-px-b120u
With the release of the stunning new Sandybridge platform from Intel, memory manufacturers are releasing kits designed specifically to maximise system performance. Today we look at a stunning new 4GB kit from GSKILL which operates at 2133mhz while maintaining the tightest possible timings.
In the past, getting memory close to 2,000mhz usually meant that timings needed to be relaxed for total stability, but not any longer. This G SKILL Ripjaws F3-17066 CL7D kit is sold to operate at 2,133mhz at tight timings of 7-10-7.
OCZ DDR3 PC3-17000 Gold XTE 4GB Kit
Quote:OCZ Technology has done wonders for the RAM industry and has raised the bar over the past few years in terms of memory performance, aesthetics and pricing. The Gold XTE series is their "mainstream high-end" kit that offers some pretty incredible speeds with looser timings in order to keep it affordable. Running memory at speeds of up to 2.2GHz is pretty impressive and it stayed rock-solid at 2200MHz where it would fail at 2233 if we edged up the bus another single MHz. . .
Audio / Video:
‘Harman Kardon MS 100 Audio System Review’
The Full Article can be viewed at http://tbreak.com/tech/2011/01/harman-kardon-ms-100-audio-system-review/
Corsair SP2500 2.1 232W Audio Speaker Kit Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1492/1/
"When the Corsair SP2500 2.1 PC speaker system showed up in the test lab we hooked it up and were shocked to hear our music. We were able to hear details in the audio that we weren’t able to make out on our old speaker system. The satellite speakers on the SP2500 are amazing and the midrange audio is crystal clear. Most audiophiles talk about sound separation and having bass that overpowers vocals and we finally get what they were talking about. The Logitech Z-5300 system that we were running appears to have had greatly exaggerated bass and as a result we were actually missing out on the clarity of our audio tracks…"
Hauppauge Colossus HD Capture Card Q&A @MissingRemote
DESCRIPTION: I currently have a prototype Hauppauge Colossus HD PVR in my development HTPC and wanted to start a Q\A thread here at Missing Remote. Note, I am using a prototype board so my experience may vary slightly from the production boards but not significantly. So far it has been stable. I am using two boards, one with digital audio and the other with stereo audio to compare and track potential stability differences. There are four inputs. 1- HDMI; 2- A dongle that provides either component video + analog audio or composite video + analog audio; 3- TOSLINK SPDIF (digital optical) input; 4- IR receiver (shared with the IR blaster).
ARTICLE URL: http://www.missingremote.com/hauppauge-colossus-qa
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9780 and would love a link.
Snippet: “If you’re a fan of the traditional BlackBerry then the Bold 9780 is a real step forward. The core mobile e-mail function remains intact and the new Universal Search tool on its own is almost worth the upgrade to the new OS. Regular Internet users will also like the much improved Web browser. One word of note, however. If you’ve had trouble typing on the small BlackBerry QWERTY keyboards in the past, you may find this one similarly tricky to its predecessors.”
Video Frame Rates and Display Refresh Rates for Beginners Guide @MissingRemote.com
DESCRIPTION: We hope you’ve been enjoying our series of Beginner’s Guides for HTPC and Home Theater. As part of the series, we’ve previously discussed video resolutions and how video information is displayed on a screen for a frame of video in our guide, Video Resolutions for Beginners. What we didn’t delve into much was the rate at which video frames are captured, or, in other words, the video frame rate. This guide will cover the basics of frame rates and how displays deal with the frame rates. We’ll try to cut through the marketing buzzwords like 120Hz, 240Hz, 600Hz sub-field drive, etc. so that you can make a more informed decision when purchasing your next display and how to insure an optimal viewing experience.
ARTICLE URL: http://www.missingremote.com/guide/video-frame-rates-and-display-refresh-rates-beginners
MSI have a wide range of laptops for the enthusiast user and today we are looking at the rather sexy multimedia based CX623, complete with Core i5 460m, LED screen and nVidia 310M.
In a perfect world, everyone would be equipped with a £3,000 laptop, but sadly in the real world, budgets are much tighter – especially with the state of the economy in 2011. The system today will appeal to a wide demographic as MSI are able to load the CX623 with performance hardware but hold the price at £619.99.
OCIA.net has posted their review of the Mivizu Croc Leather iPad Folio.
"Mivizu offers two different versions of this croc folio. The one we have here today is the “imitation” croc skin which consists of real leather in a crocodile skin pattern. If you are the type that likes to eat diamonds on your fish, however, Mivizu also sells a real crocodile skin folio (identical to the imitation case in form, just with real skin) for a cool $7,000. No, that isn’t a typo."
Direct Link: http://www.ocia.net/reviews/mivizucroc/page1.shtml
Targus XL Laptop Backpack:
English link: http://www.rbmods.com/content/30781/features.aspx
Swedish link: http://www.rbmods.se/content/15442/specifikationer.aspx
Quote: Targus is well known for their laptop bags, today we are taking a look at one of their laptop backpack. We recieved a sample of their TCB001EU or XL backpack as it also seems to be called.
Quote: We personally insist that all forms of UAC are disabled as we believe it’s more hassle than it’s worth and instead a good virus scanner and firewall should be more than sufficient at protecting your system from malware and the like.
2011 Super Bowl XLV: Tech guide
"Whether you’ve participated in fantasy leagues, filled in brackets, and laid a week’s salary on your team, or just plan to make snarky comments about the commercials to your friends on Twitter, watching the Super Bowl come February 6 is a necessity. But no mortal should have to soldier through it perched on an La-Z-Boy plastered in cat hair, with a wooden spool for a tablet, picking it up through bunny ears on a 1987 Trinitron. Which is exactly why we’ve put together a gear list to turn your scrappy shag-carpet man cave into the place to watch the game. Here are some great ideas for transforming your space into your own private box at the stadium."
Link to the article: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gadgets/2011-super-bowl-xlv-tech-guide/
Announcing the “Crucial.com Ultimate Upgrade Giveaway” – where it’s easy to enter to WIN one of two massive computer memory upgrades, including a 256GB Crucial® RealSSDTM C300 2.5” with Data Transfer Kit, up to a $250 USD (£175 GBP or 200 Euros) custom Crucial RAM upgrade, and a 16GB Crucial Gizmo!TM USB flash drive.
Quote: eTeknix are unstoppable at the moment, with competitions galore. This time we have teamed up with our friends at Xigmatek to offer you a chance to win a Xigmatek HDT-S963 CPU Cooler.
Quote: Now Windows wouldn’t be Windows if it didn’t play some nasty tricks on you, and if you (like me) do suffer with Obsessive-compulsive disorder you will honestly feel as if Microsoft are playing a dirty game with you. Especially when they decide to give your drives and devices that require drive letters; randomly picked ones and in various orders.
SNIP: Considering the latest 3D features and better image quality that new HDTVs offer, many consumers seem to look for a nice compact solution allowing them to watch their Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray 3D videos while also having the functions of a Desktop PC. The ZOTAC ZBOXHD-ID34BR-U is a small form factor All-in-One Mini-PC or HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer) that allows users to easily play Blu-Ray videos with the included Cyberlink PowerDVD software. This PC is designed to be very simple and easy to use: the owner need only plug in their wireless keyboard and mouse, and the ZOTAC ZBOX to the HDMI port on the TV. For different audio inputs, the user also has the option to use a standard headphone jack or a Digital Optical Output S/PDIF-Out connector. When a Blu-Ray disk is inserted into the PC, PowerDVD will automatically launch and start loading the movie. Within several seconds of loading the Blu-Ray disk into the ZOTAC ZBOXHD-ID34BR-U, the movie starts playing without any lags.
The Fast Enough Computer (Editorial) @ Benchmark Reviews
DESCRIPTION: While I have not yet and may never recover from my addiction to having the Biggest Fastest Most Expensive computer parts I can afford, the experience I’ve gained writing for this website over the past year or so has hammered home the lesson that most of the time, I’m just wasting my money. And you probably are, too.