Play Counter-Strike 1.6 on Android!

When it comes to technology we are often told about how quickly it is advancing, both in power and the level that we adapt it to our lifestyles. One such popular activity would be the games we play, going from 8-bit dungeon explorers to giant adventure games across stars and planets in virtual reality, but one game that many will remember is the classic called Counter-Strike 1.6, something you can now play on your phone.

Counter-Strike 1.6 was originally a mod of the original Half-Life game, introducing many to competitive multiplayer gameplay for the first time while others enjoyed the mods that let you turn the battle into a paintball party or even the custom maps like the Simpsons neighbourhood. Alibek Omarov apparently didn’t just want to enjoy that same feeling on his phone but wanted the full experience, original game and all.

Featured on his GitHub account under the handle a1batross, the CS16Client lets you install and play the original game on your phone, servers and all. Got a free minute on the way to work? Why not stop a terrorist bomb threat or see if you’ve still got the skill to perform a 360 no scope.

While controls seem a little complicated and clunky, it shouldn’t be hard to connect one of the many controller adaptors that you can now get for your phone to turn your experience into a full-on classic gaming experience.

Lexar Launches Compact Professional XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader

Moving on to camera equipment that doesn’t use the more-or-less default SD or micro SD cards creates an issue with most portable systems, you can’t just slide the memory card into your notebook and transfer the files over for backup or editing. Most portable systems such as notebook and ultrabooks feature SD card slots, but what if your equipment uses QXD cards instead? That’s when you need an external card reader and Lexar just introduced the Professional XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader which is designed to aid professionals in quickly transferring files from XQD 2.0 cards to computers and not take up a lot of space.

Lexar already has the impressive Workflow XR2 reader, but this one is a more compact version that’s better suited for people with limited space on the go. It can easily slip into a pocket or bag, and offers a simple plug-and-play design with a USB 3.0 connector so content can be securely transferred on the go. Whether you capture photos in the RAW image format or record 4K video, this card reader will have your files transferred in no time.

“Given the rapid growth and widespread appeal of 4K video, we realised it was essential to create a reader for XQD 2.0 cards that provided professionals with a way to transfer great video and photo content without the wait time,” said Steffi Ho, product marketing manager, Lexar. “The Lexar Professional XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader supercharges post-production content transfer, no matter what you’re shooting.”

Lexar backs the Professional XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader with an impressive 5-year warranty and it comes with an MSRP of £29.99. Availability is expected in late April.

Feature Highlights

  • Provides professional-level high-speed transfer of RAW images and 4K video files
  • Accelerates workflow, leveraging SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology
  • Designed for use with XQD 2.0 cards
  • Compact, portable design for photographers and videographers on the go
  • Five-year limited warranty

Lexar 512GB Portable SSD D512 USB 3.0 Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Today we are taking a closer look at fast external storage, more specifically Lexar’s newest portable SSD called the D512. Lexar also offers the drive in a smaller D256 version with 256GB capacity, but I have the pleasure to have to big 512GB model on the test bench today.

Right away we see that we have a small and compact drive which is perfect for a portable unit. On top of that, it is also a very light drive that you barely will notice when you have it packed next to the rest of your items. So we have a strong portable drive right of the start, but what about the performance. Performance has to match and that’s where a portable SSD shines over a flash drive. Both types of drives use NAND technology, but other than that there are big differences.

Lexar’s portable SSD is capable of sequential transfer speeds up to 450MB/s when reading and 245MB/s writing which is pretty nice for a portable storage solution that is as small and light as the D512. The is no official rating for random performance, but we’ll naturally have a look at that once we get the benchmarks rolling.

The tiny D512 provides plenty of space for you while you are on the go and travel about. Whether you want to take along you movie collect, music library, and photos, you’re covered with plenty of storage. It is also an optimal drive to unload all your vacation photos onto from memory cards and portable capture devices.

One of the unique things that come with the D512 is the capacity meter on the front. The first five LEDs act as such and will light up as the drive gets filled with data. This allows you an instant view on the drive fillage as soon as you plug it into your system. The second unique feature works in conjunction with Lexar’s other Workflow products. The new portable SSD uses the same form factor and connector which makes it compatible with the Workflow drive hubs. Just plug the drive in and you are good to go. I love the Workflow system so much and use it almost every day for my work here at eTeknix.

The drive is also highly compatible when it comes to volume setup as it supports both NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. On its own, the drive is fully plug-and-play and doesn’t require any drivers or tools of any sort. This naturally originates from USB standard that is plug-and-play by definition.

Lexar is part of the Micron Group which also means that the drive is equipped with some of the best NAND flash on the market and that has undergone high-grade quality checks before assembly.

Feature Highlights

  • SSD-level performance — up to 450MB/s read and 245MB/s write speeds
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Available in 256GB and 512GB capacity options
  • LED capacity meter displays available storage space
  • Great for use with Lexar Professional Workflow line products
  • Two-year limited warranty

Package and Accessories

Lexar packed the 512GB Portable SSD in a neat white box that shows the drive’s look and basic specifications on the top.

The bottom of the box also has the system requirements, which is a USB port, as well as the basic specification again, but in several languages.

Inside the box, you will find the portable SSD itself as well as a USB 3.0 cable.

Both sides of the drive are covered with a protective plastic film to make sure it arrives scratch-free in your hands. It also gives you that little bit of joy it is to remove the film from your brand new device.

Roccbox Portal Oven Cooks Your Pizza 90 Seconds

There are some people who love camping outside, using tents and a small gas stove to cook baked beans while a fire roasts marshmallows. Some of us prefer glamping, with a small wooden house separating you from nature so you can stay warm and enjoy your friends company without the bumpy earth beneath you. One thing that is required though is good food, and the Roccbox portable oven could provide you with just that.

Originally started as part of an Indiegogo campaign, the concept for the project was simple. A portable stone bake oven. For $449 (£318.24) you can order yourself one of the ovens, which goes as high as 500 celsius in order to cook your pizza in roughly 90 seconds. If that wasn’t enough they’ve also shown off its use in cooking everything from fish to steaks.

After taking 15 minutes to warm up, you can see the benefit of being able to quickly cook your favourite foods in a portable stone bake oven. The Roccbox comes with two burners, meaning you can use either gas or wood to cook your meals, the choice is up to you.

Can you imagine going camping and having a freshly cooked mini pizza given to you while you lay under the stars? We can and we can’t wait to taste it either!

SilverStone Releases USB 3.1 Type-C LAN and HDMI Adapters

One of the downsides with compact mobile devices such as two-in-one, ultrabooks, and tablets is the lack of connection ability. They all have a USB connection, but beyond that, it is very limited. Luckily you can do a lot with adapters and SilverStone just released two new USB 3.1 Type-C adapters where the one adds a Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 network port and the other adds an HDMI port that’s capable of 4K video output.

The first of the two new SilverStone USB 3.1 Type-C adapters is the EP05 and it is a compact Gigabit Ethernet network adapter in beautiful all white colored design. The adapter uses the Realtek RTL8153 chipset which offers TCP Offload Engine and it also supports advanced IEEE features such as 802.1Q VLAN tagging and 802.3az among others. The Realtek chipset offers both normal Wake On LAN (WOL) as well as RealWoW that allows you to wake your system over the internet too.

The EP05 would be a great addition to notebook computers such as MacBooks that do not have network port at all on their own. Naturally it is downwards compatible all the way to 10Mbps and USB 1.1 connections and it works driverless on Windows 8 or newer systems. Windows 7 and earlier will need to download and install drivers first.

The second new SilverStone USB 3.1 Type-C adapter is called the EP07 and it provides you with an easy way to add an extra HDMI port to your system. The SilverStone EP07 doesn’t just support USB 3.1 input and HDMI output, it also supports flexible USB 3.1 Type-C switching for DP 1.2 Alt Mode.

The EP07 Supports HDMI 1.4 and also former versions for older devices, but sadly no official HDMI 2.0 support. That doesn’t mean that you can’t connect a HDMI 2.0 display to it, you just don’t get the advantages. It supports content protection of HDCP Rx and Tx keys and it can display resolution up to 3840 x 2160 pixels at 30Hz with DP1.2 in SST mode.

 

Both SilverStone adapters work without extra power input which makes them highly portable. They don’t weigh much either, which always is a great feature in accessories for mobile devices.

Both the SilverStone EP05 and EP07 adapter will be available next week for a recommended end user price of $18.15 USD for the EP05 and $22.11 USD for the EP07 (excl. VAT).

 

ADATA Launches HD650X and HD710M USB 3.0 Hard Drives

We already had a little view on ADATA’s new drive line-up during our visit at CES 2016 in Vegas last month and now two of the new portable drives have been officially launched. The two new drives are both from the rugged series and can withstand quite a bit of mistreatment. The two newly launched drives are the HD650X designed for use with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One as well as the HD710M camouflage-styled drive.

The Xbox One currently ships with a 1TB hard drive built-in, but considering the fact that a game these days easily take up 50GB and subscribers keep getting games for free, that 1TB can quickly end up full and leave you with the decision on what to delete to make room for something else. That is where the ADATA HD650X comes into play as it adds 2TB extra storage directly to the gaming console via the USB 3.0 port. The colour scheme has also been made to match the console with its green and black. Being that this basically is a normal USB drive, it’s also compatible with Windows XP and newer as well as Mac OS X 10.6 or later and Linux Kernel 2.6 or later.

The ADATA HD710M is designed for general usage and comes in two capacity options: 1TB and 2TB. The camouflage coloured enclosure is made from the same concept that we’ve seen in previous models such as the HD720 that we recently reviewed. It is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof to keep all your data as safe as possible. It doesn’t just have the basic IP6X cerification, but also the IPX8 and the US Army MIL-STD-810G 516.6 certification. These in combination allow the drive to be completely dust proof, extremly drop and shock resistant, and waterproof in up to 1.5 meters of water for an hour without damage to your drive or data.

ADATA didn’t reveal an official pricing, but you can expect these new drives to have a similar price to the other rugged ADATA HD drives already on the market.

Lexar Releases A Bunch of New Flash Products

Lexar released a bunch of new flash-based products and we naturally also want to update you on these. While HDDs are the go-to medium for NAS and SSDs for the PC systems, we shouldn’t forget about our portable storage and mobile devices.

The drive pictured above is the first of Lexar’s new flash drives and it is actually an SSD, just an external one. We have previously reviewed Lexar’s Professional Workflow SSD in the same form factor and that is compatible with the Workflow drive dock system, and this new Lexar Portable SSD is compatible to that system too despite not being from the Professional Workflow series.

The compact and durable drive reads with up to 450MB/s and writes with up to 245MB/s, making it quick and easy to take your files on the go. The LEDs on the front work as capacity meter and the drive is available as 256GB and 512GB models. Since it’s a full-fledged SSD, the drive supports NTFS, FAT, and exxFAT without any trouble. The Lexar Portable SSD will be available in Q1 2016 with MSRPs of £120.99 (256GB) and £200.99 (512GB), a more than fair price.

The second new Lexar product is the 1800x microSD card with impressive speeds that hold up to even the most demanding tasks. The Lexar 1800x is available as 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models and it leverages Ultra High Speed II (U3 technology) to provide you with the best experience. The card is capable of speeds up to 270MB/s read speeds and is designed for high-speed capture of extended lengths of 4K, 3D, and 1080p full-HD video and high-quality images.

Lexar’s Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II cards are already available with an MSRP of £65.99 (32GB), £109.99 (64GB), and £219.99 (128GB).

The next new Lexar product is quite ingenious. Whether you’ll want to call it a 3-in-1 drive or an Apple Lightning charging cable with built-in flash storage, you’d be right. The JumpDrive C20i is all that and also a USB 3.0 flash drive at the same time, completing the 3-in-1 scenario. The drive can read with up to 95 MB/s and write with up to 20 MB/s for easy expansion of your iPhone or iPad memory. The new JumpDrive C20i flash drive will be available in Q1 of 2016 and have MSRPs of £28.99 (16GB), £39.99 (32GB), £56.99 (64GB), and £79.99 (128GB).

The last new Lexar drive is a little more traditional and it is called the JumpDrive S45. The tiny nano-styled drive is designed for a plug-and-stay setup with its low profile. It is capable of speeds up to 150MB/s reading and 45MB/s writing and be available in capacities up to 128GB. An impressive capacity for a nano-drive. Depending on the capacity, the JumpDrive S45 comes in different colours: Orange, Blue, Teal, and black. Along with the JumpDrive S45, you also get the EncryptStick Lite software for 256-bit AES encryption of your content. The flash drive has MSRPs of £7.99 (16GB), £10.99 (32GB), £18.99 (64GB), and £28.99 (128GB) and will be available in Q1 2016.

Asus Reveal Monitor Running Just On A USB-C Cable

Hands up if you have ever used multiple screens on your computer? Some people use it to watch a movie while they browse the internet, some have several screens to display a virtual world in panoramic view. Whatever you use multiple screens for there has always been a problem with setting them up, the connections. Does your graphics card have an HDMI port free or does your laptop have that VGA port? The end result was the creation of single cable screens. Connect a screen to your device with only a single cable, designed to run both the power and the data needed through it. Asus have announced the latest in single cable monitors, one using the new USB type C connection.

Titled as the MB169C+ portable display, the device features a 15.6-inch screen with 1080p resolution. The idea of taking a stack of screens out of a bag and connecting them to any computer or laptop of your choice is quite pleasing especially with them only weighing 800 grams a piece.

With ASUS confident that regardless of platform, the screen will connect and function as intended you could soon connect the same screen to your phone or laptop on the go and then hook it up for a dedicated screen for your emails when you get home. With no set price yet or release date, we can only wait to hear more.

ADATA HD720 Durable 1TB External Hard Drive Review

Introduction


People with an active lifestyle deserve to carry their storage around with them just as well as clumsy people do, but they should pick their portable storage with care and make sure that it can withstand the treatment it will get. Today I’m taking a closer look at just such a storage drive as I’m having ADATA’s HD720 ultra durable external hard drive with a sporty design on and off the test bench.

The ADATA HD720 is available in three capacity versions, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Today I’m taking a closer look at the 1TB model and will test both its performance on my benchmark system as well as its durability with some clumsy but calculated actions. The HD720 is dustproof, waterproof, and shock resistant for an excellent data protection even when the worst case scenario should happen.

The drive has passed the stringent IP68 test thanks to its durable design. The HD720 even works normally in dusty environments as well as after being submerged in up to 2-meter deep water for up to 2 hours. The HD720 also passed the standard military-grade requirement (MIL-STD-810G 516.6) and even went beyond that and passed the 1.8m drop test.

This is all thanks to the rugged enclosure that the drive is built into. Deep inside the HD720 is a 2.5-inch sized HDD that first of all is cushioned mounted on its own. Next it is covered by a plastic shock structure followed by a special silicon layer that in combination provide the drive with its resilience. The HD720 also features a G-Shock sensor that flashes red when the drive should register a severe shock. When the shock has passed, a solid or flashing blue light displays indicating normal operation has resumed.

A portable drive also needs to be convenient. Thanks to the use of a 2.5-inch HDD you don’t need any extra power supply, the drive can draw enough power directly from the USB connection. The included cable can’t be static attached either or the drive would lose some of its durability. ADATA made a wrap around design on the HD720, allowing you to tug the drive into the groves on the edge of the drive – that at the same time give the drive an even better protection from a side impact.

There are three color choices on the HD720, either blue and black, green and black or completely black. ADATA backs this 211gram light drive with a 3-year warranty.

Feature Highlights:

  • Up to 2TB capacity
  • Dust, Water, and Shock-proof
  • USB 3.0 connection.
  • Cable wrap-around
  • Passed IP68 and MIL-STD-810G 516.6
  • G-Shock Sensor

Packaging

ADATA packed their durable HD720 in a white cardboard box that has a window to view the actual drive inside. The front highlights the capacity as well as safety features that it comes with.

The rear of the box has a little more information about the specifications in multiple languages as well as details on the waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof capabilities.

Inside the box is the drive wrapped with a USB 3 connection cable and a quick start guide should you need that.

EE Power Bars Recalled Due to Safety Concerns – Again!

Mobile phones, tablets, handheld games consoles, many things these days can be charged off of a USB port and while many use their PC’s or laptops to charge their devices, some have taken to other ways to charge them. From a plug, a USB adapter or the more mobile solutions, people are able to store and charge with devices as small as your watch.EE made headline news when it revealed that it would be releasing their Power Bar’s, a small tube which you can plug into your phone or tablet and give it that last-minute boost.

EE made headline news when it revealed that it would be releasing their Power Bar’s, a small tube which you can plug into your phone or tablet and give it that last-minute boost. With the added incentive to be able to pop into any EE store and replace your drained power bar with a charged one, they became quite popular and many companies followed suit. That was until trouble struck. Back in April, EE gave out over a million Power Bars only to then have to recall any Power Bar with a E1-06 model number, thanks to the “small risk” of them bursting into flames and exploding.

This wouldn’t be too bad for them, except that EE has now identified a “very small number” of incidents where Power Bars can overheat, this means you could end up with a flaming battery in your pocket pretty quickly. As a result, EE is recalling every Power Bar that was ever handed out, as detailed in their statement released today on their website.

To help give you a little motivation if you are an “eligible” EE Customer, upon returning your Power Bar to an EE store, you will receive a £20 voucher.

With no information about a possible replacement or Power Bar Version 2.0, I can only praise EE for taking the hit and saying that the risk (no matter how small) is still too great.

Figment VR: The Pocket Sized VR Experience

From time to time we take a break from the heavy work in the office to take a look at the future of technology. Not by checking out the specifications of the Apple iPhone 7 or Samsung Gear 3, but what backstreet innovators around the world think needs to be created. Kickstarter is a perfect place to have a look and the newest project looks simply amazing.

Today I happened to stumble across something that will make VR accessible (and stylish) for everyone. Figment is a mobile phone case with VR goggles attached.

VR started out on Kickstarter a few years ago with the Oculus Rift, this isn’t exactly a mobile option though and designed to work with high-powered computers. Google then released Cardboard which tapped into the power of mobile devices, but the box was bulky to carry around and likely to break.

Kickstarter backer pledges seem pretty reasonable with an Early Bird $49 offer but now has increased to $55 with over 300 left so be quick to grab this offer. For that price, you get a stylish phone case with VR and AR capabilities and not only that, it has a kickstand for your phone too.

The campaign has already hit the original production goal of $75,000, but you can still donate here. This is currently only available to iPhone 6 users, but there are plans on the way to release versions for popular Android and Windows Phone users.

Lian Li Announces TU-300 Portable Case and Trolley Wheels

Lian Li has released yet another chassis and this time it is another portable one for the people who like to take their rig with them, may it be for LAN sessions or something completely different. The new Lian Li chassis is however not a mini-ITX chassis as most portable ones are, but one that can house a full-sized ATX motherboard, multiple graphics cards, and everything else that you’ll want in your rig. Lian Li named it the TU-300 (PC-TU300).

Despite being able to hold a full ATX system, the TU-300 only weighs 3.8kg and measures just 218mm x 398mm x 440mm, making it both compact and lightweight. It comes with a handle mounted on the top that makes it easy to pick up and carry where you need to go and it also features aluminium bumpers on the corners to protect the valuable rig. If that still shouldn’t be portable enough for you, then you can get the optional trolley cart (Lian Li TC-01) that will give your rig wheels and a handle to pull it.

The TU-300 features a bottom to top airflow with two 120mm filtered intake fans at the bottom and two 120mm filtered exhaust fans on top. There is also a rear 120mm fan space that could be used well with an AIO CPU cooler. The power supply, which can be an ATX sized PSU with a length up to 160mm is mounted at the front and has its own intake and exhaust vents.

Seven expansion ports allow for triple GPU setups when thinking dual-slot cards with one to spare for something else. There is plenty of space behind the motherboard tray for cable routing and thanks to the PSU orientation you’ll have a very clean setup. CPU coolers with a height of up to 160mm can be mounted and you can use graphics cards with a length of up to 300mm.

Every hardware part inside the TU-300 is accessible without the use of tools. Either they use tool-free fasteners or thumbscrews. The PCI cover and drive cage are attached with thumbscrews, the drives slot into their respective bays with no tools, and the side doors use lever mechanisms to pop open.

There is really only one downside to this chassis and that is when it comes to how many drives that you can mount. Then again, with today’s capacity and availability of drives, it might not be so bad after all. You can mount up to two 3.5-inch drives in the removable hot swap cage where there’s also space for a 2.5-inch SSD. You can also mount an optical disk drive in the top of the chassis.

The new Lian Li TU300 comes either in full black, inside and out, or alternatively in silver. It will be available in the UK in early October at our friends from Overclockers UK. The PC-TU300A will set you back £179.90 and the PC-TU300X with all black interior can be yours for £199.90. That’s actually not bad compared to the TU-200 mini-ITX brother and only a minor increase in price for a lot more space.

A Sequel to The PlayStation Vita Looks Unlikely

The PlayStation Vita has been something of an enigma in recent years with such a small library of games, although there is a fantastic collection of JRPGs. Sadly, the rise of mobile gaming has made it an extremely niche device. Furthermore, Sony overlooked the handheld and focused on home consoles during major press conferences. Today, Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios discussed the possibility of a sequel at EGX 2015 and said:

“That’s a tough question,” 

“People have mobile phones and it’s so easy to play games on smartphones,”  

“And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start.”

“I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. Touch-based games are fun – there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons make things totally different.”

“So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming.”

Sony is finally admitting head-on the current mobile market trend and realizes that dedicated handhelds are not a profitable venture. While, the Vita might have a specific audience, it isn’t going to match Sony’s expectations and mobile gaming is such a huge force in 2015. This could mark the end of Sony’s handheld project unless their Xperia range of phones becomes the next line-up of portable consoles.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information. 

A Portable Blood Cleanser Being Developed by Harvard Researchers

Science and tech are compatible with each other when it comes to developing new ideas for a variety of applications. This is certainly evident in the health sector which has seen a wide scope of innovations which in turn have been implemented to save lives.

Portability is essential and Harvard researchers are actively developing a machine which can filter pathogens from the blood, this newly proposed technique could offer hope for faster and more effective treatment for sepsis. This machine is nearing the point to which it could be clinically tested on sets of human control groups, which is crucial to the operation and further development of the device.

A prototype of this device has been tested on rats under lab conditions and the results have so far been rather encouraging, below is the current understanding of this machine.

“ It has been found the device which works in a similar way to the dialysis machines already used to filter the blood of patients with kidney failure, not only efficiently removes pathogenic material from the bloodstream but also works in concert with antibiotics to prevent a harmful immune response that can lead to organ malfunction and even death”.

 The project which is being led by researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is part of an effort by the U.S. defence department to design a portable machine for treating soldiers in the field.

Sepsis is an incredibly dangerous and life threatening condition which is triggered by an infection, there is currently no effective therapy and the disorder kills millions of people around the world every year.

This device is potentially an exciting breakthrough in the search for a treatment to sepsis, what’s more exciting and potentially revolutionary is the new device removes pathogens regardless of their identity. It does this by using a genetically engineered blood protein that can bind to more than 90 varieties of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

Let’s hope this machine can be successfully developed with the aim of rolling out to patients and not stocked for US defence use only. It’s exciting times to watch from afar as the boundaries of human health treatments are being pushed to a whole new technical level.

Thank you MIT and harvard.edu for providing us with this information.

 

Dell XPS 12 is a Microsoft Surface Competitor

Dell is allegedly developing its own Surface-style tablet called the XPS 12 which features a 4K Ultra-HD Display and kickstand to hold the device upright. Other notable technical specifications include a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear camera, backlit-key illumination, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and up to 10 hours of battery life. The clip design is extremely reminiscent of Microsoft’s Surface and follows a recent trend of manufacturers cloning the basic concept. Only recently, Apple decided to launch the iPad Pro which contains a clip-on, rubberized keyboard.

It’s interesting to see companies following Microsoft’s lead and Dell might perceive the form-factor as a re-imagining of the laptop. Of course, Dell is a huge brand in the PC industry and one of the top three manufacturers globally but sales have been dwindling for some time. The ultra-thin Surface-like devices are useful due to the touch screen panel and detachable keyboard. However, the pricing remains quite high and this doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

The XPS 12 is feature-rich and utilizes an absolutely blissful display. However, I’m not entirely convinced consumers are prepared to pay such a premium. Whatever the case, Dell’s XPS 12 looks impressive from a technical standpoint, and should be a stunning addition to their product library.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Logitech Announces Bluetooth Keyboard And Mouse Which Works on Any Device

Logitech has unveiled a visually stunning Bluetooth keyboard and mouse which offers unrivalled flexibility to work on any PC, Tablet or smartphone. The K380 keyboard can seamlessly connect to three devices at a time and quickly switch between them using Logitech’s Easy-Switch button. The idea behind this concept is to automatically detect the key layout for various devices and setup a specific set of specialized functions. Logitech’s K380 is relatively compact and features a TKL design. As a result, it’s extremely portable but might not be the best choice for consumers who intend to type large documents on-the-move.

The mouse doesn’t offer anything revolutionary but looks aesthetically pleasing and can track accurately on any surface. This makes it the perfect travel mouse and is fairly comfortable due to the textured finish and ergonomic, curved shape. Additionally, Logitech has incorporated more advanced functions and the mouse is able to execute programmable functions. This is vital if you want to use the M535 across multiple devices.

Bizarrely, the mouse and keyboard isn’t a pre-configured set as shown in the press image and only available as individual products. The K380 keyboard will be launched worldwide in September. Although, the Latin America region will only have to wait until October. In terms of pricing, the keyboard and mouse has an MSRP of $39.99. Honestly, I think Logitech should offer a discount for buying both products as a bundle, and perhaps set a retail price of $69.99.

Thank you DigitalTrends for providing us with this information.

LG’s Rolly Keyboard is a Portable Marvel

LG has unveiled an ingenious accessory called the Rolly Keyboard which easily folds into a solid rectangle shape and unlike flexible keyboards, is extremely sturdy. The Rolly Keyboard is constructed from “impact-resistant” polycarbonate and plastic with two fold-out arms designed to support the weight of a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, there are 4 rows of keys which provides enough room to type freely enough and find commonly used functions. The device features Bluetooth 3.0 and a single AAA battery capable of up to 3 months of prolonged usage. When unrolled, the keyboard automatically pairs itself surrounding devices.

Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company explained this was only the start of things to come:

“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,”

“The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”

Over the years, I’ve seen many compact keyboards but most of them feel quite flimsy due to the flexible plastic construction. LG has somehow managed to create an alternative using strong, durable materials. As a result, it’s quite natural to use the keyboard on-the-go and makes LG’s mobile line-up more alluring.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive 2TB USB 3.0 Review

Introduction


Seagate released their Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive a while ago, but it is still a very valid product and one that shouldn’t be missed. Today I’m taking a closer look at the blue colored version of the Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive with a capacity of 2TB and a USB 3.0 connection.

The thin and light drive is easy to carry everywhere and is perfect to keep all those files that wouldn’t fit on a normal thumbs drive. The thumbs drives might get bigger, but they haven’t reached the 2TB capacity yet and certainly not at a price point that this USB 3.0 hard disk can be had for. It certainly is a lot of storage in a small size and for a good price, and that is something that we like.

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive isn’t just small and light, it’s also sleek and tough thanks to the metal design. The drive measurements are tiny, it is just 113.5mm long, 76mm wide, and typically weighs 159 grams.

The use of a micro connector is obvious here as we couldn’t have this small a drive without. The USB 3.0 connection provides a lot more bandwidth than USB 2.0 as well as major access improvements when dealing with UASP enabled ports.

Seagate’s Dashboard software also works with this drive and it is a great piece of software. All your photos, movies and videos can be backed up using the Seagate Dashboard, including the ones you’ve shared on Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube. Use the Seagate Mobile Backup app to create backups directly from your mobile devices and easily share your content between PCs and Macs. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive is also compatible with Lyve, so all of your photos and videos can be easily shared.

Not only do you get a 2-year warranty with this drive, Seagate also threw in a bonus in the form of a 2-year access to OneDrive with 200GB online storage valued at $95. That makes the drive kind of free if you had planned to purchase that service anyway.

Packaging and Accessories

The drive packaging is simple but provides all the necessary details right off. Brand, drive series, capacity, and the bonus is all mentioned on the front of the box.

The rear side features a little more information about OneDrive and the activation details as well as a little information on Lyve.

Inside the box, you’ll find a USB 3.0 cable as well as the quick start guide to get going in case you shouldn’t know how. The drive is pre-formatted, so all you need to do is plug it in and start using it.

Intel Windows HDMI Compute Stick Review

Introduction


There is a portable “USB-powered-HDMI-displayed-AIO-device” war going on since the arrival of low-cost Android boxes which in turn brought us Windows boxes of the same form factor. The next generation of these devices came and shrunk the form factor even more, bringing the full-fat Windows experience to the System on a Chip (SoC) device while maintaining the size of a large memory stick.

Amongst the-the many rebranded Chinese Android sticks to make it to Europe has been an official offering by Intel in the form of their “Compute Stick”, which serves as proof that they are aiming to claim a slice of this emerging market in both Linux and Windows flavours. Intel were kind enough to send us a Windows Compute Stick to put through its paces, and no sooner had they confirmed we would be getting one had it arrived.

Anyway enough of the backstory, let’s get the shrink wrap off and get this fired up!

Specifications
  • Name: Intel Compute Stick (Windows Variant)
  • CPU: Intel Atom Z3735F (Quad Core 1.3Ghz with 1.8GHz burst)
  • RAM: 2GB 1333MHz DDR3
  • SSD: eMMC 32GB
  • GPU:Intel Integrated Graphics (64mb)
  • LAN: None
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI 1.4
  • OS: Windows 8.1 32bit
  • Dimensions: 103 x 12 x 37 mm (WxHxD)
  • Warranty: 2 Year
  • Price: £119.98

The box is very nicely packed, no bigger than you would get with a phablet sized phone. There is a small black tab which when pulled slides the inner box out from the cover

With the box slid out, the first thing you are presented with is the compute stick itself

Removing the lining reveals multiple accessories underneath

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

SP Introduced the Next Generation Portable Armor A85 HDDs

You might remember the pretty amazing Silicon Power Armor A65 that we reviewed not long ago and just that drive has just been upgraded in the form of the new SP Armor A85 and A85M portable and rugged hard drives. The drives utilize a special internal structure design and rigid aluminium exterior to strengthen its protections against all sorts of things, including shock, pressure, water, and dust.

The A85 drive has passed the U.S military’s drop test of MIL-STD 810G Method 516.6 Procedure IV (transit drop test) and the IP68 standard that it can resist water and dust. Added is the pressure resistance where it can withstand a pressure of up to 500kg of force. The droptest includes freefall tests with a height of up to 122cm on 26 different contact points, so your data should be well protected.

The Silicon Power Armor A85 also offers the SP HDD Lock Utility, a free software download for full disk encryption and 256-bit AES encryption with SP Widget for Windows or Mac OS. IT also features the practical cable carry design where the USB 3.0 cable can be easily attached to the rear of the drive. Have everything in one place.

The A85 and A85M drives are backed by a 3-year warranty and are offered in three capacity options of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

Silicon Power Armor A65 1TB USB 3.0 Hard Disk Review

Introduction


There are a lot of different methods for portable storage and one of them is external hard disk drives. Today I’m taking a closer look at such a solution and it isn’t just the run of the mill drive either. Silicon Power released the Armor A65 back in march and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it performs with everything it can do.

One of the big selling points in this drive is the durability and protection. The drive is shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, comes with encryption software, and it has been rigorously tested. The Armor A65 is the first portable hard drive that passes the IP67 standard in the industry that certifies complete protection against dust penetration, has passed the U.S military’s drop test and can stay submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30-minutes.

The outside of the drive has a rubberized surface that gives you a great grip on the drive, so even though it is shockproof you most likely won’t drop it by accident. The downside to this surface is how well it holds onto dust and other particles. Below is a photo of the drive after I tried to wipe it with a cloth and it had the completely opposite effect. Instead of getting clean, it sucked anything out of the cloth.

Good thing that the drive is waterproof, so cleaning it isn’t any issue. I just held it under running water and rinsed it off before drying it with a paper towel. The result is a great looking drive again.

The Armor A65 consists of two layers of rubber and a middle frame to create a unibody design which makes the casing very resistant and durable. The internal suspension system provides a vibration damping function to reinforce overall stability while the outer rubber cover not only creates a shockproof shell but makes the surface anti-slip and anti-scratch. Featuring advanced 3-layer protection, the rugged Armor A65 is an expert in shock resistance which I’m really looking forward to testing. It’s rare that I get to be reckless with hardware.

We’ve established that the drive is very robust and can withstand a lot, but it is also a portable drive and has to be convenient – and it is. The Silicon Power Armor A65 comes with a built-in ledge on the bottom of the drive where you can insert in included USB 3.0 cable and have everything neatly store together. To meet different storage needs, the Armor A65 is available in 500GB and 2TB capacity options besides the 1TB that I’m testing today.

Armor A65 Product Features:

  • Compliant with the U.S. military drop-test standards MIL-STD 810G Method 516.6 Procedure IV (transit drop test), a freefall test (122cm) on 26 contact points.
  • Industry’s first to meet IP67 dustproof/waterproof standards
  • Advanced internal hard drive suspension system
  • Delicate cable storage design
  • SP HDD Lock Utility free software download for full disk encryption
    (Note: Please remember your password and keep it safe. If you forget it you will not be able to access your data.)
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface
  • Intelligent LED indicator
  • Easy to plug and use; no external adapter required
  • SP Widget free download software, providing 7 major back-up and security functions

Armor A65 Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 143.4 x 86.7 x 20.7 mm
  • Weight: 242~277g (by capacity)
  • Capacity: 500GB、1TB、2TB
  • Material: Rubber/ Plastic
  • Color: Black
  • Interface: USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 compatible
  • Data transfer rates: Max. 5 Gbps (USB 3.0 Mode); Max. 480 Mbps (USB 2.0 Mode)
  • Power supply: DC5V (Power supplied through USB)
  • Supported operating systems: Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Linux 2.6.31 or later, Mac OS 10.5 or later
  • Operating temperature: 5℃~ 55℃
  • Storage temperature: -40℃~ 70℃
  • Warranty: 3 years

Make Your laptop Screen 3x Bigger With Sliden’Joy

Laptops are fantastic for being portable; the ability to carry a powerful piece of tech in your hands anywhere you go has been revolutionary within today’s high-speed world. But, laptops do have a drawback and I am not talking about the Duracell batteries in the back which run out in a few hours, but rather the screen size. This might be about to change with the completion of a Kickstarter which aims to triple a notebooks screen size without adding a vast amount of weight,

Belgian Start up Sliden’Joy has unveiled a bundle of joy in the form of a design which aims to clip two extra screens to your additional laptop. There are 3 sizes which fit 13, 15 and 17 inch laptops as well as two models, an illustration of the product is below, as you can see, it’s pretty nifty and could potentially be aimed at a myriad of consumers.

The Sliden’Joy screens will magnetically attach to the back of your laptop and can be slid out whenever you wish to view your workstation more clearly, the screens will also connect to your laptop via either one USB 3.0 port or two USB 2.0 ports. The makers also promise to allow customization of the product which includes textures and colours. The product is also full HD with prices ranging from 199 Euros (£138.13) to 299 Euros (£207.54) is it quite expensive? Possibly, but if it’s as well made as the makers claim it to be, then it will market well to consumers.

As of writing, the manufactures have raised enough cash, which gives the ability for the start-up to bring their Sliden’Joy to the market within a few months. Just think, next time you’re stuck on a train, the stranger sitting next to you could be rocking their very own Cinema.

SanDisk Flash Drives and SSDs at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – SanDisk also brought along all their other storage devices such as the impressive 128GB Ultra Fit USB 3.0 drive. This is the world’s smallest high-capacity USB 3.0 drive and it can hold up to 16 hours of Full HD video while not being much bigger than the nail on your thumb. The drive still transfers files at up to 130MB/s, allowing you to transfer a full movie in less than 40 seconds.

The new Z400s SSD was also on display, a perfect balance between performance, capacity, and reliability for replacing your PC’s HDD. It’s build as a cost effective alternative to mechanical HDDs.

If the 128GB capacity from the tiny Ultra Fit drive isn’t enough, then SanDisk also has the 256GB Ultra USB 3.0 drive with up to 256GB capacity.

The SanDisk Extreme 500 is a portable SSD with a capacity up to 480GB that fits right into your pocket while being four times faster than an external HDD. It has a rugged and durable design and it is shock resistant, a perfect combination for when you’re on the go.


SanDisk also had their other drives such as the X300 and X110 in 2.5-inch and small form factor drives with them.

Enterprise users also had their part to look at with the CloudSpeed ECO Gen2 SATA3, Lighting Ultra Gen2 12Gb/s SAS, Optimus MAX 4TB SAS and Fusion ioMemory SX300 PCIe Application Accelerator.

SanDisk Showcase Industry’s First 2TB SATA and Portable SSDs at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – The highlight for me at the SanDisk booth were the new, and Industries first, 2TB SATA SSD. The CloudSpeed Evo Gen II is optimized for cloud data services, video streaming, social media analytics and content repository.

The CloudSpeed ECO II is intended for data centres, but there is good news for consumers too as the also presented an external 2TB portable drive. Okay, that’s not entirely true as it only holds up to 1.92TB. The SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD doesn’t just look good, it’s also fast.

SanDisk set up a demonstration of the drive and we see transfer speeds of up to 714MB/s on sequential reads and 717MB/s on writes.

That is some seriously fast external storage, so fast that it beats what most have as internal storage

WD Announced 7th Generation My Passport Portable Drives

WD took their highly successful My Passport portable hard drive for a redesign and overhauled the features to bring out the new My Passport Ultra portable hard drive and My Passport for Mac drives.

This is now the 7th generation of My Passport drives and they are now available with a capacity all the way up to 3TB while still maintaining the compact form factor and light weight.

Style is a matter of personal taste, so it is perfect that WD released the drive in four colours: Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry, and Noble Blue. My Passport Ultra also comes with built-in WD Backup software for easy backup of critical data.

Along with the new drives, WD also introduces a new optional accessory called the WD Grip Pack.  It is a soft band that will be available in a variety of colours for extra style and protection: smoke, slate, grape, sky and fuchsia. A matching USB cable is also included.

3TB capacity might be too much for you, so the drive will be available in other capacities too. 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB version are available too. Features include 256-bit AES hardware encryption and USB 3.0 connectivity. Mac users seem to want more space than the average other user and the WD My Passport for Mac won’t be available as 500GB model.

My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac have a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from $79.99 up to $199.99 depending on capacity. The 3 TB capacity will be available next month. Both versions come with a 3-year limited warranty. The WD Grip Pack will be available in June and for an MSRP of $12.99.

Sharkoon Released USB 3.1 Enclosure and Expansion Card

 

The USB 3.1 has been out for a while now, but we haven’t seen that many sides adopting it yet. It has mostly been for the people getting a new system, with a few mainboard manufacturers refreshing their current lineup with the new standard. But there is good news for those who wish to add USB 3.1 capabilities to their current system too as Sharkoon released a new USB 3.1 expansion card as well as a new external drive enclosure to match.

The QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 enclosure provides is an elegant housing for a 2.5-inch SATA HDD or SDD and connects via an external micro-B type port. The top is made from black brushed aluminium and gives the enclosure a nice touch.

The USB 3.1 Host Controller Card supports PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 and provides your system with two external USB 3.1 type-A connectors. The maximum transfer rate amounts to 10 Gbit/s, but that of course requires a drive capable of performing the same

 

 

The USB 3.1 case supports Windows 8 UASP and offers a maximum transfer rate of 10 Gbit/s to match the expansion card. You can install drives with a height up to 9.5mm, and the enclosure is entirely tool-less and screw-less thanks to the slide-lock.

 

Both the external USB 3.1 Hard Drive Case and the USB 3.1 Host Controller Card are available for an MSRP of €34.99.

Buffalo Announced new MiniStation Extreme NFC Portable Hard Drive

Data security is more important than ever, especially for companies who work with a lot of personal details about their customers. Buffalo announced a new external hard drive that doesn’t just come with great physical resistance, it also packs the latest in digital protection. Buffalo’s new portable hard drive is called the MiniStation Extreme NFC and it will be available as both a 1TB and a 2TB version.

The drive has been tested and passed the US military drop test where it can withstand bumps and drops from a height of up to 1.2 meters. The ruggedized chassis and specialized internal bumpers absorb and transfer the shock away from the drive itself. It has also passed the IPX3 test to prove that it can withstand water and splashes and the IPX5 test for dust protection.

The digital side doesn’t just bring a 256-bit AES Full Data Encryption to protect sensitive data, it also comes with an included NFC smart card to protect and unlock the files. You don’t need to remember any passwords and you can ship the card and drive separately for additional protection.

“When examining the rugged portable drive market, many of our competitors focus on being the best at a single metric of device protection while sacrificing other data security capabilities,” said Matt Dargis, COO, Buffalo Americas, Inc. “We designed the MiniStation Extreme NFC to be the most complete rugged portable drive on the market, including features that not only protect against the elements, but also support the latest hardware encryption technology and NFC secure access functionality. We packaged all of this functionality into a sleek, compact design that sets it apart from the competition.”

The MiniStation Extreme NFC comes with an integrated flex connect cable and connects through USB 3.0 for maximum transfer speeds.

The new Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is available now for an MSRP of $129.99 for the 1TB model (HD-PZN1.0U3B) and $199.99 for the 2TB model (HD-PZN2.0U3B). Both are backed by a three-year warranty and comes bundled with TurboPC EX2, Backup Utility, Formatter2, and Lock and Go for NFC.