Tenda Releases F3 Router Perfect for Large IoT Homes

Tenda just announced the availability on their newest router called the F3 and while it might look a little weird to begin with, it certainly does have its benefits. The Tenda F3 is a slim and low-profile 2.4GHz 300Mbps router which might not sound like much when compared to flagship routers that come with all the bells and whistles attached, but it does have its benefits.

The 2.4 GHz band might not sport the high gigabit speeds you can get off  the 5 GHz band, but it does have a much better coverage and allows you to reach the furthest corners of your home without dead zones. Tenda amplified this feature by equipping the router with three external 5dBi antennas that can achieve a full coverage of a 200 square meter home.

The router is advertised as a mainstream router thanks its basic wireless features and low price of just $24.99 USD, but I see it more as the perfect router for the home of tomorrow and powered with all sorts of IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Networking your home appliances and connecting them requires a great connectivity that is both just stable and also covers each and every corner of your home. You need to be able to prioritize traffic and assign bandwidth limitations to make sure your vital IoT devices have uninterrupted and lag-free connections, and Tenda’s router OS has all the features for this built right into the easy-to-use interface.

Naturally, the router will be just as great for sharing your internet connection among all your PCs, smartphones, TVs, and what other devices you might have. The only downside is really the 100 Mbps LAN and WAN ports, but that can easily be rectified by adding a simple Gbps switch between your systems and the router.

Specifications

  • Dimension: 127.4mm*90.5mm*26mm
  • Antenna: 3x5dBi external undetachable antennas
  • Power Consumption: 1.9W(no load)~3.3W(full-load)
  • Power Supply: DC 9V 600mA
  • Button: WPS/RESET
  • LED: SYS, WiFi, LAN(1-3), WAN, T, WPS
  • Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Interface: 10/100M auto-negotiation WAN port ; 3*10/100M auto-negotiation LAN ports
  • Standard: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Silicon Power Slim S55 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


I have already had the pleasure to review a few storage products from Silicon Power and today I’m having the second solid state drive of theirs on my test bench for a closer look at what it can perform: The Silicon Power Slim S55 240GB solid state drive.

Silicon Power’s Slim series of solid state drives all come with a 7mm thickness, making them perfect for ultrabooks and similar portable computers that require this form factor. Traditional 2.5-inch mechanical drives mostly come with a 9.5mm thickness, ruling them out as an option. The Slim S55 SSD is the little brother in this series, but it doesn’t need to be ashamed of that.

The Silicon Power Slim S55 is designed for the budget minded consumer that doesn’t want to compromise performance at the same time. Taking the move up from a mechanical hard disk drive or a solid state hybrid drive and to a real SSD can make a world of difference and the SP Slim S55 would be a great option here. It is available as just the drive itself, as I’m testing and reviewing today, but it is also available as an upgrade package with included shockproof external enclosure and cloning software to make the switch as easy as possible. A few clicks with the included NTI Echo 3 cloning software and your laptop is ready to rock with solid state drive speeds.

A solid state drive is an optimal choice for any portable computer, it has a higher reliability and durability than a mechanical HDD does. It doesn’t have any moving parts that generate noise, it consumes less power, has a higher shock resistance, and a throughput that is a lot higher.

The Silicon Power Slim S55 connects through a default SATA3 interface that’s also backward compatible with previous generations. Connecting it to a slower bus naturally also impacts performance, but it is one of the nice things about the SATA connector: Combability. The Slim S55 is rated for a performance of up to 520 MB/s while reading and up to 460 MB/s when writing.

Feature wise we find all the basics and as well as a little more. The Slim S55 supports TRIM and Garbage Collection, Native Command Queuing and it is RAID ready. S.M.A.R.T. is also supported and it comes with built-in Error Correction Code. The only thing that’s missing a little bit is the DeviceSleep feature and maybe encryption support, but you can’t get it all when you go down the budget route.

Silicon Power offers the Slim S55 solid state drive in five different capacities, making sure there is an optimal choice for everyone. Users that only need a little space because they run an Android or ChromeOS, or possible store most data in a personal or commercial cloud environment will find great options here just as users that require more space for a complete windows installation with games and programs will. The Slim S55 is available with 32GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacity. All of them are backed by a 3-year warranty.

Opening up the drive and having a look inside and we see what the drive is made of. We find a 2/3 sized PCB featuring a quad-core Phison PS3110-S10 controller that should give a great performance at both sequential and random operations. There are four NAND chips on the top and another four on the rear, making up the total of 240GB capacity. We also see a Nanya 128MB DDR3 cache located on the top.

Features

  • 7mm slim design suitable for Ultrabooks and Ultra-slim notebooks
  • SATA III 6Gbps, backward compatible with SATA II 3Gbps
  • ATTO high transfer rate: Read speed: 520 MB/s max; Write speed: 460 MB/s max
  • Smartest Choice for System Upgrade
  • Supports TRIM command and Garbage Collection technology
  • NCQ and RAID ready
  • Implemented with ECC technology to guarantee data transmission reliability
  • Built-in with SMART monitoring system
  • Low power consumption
  • Shockproof & Anti-Vibration
  • Noiseless operation, no latency delay and no seek error
  • 3-year warranty

Packaging

Silicon Power wrapped the Slim S55 in a blister package that displays the included drive directly through the front while it also highlights the drives features and 7mm slim-type.

On the rear, we can find a few more information such as how much better it is than a traditional hard disk drive as well as a list of the basic features NCQ, TRIM, and RAID readiness in several languages.

Inside the blister pack is the drive itself and the leaflet folds out into a small manual and getting started guide that highlights the features, specifications and setting description.

Silverstone Tundra TD02-Slim AIO Cooler Review

Introduction


The design team at Silverstone are the masters of ergonomics, something we’ve seen time and time again with their revolutionary space-saving chassis designs. Not only have they created some masterful chassis, but they also have a great range of cooling products that are perfectly designed for tighter spaces, such as slim fans, low-profile air coolers and slim AIO radiators. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Tundra TD02-Slim, a 240mm AIO water cooler with a total thickness of just 37mm, with the fans installed! This is going to be a great cooler for mini-ITX and Micro-ATX chassis designs where space is at a premium.

“Due to limited room in smaller cases, small form factor users are often left out of liquid cooling option, so SilverStone has released the Tundra TD02-Slim. Designed for small form factor PCs, this cooler has a radiator and fan combo of only 37mm thick, making it possible to fit into slimmer profile cases or giving more space in tight confines. By retaining many of the high-end features from SilverStone’s other liquid cooling models, the TD02-Slim also has great performance for the money and is a top choice for high performance but small PC builds.”

The cooler is well equipped, with a copper base plate, a 22mm aluminium radiator, high-performance pump, and two 15mm thick PWM fans. Of course, the cooler also comes with support for a massive range of socket types, ensuring compatibility with any modern system.

The packaging shows off a nice image of the cooler, as well as a quick rundown of the main spec, such as the slim form factor and the extensive socket support.

Around the back, much of the same information, just broken down into various international languages.

Virtually everything you need is included, such as a universal backplate, as well as a Y-split fan cable and a Molex adaptor should you not have any available fan headers on your motherboard.

The included fans look really nice, with a contrasting black and white theme. They’re obviously super slim, but with a large number of fins, they’re still going to be able to shift some serious airflow. The only minor gripe is the colour of the fan cables, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

Transcend Develops SuperMLC NAND Technology

Here I sat thinking that I knew all the terms for the different NAND technologies and then Transcend comes along with a new one that they have called SuperMLC. SuperMLC was developed as a more cost effective solution to SLC NAND with a performance that comes very close. In fact, the write performance is up to four times better than traditional MLC-based products.

Okay, I have to be honest right away and say that this technically isn’t a new form of NAND, we’re still dealing with Multi-Level Cell NAND chips. The difference comes down to how this NAND is handled by the SSD controller and its firmware. By using high-quality NAND chips and reprogramming the firmware, Transcend essentially created a cell-based RAID setup where the same data is stored in both bits in the same cell instead of having different data stored in the two. This naturally decreases the available capacity per NAND chip by half, but it also allows the drives to deliver a much better performance. In fact, the new SuperMLC has up to four times the sequential write performance when compared with traditional MLC NAND. It also brings better lifetime expectancy with up to 30,000 P/E cycles.

Transcend will release new drives based on this technology in early 2016 and they are all aimed at the enterprise sector where both initial costs and total costs of ownership really matters. That doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase these drives and use them in your personal setup, if that is something you are considering. Among the upcoming products with this brand new SuperMLC technology are a 2.5-inch SSD (SSD510K), an mSATA SSD (MSA510), a half-slim SSD (HSD510), and two M.2 SSD models. (MTS460 & MTS860).

What do you think of this way to utilize the NAND chips? Would this be an option you would be interested in, or do you prefer the normal MLC NAND for capacity or SLC NAND-based products for their reliability and performance? Let us know in the comments.

Akasa Plato X Slim Fanless Chassis i5/i7 NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


We’ve got a great change of pace for you today, as we’ve broken away from the standard motherboard form factors for something a little more compact. I am of course talking about the Intel NUC motherboards, which may be tiny, but still pack a huge range of features, high-end processors such as the i5 and i7 ranges and enough connectivity to satisfy the needs of a whole range of usage scenarios.

Akasa are the masters of integrated systems and their range of NUC products is virtually unmatched by their chassis making rivals. The model we have in today, the Plato X, is super slim and despite its completely fanless design, it has enough cooling potential to chill a 5th Gen Core i7 NUC board.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i7RYH / NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE

In terms of spec, this little chassis is well equipped, with room for a single 2.5″ HDD/SSD, but you can squeeze some M.2 drives on your compatible NUC board should you need to.

The chassis is constructed from aluminium, which not only looks stunning with its black finish and silver time highlights on the edges of the front panel, but it also doubles up as the heatsink for the CPU. The entire chassis is designed to provide passive cooling for the internal hardware and that’s why the length of the chassis is so much longer than the 4-inch motherboard, to help better handle the heat of a high-end chip, such as the i7.

The right and left side of the chassis as the same; black aluminium from front to back.

The front panel is gorgeous, good enough to look at home as part of a sleek HTPC setup without being distracting while you’re watching a movie. It’s well equipped too, with a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports, an HD audio jack and the usual power buttons.

Around the back, you’ll find the motherboard I/O ports and two rubber pegs that can be removed to allow you to use Wi-Fi antenna.

There’s even a second backplate included in the box for i5 NUC boards, as well as offering support for COM port, something that’s still very widely used for a lot of industrial applications.

The top panel is held in place with four small screws, running down the middle of the top of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is nice and simple, but if you look closely you’ll see a few screw holes. There’s a mounting kit included, perfect for stealth mounting the unit or fitting it to a compatible VESA bracket.

SilverStone Releases Super Slim AIO Liquid Coolers

Pre-filled and closed loop all-in-one liquid coolers bring along a lot of advantages, but they also come with some downsides. One of the problems that can occur is due to the radiator and their mounted fans, the overall thickness can simply be too much to make them fit into your compact setup. SilverStone have now released two new AIO CPU coolers that combat just this problem, the new and super slim TD02-SLIM 240mm and the TD03-SLIM 120mm CPU coolers.

These two new CPU coolers are specially designed for small form factor PCs and users of those that still want to have a liquid cooling setup. The two new CPU coolers only measure 37mm thickness in total, counting both the fans and radiator. The radiators themselves are only 22mm thin and SilverStone added 15mm thin fans to them.

The pump unit has a motor speed of 2500 RPM and the fan speed is RPM based between 800 and 2200 RPM. The result is a noise production between 16.5 and 27.4 dBa. The baseplate is made from copper and the radiator uses aluminium fins. Both new SilverStone SLIM coolers are compatible with Intel LGA775, 115x, 1366, 2011(v3) as well as all current AMD sockets.

The recommended End User price (excl. VAT) is 95,88 USD for the TD02-SLIM and 73,08 USD for the TD03-SLIM. Availability is set for September 22nd.

Special Features:

  • Super slim 37mm total thickness for radiator and fan
  • Maintenance free, no refill required
  • Dual auto adjustable 120mm slim PWM fans included
  • Thick, leak-proof tubing improve reliability
  • 0.2mm micro-channel water block design for improved
  • Large 100% copper base plate for fast heat transfer
  • Integrated blue LED indicator
  • Compatible with socket LGA775/115X/1366/2011/2011-v3/AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2

Enermax Released ETS-T40F Models and Test It Versus Coffee Boiler

Enermax had a very popular CPU cooler ever since they launched the original ETS-T40 about four years ago and now they’re following up on that with a new series of CPU coolers that should satisfy almost anyone. The new ETS-T40F comes in three version and the F suffix in the name stands for Fit and highlights the extra slim cooler.

The ETS-T40F only has 41mm depth, making it a good fit for almost any setup, no matter how tight it is. The cooler is using proven technologies such as vacuum effect flow, vortex generator flow, and direct touch heat pipes. Even with this slim 41mm heatsink, the ETS-T40F reaches a TDP of 200W which is quite impressive and the same level as the predecessor.

The first model in the series is the ETS-T40F-TB, and it comes with the very popular T.B. Silence 120mm fan that is extremely silent and comes with a wide RPM range from 800 to 1800 RPM. Even this low-noise bundled fan model comes with an extra RPM adapter to fulfill the requirements of ultra-silent PCs and it can take the fan level down to 400-900 RPM.

The second model is the ETS-T40F-RF and it comes with Enermax newly developed Winglet fan that measures 140mm that achieves an excellent balance between noise generation and cooling performance. It generates a significantly higher air flow than average 120mm case fans at low speeds while the special winglet blades reduce noisy air turbulence.

The third model is probably what you’d consider the premium model and it is the black ETS-T40F-BK. It is coated with a high-tech thermal-conductive finish which makes sure that the thermal resistance of the heat sink remains low. It comes equipped with the T.B.Apollish fan that has a patented LED ring that bathes your PC system in cool blue light. With 12 diodes, the LED technology guarantees extraordinary bright and intensive colours and with 800 to 1,800 RPM, the 12cm PWM fan has enough power to cool down strong gaming rigs.

Now, what was it about that coffee boiler I mentioned in the headline. Well, Enermax know they have created an awesome product with the ETS-T40F models. That means that they also needed something else to test it on to show what it can do. And what is closer to a nerds minds than coffee? Not much. Enermax measured how long it took for a 350W coffee boiler to bring water to boil first and then followed it up by a second attempt where they use the ETS-T40F to prevent the water from boiling. How effective that was can be seen in the video below. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s quite impressive.

The ETS-T40F series supports all current Intel and AMD platforms, that includes Intel LGA 775, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, and 2011-3 as well as AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+. The three models are now available for sale and the MSRP inc. VAT is set to 37.90 Euro for ETS-T40F-TB, 40.90 Euro for the ETS-T40F-RF and 44.90 Euro for the ETS-T40F-BK.

SilverStone Announced Super Slim 180mm Fan with Speed Adjustment

SilverStone has released their newest slim fan, the 180mm sized FM182. The FM182 is a superb 180mm fan package with manual adjustable fan controller and a slim profile of 18mm thickness and has fan blades designed to provide excellent balance of airflow and air pressure for their size.

Finding a perfect speed for this fan in any given application is simple with the included fan controller. It is constructed out of high strength white colored plastic and comes packed with anti-vibration mounts as well as the fan controller and screws.

With a thickness of just 18mm, this new fan is close to half the size of an ordinary 180mm fan, something that might give you that bit of extra space that you’ll need.

Special Features:

  • Includes expansion slot cover with fan controller
  • 180mm fan with super slim 18mm thickness
  • 500rpm ~ 1200rpm speed range
  • Optimum airflow, pressure and extremely silent performance

The FM182 is available now for a recommended End User price of $14.9 (excl. VAT)

Thanks to SilverStone for providing us with this information

BitFenix Pandora Aluminium Chassis Revealed

The latest BitFenix chassis has just been revealed and it’s unlike anything they’ve ever done before, in fact, it’s unlike anything anyone else has done before! The BitFenix Pandora features a brushed aluminium design, a slim MATX form factor and it even features an integrated LCD logo on the front panel.

The chassis features a super clean exterior design with curved aluminium panels that come with tool-free fittings. The chassis has a slim 160mm profile; that’s just big enough to fit an ATX power supply.

The front panel comes equipped with a customisable BitFenix ICON 2.4″ TFT screen, meaning you can add your own logo, photo or what ever you like to the front of the case via a simple drag and drop software interface. The screen is connected to your system via a motherboard USB header.

BitFenix have also put in extra effort to ensure the chassis is compatible with high end components, with room for graphics cards of up to 350mm, PSUs of up to 180mm and radiators of up to 240mm x 120mm.

There are three 120mm fans pre-installed in the chassis, two in the front and one in the top, with all intakes fitted with easy to remove dust filters. Depite the slim form factor, BitFenix have also equipped the chassis with some cable management solutions.

The chassis will be available in black or silver, as well as with an optional windowed side panel for those who love to show off their builds. If you just want the stock chassis, you can even get it without the ICON display to help keep your costs down.

Thank you BitFenix for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of BitFenix.

be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


be quiet! are well-known in the industry for doing one thing incredibly well, making super quiet performance products; their power supplies, fans and CPU coolers have won many awards for their whisper quiet acoustics and their high-end cooling. The main downside with be quiet! products is that they’re really high-quality means their price tags often wander into the premium budget ranges, of course you do get what you pay for, but not everyone has £70+ to spend on their CPU cooler, nor do they want to. The Shadow Rock Slim looks set to address the price concern by offering the legendary be quiet! performance in terms of cooling and aesthetics, but at the much more affordable price range of around £30.

Many of the be quiet! coolers on the market today are some of the best air coolers money can buy; they all feature be quiet! ultra-premium grade Silent Wings fans, flawless quality and great aesthetics that go a long way to compliment the high levels of performance they offer. Just how much of these things gets lost in a budget model such as the Shadow Rock Slim remains to be seen, but I have a feeling be quiet! don’t know how to make an inferior product, so I suspect this will also be one of the best coolers in its price bracket; just like every other product they produce.

As you can see from the specification below, the cooler support all major socket types for both Intel and AMD. It comes equipped with a single 135mm SilentWings 1400rpm fan and aluminium fin construction.

The box features the same styling of the rest of the be quiet! range; along the front you can see a nice image of the cooler, below which you’ll see it has a max TDP of 160W.

Around the back is a quick run-down of some of the major features, but we’ll be taking a closer look at those in a moment.

In the box you’ll find a universal backplate with thick foam padding, two fan clips, thermal grease, Intel mounting brackets,  AMD mounting brackets an assortment of screws and bolt, and a small spanner.

Rosewill RISE Slim Full-Tower PC Chassis Revealed

Rosewill revealed their RISE chassis this week, a new slim ATX full-tower chassis series that will come in two variants, the RISE and the RISE Glow; although the only major difference is that the Glow comes equipped with illuminated fans. As the name would suggest, the cases are a slim design and this should make them nice and easy for slotting next to your desk, especially fi you need room for a full-ATX system, but you’re running a little short on floor space as each case measures 233 x 440 x 550mm.

The shallow length of the chassis has been achieved by moving the front stack of storage bays to the bottom of the chassis, leaving more room for longer graphics cards and other devices. This does mean that storage is a little limited for a chassis of this class, but for most users the 2 x 5.25″ , 2 x 3.5″ and 1 x 2.5″ drive bays will be more than enough.

The chassis comes equipped with three 120mm front intakes and a 140mm and a 80mm rear exhaust, as well as two 140mm top exhausts. All the usual compliments are here too, with two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and HD Audio jacks on the front panel.

No word on price or availability just yet, although I would expect this to be a premium grade chassis, so upwards of $100 doesn’t sound unrealistic. I expect more details will follow in the coming weeks.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Synology DS414slim 4-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


When looking at bulk storage and consequently network storage, the generic blueprint that virtually every vendor follows is a desktop or rackmount system with an even number of drive bays, each with the capacity to hold the largest drives that can be bought on the market today – which come in a 3.5″ format, although we do find a few situations where 2.5″ SSDs are used based on the application of the storage array. Whilst this blueprint is perfectly fine, on the consumer end of the market where we are not always looking at jaw dropping capacities and performance, a typical 4-bay system is not exactly the easiest of things to tuck away under the desk or in the closet and then we have to factor in the cost of getting up and running. 3.52 drives are the only way to go if you want large amounts of storage on hand, but if you want a more modest setup with a system the doesn’t end up acting like a foot rest under your desk, there are barely any options out there to choose from.

2.5″ drives are, for the most part, forgotten about when it comes to mass storage. Unless you are talking about solid state drives, we generally find people taking the 3.5″ route, without even considering 2.5″ spinning platters, which are left for the entry-level notebooks and budget ultra-SFF systems and this is reflected [as highlighted above] in the NAS market from bottom to top. Wanting to break away from this generalised blueprint, Synology have made an ambitious move to shrink down their popular DS414 line of systems into a tiny, baby-NAS like package which runs solely on 2.5″ drives, making the presence of a NAS in the home a lot more subtle than before.

With a top end raw capacity of only 4TB, Synology’s DS414slim is not going to be a storage monster for those who have tons of films, music and photos to store, but for the average Joe who is looking for a tidy, compact system to blend in with their minimalist desktop setup with a nice and reasonable storage capacity of 3TB (when in RAID5), the slim does start to sound like an interesting investment. It’s size is not a sign that we are working on skeleton features either. Whilst we only find a pair of USB3.0 ports and a pair of GbE ports alongside four drive bays, the number of software features that are at your disposal are virtually the same as those found on a full-on NAS such as the DS414 which this is related to. By the time we factor in the lower cost of drives; around £55 / $76 each for one of Western Digital’s 1TB Red drives which are build primarily for the consumer NAS market and what you can have here is a tidy little system that offers just as much as its larger siblings.

Whether or not this move turns out to be a successful move by Synology comes done to the build, features, ease of use and ultimately the performance. After all there is not point in getting such a tiny system if the performance is not worth the cost.

Packed in to the relatively tiny box, Synology provide a power adaptor with regional mains plug, a pair of patch leads, a set of screws, a quick installation guide and something a little bit different – a base on which the unit sits.

Synology Compact DS414Slim NAS Announced

Synology’s DiskStation NAS products are once of the more popular options out there on the market today and as the demand for systems goes up exponentially, there is a growing demand for systems that cover smaller and smaller desktop footprints. To keep up with this demand, Synology have today announced their latest consumer targeted system that is built on their latest DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5.0 operating system, the DS414Slim. As the name suggests, the DS414Slim is a compact 4-bay solution that works solely with 2.5″ drives, offering up the RAID5 security that a full-sized 3.5″ set of drives would offer, but in a form factor that only takes up around two-thirds that of the DS414j for example.

Powered by a Marvell Armada FPU, the Slim offers 512MB of RAM – twice that of its predecessor, with support for the latest 1.5TB 2.5″ drives, giving a total RAW capacity of 6TB when running in JBOD or RAID0 modes. Connectivity wise we find dual USB3.0 ports and dual-LAN for link aggregated connections as well as all the software features and add-ons that we would find on any other Synology product.

Thadd Well, a PR Manager for Synology’s North America Division spoke out about the system stating, “The DS414slim is really an impressive piece of tech. From the offset, you wouldn’t believe such a small device was actually a server. With DSM 5.0 to bring its components to life, the slim is a fantastic solution for businesses, creative teams, and home enthusiasts looking for compact network attached storage.”

Pricing is set to start at around $299 in the US and around £229 inc VAT in the UK and as samples start to ship out, I’ll be taking a closer look at how the Slim performs in comparison to its full-weight brothers in the coming weeks.

Source and Image courtesy of Synology UK

QNAP SilentNAS HS-210 2-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


When we look at where a NAS is typically designed to be placed, integration into a home A/V setup is not overly common surprisingly. Whilst there are a countless number of two and four bay systems that offer media playback capabilities, which I will add is great to see for the SOHO markets, their tower like design is not always that convenient to fit in with the DVD players, surround sound systems and game console stack that many of us have underneath our TV’s in the lounge – like the photo above funnily enough which is a quick glimpse into the system that we are taking a look at today.

QNAP as we know are one of the big players in the NAS market, lining up alongside Thecus, Asustor and Synology to name but a few and like everyone else, their product range spreads out from the basic single bay systems that are found on the entry-level end of the scale, right up to the 16+ bay rackmount systems that are built for enterprise and datacentre use. What QNAP have noticed though is that there is a gap in the market for systems like the one in hand today and considering many home users are now looking towards a network storage solution for their home media, now is a perfect time to hit that market with a system that blends right in to the A/V stacks that we all have in one way or another.

Built around a two bay design and supporting the latest 5TB drives, the HS-210 SilentNAS is, as the name would suggest, a system that takes noise head on and following some carefully planned design work, they have created a system that is totally passive with no fans included in the system. No fans = no noise and whilst we do have to account for the fact that spinning platter do generate a certain level of acoustic output, they are nowhere near as acoustic as they were only a few years ago. Another challenge that QNAP have decided to take on is hiding the drive bays away from view. Whereas having drive bays on view on a typical desktop NAS, in a home theater setup they’re not the most elegant of objects to look at, so a front cover that hides the bays away acts as a simple, yet effective solution.

In addition to offering up the looks that home theatre users are likely to want, QNAP are aware that the price point is also key to securing the purchase, so a price point of around $290 / £240 should whet the appetite of any tech enthusiast – at least that is the theory.

There is no surprises in seeing a simple and to the point kit list with this being an entry-level system. Along side a quick setup guide and a couple of sets of screws for 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives, we get a single Ethernet cable and a DC power adaptor with regional mains cable to suit.

Lighter PS Vita Heading To North America This Spring

The lighter and slimmer PlayStation Vita was released in Japan at the end of last year, and a few days ago it was also launched in the UK, now Sony have confirmed that the new hardware will be heading to the US as part of a $200 combo that will include the Vita version of Borderlands 2 or God of War 1 and 2.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the PS Vita Slim features a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 Core processor, SGX543MP4+ GPU, 512MB of RAM, 128MB of VRAM, and a resolution of 960 x 540. It measures 183.6 x 85.1 x 15mm and weighs 219g, 5 per cent lighter and 20 per cent slimmer than the original Vita.

One of the biggest changes in the Vita slim is that Sony have dropped the expensive OLED display in favour of LCD, this goes a long way to improving battery life on the hand held, something that will prove useful on those long journeys when you’re away from a plug socket.

Thank you Pocket Lint for providing us with this information.

Computer Chips Could Keep You Slim In The Future

According to an article from Fudzilla, Swiss researchers have developed a computer chip implant which can keep you slim. The chip constantly checks for fat in the blood and, when someone has eaten too much, release a hormone that sates hunger. It works on mice.

The researchers hope that within five to ten years they will have a version the size of a coin that can be slipped under the skin of a slimmer’s arm. According to the journal Nature Communications reports that the chip contains two genes that work together to keep appetite in check. The first monitors fat levels in blood. When they get too high, it tells the second to make the appetite suppressant.

Chip inventor, Professor Martin Fussenegger, said chips containing other combinations of genes could be developed to tackle other illnesses. The downside is that US born again Christians would think that a chip being installed in the body is part of the reign of the anti-christ. If the chip use takes off then US Christians will remain obese while the rest of the world stays slim.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Asus Release External Slim Optical Drive For Ultrabooks

For a number of users, when buying a new notebook or ultrabook, one factor that they take into consideration is the inclusion of an optical bay. On the notebook front this is generally not a problem but when things are scaled down to the ultrabook size, potential buyers not the drop of the optical bay which for some people leaves them in a decision conundrum.

We do acknowledge that the use of optical media is generally not as profound as it used to be due to the presence of digital downloads, streaming services and overall faster internet speeds, but there is still a market for optical media and also a need for it as well.

As an addition to their product lines and targeted directly at their Zenbook range, Asus have released a line of three external DVD writers that come in three colours; Lively Mellow Metallic, Bright Berry and Dusty Rose and all feature a “concentric-circle hairline texture” in their 13mm thick, brushed aluminium frames.

The SDRW-08U5S-U comes with a built in stand that allows the drive to be left laying flat or stood up to take up a smaller space depending on the users preference. On top of this the drives support Asus’ Disc Encryption II which, as the name suggests, encrypts data with passwords and encoded file names to secure valuable data.

Whilst the drives have been announced, there is currently no word about pricing nor availability, but we will keep an eye out for this ideally suited add on to the Zenbook range.