Clarkson Takes a Cheeky Shot at BBC in New Fire TV Stick Ad

It’s no secret that things between the BBC and Clarkson are a little up in the air, especially after his fairly regular outbursts, things he’s said on TV that weren’t exactly PC, getting into the now historical ‘fracas’ with a co-worker and, of course, him being fired over the matter and jumping ship to Amazon. To make good on their new deal, Amazon is wasting little time putting Clarkson, and no doubt his two buddies, to good use.

As you can see in the video below, Clarkson is touting the new Amazon Fire TV Stick, in pretty much the style we’ve come to expect from him. Of course, with the new show on the way in 2016, Amazon don’t want fans of Clarkson and his crew to miss out. Watching on your PC or mobile device is one thing, but the Fire Stick is great for watching streamed content on the big screen; unless you already have one of the few smart TVs that has actually got a decent app/CPU combo to be usable.

With Amazon spending £160m for 36 episodes, there’s no doubt that they’ll want a lot of people to tune in to recoup some of their investment.

Are you looking forward to the new Clarkson show? Let us know in the comments section below.

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

The Tiny Intel Compute Stick Is Now Available

The tiny and pocket-sized Intel Compute Stick, based on an Intel atom quad-core processor, is available now. The tiny computer plugs directly into your HDMI port and the current version is running Windows 8.1 with Bing, although Linux versions are planned as well. The pocket computer can now be bought from authorized dealers in most of the world, and best of all, it doesn’t even cost that much.

The Intel Compute stick can transform any HDMI display into an entire computer capable of working with productivity apps such as office or simple image editing, but it’s also perfectly suited for light gaming and streaming content, driving basic digital signage or enabling thin clients. It supports Wireless technology for its connection and you can hook it up to your existing Wireless 802.11 b/g/n network.

You’ll also get 2GB of memory and 32GB onboard flash storage and the Compute stick’s storage can be extended by the use of microSD cards and also comes with a USB port. Wireless devices can also be connected to the stick through Bluetooth 4.0

The Windows version is available now at e-tailers such as Amazon and NewEgg and Intel is also going to release a Ubuntu version later that only comes with 1 GB memory and 8 GB of onboard storage. The Windows version will cost you $149 while the smaller Linux model is expected to cost just $110.

How NOT To Use a Selfie Stick

Selfie sticks have been a popular choice for people who like to take a lot of selfies outdoors, having to get the best shot further away from the hand’s reach. However, some people don’t quite get it that they are also a bit dangerous if mishandled.

This is the case of a woman from outside Buckingham Palace, who decided to answer her phone while still having the selfie stick attached to it. One bystander was so fascinated by her act that decided to post the photo to see what people’s reactions are to this situation. Reddit users followed with their thoughts shortly.

“She could have someone else hold it up to her ear and make it hands free,” one Reddit user wrote.

“She was calling friend who she’s about to facetime with, telling them to take a screenshot for her selfie collection,” another said.

How about you? Are you using selfie sticks? Would you answer your phone like this woman did?

Thank you News.com.au for providing us with this information.

Snowboarder Demonstrates Why You Don’t Use a Selfie Stick on the Slopes

The fact that selfie sticks are loathed by people around the world is no surprise, and rightfully so for many reasons. Using them can take your focus away from what is going on around you by focusing on the little stick that you are waving around.

This lesson was learned by a snowboarder who was using a selfie stick with a video camera attached to the end. While not paying attention the snowboarder gets a good knock to the back of the head from a gondola heading down the mountain. Even after being knocked down the guy didn’t have enough sense to put it away and sits down to gather himself while still fiddling with the stick. Hopefully the next time the guy decides to hit the slopes he will leave the selfie stick at home and preferably in the trash.

Source: Mashable

Team Group M131 16GB Dual Flash Drive Review

Introduction


The limited storage in mobile devices can be a real problem just as the fact that a touchscreen rarely is the optimal input device. Both these things might be a thing of the past if you invest in a Team Group M131 Smart Dual Drive with OTG support that. I’m taking a closer look at 16GB model of just this drive today.

Whether you want to create a copy of the files you got on your mobile device onto a flash drive or just want to create backups, switch out content or extend the internal storage for a while, the M131 USB drive is here for you. You just slide the cover back and plug it into your OTG capable device.

Once we have our files copied from the smartphone or tablet onto the M131 flash drive, we would like to be able to use it our PC that doesn’t have a micro USB port. For this purpose, the M131 is designed as a two piece drive. Simply pull it apart and you’ll expose the normal USB 2.0 connector and have a flash drive like you’re used to from all the other ones you have.

Plugging it apart also exposes the third feature of this flash drive, the separate OTG adapter that you can use to connect compliant devices directly to your tablet or smartphone and this includes USB keyboards, mice and hard drives.

The surface is made from a matte anti-fingerprint material and it has a slide cap design over the Micro USB port to prevent dust gathering and collisions to the somewhat weaker point compared to a normal USB plug. Like most flash drives, the M131 also comes with a strap hole slings to carry it more convenient and prevent unnecessary loss and searches.

Finally, the dual design with the OTG Converter is a lot more convenient than a cable in most cases and the 2-in-1 design plugged together avoids the trouble of missing pieces and searching the cable.

The compact size of just 44 x 16.6 mm and weighing just 6.6 grams make this drive highly portable. It comes backed with a lifetime warranty and is available in three capacities: 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB.

PNY Launches HP v231w “Goat” Flash Drive

PNY Technologies has officially announced the limited edition HP v231w USB flash drive to coincide with the Chinese New Year. What 2015, the Year of the Goat, will do for Goat Simulator, I do not know. But what I do know is that PNY has released this specially designed flash drive crafted with gold housing and finished with electronic plated durable metallic casing makes HP v231w a unique and high-quality flash drive.

The USB 2.0 drive doesn’t just carry your files, it also kinda protects them with the durable casing that is both water and dust-proof. There should be a right fit for everyone with capacities ranging from 16 to 64GB.

The 4.5 gram light HP v231w measures 4.5 x 12.2 x 34.6 mm and will be released as a limited edition that is HP compatible and branded. Support is listed for Windows 2000/ XP / Vista, 7, 8, Mac OS: 10.3 and above, but I can not see why anything with USB port shouldn’t be able to use it. It comes backed by a two-year warranty within the date of purchase.

Thanks to PNY via TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of PNY

The PNY LEGO USB Flash Drive Is Here

PNY has shared the information on the new LEGO USB Flash Drive. This is great news for me, or rather my three nephews. They have been pestering me since they heard about this the first time around Christmas, and I haven’t been able to get them for them yet. That has changed now and the LEGO brick USB stick is available in 16GB size for $12.99. That is actually not a bad price considering it is LEGO branded. Each LEGO USB Flash Drive also comes with an additional LEGO brick for “extra building fun”.

  • Includes one LEGO USB Flash Drive and one LEGO brick
  • The LEGO USB Flash Drive has a capless, sliding design
  • The included key-fob easily attaches to the key ring for on the go storing and fun
  • The LEGO USB Flash Drive and additional LEGO brick are compatible with all LEGO brick toys for endless fun

Specifications wise the stick is USB 2.0 and there are no official speed descriptions. This most likely means that it will be around 7-10MB/s write and read speeds. It is compatible with most PC & MAC laptop and desktop computers with an available USB 2.0 port. The stick measures 1.20 x 0.50 x 0.22 inch and has an operating temperature of 0° to 60° C and a storage temperature tolerance of -25° to 85° C. It comes with a One-Year Warranty and free technical support.

For now the drive only appears to be available in blue, but I’m sure that will change. Specially considering the first image above.

Thank you PNY for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of PNY.

TeamGroup Announces New USB 2.0 and 3.0 Flash Drives

The most energetic days are collected during the summer vacation. Team Group enjoys the summer vacation with students by promoting two visual Flash drives C141/C145. C141 and C145 are in the form of retractable USB design without cap-loss issues. They have the streamlined design of American roadster, in addition to bright/matted inter-coating. Finished with a colourful push button and delicate stripping, to convey a colourful concept and create a fine and high level individual style.

That is how TeamGroup presents their new line of Flash Drives. The C141 is a USB 2.0 stick while the C145 is a USB 3.0 stick. Both models are available in sizes from 8 to 64GB. The read and write speeds are the same for both, rated at 10 MB/s for reading and 2.5 MB/s for writing.

Team Group is the leader vendor for storage and mobile computing peripheral products. In order to meet comprehensive needs of consumers and provide consumers with storage and sharing of videos and data without constraint, perfect warranty and maintenance and exchange services are provided for Team Group full series of products. For any product related information, please visit Team Group official website: www.teamgroup.com.tw, or Team Group Brand Fans Group: www.facebook.com/teamgroupinc

There isn’t that much spectacular to say about these two new drives, but they do come with a lifetime warranty. The design is also pretty nice, so if the price is set to match, why not.

Thank you TeamGroup for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TeamGroup.

New Version of Valve Steam Controller Comes With Analogue Stick

Valve is going forward with its Steam controller, making changes and releasing new and improved versions. Its latest sneak peek of the new Steam controller version which is currently in development shows that the controller comes with an analogue stick for the very first time, as seen in the pic below.

This new version is said to represent the third major design change shown to the public so far. The original prototype of the Steam controller revealed in September had fewer buttons and two large trackpads, along with a touchscreen. The second one show in January had its touchscreen removed and received two symmetrical sets of ABXY face buttons.

Valve is said to have avoided the analogue stick in previous versions because it wanted to replicate the controller experience using haptic feedback infused trackpads in the form of weighted electro-magnets. Either way, it is not currently certain if this will be the final version of the Steam controller or more changes are to be made before its release.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Eurogamer

SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB USB3.0 Flash Drive Review

Introduction


Since their launch, USB3.0 flash drives have been one of those items that any avid enthusiast has had to have in their portfolio of tech gadgets, but when we get down to the simple facts of what they have to offer over any other USB based flash drive, 99% of the time I would guarantee that it’s the higher capacity and read speeds that make them attractive. When we look at the bigger picture, it is easy to see why these two details make these flash drives desirable. With the amount of data that we are wanting to move around growing exponentially, being able to move large volumes of data in one hit and being able to transfer content to and from the drive quickly is key. There is though one problem that the vast majority of these drives have in common and that is all-round read performance. Being able to say you’ve got fast sequential speeds is one thing, but when we move down the ladder to the smaller file sizes, we soon start to see things not looking so great – especially when compared to the read performance figures that are available.

True to form there is always one manufacturer that sees this weakness in the market and ventures on to resolve the problem with a new class of drive and this is exactly what SanDisk has aimed to do with the Extreme PRO USB3.0 flash drive. Although we don’t know exactly which NAND in particular has been used, going by the specs we could make a fair bet that its of a synchronous variety and guaging by the sixe of the drive there could easily be two NAND packages alongside the drives controller. That said though, all of this is packed into an aluminium and black plastic body and with read and write speeds of 260MB/s and 240MB/s respectively on offer, we are touching on the performance that SATAII SSDs have to give. Sounds good doesn’t it? Boasting up to 60x the performance of USB2.0 flash drives is a big thing to shout about so it’s all down to those all important performance results to make or break SanDisk’s claims that this is truly an Extreme performing drive.


On the front of the matte black box we find a typical SanDisk layout with the drive on full view the model name and some key performance figures on display alongside the capacity. SanDisk have no need to use flashy graphics all over their packaging, instead preferring to use a top the point design with a small amount of flare with the product name printed in a gold like colour.

Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 16GB USB2.0 Flash Drive Review

Introduction


In many of my flash drive reviews I have mentioned that USB flash drives are so common these days that they are literally being given away to us and it is only once we move above the 16GB marker and over to USB3.0 compatible drives that we start to see the price rise up along with the performance. The basic recipe for a flash drive has barely changed – if at all in many years and this is simply a USB plug mounted on to a small PCB with a controller and some flash storage on the other end. Apart from the advances in performance, capacity and the maturity to the USB3.0 platform – a flash drive has always been a flash drive, but this has started to change as we are now seeing a new breed of flash drive come on to the market that is targeted for the mobile user as opposed to just the desktop and notebook user.

This new type of USB standard is called USB On-The-Go or USB-OTG for short. With mobile devices now becoming more integral in our lives, the need to have more storage to hand is greater than ever. For a couple of years now we have seen wireless hard drives flowing of the shelves and whilst they offer up a simple solution for expanding your storage capacity, they are not exactly small and they are not necessarily the cheapest way to solve the problem. An alternative solution to expand the storage capacity on a number of devices is to insert a microSD card, but once again this is not always possible with many products not having microSD card readers on them. Across every mobile device however there is one option that is available to work with – USB.

MicroUSB is virtually standard on every mobile device that one can get today and with the Android OS now as feature rich as ever, support for the next generation of USB storage is starting to be rolled out, giving users a hassle free way of accessing their data on the go. The DataTraveler microDuo that I’m looking at today is Kingston’s first native USB-OTG flash drive and this support is provided through a microUSB port on one end of the drive whilst a full-sized USB jack on the other end allows the drive to be used in the traditional manner in a desktop or notebook system.


On the front of the microDuo packaging, Kingston are keen to accentuate the OTG capabilities of the drive, showing its dual USB port connectivity for desktop and mobile devices.

Mach Xtreme MX-LX 128GB USB3.0 Flash Drive Review

Introduction


Over the last few months the price of flash storage has been on a steady downhill curve and this drop in price has effected multiple sectors of the storage market. On one front, SSDs on the upper end of the capacity scale have been coming more and more affordable and as a result users have been able to get faster and larger drives instead. On another front and one which affects the product that I’m looking at today, the cost of producing larger flash drives, or ‘memory sticks’ as they are commonly known, has plummeted and high-capacity drives are more than within the budget of most of us out there who need them.

The way to look at this drop in price is to look at how expensive flash drives used to be only a few years ago. When you went online or into your high street retailer to get a flash drive, the cost of getting a 2GB drive for example was very costly and typically you saw 1GB and even 512MB drives commonly being used. Today we laugh at the cost of a 2GB drive and now we are literally being given 4GB and 8GB drives for free and this leads us back round to the statement above about how the price of storage drops over time to a more affordable level.

Putting the cost of storage to the side for a moment and taking a little trip down memory lane, we are no strangers to Mach Xtreme and the drives that they have to offer with this being the fourth drive that I’ve had to look at. Not only is this the fourth drive, but it is also the biggest, yet smallest drive that I’ve had in to review, which once again ties in with the points made above. Typically the drives that I’ve seen before now have featured SLC NAND inside and to bring this down to earth, this meant that the cost of producing the drives was a little higher in order to offer up the faster write speeds that early USB3.0 drives failed to provide. SLC NAND at the same time doesn’t suffer from the same high rates of wear over time when compared to the more affordable MLC NAND, but with advances in technology, MLC NAND now offers the best of both worlds with faster speeds and greater storage density. The end result is a drive that is faster, smaller and cheaper than before – just what everyone wants to hear in this day in age!


Like every other Mach Xtreme drive that I’ve seen, the MX-LX comes on a card back with a plastic shell holding the drive in place. On the front and rear of the card we get the usual array of information with the drives capacity clearly stated, a note highlighting the drives optimisation for Asus motherboards and on the back a run-down on the drives specifications and features.

Team Group To Launch The T133 Java Sparrow Flash Drive

Team Group has launched the new T133 Java Sparrow flash drive. It, as stated by Team Group, learns from nature, integrating the design with simplicity and organic life. The drive features a matte finish along with low profile and unique design. The appearance consists of striking contrast of black and orange colors, a superb and appealing combination.

Special auto-retractable device

There is a patent auto-retractable cap-less design. One push with your thumb is all you need when you are using the flash drive. The plug retracts automatically as soon as the drive is pulled out from USB port, saving all your troubles while using the device.

Combination of Java sparrow look and ergonomics

The flash drive features a unique Java sparrow design, having the beak as a button along with the special auto-retractable device, making it an amazing combination of ergonomics and craftsmanship design. Team Group also states that users will feel incredible smoothness when push it out or retract it. Whether this feature is indeed useful or not, it’s up to everyone to find out on his/her own.

Unique aesthetics of simplicity

The T133 apparently abandoned the rectangular design, and instead incorporated round corners and curved edges. The perfect curve is said to bring out the smoothness, as Team Group apparently brags about its design. The casing features a matte finish which prevents the surface from staining and scratches, having the eye-catching color combination of black and orange, along with the “thoughtful” auto-retractable device.

Team Group has the T133 in three flash drive capacities, a 16 GB model, a 32 GB model and a 64 GB model, all variations using the USB 3.0 interface. The flash drive apparently comes with a lifetime warranty as well. There is no word on pricing or availability at the moment, but should be available in the following days.

The T133 Java Sparrow full specifications can be viewed below:

Overall, the flash drive does look quite brilliant, though we wonder if its performance is as good as its exterior design.

Thank you Team Group for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Team Group

Lexar JumpDrive P10 32GB USB3.0 Flash Drive Review

Introduction


In the world of flash storage, there is a multitude of big names on the playing field and for those who hold the highest reputations, they are either built on a long standing existence for example Sandisk and for some other vendors, the reputation they have built up from producing high quality products. Lexar is a company that in a sense falls into both categories and built as a spin-off company from Cirrus Logic in 1996, Lexar started off in developing flash controllers. Further down the line, Lexar was overtaken in ownership by Micron in 2006 and has since then been merged with Crucial as a subsidiary of Micron. Since then there has been a long line of flash storage products roll off the production line with the Lexar branding and moving forward to today we have the fastest and best looking flash drive that they have ever made.

The P10, as mentioned is quoted to be one of the fastest flash drives available to buy at this moment in time, offering up to 24x the performance of USB2.0 drives, The drive also features a sleek metal alloy body and come in capacities ranging from 16-64GB as it headlines Lexars USB flash drive lineup.

The JumpDrive P10 comes in a rather bulky pack when compared to other flash drives that I’ve looked at, however it does look rather sleek with its all black appearance with white writing printed on the front. Lexar are keen to show off not only the drives capacity, but also its expected read and write speeds. When it comes to the high-street retail channels, getting lots of information on to the front of the pack is key when trying to maximise sales. The clear packaging also gives us a full on view of the drive itself.