Apple Releases New 9.7 inch iPad Pro

While we were expecting a new iPad to be revealed at Apple’s event, the new iPad Pro was not what we expected. Coming in at 9.7 inches, the new tablet will supplement the current 12.9-inch model. As an iPad Pro, the new release combines some of the features of the new iPad series with the slimness and form factor of traditional iPads.

At 0.24 inches, it is as thin as the iPad Air 2 and has pretty much the same dimensions, sporting a similar 9.7-inch, 2048×1536 resolution screen. The screen is an improved True Tone model though and boasts a 25% increase in maximum brightness as well. Compared to the old iPad Pro, the new release has the same Apple Pencil support and 4 speaker array. The processor remains the same with the A9X.

In terms of upgrades, the most notable are the cameras which get bumped to 12MP for the rear with 4K video recording while the front FaceTime camera goes up to 5MP with a Retina-display flash. Storage options are also expanded with a 256GB option, a move the 12.9-inch model also mirrors. Of course, a 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard and a host of Lightning accessories are available. Pricing comes from $599 for the 32GB model up to $899 for the 256GB one. Prices for the rest of the entire iPad lineup will be falling as well.

Kingston SDA3 256GB SDXC UHS-I U3 Memory Card Review

Introduction


SD memory cards are probably the most commonly found among our readers and today I’m testing Kingston’s SDA3 256GB SHXC memory card to see how well it performs. It is already an impressive card just by looking at the capacity, but it also brings a performance to match making it perfect for burst photo shooting as well as 4K UHD video recordings.

Kingston’s SDXC UHS-I U3 Flash card allows you to move to faster performance, do a better job, and do it faster. The card is rated for speeds up to 90MB/s while reading and 80MB/s while writing. That is a UHS-I Class 3 performance and it is 9x faster than a standard Class 10 SD card that quite a few people still use these days. It meets the SD Association’s latest specification release, UHS-I U3 (Ultra High-Speed Bus, Speed Class 3), which guarantees a performance of at least 30MB/s and enough bandwidth to record and playback 4K2K video without interruption. The Kingston SDA3 clearly passes those performance specifications with plenty to spare.

Kingston’s SDA3 memory card is also a very rugged card that can withstand quite a bit. The SDA3 is waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof, vibration proof, and airport x-ray protected. It has an operating temperature rating from minus 25 to plus 85 degrees Celcius and a storage temperature rating all the way down to minus 40 degrees Celcius. The waterproofing isn’t for deep diving, but it can still withstand to be submerged in up to 1-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes. The card has also passed MIL-STD-883H, METHOD 2002.5 military standard test method for shock and vibrations.

The Kingston SDA3 is fast enough to capture quality videos in Full HD (1080p), Ultra HD (2160p), 3D and 4K2K resolutions as well as capture high megapixel images in burst shot mode. Users can capture cinema-quality videos on high-performance cameras such as Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR), Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (D-SLM), camcorders and video cameras. It is ideal for television recordings as well as live broadcasts, plus it lets you edit files faster and provides faster upload times when using USB 3.0 card readers. The high sustained write speeds ensure video integrity by reducing stutter and allow photographers to shoot in continuous burst mode.

Kingston’s SDA3 is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities and the cards are backed by Kingston’s legendary reliability and lifetime warranty.

SD cards usually come with a handy drive lock and it is no different on Kingston’s SDA3 card. Slide the tiny lock down to write protect the card and prevent accidental deletion of the content.

Features and Specifications

  • Ideal for high-performance D-SLR and D-SLM cameras and 4K camcorders
  • Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB – for thousands of photos and hours of video,
  • Impressive UHS-I Class 3 performance for 4K or 2K video
    Performance up to 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write
  • Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
  • File format: exFAT SDXC 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification
  • Dimensions: 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
  • Storage Temperatures: -40°C to 85°C
  • Operating Temperature: -25°C to 85°C
  • Voltage: 3.3v
  • Lifetime warranty, free technical support

Packaging

Kingston’s SDA3 comes in a cardboard package that shows the actually included drive right on the front. The design is a typical Kingston design that makes it easy to spot from far away. The speed rating and capacity are displayed right on the front.

The rear of the package has all the fine print as well as compatible devices.

Kingston HyperX Launches Savage Series USB 3.1 Flash Drive


Kingston’s high-end gaming division HyperX launched a new USB thumb drive to replace the popular DataTraveler HyperX drive. The new flash drive to replace it is called the HyperX Savage and continues the performance scheme that we have come to love from the HyperX series.

The new HyperX Savage comes in three capacity version: 64GB, 128GB, and a mighty 256GB version. As it always is with thumb drives, capacity has an impact on performance and the larger drives are faster. The 64GB version is rated for a performance of up to 350MB/s reading and 180MB/s writing while the larger 128GB and 256GB models can write with up to 250MB/s. That’s quite impressive for a USB flash drive.

The new drive is USB 3.1 Gen 1 compliant to suit the newest notebook standards as well as any other USB capable device such as smart TVs and consoles. The relative slim design should prevent too much interference and blocking around the USB port it has been plugged into, which is a big bonus.

The HyperX Savage also looks pretty stylish with its simple black design with a large red X in the middle. It is backed by a 5-year warranty and Kingston’s well-known free live technical support.

Features:

  • Blazing fast transfer speeds: HyperX Savage delivers blazing transfer speeds of 350MB/s read and 250MB/s write (64GB model delivers 350MB/s read and 180MB/s write) to save time and let you quickly access files with no performance lag. Capacities up to 256GB provide plenty of room to store large files including movies, high-resolution images, music, games and more.
  • USB 3.1 Gen. 1 functionality: HyperX Savage is compliant with USB 3.1 Gen. 1 specifications to let you take advantage of USB 3.0 ports in newer notebooks and desktops.
  • Bold design: This stylish drive has an aggressive look that complements the latest PCs and consoles. Its sleek black casing is accented with the signature HyperX logo in metallic red.
  • Multi-platform compatibility: Use this versatile drive on multiple platforms, including desktops, notebooks and gaming consoles1 including PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360®. Its slim design fits in tight console USB ports and it lets console users quickly transfer their profiles.
  • Capacities2: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Speed3: USB3.1 Gen. 1 (USB 3.0)
    – 64GB: 350MB/s read, 180MB/s write
    – 128GB−256GB: 350MB/s read, 250MB/s write
  • Dimension: 76.3mm x 23.48mm x 12.17mm
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)
  • Warrant/Support: Five-year warranty with free technical support
  • Backwards Compatible: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0

Samsung Launches 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD

While Intel probably was the company that drew most headlines with their 750 SSD NVMe drive, Samsung’s SM951 NVMe SSD has been the go-to choice for a lot of enthusiasts. It convinced everyone with its M.2 form factor and great performance. Samsung is now ready to follow up on that drive with their brand new 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD.

The Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD is quite impressive, but there are some disappointments too, at least to begin with. Initially, the drive will be released in two capacities, 256GB and 512GB. These are currently the most wanted drive capacities when it comes to SSDs and as such it’s a logical choice. It is, however, a bit disappointing that there aren’t any larger drives available yet, especially after the recently revealed 2TB consumer SSDs. The second disappointment might follow right away for users that need other form factors than the 2280 as that is the only form factor that will be released initially.

The Samsung 950 Pro M.2 utilizes the same UBX controller as the SM951 does, but it uses the latest version of their own 3D V-NAND technology as well as having support for the Magician software. The 512GB model is rated for up to 2500MB/s read and 1500MB/s write as well as 300K IOPS at random reads and 110K at random writes. The 256GB model is a little slower, but not much. The 950 Pro also features 256-bit hardware encryption.

The Samsung 950 Pro drive is backed by a 5-year warranty and are expected to hit retail shelves on October 15th for an MSRP of $199.99 and £349.99 respectively. 1TB and 4TB versions are planned for next year sometime and will be built with the upcoming 48-layer V-NAND that will enter products later this year.

 

Thank You TomsHardware for providing us with this information

Plextor Releases All New V-Series Solid State Drive Series

Plextor already has some really great solid state drives in their line-up, they’ve proven that in every review we’ve done with their drives so far. The newest member has just been officially introduced and it is called the V series.

The Plextor V-series SSDs comes in three different form factors, the M6V standard 2.5-inch, the M6GV M.2 2280 NGFF SSD, and the M6MV mSATA SSD. The drives are built around SMI’s newest generation 2246 controllers and are packed with Toshiba’s 15nm Toggle NAND flash memory. This allows these value based drives to come with a very good performance and they’re capable of reaching up to 535MB/s at sequential reads and 455MB/s at sequential writes. Random performance is equally great with 83K IOPS reading and 80K IOPS writing.

The M6V is also compatible with the latest version of PlexTurbo, they intelligent caching software that can increase your performance with up to seven times while it also saves on your SSDs wear and tear and thereby lifetime. The dynamic RAM buffer will automatic detect hot and cold data and only keep the needed in your memory.

The V series SSDs also passed rigorous tests executed with Plextor’s strenuous SSD testing equipment. Professional simulations on actual read/write statuses were performed with several “Plextor endurance testing mechanisms” to ensure that the V series SSDs have a Mean Time Between Failures of 1.5 million hours and they come backed by a three-year warranty.

The Plextor V series is estimated to hit the market at the end of July, so that is any day now. The 2.5-inch 7mm M6V and the M6GV M.2 drive will be available as 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB versions while the mSATA M6MV only comes as 128GB and 256GB versions. We should also have reviews of the Plextor V-series SSDs ready for you very soon.

Kingston Released new 128GB and 256GB SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 SD Cards

Kingston Digital just upgraded their range of high-speed SD cards with two new and larger capacities. The Kingston SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 Flash Card is now available in 128GB and 256GB on top of the previous available 16GB, 32GB, and 64Gb models.

If you’re into 4K photography, 3D video, or high fps video and photo recording, then this card might be just the right one for you. That goes equally if you just want a speedy memory card. The Kingston SDHC/SDXC card can read with up to 90MB/s and write with up to 80MB/s thanks to the UHS-I speed class 3 (U3).

Kingston SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 Flash Card Features & Specifications:

  • Versatile: Class 10 performance when used in a non-UHS-I capable device
  • Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification
  • Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
  • Compatible: with SDHC & SDXC host devices; SDXC cards are not compatible with SDHC-enabled devices/readers
  • File format: FAT32 (SDHC 16GB, 32GB); exFAT (SDXC 64GB, 128GB, 256GB)
  • Capacities1: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
  • Dimensions: 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
  • Operating Temperatures: -25°C to 85°C
  • Storage Temperatures: -40°C to 85°C
  • Voltage: 3.3V
  • Performance2: up to 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write, UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3)

Kingston is backing these memory cards with a lifetime warranty and free technical support and they won’t even cost as much as you think. The 256GB model can currently be pre-ordered starting from 105 Euro for the 256GB model.

Mushkin Expands the REACTOR SSD Series

Mushkin has announced the expansion of their REACTOR SSD line-up in recognition that not every user needs the same amount of storage. The REACTOR SSD was launched as a 1TB version which might be too much for some people, both storage-wise and certainly on the price point. Now Mushkin has added a 256GB and a 512GB version to the series for just those people.

The Mushkin REACTOR SSD is built around a Silicon Motion SM2246EN SSD controller and it is rated with transfer speeds of up to 560MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing in sequential tests. The random 4K figures look equally great with a performance of 74K IOPS read and 76K IOPS write.

Mushkin is an American company that both develops and manufactures their products in-country, so it’s no surprise that this is where the drives will be available first. American customers and fans can also get a little bonus at the moment as Mushkin launched a new campaign together with NewEgg for a bonus on your purchase as well as a sweepstake for a complete gaming system.

 

To celebrate this launch of these two new REACTOR capacities, Mushkin launched a campaign with NewEgg where you’ll get a $30 Ghost Recon Phantoms voucher with the purchase of participating Mushkin products and as long as supply lasts. Starting May 1, 2015, gaming fans can also enter the Ghost Recon Phantoms Sweepstakes for a chance to win up a custom-built Mushkin Extreme Gaming PC and much more.

Transcend Announces 256GB JetDrive Lite Expansion Cards

Transcend has a very long list of peripherals and parts designed for the different MacBook series, allowing you to seamlessly expand your storage and at times don’t even see that you did. The JetDrive Lite series of Expansions cards is now available up to 256GB to instantly expands the storage capacity of your MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air series.

Transcend’s new JetDrive Lite cards are tailor-made to have a flush profile with each specific Mac notebook model and are optimized for the compatibility as well. The low-profile JetDrive Lite will not stick out like an SD card and can be left in place for on-the-go storage. A 256GB model could for example store over 120,000 high-resolution photos or 64,000 MP3 files.

The Transcend JetDrive Lite expansion cards are made with top-tier MLC NAND and can deliver a transfer speed of up to 95MB/s reading and 60MB/s writing. This might not be world-record speeds, but it sure beats the Class10 SD cards that you can plug into most notebooks. Built-in error correction code helps to keep your files safe and the cards also feature sophisticated wear-leveling algorithm for a long lifetime. The cards themselves are also built to be completely resistant to both dust and water.

The JetDrive Lite 130/350/360 expansion cards are available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB while JetDrive Lite 330 cards are offered in 64GB and 128GB capacities. All Transcend memory cards come backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

Team Group Announces its M.2 SSD Lineup

Team Group has just launched its next generation form factor high-speed TM4PS4/TM8PS4 M.2 SSDs, which are said to provide a great solution for mobile computing due to their data saving performance, ultra compact size and lightweight.

The TM4PS4/TM8PS4 SSDs come with the next generation SATA III R3.0 6Gb/s transmission interface, which is also backward compatible with the R2.0 interface. The SSDs also come in two sizes, 22 x 42 mm and 22 x 80 mm, being suitable for most compact portable devices.

In terms of performance, the TM4PS4 SSD is said to have a read speed of up to 550 MB/s (ATTO), 520 MB/s (Crystal Disk Mark) and write speed of up to 150 MB/s (both), while also coming with 70K IOPS for the 128GB SDD and 40K IOPS for the 256GB SSD. In contrast, the TM8PS4 SSD comes with up to 560 MB/s (ATTO), 530 MB/s (Crystal Disk Mark) read speeds and up to 300 MB/s (both) write speeds, having a 73K IOPS for the 128GB version and 70K IOPS for the 256GB version.

Both the TM4PS4 and TM8PS4 have a 0.3W power consumption in idle, while providing an almost identical 1.1W and 1.2W respectively consumption while reading operations. Due to the double amount of write speed, the power consumed by the TM8PS4 jumps to 2.9 W, while the TM4PS4 stays at a 1.9 W mark.

Team Group has fitted both the M.2 SSDs with advanced garbage collection technology, wear levelling TRIM command and DevSleep mode. With a MTBF of 1.5 million hours and a 3-year limited warranty, the TM4PS4/TM8PS4 M.2 SSDs prove to be a good storage solution for any PC or laptop device.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Super Talent Updates Capacity on the Popular CFast Pro to 256GB

Super Talent Technology announces its 256 GB CFast Pro Flash Media Card, a double up from the previous available capacity. These cards aren’t cheap, but they deliver the speeds needed for professional and high fps recording without delay or lag.

The CFast Pro is one of Super Talent’s highly popular flash media card solutions for consumer and commercial media storage. Previously, Super Talent only offered the CFast Pro up to 128 GB but now that capacity has increased to 256 GB. Users can now record even more data, photos, and longer movies at the highest quality settings.

Super Talent also provides a compatibility chart for these cards for those unsure if the CFast Pro cards will work with existing equipment. Those using high-end cameras from ARRI and Blackmagic Design can take full advantage of CFast cards available on the market today for their media needs.

Thanks to SuperTalent for providing us with this information

Lexar Professional 3400x CFast 2.0 Cards Now Available

Lexar announced immediate availability of the Lexar Professional 3400x CFast 2.0 cards. The new cards enable professional cinematographers to quickly capture high-end, cinematic quality video and dramatically accelerate post-production workflow with read transfer speeds up to 510MB per second.

“Our Professional 3400x CFast 2.0 card offers content creators the right storage solutions to keep up with the demands of 4K and beyond cinema-level videography,” said Adam Kaufman, director of card product marketing, Lexar. “With industry-leading write performance and capacities, we are excited to know that the next generation of content will be captured on Lexar memory cards.”

The Lexar Professional 3400x CFast 2.0 card is available in capacities from 32GB up to 256GB, enough to capture all your moments. It comes bundled with the latest version of Image Rescue software and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

The new Lexar CFast 2.0 cards come with some serious speed, but also a serious MSRPs of £874.99 for 256GB, £525.99 for 128GB, £289.99 for 64GB, and £142.99 for 32GB.

Thanks to Lexar for providing us with this information

IDE Isn’t Dead yet, SuperTalent Release DuraDrive ZT4 SSD

Here we are, most of us thinking that the 40pin IDE connector was a part of history by now – but that isn’t so. There’s still a lot of older systems in use, especially in the aerospace sector, that uses this ‘older’ hardware. It is less sensitive and thereby more reliable in harsh environments.

Mechanical drives aren’t optimal in those situations either and speedy access to files is equally relevant everywhere. For this SuperTalent announced their latest solid state drive, the DuraDrive ZT4.

The DuraDrive ZT4 comes in a 1.8″ form factor and connects through the ICE-ZIF-40 interface. It uses MLC NAND and will be available from 16GB to 256GB capacity. It will read files with up to 110MB/s and write with up to 90MB/s. It has 128MB internal cache to aid the performance and an MTBF of over 1 million hours.

The DuraDrive ZT4 also comes with features such as ECC/EDC error correction, bad bit management firmware and wear leveling technology.

Thanks to SuperTalent for providing us with this information

Plextor M6e Black Edition PCIe 256GB SSD Review

Introduction


It is always a pleasure to get an SSD in for review, and even more when it is a high-performance PCI-Express based M.2 SSD. We’ve previously had a look at the Plextor M6e and today it’s time to take a closer look at the brand new Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD with 256GB capacity. This drive doesn’t just promise to be a high-performing SSD, but it is also a beauty to look at.

The Plextor M6e Black Edition supports PCI Express Gen II x2 and can achieve sequential reads up to 770 and writes up to 580 MB/s. Random speeds aren’t without either and the M6eBE broke through the 105K/100K IOPS barrier. The SSD also comes with native 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data protected.

Speed isn’t everything, reliability is just as important. The M6eBE supports both S.M.A.R.T and TRIM to keep everything running smoothly. It has also been exposed to Plextor’s Zero-Failure Zero-Error standard where it’s rigorous tested using the world’s most advanced SSD testing facilities – FLEXSTAR testing chamber. The M6e Black Edition provides extreme reliability with an MTBF calculated at 2.4 million hours. To back up this statement, the drive comes with a five-year warranty.

Plextor thought about people without the latest and most modern systems as well and retained the backwards compatibility through AHCI support. The M6e Black Edition is bootable through both UEFI and legacy BIOS. It is however strongly recommended to use UEFI if your system supports it, it will after all cut your boot times in half.

The high-performance cooling fin design doesn’t just help to cool your new SSD, it also looks very gorgeous. While cooling of such an SSD usually isn’t a great issue, it can be very wise in several scenarios. If you got bad airflow in your case or the SSD sits nudged between a couple high performing GPUs, then you’ll want the extra cooling that this great looking card has to offer. The PCIe card features a default SATA power connector in the event that your PCIe slot can’t deliver the stable and needed power supply required. The card has a 2-pin header for lighting cues and five LEDs, three yellow for power and two blue for activity. It is Half-Height, Half-Length (HHHL) and would fit well with low profile brackets, although none are included.

 

At the heart of the Plextor M6e Black Editon, we find the latest generation dual-core Marvell 88SS9183 SSD controller chip and Toshiba’s A19 synchronous toggle NAND flash memory as well as 512MB DDR3 cache.

I haven’t even had this drive connected to my system for benchmarks yet, and I already love it. It looks so sleek with the black PCB, black bracket, black SSD, black cover, and red cooler. The finish is superb on everything from solder points to the metal coating. When we couple that with the amazing specifications, we know that the Plextor M6e Black Edition is one heck of a Solid State Drive.

We had a first look at the PlexTurbo software in our Plextor M6 Pro review, and now the software has been improved even more; now reaching version 2.0. PlexTurbo is a RAMDisk feature, but it is also a lot more and comes with three main advantages.

The first is the clear performance boost by using up to 4GB system RAM (max a quarter of the total) as cache. The application will write the data simultaneously on the cache as well as on the SSD but instead of rewriting the entire file, it compares for changes and only replaces those instead of everything. At the same time, the cache is used for quicker access to frequently used data.

The second benefit is the extended life expectation due to the reduced unnecessary rewriting of redundant data. The third and last benefit over most other RAMDisk software is the safety against power loss. There won’t be any data loss in case of a sudden power failure because the data is written simultaneously to both the cache as well as the SSD

The presentation at CES 2015 showed us speeds over 8000 MB/s. This of course depends on memory as well as processor speed, so we won’t get quite that far; it will still be interesting to see how well it performs in our own benchmarks.

Lite-On Introduced World’s First TLC NAND-Based SSD With Advanced LDPC Tech

During a press conference at CES, Lite-On Storage introduced its new CV2 family of solid-state drives packed with next-generation low-density parity-check (LDPC) technology that is said to extend the endurance by up to 33%. The new drives are powered by Marvell’s four-channel 88SS1074 controller with 256-bit AES encryption and DEVSLP and coupled with Toshiba’s A19 NAND.

The result is an SSD that is rated for 2,000 program-erase cycles, comes as 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, and is backed by a three-year warranty. Sequential read performance tops out at 500 MB/s over SATA 6Gb/s, while random 4KB throughput hits the 100,000 IOPS mark

“Advances in manufacturing technology are responsible for facilitating higher-capacity SSDs at lower prices. The challenge becomes keeping their ones and zeros straight as more bits are stored in each memory cell. Today’s BCH error-correcting codes do a fair job of maintaining reliability, even faced with modern TLC NAND. But LDPC is universally accepted as the future, and Lite-On is leading the charge forward with its CV2 SSD family. The CV2 is built on Marvell’s newest mainstream processor and outfitted with an advanced implementation of LDPC. So, even as you enjoy enthusiast-class responsiveness at value-oriented prices, you can be sure the most cutting-edge storage technology is keeping your data safe.”

No word on pricing or availability yet, but expect both to follow soon.

Thanks to Lite-On for providing us with this information

Toshiba Showcased World’s First PCI-E Single Package SSD

Toshiba showcased a reference display of the world’s first PCI Express (PCIe) single package SSD at CES that integrates up to 256 GB in a single BGA package and the world’s smallest removable module type SSD, which integrates the BGA single package SSD on a single-sided form factor.

Utilizing Toshiba’s cutting-edge packaging technology already applied in products like eMMC, this is the world’s first PCI Express single package SSD available in capacities up to 256 GB and in a 16 x 20 x 1.65 mm BGA package. The new SSDs incorporate NVM Express while weighing below 1 gram.

It will be really interesting to see how these SSDs can perform once they become commercially available, but the physical size is already quite impressive.

Thanks to Toshiba for providing us with this information

Corsair Released Neutron XT SSDs

We could report a couple of months ago that Corsair was getting ready to launch their new line of Neutron XT SSDs, and now it finally come that time. Corsair announced the release of the new Neutron Series XT SSDs in 240GB, 480Gb and 960GB capacities.

The Neutron XT is using a Quad-core Phison SSD controller and MLC NAND. Those two make the drive able to perform sequential read speeds of 560MB/sec and sequential write speeds of 540MB/sec. SmartFlush and SmartRefresh technologies offer enterprise-level data management and retention in the event of power failure and advanced wear-leveling and garbage collection help to maintain performance over the life of the drive.

The Neutron XT is backed by a five-year warranty and should be available immediately for an MSRP of $149.99 for the 256GB, $269.99 for the 512GB, and $539.99 for the 960GB model.

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Corsair

Transcend Launches 256GB SDXC UHS-I Class 3 for 3D and 4K Video Recording

Transcend announced the launch of a 256GB capacity SDXC UHS-I card with full support for the Ultra High Speed Class 3 (U3) specification. The card is able to reach read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and 60MB/s respectively while giving you a lot of space for all your 3D, 4K and Full HD recordings.

The Transcend SDXC cards are now available starting from 64GB cards and moving up through the 128GB and now the 256GB has been added, a size to fit almost every usage scenario. All the cards ensure that your video won’t be cut off due to the exFAT support that won’t limit you to a maximum of 4GB file-size. While the max speed is rated to 95MB/s while reading, the guaranteed minimum speed when writing is what matters when recording digital video. The UHS-I Class 3 specification guarantees a minimum of 30MB/s, but Transcend’s new card can do double that with its 60MB/s write speeds. This is due to the use of top-quality MLC flash chips. The cards are also backward compatible as SD Speed Class 10 that ensures a constant speed of at least 10MB/s, easy enough for Full HD video recording.

For added value, Transcend’s exclusive RecoveRx software features a user-friendly interface that allows users to search deep within a storage device for traces of erased files that can be rescued; the files include digital photos, documents, music and videos. With just a few mouse clicks, users can easily recover virtually any type of digital files. Moreover, RecoveRx supports SD Card Formatting and Data Protection functions, providing the ultimate convenience to manage any memory card.

With Transcend’s Lifetime Warranty, the SDXC UHS-I U3 cards look to be a great investment. The MSRP is set to $49 for the 64GB, $109 for the 128GB, and $289 for the 256GB capacities and should be available now.

Thanks to Transcend for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Transcend

ADATA Launches Stylish UC340 USB3.0 Flash Drive up to 256GB

ADATA Technology launched the new Choice UC340 USB 3.0 flash drive. The UC340 flash drive features trim geometric lines and a clean glossy finish. It is stylish enough to use it to accessorise and to carry in a neck strap, purse, or on a keychain for example. The new UC340 flash drive is powered by USB 3.0 and the largest model with 256GB capacity can transfer with up to 200MB/s and write up to 120MB/s. The coloured head is a push click button to extend or retract the USB connector.

It won’t be coming exclusively as 256GB though, you’ll be able to get this stylish flash drive from 16GB and up. The UC340 features both of ADATA’s UFGtoGO and OStoGO features for extended usage abilities and come with a lifetime warranty.

The UC340 will be available through selected retailers and distributors shortly at an MSRP of £8.90, £13.90, £23.90, £57.90 and £123.90 respectively for the 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256GB models.

Thanks to ADATA for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of ADATA

Patriot Upgrades LX Series Memory Cards with More Capacity

With the ever-growing need for more storage due to better hardware that is able to take better photos and videos in high-resolutions, bigger memory cards are starting to become a must. We’ve seen many companies recently upgrade their lineups with more capacity and now it’s become Patriot’s time.

Patriot Memory is upgrading their LX Series of SDXC and microSDXC cards with new versions that double the previous maximum capacity. The LX Series UHS-I Class 10 SDXC Flash card is now available up to 256GB while the LX Series UHS-I Class 10 microSDXC flash card is available up to 128GB.

Both new cards are compatible with the latest SD Association 3.0 specifications and can deliver write speeds up to 20MB/s. The SDXC card can read with up to 80MB/s while the microSDXC card has a reading speed of up to 70MB/s. Both cards are backed by a 5-year warranty and customer service.

The cards should be available shortly at popular retailers around the world. The MSRP is set to $129.99 for both the 256GB SDXC and 128GB microSDXC cards.

Thanks to PRWeb for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Patriot

Micron Release Next Generation Client-SSD’s

Micron is one of the leading manufacturers of memory chips, and as such they’ve just released their next generation consumer-class solid state drive; the M600 SATA SSD. We as end-users won’t have the pleasure of buying this drive right away, because it will start as an OEM-only drive. It could however very well be at the heart of the next mobile gadget you purchase. We can also expect it to appear as a Crucial drive in the not so distant future.

“The M600 sets a new bar for power, security and efficiency in client SSDs and delivers on our vision to provide the most advanced storage solutions,” said Darren Thomas, vice president of Micron’s storage business. “OEMs expect Micron to deliver leading-edge SSDs that give their products an advantage and a noticeably better user experience. The M600 fulfills that promise.”

There are two things that sets this drive apart from the rest. The first of them is the power consumption, as the M600 consumes less than 2 mW in sleep mode and has an average power draw of 150 mW during active use. As a comparison, a traditional 2.5-inch hard drive uses up to 2000 mW when used and 130 mW in idle. The gap isn’t as big when we compare to other SSD’s on the market, but it is still a difference.

Micron didn’t have to compromise the performance in any way to achieve this low power consumption, the drive actually promises exceptional performance. The drive has been tested to perform 100K IOPS on random reads and 90K on the writes. The numbers for the sequential tests are just as impressive with 560 MB/s when reading and 510 MB/s when writing. Even the smallest 128 GB model can deliver these speeds. That is something new and it is the second thing that sets the M600 apart from the crowd.

This is achieved by using Micron’s own 16 nm process technology, the most advanced flash on the market. It is packed in Micron’s 128 Gb NAND so even the smallest form-factors can benefit from large storage. The longevity should be guaranteed as well with the 1 TB model being rated to reach up to 400 TB total bytes written (TBW), that is enough for 220 GB a day, every day, for five years.

Further more, some of the models use the Dynamic Write Acceleration (DWA) technique. A fake SLC caching mechanism that works in real-time to dynamically switch between SLC and MLC conversions in the NAND. This is the what makes the small drives just as fast as the large ones.

Encryption is more important than ever these days, and Micron of course have added an AES-256-bit hardware encryption to the drive. It complies with the TCG Opal 2.0 standards and the Microsoft eDrive protocol for easy management under Windows 8 environments. The drive also has a long list of other features we’re used to and are expecting by now, such as RAIN on-board fail-over protection and client-class power-loss protection for data in the buffer. The adaptive thermal-monitoring dynamically adjusts power consumption based on system temperature, ideal for ultra-small, thermally constrained systems.

The Micron M600 is offered in 128, 256 and 512 GB mSATA and M.2 module configurations, where the M.2 module is offered in both 80mm and 60mm versions. The 2.5-inch, 7 mm drive will be available in capacities from 128 GB to 1 TB. Shipping has already started, so expect products to be available very soon.

Thank you Micron for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Micron

Corsair Force LX 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Corsair is known to provide us with a wide spectrum of Solid State Drives and we have already tested many of them in the past. Now the time has come for their newest entry level and budget drive in the Force family; the Corsair Force LX 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

There isn’t really any computer anywhere in the world that wouldn’t benefit from an upgrade of a solid state drive. You don’t need to have a brand new and high-end system to gain the benefits, even older system will benefit greatly in performance from such an upgrade. On top of that, it is one of the simplest and cheapest upgrades you can do. Solid state drive prices are dropping lower and lower all the time while the performance figures keep rising.

Corsair is trying a lot of new controllers since they moved away from the now out-dated SandForce controllers, and this drive is using a Silicon Motion controller. As comparison, their high-end and mainstream drives use the LAMD controller now. This drive also features Micron 20 nm MLC flash, and those two together should show us some stable figures.

Being a Corsair Drive it comes bundled with the Corsair SSD Toolbox; a collection of useful tools and information-readouts about your solid state drive. While other drives in your system will show up in the tool, the core functions are restricted to Corsair disks, as to be expected. But that is OK, as each company provide tools for the important things in one way or another.

The Corsair SSD Toolbox has a very simple interface and doesn’t look to fancy. This is a great thing for a tool like that. You can read out all the basic drive information like firmware, size and raid setup. It also allows you to update the firmware of the drive, a thing that has gotten easier since we’ve put the SandForce controllers behind us. It’s to be noted that for drives released prior to the Force3 series , they need their own independent tools.

Corsair have also switched to making drives without over-provisioning, they have however given the users the option to do this themselves if they wish to. This can of course also be done via the SSD Toolbox. It also has a page for all the S.M.A.R.T. information and a cloning tool to duplicate your old system disk onto a brand new high speed SSD.

On user request they have also added a feature for manual and scheduled TRIM functions for garbage cleaning. The final function of the Toolbox is the secure wipe function, one that is great to have directly there instead of having to boot into a separate Unix/Linux system to do so.

Angelbird SSD2go Pocket USB3 Solid State Drive Released

Angelbird have released their brand new SSD2go Pocket today; a durable USB3 powered Solid State Drive for the person on the go. The newest member of the Angelbird family delivers everything you would expect from a premium brand, including first-class components, superb craftsmanship and breathtaking read/write-speeds.

The SSD2go Pocket is a small drive, but only in terms of physical size; measuring 89.0 x 69.9 x 10.4 mm and weighing just 90 grams. The case is made of CNC-machined aluminium, with a stylish pearl blasted and hard-anodised finish. At the time of launch there are four colour options for the SSD2go pocket: Silver, Blue, Red and Black. The power consumption is equally low with just 0.8W at idle and 2.4W under full load, making sure the drive doesn’t drain your battery unnecessary.

With it being an extremely durable 

and portable drive, you’d want it to work under extreme condtions as well, and it does. It works flawlessly from -20°C to 70°C and has a guaranteed data integrity from -40°C to 85°C. Angelbird have also put some extra thought into the connection type, and used an extremely robust type-A USB 3.0 port on the drive itself. Not only is it more durable than the micro versions, it also allows them to move the port further into the drive.

The SSD2go pocket is rated with transfer speeds of 450 MB/s read and 390 MB/s write. Those transfer speeds are possible through the native implementation of UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), which makes optimal use of the Silicon Motion 2246EN-controller and custom packed original micron NAND (16nm/L95B).

Angelbird is so sure of the quality they deliver here, that they offer a 5-year warranty on the drive, and rate it to a MTBF of over 2 million hours.

 It’s not just robust and fast, it’s also user-friendly and will work straight from the box with computers, TV sets and a huge range of multimedia devices in your car and home. Even USB On-The-Go (OTG) is supported, so you could attach it directly to your smartphone or tablet.
 The SSD2go pocket has surge and overload protection built in (ESD, EMS, ECC), as well as TRIM and SMART. It’s actually the worlds first USB drive to support TRIM and SMART on Mac devices.

Each SSD2go pocket has a unique serial number which can be used to register the device online with Angelbird’s PSP (Personal Support Portal), giving you access to useful information. This one-stop-shop will let you know how much time remains on your warranty etc., as well as giving you access to exclusive software downloads. It is worth noting that the software is already loaded onto the drive when you buy it. Full versions of Parallels 10 (limited to 6 months), Bitwig Studio 1.0 (limited to 3 months), System Reflection back-up tool (unlimited) and PureMix instructional videos are all available at your disposal. In addition, renowned musicians like Marshall Jefferson, CeCe Rogers and Trash Junk offer exclusive music and samples for remix purposes too.

The SSD2go pocket is currently available in capacities of 128, 256 and 512 GB. Customers who choose to order directly from Angelbird’s own website, can now order special personalized units, with a bespoke two-line engraved message. Considering what you get here, the drive is more then reasonable priced at £119.99 for 128GB, £159,99 for 256GB and £269,99 for the 512GB model.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVjvGhhyA88[/youtube]

If you’d like to convince yourself just how durable this drive is, then I’ll encourage you to watch the video above. Angelbird’s CEO, Roman Rabitsch, gives the drive an extreme test in an uncut video. The test starts around 2:50, if the entire video is to long for you. We’ll also have a review of the drive ready for you soon.

Thank you Angelbird for providing us with this information

Images and video courtesy of Angelbird

Plextor M6 PRO 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Plextor has been a big name in storage for as long as I can remember. In the past they were the crowned kings of optical drives and these days we see one great performing Solid State Drive (SSD) after another. We’ve tested several of them lately and today the time has come to the brand new Plextor M6 PRO 256GB SSD.

When you hold this drive in your hands, it becomes clear right away that this isn’t your everyday SSD. The golden package is the first giveaway, including the the entire inside of the packaging. Plextor has clearly given it some thought on how to present this drive the best and at the same time pack all the accessories into the tiny box.

And there is a big package on accessories, everything we need. There is the obligatory small manual but also a installation guide for beginners on how to replace an existing hard drive with this new solid state drive. The 3½ inch adapter bracket is included and so are the 8 screws needed for this. We also get a driver and software disk and a small folder for support and VIP registration. Oh, and it even comes with an extra SATA cable to help when transferring files from your old drive. A true all in one package.

The Plextor M6 pro is using the new generation of Toshiba’s A19 nm toogle NAND flash that we’ve already seen been very reliable in other tests. It is also packed with a lot of DRAM Cache, starting at 256MB for the 128GB drive and an entire 1024MB for the 1TB model. The gracious amount of RAM will surely prevent any bottlenecks between the controller and your data. To combine all this together, Plextor chose the latest Marvell multi-core controller and tinkered some with the firmware to get it all just right for them.

Speed isn’t something the M6 PRO is afraid of either and all four drive models are rated for (up to) 545 MB/s read and 490 MB/s write speeds. Random read IOPS are the same for all four models as well at 100k read while write IOPS range from 82K to 88K.

It wouldn’t be a true Plextor drive if it didn’t come with a row of exclusive technologies to boost the value of the drive even more. The first one is great cause it can safe you some money in the long run with it’s DEVSLP mode. This mode allows the drive to go into an “ultra-low power sleep” mode that needs almost no power. Of course this is combined with a rapid wakeup feature so you as user won’t notice any difference. Sure, SSD’s don’t use much power no matter what, but ever penny saved, and so forth.

Plextor TrueProtect is also included, a combination fo both 256.bit AES full-drive encryption and advanced multilayer error checking for full data protection. Next in line of features is the TrueSpeed. This Plextor technology keeps long-term SSD performance at a like-new level even after longer periods of use and when the drive is almost full.

PlexTurbo, the probably most awesome feature here, is a new intelligent caching mechanism Plextor is using on this drive, or rather allows you the option to use. The choice is still yours. By using some of your available system memory and it’s caching technologies, it has the potential to speed up the transfers up to 10 times that of the SATA3 bus itself. Of course this feature won’t be as useful in every situation, but I can guarantee you it’s great. But it doesn’t just boost up your performance, it also helps to prevent lost data during power loss and helps extend the life of your SSD.

The included Plextool software is also a great companion to this drive, offering up all the features and information we need in 7 panels. We can see our drive’s status, health and SMART details. It also allows us to update the firmware and perform a secure format of the drive. A diagnostic scan is included as well, it will do both a small health scan as well as do a speed test. This is great to get a quick view on the drive’s state. The final panel is the really interesting one on this drive, it gives us access to the PlexTurbo feature.

We see, this is a drive that promises a lot but also should have the hardware and features to back it all up. Plextor is just as sure about this and giving 5 years full warranty on it including comprehensive technical support and an international network of dealers and service centres. Each drive has had a full burn-in and usage simulation with the FLEXSTAR testing system to ensure that 100 percent of the drives are reliable and stable.

The M6 PRO is also the first SSD to survive Plextor’s new ultra-strict enterprise-grade, zero error standard requiring 40 units to pass 1008 hours of extreme testing. Plextor also has the lowest annual failure rate in the market, and the M6 PRO promises a great 2.4 million hours of flawless work.

Plextor M6S 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Our look over Plextor’s M6- SSD product line has seen us look at their M6e PCIe based M.2 drive, where the limitations of the SATA interface are no match for top end performance and more recently the M6M, a mSATA drive that packs the same components but in a tiny frame, with speeds that set it apart from many other drives in its class. Today we’re looking at the final piece of the SSD puzzle with a drive that looks much more standard if it were, with a 2.5″ chassis and the same ingredient list that we saw with the M6M and M6e.

Available in capacities ranging from 128GB up to 512GB, the M6S offers IOPs speeds of up to 94K read, 80K write with sequential speeds of 520MB/s read and 440MB/s write. Sat at the heart of the drive is a dual-core Marvell 88SS9188 controller giving the drive around 30-50% drop in power consumption compared to the last generation M5S.

Plextor keep their drive bundles very much to the point – you get the drive and a multi-language guide, no more, no less. The box itself is rather bright, with a bold image of the drive on the front of the box with the capacity stuck on below.

Innodisk Announces New High IOPS Industrial SSDs

Innodisk, the service-driven flash provider, announces a new series of high performance industrial SSDs. Available in standard 2.5″ SATA III as well as SATA Slim formats, the 3MG2-P series uses a custom new ID201 controller, synchronous NAND flash and 19nm manufacturing process to produce high sequential speeds and random IOPS, while preserving industrial level reliability, power protection, and ruggedness.

Industrial no longer means slow. Innodisks’ 3MG2-P SSDs use a new generation of flash technology to combine reliable and rugged design with superior performance. The use of select synchronous NAND flash, with a custom ID201 flash controller and on-board- DRAM mean the 3MG2-P series achieves 530/460 Sequential Read/Write speeds and 80/76K random IOPS performance. The use of a smaller 19nm process not only helps performance but also allows the 3MG2-P to be offered in a 1TB capacity.

The new 3MG2-P SSDs are designed and rigorously tested to ensure industrial-grade reliability. Featuring Evergreen L2 architecture, the life span of the SSD is maximized by an evolved wear levelling algorithm. Tested by JEDEC 218, write amplification has been reduced while strong error correction ensures reliable performance for the life of the SSD. Shock and vibration resistance is built in, and the 3MG2-P SSDs have been rigorously power cycle tested at -40℃ and 85℃  to ensure normal operation at a wide temperature range.

Better power management than ever is available with the 3MG2-P series. Lower power consumption is achieved with DEVSLP support, meaning longer battery life in the field and lower running costs in the data center. The new SSDs also feature Innodisk iData Guard to protect against unexpected power failures. When the SSD detects power is lost, a special power protection algorithm uses onboard power to save volatile data to non-volatile storage.

Not just a product spec, iData Guard on the 3MG2-P has been rigorously tested under diverse power conditions, including being power cycled on and off while writing data. Even after thousands of power cycles the SSD can function normally. iData Guard ensures data stored on the 3MG2-P is reliable even when power is not.

The 3MG2-P SSDs will be offered in capacities from 8GB to 1TB. The 8GB to 256GB versions are currently available while the 1TB model will become available in September 2014, along with a M.2 2280 form factor version. With both industrial grade and standard versions offered, the 3MG2-P series of SSDs from Innodisk gives enterprise users the reliability they’ve been looking for, and industrial customers the performance to handle more demanding applications.

Thank you Innodisk for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Innodisk.

Angelbird SSD wrk 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


I was pretty excited when I got this Solid State Drive (SSD) in the mail, since it is the first chance I’m getting to get hands-on with one of Angelbirds drives.

Being a new player, Angelbird needs their products to stand out from the rest. This doesn’t seem to be a difficult thing for the designers of Angelbird, as all their products have a sleek simplistic, but beautiful design. Among the current products are mobile and normal Solid State Drives as well as a creatively designed PCI-Express host- and raid-board.

Angelbird Technologies GmbH is a relative new player in the market, “a hi-tech company based in Vorarlberg, which although the smallest province of Austria, has an international reputation as a region of pioneering and innovation. The company’s headquarters is in the town of Lustenau surrounded by mountains and close to the border of Switzerland and Germany. The team behind Angelbird is young, experienced and passionate, with a love for quality and attention to detail. Angelbird products are developed with the environment in mind.” That is how the company is described by Roman Rabitsch, CEO.

The Angelbird SSD wrk is based upon the Silicon Motion 2246EN controller and uses 20nm Micron custom packed NAND chips. The flash chips are synchronous MLC that should give us a steady and good performance in our tests. The interface is SATA3 6GB/s and backwards compatible to 3Gb/s and 1.5GB/s SATA interfaces; it is also SATA 3.1 compliant.

The drive is rated for more then 2 million hours MTBF and comes with a 3 year limited warranty. Power consumption is barely noticeable with just 0.25W in idle and 1.97W maximum draw. It also promises great data retention with 10 years at 25°C and reliability with build-in EDC and ECC function.

Other features offered by the drive are advanced dynamic global wear-leveling and bad block management algorithm as well as increased data reliability through reduced coupling effects with data shaping. It also features overload protection and of course S.M.A.R.T.

Being a 2½ inch slim drive, it measures 7mm in height, 100.2mm in length and 69.8 in width, ready to slide into your laptop or notebook. The rated specifications are 563MB/s sustained read speed and 450MB/s write speed with up to 72k IOPS and an access time of 0.1ms. It’s time to get this disk on the test bench and see if it lives up to those specifications.

Crucial MX100 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Coming off the back of our look at the 512GB model of Crucial’s new MX100 line of drives, our review today focusses on the mid-range 256GB drive which comes in at a level that many users tend to adopt due to the balance between performance and capacity. As we saw with the 512GB though, Crucial have re-written the pricing rule book with a drive that is priced lower per GB than any other drive on the market and overall costing around the same as a 256GB drive from many other brands.

Keeping with the trend of bargain bucket pricing, the 256GB MX100 comes in with a banker approved price of $109.99 in the states and £78.99 over here in the UK, making it once again the ideal solution for the upgrade market; where users want to get a good boost in their systems performance, but without a hefty price that is associated with many performance products.

Similar to the 512GB drive, the 256GB model utilises Micron’s latest 16nm NAND design with a Marvell 88SS9189 controller at the heart of the drive and performance wise we see the same 550MB/s read speeds, whilst the write speed is a little lower at a more modest 330MB/s. The IOPs performance is also down a little from the top line 512GB drive at 85k read and 70k write, however we do still get the same 72TB lifespan and the same three-year warranty as before.

We know the read speeds that the MX100 has to offer are very competitive throughout the market, so our focus in this review will be aimed more at the write performance. This drive may be cheap, but the last thing we want is a drive that is cheap and cheerful.