Patriot Viper V360 PC Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


Patriot, a company better known for their high-end memory products are branching out into the gaming world. Today, we have the all new Viper V360 7.1 Virtual Surround Headset in the eTeknix office and given that it’s the first headset from Patriot, we’re certainly eager to see what it can do. Patriot hasn’t gone too crazy with this one, keeping to a budget-friendly end of the market that it’s sure to be easier for them to compete in, giving how fierce some of the more established brands dominate the premium end of the market; it makes sense to walk before you can run.

The Patriot V360 7.1 virtual surround sound gaming headset is designed to provide an enhanced PC gaming experience. Engineered with a closed back and ergonomic ear cups, the V360 blocks out environmental noise and fits comfortably over the ears to keep you relaxed and focused on your game longer. Experience Patriot’s revolutionary Ultra Bass Response (UBR) system; simply flip a switch to enable two powerful subwoofers and achieve even the lowest sound frequencies. Backed by Patriot’s award winning customer service and a two-year warranty the V360 is compatible with nearly every Windows operating system, including Windows 10 and Mac OS X, or higher.” – Patriot

Equipped with powerful 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers, as well as 30mm sub-drivers, a good quality omnidirectional microphone, and a 2.2 meter long braided USB cable, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes for a good gaming headset. Let’s take a quick look at the Patriot product preview video and then we’ll move on and take a closer look.

A nicely designed box, with a clear image, the specifications and a side window for a sneaker look at the overall design.

While around the back, you’ll find a quick rundown of the main features, such as the UBR switch and LED lighting.

In the box, you’ll find a nice protective pouch for the headset, as well as a small envelope.

In the envelope, there’s a product guide, quick start guide, and a few cool stickers; nothing too crazy, but it’s always nice to have a few small extras.

Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 3200MHz 16GB (2x8GB) Dual Channel Memory Kit Review

Introduction


DDR4 memory kits are steadily superseding DDR3 DIMMs due to competitive pricing and the advent of Intel’s LGA1151 chipset which supports speeds in excess of 3200MHz. Furthermore, DDR4 modules require less voltage to remain stable despite the typical increase in memory bandwidth. Recently, professional overclocker Shamino set an astounding world record and overclocked the G.Skill Ripjaws 4 to 4255MHz using a mere 1.3 volts. Clearly, this is an extreme case and the majority of DDR4 kits available to consumers range between 2400MHz and 4000MHz. Plus, the performance difference in gaming tasks primarily revolves around your system’s graphics card, and CPU. Nevertheless, it’s still important to select high-quality DIMMs to keep your PC perfectly stable and compliment the other components.

The Patriot Viper series is synonymous for offering excellent memory speeds at an affordable price point. Here’s a brief description of the product directly from the manufacturer:

“Patriot Memory’s Viper 4 Series memory modules are designed with true performance in mind. Built for the latest Intel® Skylake processor utilizing the 100 series platform, the Viper 4 series provides the best performance and stability for the most demanding computer environments.

The Viper 4 series utilizes a custom designed high performance heat shield for superior heat dissipation to ensure rock solid performance even when using the most taxing applications. Built from the highest quality Build of Materials, Patriot Memory’s Viper 4 Series memory modules are hand tested and validated for system compatibility.

Available in dual kits, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB kits, Patriot Memory’s Viper 4 Series will be offered at speeds from 2400MHz up to 3600MHz and XMP 2.0 ready. Hand tested for quality assurance the Viper 4 series is backed by a lifetime warranty.”

As you can see, the latest version of the Viper range comes in a variety of capacities and memory speeds to suit a wide range of user requirements. Given the impressive 3200MHz speed, 16-16-16 timings and respectable voltage, I expect to see some superb numbers which legitimately rival the best dual channel kits we’ve tested!

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

Patriot have adopted a clean, bold design to the memory’s packaging which makes it easy to read the key specifications while admiring the DIMM’s colour scheme. Here we can see a visual run down of the memory’s speed, capacity, XMP version and other essential statistics. Many kits on the market utilize pretty plain blister packs which don’t enthuse a luxury feel. In this case, the packaging draws you in and leaves a very positive initial impression.

On the rear section, there’s information about Patriot’s lifetime warranty, a brief synopsis of the product, and links to the company’s presence across various social media platforms.

A Closer Look

From an aesthetics standpoint, the DIMMs have a rather understated look and targets the mainstream gaming audience. Any red and black heatspreader combination is going to become a popular choice, and the different shades combine quite nicely. Another striking touch is the contrast between the textured black finish and matte section towards the PCB. I’m also quite fond of the sophisticated Viper logo and small gap between the main heatspreader which creates an impressive visual effect. Sadly, the green PCB is difficult to overlook and detracts from the attractive design. If a black PCB was used instead, the memory would be the perfect choice for a high-end build. Despite these qualms, once the RAM is installed, you’re not going to notice the PCB colour in an enclosed chassis.

Patriot Introduces New Storage Hardware @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Patriot unveiled a huge array of new storage products during CES this year which really caught my attention. Firstly, the Gauntlet 4 SSD enclosure is constructed from an aluminium unibody case, and lightweight ABS tray. This makes it feel incredibly solid while being light enough to carry around in a backpack. Furthermore, the device supports USB 3.1 Type-C technology to deliver speeds 16% faster in read times and 22% enhanced write times compared to its predecessor. Obviously, this depends on the storage device used, but it’s a great indication of the advancements in performance. The Gauntlet 4 will be available towards the end of Q1 this year with a retail price of $39.99.

The Supersonic Mega USB employs a robust, zinc alloy casing to protect your data even if the most extreme circumstances. Additionally, the high-end Magnum provides read speeds up to 380MB/s and 70MB/s writes while coming in at an affordable price. As expected, the drives are USB 3.1 Gen 1 compliant and include a 5 year warranty.  You can choose from a 128GB model which retails for $49.99, 256GB SKU costing $89.99 and finally, a 512GB capacity with a retail price of $229.99.

If you require more performance, the Supersonic Magnum 2 is a better solution due to the up to 400MB/s read speed and 300MB/s write. This makes it one of the fastest flash drives on the market and a suitable choice for performance users.The Viper range offers large capacities with USB 3.1 connectivity at highly competitive prices. More specifically, the 64GB model will only cost $34.99, while the 128GB drive retails for $54.99 and the 256GB size comes in at $94.99.

Patriot also announced the company’s first PCIe M.2 solid state drive based on the Phison 5007 with MLC NAND. The Hellfire SSD is capable of sequential read speeds up to 3000MB/s and astonishing write rates up to 2200MB/s. This range of NVMe 1.2 compliant drives is very exciting and bound to please users wanting the ultimate in performance. Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot said:

We are very excited to get into the PCIe storage space,” 

“With the launch of Intel’s latest Skylake Processor, we are seeing more motherboards available in the consumer market that support PCIe devices.  Along with the launch of Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, which supports PCIe storage devices without the need for additional drivers, we feel this will be the future trend and will allow users to take full advantage of the PCIe storage speeds.“

The Hellfire will be available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities to suit a wide range of storage demands. Please note, pricing has not yet been revealed, but the product line is scheluled for a Q1 launch.

Patriot Introduces Four New 128GB USB 3.1 Flash Drives

Patriot Memory introduces four new USB flash drives with a large 128GB capacity yet packed in a compact form factor. The new USB flash drives use a USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface but are fully backwards compatible with previous USB standards. The drives are small and large, but they don’t feature the best overall performance. But one can’t expect wonders from such small drives with such large capacity. The drives are rated for speeds up to 110MB/s reading and 20MB/writing.

Pictured above is the Patriot Vex and it is the first of the four new drives. The Vex is perfect for the consumer looking for a pop of color, but minimalist design. The 128GB Vex will be available in a bright green coupled with a black plastic top for better grip while inserting and ejecting.

The Patriot Tab flash drive is probably the simplest it can get and speaks to those looking for a truly minimalistic design. It has a small eyelet at the top for attachment to a key ring or similar and at the same time it aids when ejecting the drive.

The Spart features a metal uni-body design that makes it seamlessly disappear into any device. A perfect grab-and-go drive, allowing the user to take their files wherever they please.

The last of the four new drives that got a capacity boost is the Supersonic mini. The compact, rubberized, and rugged, flash drive is built to withstand a beating and comes in a sleek opaque black finish.

The Tab, Spark Vex and Supersonic mini will be available for purchase worldwide on December 14th at a starting MSRP of $49.99 USD.

Patriot Release Viper Elite DDR4 Memory up to 3200MHz

DDR4 memory started out for some consumers with the Intel X99 chipset, but it wasn’t until the new Intel 100 series chipsets and mainly the Z170, hit the market that DDR4 memory made its big entry in the consumer market. Since then, manufacturers of memory modules have been battling to have the best modules for this platform and it is no different at Patriot Memory. We’ve already seen the Viper DDR4 modules and now they just announced the Viper Elite DDR4 modules for the Intel 100 series platforms and with speeds up to 3200MHz.

The new Patriot Viper Elite series is available in red, blue and grey. It comes in two module 16GB and 8GB Kits as well as a 64GB kit consisting of four 16GB modules. There is also a grey only 64 and 32GB kit with 16GB modules. The power consumption is between 1.2 and 1.35 volts depending on which models you pick. The series is available from 2400MHz and all the way up to 3200MHz.

All modules are hand tested for quality assurance and the Viper Elite series is backed by a lifetime warranty.

“Patriot strives to deliver excellent price per performance when launching a new product,” said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. “The Viper Elite dual kit is no exception. We want to enable our customers to have the latest and greatest technology at an affordable price and we’ve done that here; top speeds at an excellent market price.”

The new Patriot Viper Elite kits with 2400MHz to 3200MHz speeds will be available worldwide starting November 18 for an MSRP between $52.99 – $499.00.

Win a Vibox Element X Green Gaming PC Worth £649!

Are you ready to enter our latest competition? We’ve teamed up with the awesome people at Vibox to give away their new Element X gaming PC. That’s right, a full gaming PC! Equipped with an overclocked AMD FX-6300 and an MSI R9 380 2GB, the Element X is a great all-round system for day-to-day use and high-end gaming and offers excellent value for money at £649.96.

“If you want to play the latest titles without breaking the bank then our electrifying Element X gaming PC is perfect for you. Perfect for playing the latest games on high settings. We’ve rigorously tested our Element system and games like Grand Theft Auto 5, Skyrim, League of Legends, DOTA, DayZ, Battlefield Hardline run on Medium and High settings at 1080p like they were made for this PC. Hand-built by our expert technicians in our very own Vibox Signature Chassis, each PC is rigorously tested before leaving our workshop facility. Finally, to ensure you get the absolute most out of your gaming PC, we professionally overclock the processor, so your PC will be able to tackle the latest games for years to come.”

Check out the full specifications below:

  • 4.4GHz AMD FX-6300 6-Core CPU *Overclocked*
  • MSI 990FXA-GD65 Motherboard
  • MSI R9 380 2GB Graphics Card
  • Patriot Blast 120GB SSD
  • [AMD ONLY] 8GB Patriot 1600MHz DDR3
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home + Installation
  • Vibox Predator Green Gaming Case
  • Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C Water Cooling System
  • Vibox 600W 80Plus Certified PSU
  • 24x DVD-RW Optical Drive
  • Lifetime Evolution Warranty – Build Charge, Shock-Proof Packaging, Express Delivery, 2 Year Parts Cover, Lifetime Labour & Tech Support
  • Internal LED Lighting Kit – Green

Thank you Vibox for giving us this awesome prize. If you want to win, just hit up the app below to enter. Good luck!

Win a Vibox Element X Green Gaming PC Worth £649!

Patriot Ignite 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


It has been quite a while since we had any of Patriot’s drives on our test bench and it is as such a pleasure to be able to put the 480GB capacity Patriot Ignite through the paces. The Patriot Ignite is available in several versions and capacities, both M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors and it is also available in various capacities.

Patriot named the drive Ignite because that is its goal, to ignite and enhance your computers performance. The more traditional form factor and SATA3 connection makes it compatible with almost any system and would be a great upgrade from a traditional mechanical disk drive.

The drive measures 7mm in height and that also makes it perfect for ultrabooks and laptops that usually are limited to that height in their 2.5-inch drives. Patriot’s Ignite 2.5-inch SSD comes in two large sizes that provide plenty of space from a single drive: 480GB and 960GB.

The Ignite doesn’t just offer a lot of capacity, it also offers great transfer speeds. The drive series is rated for up to 560MB/s while reading and 545MB/s while writing. The random performance is equally impressive with 80K IOPS while reading and 75K IOPS while writing.

The Patriot Ignite doesn’t just come in a traditional form factor, the same goes for the design. The drive itself is packed inside a black enclosure and it features a sticker on each side. The top shows the drive name and company logo as well as the capacity while the bottom sticker  shows pretty much the same information on a white sticker.

Feature wise the drive packs everything you’ll want. You got the basic TRIM and Advanced Garbage Collection, but the drive also feature Smart ECC that’s able to recover 115bits/2KB, end-to-end data path protection (ETEP), and Advanced wear leveling together with Smart Refresh. Overall a feature list that should make sure that the drive runs stable for a long time.

Inside the drive, we find a short PCB featuring the Phison S10 series controller paired with MLC NAND for a great performance. The 480GB model that I’m taking a closer look at today features 512MB DRAM Cache while its bigger brother with 960GB capacity features a full GB of cache.

The Patriot Ignite is backed by a 3-year warranty and has a mean time before failure rating of 2 million hours. It sure sounds like a great drive, so lets put it to the test.

Features

  • Phison S10 Series SSD Processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash for best performance value and reliability
  • DRAM Cache: 480GB = 512MB
  • SATA3 6Gbps/SATA2 3Gbps
  • TRIM support (O/S dependent)
  • End-to-end data path protection (ETEP)
  • Advanced wear-leveling
  • Advanced Garbage Collection
  • Smart ECC
  • Smart Refresh
  • Operating Temperature – 0° ~ 70°C
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) – Up to 32 commands
  • ECC Recovery: Up to 115bits/2KB
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours

Packaging

The Patriot Ignite comes in a beautiful blue box that showcases the important features on the front as well as the drive itself through a window in the packaging.

The rear of the package features a few more information and more details on each.

Inside the package isn’t much besides the drive itself. There is a small install guide, but no other accessories.

Patriot Unveils Viper 4 3600MHz DDR4 Memory

Patriot has announced the ultra-fast Viper 4 dual channel DDR4 memory kit featuring a 3600MHz frequency designed for the latest Intel Skylake platform. This marks Patriot’s fastest ever memory product since the release of another dual channel 3400MHz kit back in September. In terms of timings, the memory utilizes 17-18-18-36 with a voltage rating of 1.35V.

Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot said about the product launch:

“Our Viper 4 Line continues to reach new heights with our latest launch of the new 3600MHz kit paired with the new Intel® Skylake Platform.”

“We will continue to prescreen each IC prior to building the modules to ensure stability and provide unsurpassed performance to our customers.”

Additionally, the memory is compatible with XMP 2.0 for quick configuration with manual overclocking options for the more experienced end-user. Furthermore, peace-of-mind is offered via a lifetime warranty and each module is hand-tested to ensure widespread system compatibility. The Patriot Viper 4 3600MHz kit will be available worldwide today from leading retailers with a starting price of $169.99 in North America. The cost in European nations could vary due to currency conversion sales plus tax. Ideally, a UK price of around £125.99 would make for a very affordable but lightning fast memory kit.

We hope to provide you with an in-depth review very soon!

Have you transitioned to DDR4 yet?

Patriot Announces New Viper 4 3400MHz Dual Kit for Z170

Patriot originally announced their Viper 4 DDR4 series of memory modules back in January and now they’re expanding that line-up with new and faster versions designed to work optimally with Intel’s latest Skylake CPUs and Z170 platform.

The new modules consists of dual-channel kits with a speed of up to 3400MHz, the previous kits had a maximum speed up to 3000MHz. The new Z170 and Skylake optimized kits will initially be available as 8GB kits with 2x 4GB and 16GB kits with 2x 8GB modules. A perfect amount for normal users and gamers, the target audience, and Patriot can now offer these DDR4 modules in speeds from 2400MHz and all the way up to 3400MHz

The modules feature a high-performance custom heat shield that is said to be structured to withstand the most taxing PC environments and provide continuous stable performance. The Patriot Viper 4 3400MHz dual kit (2x4GB) clocks in with 16-18-18-36 timings and pulls 1.35V of power. The Viper 4 3200MHz dual kit comes with timings of 16-16-16-36 packed into 8GB (2x4GB) and 16GB (4x4GB) Viper red kits.

To ensure stability under these high speeds, each IC will be pre-screened by Patriot to ensure stability and reliability throughout their lifetime. The Patriot Viper 4 dual kits with speeds from 2400MHz to 3400MHz will be available on September 4, 2015 in stores and online. The MSRP is set between $64.99 and $169.99 depending on what version you pick.

Patriot, Luxa2 and Antec USB Battery Head-to-Head Review

Introduction


Smartphones, eBook readers, tablets, portable gaming devices and so much are vital to our daily lives. Ok perhaps not all the devices we use each day are vital, but they’re important to each user in their own way. One thing many of these devices, if not all of them, is that they run on batteries and these days you’ll find that most devices have a built-in battery that is charged via USB, or if you’re an Apple fan, a lightening cable. There’s nothing worse than being on a night out, away on a business trip, out camping, or even just relaxing at home, only to find out your battery is dying or has died. We’re not always within easy reach of a charging socket and carrying around the mains adaptor isn’t always the most practical solution. This is where mobile USB battery recharges come into play and today we’ve got three solutions to try out. The real question is, which one is best suited to your needs?

In the office today I have the Patriot Fuel+, the Antec Lifebar 10 and for something a little different, the Luxa2 PL1. Each of these is designed a little differently from each other, so let’s get right to it and see what they have to offer.

The PL1 was included in this test, as I loved the unique approach to its design. It doesn’t come in a leather pouch, it is the leather pouch.

The stitched design is really nice and it’s quite slim too, meaning it’s going to fit easily in your jacket pocket or handbag very easily. It’ll also look more stylish that a big hunk of plastic.

There’s a magnetic cover on one end, just flip it open and you’ll find the microUSB charging socket (in) and the standard USB charging socket (out). The PL1 is rated for 2800mAh.

The compact size is easy to hold in your hand and the overall quality feels very good.

The Fuel+ is a lot bigger than the Luxa2 device. It’s got a stylish white and red theme, but it’s quite clear that this is a big mobile battery. There’s a set of LED lights down the side to show you how much charge is remaining, as well as a master power button.

There are two charging ports on the Fuel+, a 2.5A and a 1A; perfect for charging a high power device such as an iPad, as well as a mobile phone at the same time.

The Fuel+ is rated at 900mAh.

It’s not very big overall, as you can still hold it in the palm of your hand, but it is quite thick, meaning it’s not going to be suitable to fit in your pocket.

The Antec Lifebar is the largest and the heaviest of the three devices and comes with a metal exterior that not only looks great but also makes the unit feel more durable than the others.

Like the Fuel+ it has two charging ports, a 2.1A and a 1A.

There’s a small power button on the end, which could be a little better in terms of quality if I’m honest, but there’s also an LED light that can be used a torch if you double tap the power button. There’s also four small LED lights above the charge (in) MicroUSB that show the current charge remaining.

The Lifebar is slim enough to hold in your hand, but it’s length and weight make it a little too much to keep in your pocket.

Patriot Releases EP Pro microSDHC/SDXC 4K Capable Card

We see more and more devices each day capable of dealing with 4K resolution. More pixels means more storage and more bandwidth is needed and Patriot is ready with a new memory card for just this.

The new Patriot EP Pro microSDXC is a Class 10, UHS-I U3 card capable of a performance up to 95MB/s while reading and 80MB/s while writing.

This is plenty of speed for 4K video recording and thereby also HD and UHD resolutions, but it is equally great for continuous and burst image capturing with your high-end cameras. Action junkies tend to love to record their daring activities and the Patriot EP Pro is just as suited for use in Action-Cameras as it is in smartphones and tablets.

The EP Pro will be available in both 32GB (SDHC) and 64GB (SDXC) capacities so you don’t have to miss a moment and can capture new ones in the blink of an eye and store within seconds due to the EP Pro’s record response time. Users can also share their images and videos without delay by transferring stored data to their desktop, tablet or 4K TV and experience the record write speeds of the EP Pro microSDXC.

The new EP Pro microSDXC card should become available in July of 2015. Sadly no word on pricing yet besides the mentioning of ‘affordable’.

Patriot Expands Viper 4 DDR4 Series With 128GB Kit

There is no arguing that most of us can’t afford DDR4 memory at the moment and even less so when we talk of 128GB kits, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dream. However, there are the people who need this kind of memory capacity, especially professional designers as well as server builders and more.

If you should need, or maybe just want, a system packed with 128GB DDR4 memory then you got a new kit to include in your considerations as Patriot expanded their Viper 4 DDR4 series to include both 64GB and 128GB kits based on 16GB modules. The 64GB kit consists of four modules while the 128GB naturally consists of eight modules.

“The addition of the 64GB and 128GB DRAM to the Viper 4 line will help to propel our already well-established catalog of gaming memory,” said Les Henry, Patriot’s VP of Engineering. “Patriot is committed to further developing its gaming line of memory in order to meet the ever growing demand of today’s high-end PCs.”

The new Viper 4 kits start at 2400MHz and running on 1.2V with 14-16-16-31 timings with faster speeds to be announced at a later time. The new modules are XMP 2.0 compatible as it should be. Each of the memory modules is hand-tested for quality assurance and the new modules are backed by Patriot’s lifetime warranty and great customer service.

Patriot Announces Ignite Series M2 SATA Solid-State Drive

Patriot Memory has launched a new version of their Ignite solid state drive, the Patriot Ignite M2 SSD with up to 480GB capacity. The M.2  form factor makes this drive perfect for ultrabooks, notebooks and ultra-compact PC’s, but they’re also great for high-end gaming PCs with onboard connector. The M.2 slot has at least 10Gb/s at its disposal allowing for impeccable start up times and instant access to data and installed programs.

The Patriot Ignite M2 is a standard gum stick shaped NGFF 2280 casefree module, making it compact and universally usable with almost any M2 capable device. The Ignite M2 can achieve sequential speeds up to 560MB/s while reading and 320MB/s writing and the 4KB random read and write ratings go up to 90 and 70K IOPS.

“We are happy to announce the Ignite M2 addition to our family of SSD products,” Said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. “With the Ignite M2, Patriot now offers a full range of SSDs, from 2.5″ SATA 3, to mSATA and now M.2. The Ignite M2 drives are the perfect storage solution for those looking to build/upgrade their small form factor PCs.”

The drive is using MLC NAND, 256MB DRAM Cache per 240GB capacity, and it is powered by a Phison S10 controller. It’s using the SATA interface over the PCIe, but it makes the drive compatible with more devices. Windows Vista and newer as well as Linux are mentioned as supported operating systems. Feature wise it brings end-to-end data protection (ETEP), advanced wear-leveling, advanced Garbage collection, TRIM, NCQ, smartECC, and Smart Refresh.

Patriot is backing the drive with a three-year warranty and it’s also available as a 240GB model next to the 480GB. The MTBF is rated at 2 million hours.

The Ignite M2 SSD will be available at the beginning of May at select online and in-store retailers such as Fry’s Electronics, Amazon and Newegg for a starting MSRP of $109.99 for the 240GB model and $209.99 for the 480GB model.

Portable Smartphone Battery Pack Roundup Review

Introduction


Today we’ll take a look in to a few different portable battery pack offerings from companies from around the globe. You’re quite possibly just like me – in the beginning you weren’t exactly certain why people would want or need to invest in a portable battery and maybe even thought of them to be quite useless. Then came along my Galaxy S4. As great as the phone performs, even when I’m out and about at tech expos’ or traveling around, my phone will be flat in a few hours – even with all precautions possible taken.

Screen brightness down, check. GPS off, check. Wireless disabled, check. Background applications closed, yep. Then, as your 6th hour away from a USB port rolls around, you hear that all-too-noteable “bloop bloop” – your phone is warning you that only 15% of your battery remains. In comes our hero, in the form of a 5,000 mAh – 11,000 mAh power bank. If you’re going to take most large-brand consumer phones into account, they’ll be providing you with an average battery sizing of around 2,600 mAh – as seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S4. If you’re running a 5,000 mAh battery pack and take into account some small power losses along the way, you’re looking at about 1.8 full charges of your device.

We’re not here to tell you if you do or don’t need a power bank in your life, but here are some packs that we think are worth a look at. The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Portable USB Wall Charger Roundup

Introduction


Quite often you’ll find yourself traveling to another city, state or country and be met with the all-too-common sinking feeling when presented with your hotel room power point options – only one or two annoyingly placed ports. If you’re like me, not only have you forgotten a power board, but you’ve got multiple devices to charge via USB ports. Furthermore, if you’re heading on a holiday or business trip – it’s likely that you’re carrying a myriad of battery-powered devices: a smartphone, tablet, smartwatch and GoPro being just the beginning of a very long list.

Being left with your standard issue 1-port USB smartphone charger won’t do you much justice, pulling out your bulky laptop isn’t always the best solution due to them being heavy and slow to charge – this is where USB power hubs come into their element. They’re also suitable for a home environment, offering between two and five handy USB ports to charge your devices overnight or while you’re sitting on the couch.

Thankfully for us, we’ve had a couple of wall USB chargers provided to us for testing. Read on for a quick round-up on these life-saving devices and what conditions we think they suit best.

The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Essential Road Trip Gadgets: CES 2015

CES 2015 is always an incredible show, bringing many, if not all, of the world’s major technology companies into one place, ready to show off their latest and greatest products. This year was a little different for us here at eTeknix. After the show, we took to the roads to visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. On our trip, we stopped by the offices of Thermaltake, Patriot, Corsair, NZXT and more! A trip like CES is a big undertaking, for me personally it requires a four-hour train journey, a ten-hour flight and we clocked up over 20 hours driving over 1500 miles. All that is before the return journey of another ten-hour flight and another four-hour train journey home. All this traveling is enough to make you tired. Fortunately, there were a few luxuries that helped make the journey just that little bit easier for us; without which, we would have struggled.

LUXA2 Phone Dock

First up we have one of the simplest gadgets of them all, but by far the one that helped us out the most on our journey from Las Vegas to San Francisco, then again on our journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the LUXA2 Mobile Phone Mount.

The car we used, a Ford Mustang, has a cigarette lighter high up on the dashboard, perfect for keeping your Sat Nav or mobile phone charged when mounted in a cradle or dock of some format. Even better is how the LUXA2 mount works, as the mount fits directly into the cigarette lighter, giving you a powered USB port directly from the mount to connect your phone, while also providing a sturdy mount that doesn’t have to stick onto your windscreen, or hang from the air conditioning vents. The mount was universal and proved more than capable of housing our iPhone 6 Plus.

Ultra Short Patriot iPhone Lightning Cable

The only downside with this kind of mount is that the normal iPhone cable trails all over the place. Given the phone mount we had, we found the standard cable got caught on the dashboard controls, wrapped around the gear stick and more; not what I would call ideal. Patriot, perhaps better known for their high-end memory products, also make mobile products and quickly came to our rescue. Their new Lightning USB cable is just 6 inches long, perfect for going from dock to phone. This is the perfect cable to keep in the car and it saves you having to bring your full cable with you.

Nvidia Shield Tablet

Sitting on a plane for hours on end is a tedious and often boring affair. Sure you’ve got some in-flight entertainment (on some flights), but the easiest solution is to bring your own entertainment with you. Bringing your smartphone is one solution, but the small screens aren’t really ideal for watching movies and TV shows, and battery life isn’t always enough for a long haul flight; especially so if you’re gaming on it. The Shield Tablet solves a lot of these problems, not only did the battery life hold up for the full ten-hour flight, it also provided us with a unique experience that made us the envy of other passengers; Playing Mario Kart 64 on an emulator with two controllers was by far the most fun I’ve ever had on a flight! As an added bonus, the Nvidia Shield Cover provided the perfect viewing angle for gaming, watching movies and reading articles during the flight.

MEElectronics Wireless Headphones

No journey would be survivable without my music with me, but when I’m carrying around a heavy backpack full of camera and a laptop equipment, as well as pulling along a 25KG suitcase, the last thing I need is a cable getting wrapped around my neck. I love my wired headphones, but the strap from my backpack pulls them out of my ears and it’s simply impractical unless I’m sitting still. A set of high-quality Bluetooth headphones was the perfect fix and while they were excellent to wear while walking around, leaving my tablet in my backpack to stream my music, I found them to be even better on the long flight. Being able to fall asleep on a plane is no easy task, but a light set of headphones and some music certainly helped block out the engine noise; plus I didn’t have a headphone wire getting tangled up in my arms, so that’s always a bonus. MEElectronics promised a 14-hour battery life, so our 10-hour flight proved to be easy work for them on a single charge.

Patriot Launched Supersonic Magnum 2 and Rage 2 USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Patriot’s Supersonic series of flash drives were already some of the fastest on the block, but the whole thing gets a new boost in form of the Supersonic Magnum 2 and Rage 2 USB 3.0 flash drives.

“Patriot has revamped its Supersonic USB line with two great new additions, both with exceedingly fast speeds,” said Meng Jay Choo, Product Manager at Patriot. “There are no comparable USB drives on the market, at the moment, and we hope to continue to deliver impressive performance speeds to our customers as technology advances.”

The Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities and feature impressive read and write speeds of 400MB/s and 300MB/s making them the fastest high capacity/high performance USB flash drive on the market. It is shock resistance up to 15Gs and complimented by a matte black metal housing with laser etched logos.

The Supersonic Rage 2 is an ultra-portable and high capacity USB 3.0 drive. The rugged, rubberized casing is designed to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use while the slide-to-connect feature protects the connector. This drive has the same speeds as the Magnum 2 with up to 400MB/s and 300MB/s. It will be available in capacities of 128GB and 256GB.

Both new drives will become available during February 2015, but no word on pricing yet.

Thanks to Patriot for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Cloudreview

Patriot Announced UHS-II EP PRO-II SDXC Card

There aren’t that many manufacturers out there supporting the latest UHS-II standard and as such it’s nice to see Patriot joining the ranks with their newest SD card, the EP Pro-II SDXC card. The new high speeds cards make 4K UHD recording a breeze and prevents any lags in your recordings – because who wants that.

“The new EP PRO-II SDXC is the latest, highest-performing SD card available today, meeting the new SD 4.0 specifications and a growing demand for higher performance with faster speeds,” said Meng Jay Choo, Patriot’s Flash Product manager. “With its impressive transfer speeds and high definition capabilities, users never have to worry about missing that perfect moment or running low on storage space.”

The cards will be available from 16GB to 64GB capacities and support read and write speeds up to 280MB/s and 250MB/s. Of course, the cards are backwards compatible with SD 3.0 and SD 2.0 capable devices.

Patriot’s EP PRO-II SDXC cards are backed by a 5-year warranty and will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2015 for an MSRP of $119.99 – $199.99.

Thanks to Patriot for providing us with this information

Patriot Launched new Ignite SSDs

Patriot wants to ignite the speeds in your system with their newest solid state drive, the Patriot Ignite SSD. The new 2.5-inch 7mm drive will come in two sizes, 480GB and 960GB and features some impressive speeds. The new drive features a lot of great features such as error correction and end-to-end data protection besides the normal features such as TRIM, wear-leveling and garbage collection.

“These are some of the fastest drives that we have had in our lab,” Said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. “As you can see we are able to advertise some of the fastest sequential speeds in the market for these capacities. We were able to hit scores above 1000 using the AS SSD benchmark test with these drives.”

Patriot Ignite utilises the new Phison S10 controller and is paired with high quality NAND memory to reach reach maximum sequential read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 545MB/s while boosting random figures of 80K IOPs reading and 75K IOPs writing.

 

The new Patriot Ignite SSDs come backed by a three-years warranty and will be available for purchase this month or early February. NewEgg already has the drives listed for pre-order for $199.99 and $399.99 respectively.

Specifications

  • Phison S10 Series SSD Processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash for best performance value and reliability
  • DRAM Cache: 480GB = 512MB | 960GB = 1024MB
  • SATA3 6Gbps/SATA2 3Gbps
  • TRIM support (O/S dependent)
  • End-to-end data path protection (ETEP)
  • Advanced wear-leveling
  • Advanced Garbage Collection
  • Smart ECC: Recovery up to 115bits/2KB
  • Smart Refresh
  • Operating Temperature – 0° ~ 70°C
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) – Up to 32 commands
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours
  • 4K Aligned Random Read & Write: 80K IOPs Read | 75K IOPs Write
  • Sequential Read & Write Transfer: Up to 560MB/s Read | 545MB/s Write
  • O/S Support: Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / Mac® OS / Linux

Thanks to Patriot for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Patriot

Latest Patriot Memory and Mobile Products @ CES 2015

We’re big fans of Patriot products here at eTeknix, so we couldn’t wait to stop by their suite at CES 2015 and see what new products they had to show the world. First up we’ve got their latest Ignite SSD, which features the Phison S10 processor and comes in sizes up to 960GB. This is followed by their Blaze, which features NAND Flash for improved price vs performance and finally their Pyro, which features the more common Sandforce controller and comes in sizes of up to 240GB. Keeping with the trend, Patriot also offer a wide range of storage products such as their 240GB mSATA PYRO M3, high performance Viper memory in low-profile, standard and xtreme formats and their new Signature Line DDR4.

One of the biggest markets for Patriot is easily their mobile devision. Their Fuel products offer some of the best mobile charging equipment on the market, from magnetic charging docks, innovative car mounts, wireless charging, battery extender cases and a whole lot more. They may not seem like the most exciting products in the world, but they’re incredibly functional and well worth checking out if you’re on the market for mobile accessories.

Patriot Launches Viper 4 Memory Modules

Patriot extended their performance Viper series of memory with the new Viper 4 built for the latest Intel X99 DDR4 platform and Haswell-E processor. The new modules are offered in quad channel kits of 16GB and 32GB running at speeds ranging from 2400MHz to 3000MHz and voltages from 1.2 – 1.35v.

“We are really excited about this new addition to our Viper Line,” said Les Henry, Patriot’s VP of Engineering. “The new Viper 4 line benchmarks are crushing the older DDR3 scores from just about every hardware benchmark: memory bandwidth, SSD and USB just to name a few.”

Patriot also upgraded the heat shield to make sure the new and faster modules run just as cool and stable. They are XMP 2.0 compatible, hand-tested, and backed by a lifetime warranty.

The Patriot Viper 4 series will be available in the first quarter of 2015 at resellers around the world and with anMSRP between $250.00 and $700.00.

Thanks to PRweb for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of PRweb

Patriot Torch SSD Listed and Available Ahead of Launch

Some people just have a keen eye when being at the right place at the right time, and as such the Patriot Torch SSD has been spotted as listed on Amazon ahead of its launch. While the drive isn’t even listed on the product pages yet, we do get some information about the drive from this listing. It actually already has one user review dated the 4th November 2014.

The Patriot Torch is built around the Phison SSD controller and paired with qualified 16nm Synchronous MLC NAND flash chips to deliver a good performance and reliability while staying cost-effective. The sequential read and write speeds are listed up to 545MB/s and 430MB/s for the 120GB model while the 240GB model can achieve 555MB/s reading and 535MB/s writing.

The only two features mentioned are TRIM and Advanced wear-leveling, but we can assume that SMART is present just as well, and DevSleep is a good bet. It’s backed by a 3-year warranty and supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Mac OS, and Linux.

It’s listed as available and ready for dispatch at a price of $106.01 (MSRP $109.99) for the 240GB model while the 120GB capacity will cost you $66.63 (MSRP $79.99).

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Amazon

Patriot Stellar OTG USB Storage Products at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: We are back once again with coverage from the Patriot suite at Computex. On display here we have their new Stellar Boost XT 64GB, Stellar Lite 32GB and the Stellar 16GB. All of the devices are USB On-The-Go (OTG), meaning they’re plug and play compatible, all support USB 3.0. and up to 10MB/s read on the Boost XT, USB 2.0 30MB/s on the Stellar Lite and USB 30 on the Stellar, but no advertised speed as yet. All three allow you to copy data from your desktop or similar device to your Android mobile device, perfect for backing up all your mobile photos, videos, music and other data.

Bellow that we have the Stellar Cube memory products, much like the Stellar, they offer microUSB and USB connectivity for mobile and desktop use, up to 64GB memory sizes, but a much smaller form factor and a tough rubber casing.

All of the products are ready for retail now and should already be available at most major retailers.

New Patriot Fuel iON and Mobile Products on Display at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: Patriot are very well-respected in the PC industry for their memory products, but they’re really making some interesting advances in the mobile sector. They’ve already been successful with their mobile charging products in the past, but now they’re set to take it to the next level with their latest Fuel iON products.

The Fuel iON magnetic charging stand works in combination with a very nice quality iPhone 5/5s (S5 and note 3 will follow soon) case with an s-view window. Then you have a clip around external battery which fits around your iPhone, and this also adapts the lightning cable connection to a microUSB! While also featuring a powerful magnet in the back and built-in charging system. The stand its self is really nice too, and the magnet in the case combined with the stand allows you to quickly snap your phone into place without having to fiddle around with cables, giving you a great desktop stand and of course it charges your device at the same time.

The Fuel iON Pad is an optional extra, perfect for putting on  your bedside table for charging and docking your phone on an evening.

our favourite accessory is easily the Fuel iON Car Mount is a high quality windscreen mount, but again features a powerful magnetic mount and wireless charging. Perfect for those who use their smart phone for navigation.

New wall adaptors allow a single USB charging point while not sacrificing a plug socket, and the model on the right even offers extra power protection for your devices.

The mains powered four port hub offers 2 x 2.1a and 2 x 1.0a, making a perfect charging point for your mobile devices.

Fuel Active 6000, a usb mobile charging station which also comes fitted with a rescue strobe light/torch functionality.

All models are expected to launch in Q2 this year, stay tuned for more information.

Patriot Reveal New Lines Up Of Memory, Storage & Fuel+ Products At CES 2014

Our tour of the CES suites continues today as we have a look at what products are on show this year. Around their suite Patriot have got a variety of products ranging from system memory to USB hubs and power banks for mobile devices. Starting off with their peripherals and accessories we find a couple of USB3.0 hubs on display.

Now when it comes to USB hubs, there really is not that much to go into as after all it is little more than a hub. Patriot have two hubs on display – one which comes with an AC adaptor, making it ideal for charging your mobile devices from as seen above and a slimmer more portable unit that is bus powered. Both of these items naturally are fully backwards compatible, offer four SuperSpeed ports, LED status indicators and above all fill a gap in the market where most of the hubs available are solely USB2.0. Both items are available now and I expect both to be under the £10 barrier.

Moving over to Patroit’s bread and butter products; memory, we find a sample of their product lines on show ranging from OEM grade memory right up to their Viper performance modules as we’ve reviewed previously.

Alongside the full sized system memory we also have a couple of SODIMMs on show – one of which is new to their product lineup.

With many gaming laptops becoming more and more popular amongst power users and enthusiasts, it is surprising that there is not that many memory modules available on the market that is geared exactly for that type of user. Patriot however are stepping forward and have introduced a new set of SODIMMs to their product catalogue under the Viper line. When we look at how well the Viper 3 Mamba 2133MHz performed when I took it for a test spin in our review, I’ve got good hopes for this new set of modules and it will go perfectly with any gaming or workstation laptop.

Moving back over to the accessory side of things, power banks are a popular type of accessory between vendors this year. Fortunately Patriot were one of the early adopters into the power bank world so what we see on offer are units that have been tried, tested and improved over the last couple of years, bringing us to the latest generation of units such as the Fuel plus which offers up one of the larger capacities on the market at anything up to 9000mAh.

In addition to the Fuel+, Patriot also bundle in a Cosmos flash drive that allows for data to easily be transferred between a desktop or laptop system through USB and then the to the phone through a micro-USB port on the opposite end of the drive.

Since the launch of the Fuel+ line of power banks last year, Patriot have expanded the lineup with three more products and now in a whole range of colours to cater for every persons taste – including pink for the ladies…

Moving back over to the storage side of things, we find a whole host of flash drives and memory cards in varying designs, capacities and colours for every need and personality including the Cosmos with its dual USB & micro-USB ports for mobile devices.

The last items we find Patriot displaying around their packed suite are the Gauntlet and Aero external drive enclosures. The Aero, as seen below, is one of their products that I have taken a look at and with a capacity of up to 1TB, is ideal for those of us that want a massive amount of space for storing films and music for example when on the go.

Stay tuned as we have more coverage for you from this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.