Shuttle released a new system that once again proves that a powerful system doesn’t need to be large in physical dimensions. The new SH110R4 is the newest family member in the XPC Cube series of 13-liter barebone PCs and it comes with everything available you’ll need, from a Skylake LGA 1151 socket over two M.2 expansion slots to an integrated heat pipe system for CPU cooling.
The Shuttle SH110R4 is built around the Intel H110 chipset and supports dual-channel DDR4 memory with a speed of up to 2133 MHz. You can equip it with a total of 32GB through its two memory slots, but the specifications don’t reveal whether it’s full-sized DIMMs or SO-DIMMs. My bet would be on the last, SO-DIMMs. With the use of a Skylake-based Core, Celeron, or Pentium processor, you also gain 4K video capabilities through the processor-integrated GPU and the onboard HDMI and DisplayPort. A D-Sub VGA port was also added for backwards compatibility.
Besides the graphics connections, you also find all other relevant external connectors. There are four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet network powered by an Intel i219LM controller, and a 5.1-channel HD audio system powered by a Realtek ALC662 chip.
The Shuttle XPC Cube series are basically mITX systems with a clever cooling solution and users can upgrade the motherboard to pretty much any mITX board they wish at any point. But the included one is pretty good as it is and comes with two M.2 slots, one M.2 2280/2260/2242 Type M slot for high-speed SSDs and one M.2 2230 Type A/E slot for devices like WiFi cards. There’s also a PCIe x16 and a PCIe x1 slot for additional expansion cards such as graphics cards, raid controller, monitor cards, sound cards, etc.
The really cool feature is the Shuttle’s I.C.E 2 cooling engine that utilizes heat-pipe tech to keep the SH110R4 cool. It uses convection cooling to dissipate heat away from and around the CPU. The I.C.E.2 copper tubes, coated in nickel for enhanced tube hardness and rust-proof protection, are filled with distilled water to effectively channel heat and provide highly efficient processor and chassis cooling.
It also comes with a built-in PSU which can deliver 300W and is 80Plus Bronze certified. Overall, you get a small and stable system with great features and a suggested retail price of £172.00.
Today’s review is a little bit special as I don’t just get the chance to test one of the newest NAS on the market, but also a new operating system at the same time. Thecus N2810 2-bay SMB multimedia NAS server with 4K playback is in the testing area and it comes with Thecus’ brand new ThecusOS 7.0.
Thecus N2810 NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 Braswell dual-core processor with 1.6GHz base clock and a 2.16GHz burst speed. This is a great processor for NAS usage as it’s both powerful and energy-efficient. On top of that, the N2810 supports hardware AES 256-bit encryption for that extra layer of security without impacting performance the way a software solution will. This is backed by 2GB DDR3 memory, but you can upgrade the system to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 RAM should you require more. The standard 2GB should still be plenty for normal usage scenarios and seamless 4K media playback.
Thecus opted for a full USB 3.0 setup which is a nice thing to see. Thanks to the USB bus’ compatibility you can easily use legacy devices while having maximum speed on your modern equipment such as high-end flash drives and external SSDs. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and one on the front. The front port also features a convenient one-touch copy button that allows you to copy content to or from a USB drive with a single press of the button.
The two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the N2810 support 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X and Wake-on-LAN. You can naturally also set them up for link aggregation and Thecus allows you to set all seven modes: Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB, and Broadcast.
There is also the HDMI port for direct playback on your TV or monitor without the need for any other device at all. This is a feature we see more and more on modern NAS devices and it is one that I really love. While streaming is great, a direct connection allows for higher compatibility with formats and there are fewer points of failure or lag on the way. That said, the Thecus N2810 has absolutely no trouble streaming either, but we’ll get to that later.
Keen eyes will already have spotted the serial UART port too and that isn’t something that we usually see on NAS devices, it is however an awesome feature. We sometimes find the port on the PCB, but rarely on the device itself. UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter and is part of the serial communication protocol.
The N2810 is the first Thecus NAS to run the completely new ThecusOS 7.0 operating system and user interface. The refreshed OS offers an easy to use and intuitive user interface and quite a lot of new features over the previous OS including the new Photo Station, Thecus App Center with over 700 apps, and user profiles. Besides the design and feature improvements, it also got a push in regards to the performance where it gets even more out of your hardware.
The N2810 steps up to the challenges that 4K playback creates and provides a robust hardware platform that is able to handle multiple tasks with ease. The built-in HDMI port allows you to transform the NAS into a multimedia hub by connecting it directly to your TV or media center to utilize the power of KODI. There are plenty of streaming options too with basic DLNA as well as Plex Media Server that can stream to your consoles with ease. The server can also automatically assemble iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture content. Apple TV and Chromecast are both supported too, completing the circle of media abilities.
The N2810 is an SMB NAS and as such comes with a comprehensive list of enterprise-oriented features too, although none of them are limited to firms and enterprises, home users can take equal advantage of them. The Thecus System Failover feature is a fault tolerance process that creates mirrored data volumes. With at least two Thecus NAS available, data is copied by schedule and all changes are mirrored between the two NAS. While the second NAS is not visible, it communicates with the primary NAS. In the event of a power or network failure, a scheduled maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances, System Failover automatically redirects operations to the secondary Thecus NAS, which then acts as the primary NAS.
Local failover is also achieved easily with a Thecus NAS and Snapshots. With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups through BTRFS subvolumes. Snapshots of data at various time points can be manually or automatically made and just as easily later restored to rollback files or folders to previous states.
To complete the backup and failover abilities, the N2810 comes bundled with Acronis Backup Software that can backup all your data to the NAS with a single click as well as local backups and Time Machine support. Real-time remote replication (Rsync) is naturally also supported and it is one of the easiest to use and widest available backup methods.
Security is an important factor on a NAS, after all, it’s the device that holds all your files, memories, and data. Whether you’re an enterprise user or a home user, a virtual private network can come in very handy. The N2810 can operate as a VPN server and allow users to remotely access through a secure network.
Thecus also added Intel Security to the package that gives you an active defense against viruses that might have made it onto your NAS. The software protects you by scanning the files on your NAS and defending it against possible threats. Intel Security is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company and Thecus users will be able to benefit from Intel Security’s powerful software on their NAS entirely for free.
With the Thecus N2810, it is also an easy task to set up your own personal cloud service that will work with mobile iOS and Android devices with the use of Thecus’ T-OnTheGo app and your PCs. The mobile app enables users to access, copy, stream, and edit any data between their NAS and mobile device. Your own personal cloud, available from anywhere with internet access. The access from anywhere is made as easy as it could be thanks to the built-in DDNS feature that will give your NAS a name rather than a difficult to remember and mostly changing IP address.
You can also reverse the whole thing and use the public cloud systems together with the N2810 NAS. The system will work with DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. Guard your data with RAID at home and an additional level of protection in the Cloud. Just drag and drop files into the folder on your NAS and access them on any computer or mobile device with DropBox, Amazon S3 or ElephantDrive.
With currently available hard disk drives you get up to 8TB in the consumer sector and 10TB in the enterprise sector. With two drive bays at your disposal, that’s already a lot of storage and you can take maximum advantage of this storage thanks to iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality.
Embedded with Intel Celeron N3050 Dual Core CPU
Running on the newly-designed and enhanced ThecusOS 7.0
Seamless 4K Multimedia Playback
Uninterrupted Accessibility with Thecus System Failover
Secure Remote Access with Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Faster Transfers: 2 LAN Ports for Link Aggregation
99% Virus Prevention: Bundled with Free Intel Security
Complete Client Side Protection: Bundled with Free Acronis Software
Packaging and Accessories
Thecus packed the N2810 in a beautiful box that clearly shows the intended usage, as a 4K capable multimedia center.
The rear of the box continues the beautiful full-colour wrapping with the feature highlights. There’s no doubt that you have a premium device in your hands when you look at the package.
It continues on the sides where the brand new Thecus OS 7 is presented on one side.
The second side reveals the hardware specifications, device size, and package content.
Inside the product is a quick installation guide and a product disk as well as the warranty card and product notes.
Besides the manuals and the NAS itself, there is also a power adapter with connection cord, two sets of drive tray keys, an RJ45 LAN cable, and a security latch for the power cable that can prevent accidental removal.
Giada is no stranger to the compact systems, but the new i80 takes it to a whole new level with power in a compact chassis. The tiny i80 mini-PC is built on Intel’s NUC concept that packs plenty of power in a compact form factor and coupled with a fashionable appearance, as they call it. The i80 is using the latest Skylake-U processors and support dual 4K UHD resolution that makes it perfect for office work.
The Giada i80 features both HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort connectors for your monitors and they are powered by an Intel Graphics 520 GPU unit. There are two different models with different CPU, but other than that the two models are the same. One uses an Intel Core i5-6200U processor with 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz boost while the other uses the smaller i3-6100U processor with 2..3GHz and no Turbo Boost 2.0.
You are able to install up to 16GB DDR3L-1600 MHz in these units via the two SO-DIMM slots which should be plenty for most work situations. The two slots also allow for dual-channel memory usage that gives a clear benefit over units that only feature one slot.
There are plenty of connection and control options. Starting on the front, there are two USB 3.0 ports next to a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR receiver.
The connections continue on the rear where we find the previously mentioned Mini-DisplayPort that supports 4K 60Hz resolutions and the HDMI port that allows 4K resolutions with 24Hz. There are two more USB 3.0 ports on the rear where you also find an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connector and a TF card reader.
On the inside, you will find an integrated Realtek ALC662 audio codec that powers the two-in-on jack on the front. The Ethernet is powered by Intel’s i219LM controller.
You can expand the function with a full-length Mini-PCIe card that supports mSATA2, a half-length Mini-PCIe Wi-Fi or BT module, and install one mSATA3 drive as well as one 2.5-inch SATA3 drive with a maximum height of 7.5mm. That is quite a bit of expansion options for such a tiny system. speaking of tiny, the system only measures 116.6 x 111 x 47.1 mm
The larger i80-B5000 model comes with a suggested retail price of $380, but the price for the smaller i80-B3000 model wasn’t revealed at this time. Further details can also be found on the official product page.
ASUS already got a lot of praise for their tiny Mini PCs and they’ve just announced two new systems in the series. The two new systems are called the VivoMini VM65N and the VivoMiniVM65 and they are impressive, compact, 2-liter systems that still pack quite a punch. The systems are built with Intel Skylake i3 or i5 CPUs and come with discrete Nvidia 900M series graphics card to deliver a smooth 4K visual experience and casual gaming. Don’t misunderstand this, it isn’t for gaming in 4K, naturally.
The new system can be equipped with up to 16GB DDR4 memory to be the backbone for the either an i5-6200U CPU in the VM65N and a VM65 uses an i3-6100U CPU. It also only the N model that features the Nvidia GeForce 930M graphics card with 1GB DDR3 memory while the VM65 relies on the Intel HD Graphics 520 iGPU. Both come with ASUS SonicMaster-enhanced audio to make them an ideal choice for a daily computing platform or home entertainment hub.
The tiny 2-liter systems only support one 3.5-inch drive, but you can also mount two 2.5-inch drives via Vivo DualBay adapter, effectively turning them into one as far as the system is concerned. You can get the VM665 series with either a 3.5-inch 500GB or 1TB 7200rpm HDD, 2.5-inch 500GB or 1TB 5400rpm HDD, or 2.5-inch 128GB or 256G SSD out of the box.
The VM65N comes with two USB 3.1 ports that the smaller model doesn’t have, but other than that the connections are the same. You get four USB 3.0 ports, one RJ45 LAN port, HDMI and DisplayPort with UHD 4K support, a card reader, and audio connections.
The price naturally variates based on model and the drives you want it to come with and not all models will be launched in all regions or at the same time. In the United Kingdom the VM65N will launch with a single SKU VM65N-G018Z model that features an i5-6200U CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, GT930M 1GB GPU, Win 10 64bit OS, Intel Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi+ BT, and with a Wireless Keyboard & Mouse included. This system will then set you back £549.99.
Small form factor computers are the future in many directions, but going too small also limits the options considerably. Shuttle has been in the Mini-PC business for a long time and they’ve found a good balance between upgradability and size with their XPC cubes. The newest family member to the Shuttle XPC series is the SZ170R8 which already gives away half of its specifications in the name: The system is a Skylake-based one with a Z170 chipset inside the new R8 chassis.
The XPS R8 chassis is only a third of the size that a traditional tower PC occupies and it still comes with plenty of space for your hardware. You can install up to four 3.5-inch hard disk drives or eight 2.5-inch drives with optional PHD3 adapter brackets.
The system features two expansion slots that allow you to install graphics cards and other adapters with a length up to 267mm. That coupled with the use of 6th generation Intel Core processors and support for up to 64GB DDR4 memory will give you a great base for almost any task.
You can install Skylake LGA1151 processors with a TDP up to 95W and use the built-in GPU units that support 4k/Ultra HD video playback, the system is well equipped for it with two DisplayPort and one HDMI port. There are plenty of USB connection, the network connection is handled by an Intel i219LM controller, and the audio by a Realtek ALC892 7.1 HD audio solution.
The SZ170R8 is equipped with Shuttle’s I.C.E 2 heat pipe technology and comes with an 80 Plus Silver certified 500W power supply to maintain long-term and high stability operation for various professional applications.
Next generation expansion modules can be installed too with the support for one M.2 and one half-size mini PCI-E expansion slots. So whether you want to install a super fast M.2 2280 SSD or a Wi-Fi module, the system is ready.
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).
UHD 4K resolution monitors are the best thing that happened to productivity since the introduction of multi-monitor setups simply due to the extended amount of displayable pixels. Having more pixels on the screen allows you to view a lot of things at once and have a lot bigger area visible when using extreme zooms for close-up edits and that saves a lot of unnecessary switching between apps and scrolling around. There already are quite a few 4K displays on the market by now, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for one more in the form of AOC’s newly introduced 4K UHD monitor U2879VF.
The new AOC U2879VF can display more than 1 billion colours (8-bit+FRC) with its 28-inch (71.1 cm) TN panel for a resolution up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is coupled with an ultra-fast response time of just 1 ms and the U2879VF also features Adaptive-Sync support and is thereby FreeSync compatible. While 4K still is somewhat of a gimmick when it comes to gaming, those who use it will surely appreciate this feature and the low input lag that comes along with it.
The monitor comes with both modern and legacy connectors as it features HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2a+ as well as DVI and D-Sub. Especially the HDMI 2.0 port is a great thing to see and one that has been missing on other monitors in this category in the past. The increased bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps makes it able to deliver 60fps 4K content on this port too. The HDMI port is also MHL compatible which allows you to display content directly from a smartphone or tablet device while charging its battery at the same time.
AOC also added their Flicker-Free technology to the monitor to ease the eye strain during long periods of work. A Picture by Picture (PBP) function has also been added which makes it possible to view content from two input sources at the same time.
QNAP have brought us some awesome technologies that expand the NAS’ usage abilities and they back once again with a new combination of devices. The newest two NAS devices don’t just run QNAPs own QTS operating system for normal NAS usage, they come with a combination of QTS and Android, allowing you to use the NAS directly with all your favourite Android apps. The two NAS are the TAS-168 1-bay unit and the TAS-268 2-bay unit.
The new QNAP TAS-x68 series uses an ARM v7 1.1GHz dual-core processor and has 2GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB flash memory. You get one USB 3.0 port on the front and four USB 2.0 ports on the rear next to the Gigabit Ethernet port and an HDMI port.
The combination offers terabytes of storage capacity as well as 4K H.265 and H.264 HDMI-out and makes the TAS-x68 an optimal and budget-friendly multimedia NAS with nearly unlimited apps available. And you also save yourself the trouble of getting an Android-based TV box. And there aren’t that many Android boxes that support 4K UHD yet, which the TAS-x68 does.
You got access to both the Google Play market and QNAP’s QTS apps, which should provide you with almost any function from enterprise features to fun games and streaming content. QTS 4.2 still supports all the normal NAS functions from cross-platform file sharing to backup functions, FTP, and WebDAV. VPN setups are also available in both QTS and Google Play, allowing you to tunnel your way to your designated target.
This could very well be the perfect NAS for heavy Android users as well as give new ones the ability to get a device that does a lot more than just store files. The new QNAP TAS-x68 series should be available globally now, which means they will arrive at your local resellers shortly. Early listings have the TAS-168 listed for €199 and the TAS-268 for €250.
Just because you desk might be space restrained doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy the quality enhancements that a 4K UHD monitor can bring along. Philips Monitors presented their latest offering in this category and it is one of the first sub 24-inch 4K monitors to be available.
At 23.8 inches, the 241P6VPJKEB display completes the UltraClear 4K UHD lineup with a new and smaller model. it features an UltraClear 4K UHD panel with 1.074 billion colours, 99% SRGB colour standard and also comes with an integrated webcam and microphone for handsfree communication.
UHD delivers four times the resolution of a normal HD monitor, allowing you to see a lot more details. This is particularly useful for graphic editing and should the size get to small, then you can just zoom in and still enjoy a better picture.
The AH-IPS panel offers 10-bit colour depth with 1.074 billion colours for smooth, natural reproduction without gradations and banding effects. With over 99% sRGB support, users can be confident that any and all of the one billion colours they see on the display all are vivid and true to life. The monitor features wide viewing angles of 178 degrees in all directions. This makes it work just as well in portrait mode as it does in the normal desktop mode, which both are supported by the included stand.
The display supports MultiView that allows you to view the content from two input sources at the same time. MHL technology allows users to enjoy mobile content from smartphones or other devices on the big screen and you can also use the USB 3.0 hub to hook up devices and recharge them fast. The built-in stereo speakers have 2W each and the built-in webcam has a 2-megapixel resolution. The available display ports are one VGA (Analogue ), one DVI-Dual Link (digital, HDCP), one DisplayPort, and one HDMI (2.0) – MHL (3.0).
The new Philips 241P6VPJKEB/00 display comes with an MSRP of £369 and it will be available at the end of November 2015.
UHD 4K resolution has made its entry all the way down to smartphones and tablets, but most desktop monitors are still quite large and maybe not the best suitable solution for tight office spaces. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want the extra clarity and resolution that a 4K panel can provide and for that AOC launched the compact 23.6-inch U2477PWQ monitor sporting HDMI 2.0 and 60Hz at a 3840 x 2160 resolution.
The PLS panel delivers a good colour uniformity at any viewing angle (178/178 degrees) and exploits 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. A 4ms response time might not be the fastest, but anything below 5ms should be usable for gaming too.
The AOC U2477PWQ comes with DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, DVI and VGA for connectivity to pretty much any device. If your smart devices are compatible, then the MHL allows you to both display content from a smartphone or tablet directly on the monitor while charging it at the same time. The flicker-free technology should also help reduce eye stress while using the monitor, something everyone can appreciate that has worked at a monitor for longer periods of time.
The included and pretty stylish stand allows for a pivot, but not swivel. You can tilt it -5 to plus 23 degrees and adjust the height with up to 130mm. Should this not be sufficient, then you can mount it on a 100×100 VESA compatible arm or stand.
The AOC U2477PWQ will be available in November 2015. The MSRP will be £289. As with all of its displays, AOC offers a 3-year warranty with on-site exchange service.
ASUSTOR just launched the new 31 series of NAS designed for the multimedia prosumer and with built-in 4K capabilities. The new series consist of two devices, the 2-bay AS3102T and the 4-bay AS3104T. The new NAS units are built around an Intel Celeron N3050 1.6GHz dual-core processor with a 2.16GHz Boost speed. It comes with 2GB built-in dual-channel DDR3 memory and can provide around 110MB/s transfer speeds in a RAID 1 setup.
The NAS connect through a single Gigabit Ethernet Port, which also explains the transfer speed ratings. They also come with one USB 3.0 port on the front and another two on the rear for extra storage connectivity. There is an Infrared receiver on the front and an HDMI 1.4b port on the rear that supports 4K UHD resolutions that make it ready to hook directly up to your 4K TV or monitor.
“ASUSTOR’s 31 series devices provide smoother multimedia playback via their enterprise-class core hardware and dual-channel memory,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “The 31 series lowers the barriers for home users and prosumers who require 4K multimedia playback and secure cloud storage.”
The compact sized NAS units with the elegant looking diamond pattern pack quite a punch thanks to the Braswell generation CPU that provides enhanced multitasking and supports AES-NI encryption engine for increased access speeds on encrypted data. The systems don’t use drive trays that are hot-swappable, but drives can be swapped toolless thanks to the thumbscrews on the rear and inside.
ASUSTOR’s LooksGood app can be used on the AS31 series to view videos over the Internet as well as to watch and record live digital TV. LooksGood also features ASUSTOR’s Hyper-Transcoding technology which provides at least a tenfold reduction in video conversion times. This series also support real-time transcoding that allows users to enjoy a smoother streaming experience where the playback device otherwise could have limits in capabilities and bandwidth.
Synology announced not one, not two, but three new NAS units that should provide plenty of features for a moderate price. Three three new NAS units are the DS216se 2-bay NAS, DS216play 2-bay NAS, and DS416 four-bay NAS.
Let’s start out with the biggest model, the DS416. It is the replacement for the DS414 NAS and the new DS4166 features a 1.4GHz dual-core processor (Annapurna Labs Alpine AL212) with hardware encryption engine and floating point unit. It comes with 1GB RAM and features dual Gigabit Ethernet with failover and link aggregation. You also get three USB 3.0 ports where one of them is on the front of the unit.
With Link Aggregation, the DS416 delivers over 221MB/s while reading from an RAID5 array, and over 139MB/s writing. The hardware encryption engine helps a lot when encryption is needed and the DS416 can still deliver up to 146MB/s reading and 65MB/s writing here. That is an easy 90% gain on encrypted file performance over the predecessor.
The cheapest of the three new Synology NAS is the DiskStation DS216se, a budget-friendly two-bay NAS device with the capability to host, share and protect data. This could be a great NAS for people who want to enter the world of NAS users without blowing their budget.
The DS216se features a Marvell Armada 370 800MHz with floating point unit that helps in a lot of scenarios, but especially when creating thumbnails and similar media related operations. However, the built-in floating-point unit generally enhances the overall capability of the CPU. The DS216se only features 256M DDR3 RAM, so you shouldn’t multitask too much with it. The DS216se delivers an average 102 MB/s reading speed under RAID 1 configuration and over 59 MB/s writing.
Two USB 2.0 ports on the rear allow the connection of portable storage drives for easy backup both ways. There is a single Gigabit Ethernet connection that should be plenty for most people’s home NAS needs. You can also connect it wirelessly with optional USB dongles if you should wish to do so.
With the DSM operating system at hand, you got a lot of useful features such as DLNA streaming, UPnP setup, and much more. A great feature for home users is the scheduled on and off times that help you to save electricity, live greener, and also extend the lifetime of the hardware.
The third and last new Synology NAS is the DiskStation DS216play, the successor to the highly popular entry-level DS214play NAS. The new DS216play features a better processor and comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz featuring hardware transcoding engine and 1GB RAM. The new processor in the DS216play allows for real-time transcoding of 4K Ultra HD source content (H.265) for a perfect multimedia experience on all devices. The CPU is an STM STiH412 dual-core with 1.5GHz that also features both hardware encryption and floating point unit.
The DS216play features one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port on the rear of the NAS as well as a single Gigabit Ethernet connection.
The name suggests play and that is in regards of media playback and not playing games and the DS216play could be a great solution for this. With its real-time transcoding abilities, support for DVB-T and DVB-S sticks and video recording as well as the general file serving options for pretty much all systems, including Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android, there isn’t much that the NAS can’t do in that regards. DLNA support is also part of the deal.
All three NAS are backed by a two-year warranty. The DS216se has an MSRP of £98.40, the DS216play £186.00, and the DS416 has an MSRP of £330. Prices including VAT and all three NAS units should be available now.
For today’s review I’m venturing a little bit out of my normal area of storage, network, and server components and take a closer look at a very useful gadget for everyone that has a laptop of some sort. Kensington might be most known for their locking system that is present on almost any electronic device, but they do make a lot of different products too. Today I’m taking a closer look at the SD4000 Universal USB Docking Station for laptops.
While a docking station like this would work with any system and as such isn’t limited to portable ones, it will be a rare scenario that someone will connect it to their desktop. That said, it could still provide some beneficial uses there too.
While most laptop manufacturers also provide docking stations for some of their models, they are usually very expensive and only compatible to very few models. The use of a universal docking station like this opens a lot more options and best of all, you can take it with you to any other system that you might upgrade to in the future.
The Kensington SD4000 Universal Docking Station connects to your system via a single USB 3.0 host port and in return it offers you three USB 3.0 connectors, a DVI port, a DisplayPort or HDMI, a Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, and headset connections. Those are all useful connections to have, especially on ultrabooks and netbooks that barely have any native connections at all anymore.
The Docking Station doesn’t just serve as USB hub, it also enables 4K Ultra HD resolutions, even when your laptop doesn’t have a graphics card that supports these resolutions. You can connect a single 4K monitor or TV via an HDMI or DisplayPort connection for Ultra HD resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels.
4K Ultra HD resolution sadly only works with one monitor connected, but you can run up to 2K when using dual monitors. Ideal for users not ready to make the transition to 4K, this option can support the typical two-monitor setup with 1920 x 1200 and 2048 x 1152 resolution for each screen.
Speedy charging for power hungry devices such as tablets is also supported thanks to the 2.1 AMP fast charging USB port labeled with an extra lightning character. The Gigabit Ethernet port is also one that’s often missing on netbooks as they rely solely on wireless.
4K Ultra HD resolution (3840×2160) to one monitor via an HDMI cable or DisplayPort connection
Enables 4K UHD even if laptop does not have 4K graphics card
2K resolution (1920×1200/2048×1152) for two-monitor setup via DisplayPort or HDMI/DVI
3 universal USB 3.0 ports for seamless productivity with your accessories
2.1A fast charging port to power up a tablet or smartphone
Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connectivity to the Internet
Includes speaker port, microphone jack, Kensington Security Slot
Compatible with Windows 8.1/8/7
Best For: Convertible and 2-in-1 Laptops, Laptops, Ultrabooks, Windows Tablets
Compatibility: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
Connections: 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet (LAN) Female, Host Interface: USB 3.0, Host upstream link: USB (B Type)
Female, HUB downstream link: USB (A Type) Female
Features: Extended Display, Kensington Security Slot, Mirrored Display, Power Indicator (Blue), USB Hub Link
Dimensions: 7.71” x 3.34” x 1.08” (19.5 cm x 85 cm x 2.75 cm)
Packaging and Accessories
The package of the SD4000 Universal Docking Station comes in s a simple yet elegant wrapping. It shows what it does on the front without much extra.
The rear of the package explains what type of connectors it has, what’s in the box, and what it is compatible with. Everything you’ll want to know before you purchase.
Inside the box, we find a power supply with both an EU and UK replaceable plug, a setup guide, a USB cable to connect it and the docking station itself.
Giada unveiled a new compact and completely silent Mini PC dubbed the F103D. The Giada F103D isn’t the average mini-PC, it is packed with the latest Intel Braswell N3150, N3050, or N3000 Processors with a max TDP of 6W as well as other great features.
The F103D is designed for digital signage and harsh environments, but I see completely different possibilities thanks to the features and specifications. Starting with the dual LAN, powered by two Realtek controllers, the F103D opens up for easy built custom routers and firewalls. This functionality is further increased by an optional upgrade with a WiFi module. It already has the antenna.
The system supports 4K video out at 30Hz via the onboard HDMI and it also comes with a D-Sub VGA connector. There are several COM ports as well as USB ports too. The unit also features 5.1 audio via the display out. You can mount one mSATA SSD as well as a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD in this mini PC.
It comes with 2GB memory onboard and that can be expanded with 2GB more with a DDR3L SO-DIMM slot. Further, you get an onboard IR module and IR sensor on the front, but the remote control is optional. The system is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 as well as Linux. Android support is planned for 2016.
More and more people are upgrading to a 4K capable TV or monitor these days, and with services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offering content, albeit a limited library, ready to stream 4K movies and TV shows, it’s easy to see why. The prices of 4K TVs and monitors have been falling steadily and it now makes perfect sense to go for 4K vs a standard HD set if you’re upgrading.
Of course, streaming isn’t a viable option for everyone, mostly due to bandwidth limitations. I personally don’t have fast enough internet for streaming in 4K, so disc based media is certainly the way to go. I’m also a bit of a movie and home cinema buff, so streamed content, with its limited bitrates, compression and more, are simply a deal breaker for me; although perhaps not so for everyone else.
Ultra HD Blu-Ray has been a long time coming, with the format only having been finalized this year and Samsung revealing the first consumer model player at IFA this month. All the major studios are behind the new format and have helped shape the standards for it, but when can we expect discs to hit the market?
The new format will offer up a greatly improved resolution, wide colour space, HDR, HFR and much more, helping future proof the discs for quite some time and providing formats that we now often see used in the cinema, right in your own living room. The first discs are now expected to launch in January, with many of the major studios and networks pushing the Ultra HD discs on the same day they release the HD Blu-Ray.
Thank you AVForums for providing us with this information.
The humble desktop monitor has come a long way since the early days of huge CRT and even the chunky first generation LCD screens. Nowadays we can pick up a new monitor that is thinner than a Blu-Ray case, albeit those panels are expensive and few and far between but you get the idea. We use them for almost all of our viewing needs that can’t be handled by a smartphone or tablet, they have even replace most TV’s due to the reduced price and higher compatibility with computers and games consoles, with no resolution issues.
Back when LCD and plasma screens first hit the consumer market, the resolution was an overlooked specification to compensate for the novelty of owning such a futuristic piece of technology. That has changed in recent years and especially since the HD format was released and standardised. Everyone then moved to resolutions such as 1280 x 720, 1440 x 960 and the most famous 1920 x 1080. The 1080p format held the crown for many years, but now times have changed and 4K (2160p) is becoming the resolution of choice.
Today we have the simply massive Philips BDM4065UC monitor in for testing. I know I’ve already said massive, but this is MASSIVE. Yes there are screens that are bigger and they have been around for years, but having this much screen space with such a high resolution at relatively close range to your face just makes you feel small. This is one of the few monitors on the market to boast such as massive screen size with 4K capabilities and bundle it into a very attractive package thanks to the re-use of a chassis from a popular 40″ TV that Philips produce; I guess the line “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was said during the production meeting.
Packaging and Features
The front of the box is very plain, focusing primarily on the logo, screen and key details regarding the monitor such as Ultra HD and Wide Viewing Angle.
The key details pointed out by Philips are Ultra HD panel of 3840×2160, VA LED panel allows for an almost 180° viewing angle, Built-in speakers which aren’t uncommon but this monitor packs twin 7W speakers and SmartConnect.
ASUSTOR has just launched four new NAS units and they are all part of the World’s first Braswell powered NAS units. The new NAS devices are the AS6202T 2-bay and AS6204T 4-bay NAS powered by quad-core processors while the AS6102T and AS6104T are powered by dual-core processors. The choice of CPU brings along quite a few advantages besides having an overall more powerful chip in your back and would be a great choice for both prosumer and SMB users.
Along with the new Braswell CPUs, the four NAS units feature EAS-NI hardware encryption, expandable memory, plenty of USB 3.0 and eSATA ports as well as HDMI and audio out for Ultra HD 4K direct connections. The system is utilizing dual-channel memory and can expanded up to 8GB.
The new units also come ready and pre-installed with the latest version of ASUSTOR’s operation systems, ADM 2.5, that brings along a lot of improvements and strengthening of the core functions. Better backup features and security, enhanced network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots are just a few of those.
The four new NAS units from the 62 and 61 series are currently launching in global markets and should be available for purchase very soon. A four units include a 3-year warranty.
GIGABYTE makes a lot of different products and among them are also peripherals. Their newest offering in that line-up is the GIGABYTE AIRE M60 Wireless mouse with a 3200 DPI resolution for great work under a 4K resolution.
The wireless function runs on the 2.4GHz band which is something to consider if you are using the same band for wireless signals as it can have effects on each other. The nano receiver is easily placed in any system without the risk of breaking it when plugged into the side of a laptop for example.
Gamers have been used to quality sensors in their mice for a while, but office users didn’t really have the same benefit. The introduction of 4K UHD monitors has however made that a necessity and the AIRE M60 comes with a laser sensor with a native resolution of 3200 dpi. This allows for smooth movement and precise control even on large screens.
The DPI can be adjusted on the fly in three levels right on top of the mouse, 1000, 1600, and 3200 dpi. The battery life is an important factor in a wireless mouse and it is said to last for up to two years thanks to clever power conserving techniques.
The AIRE M60 also features GIGABYTE’s Free-Scrolling Technology that turns your entire mouse into a scroll wheel while pressed. This can make the art of scrolling a lot easier than turning the wheel for hours or hitting that tiny scrollbar to the right of the window.
The mouse looks pretty ergonomically formed and shaped and should be a joy to use over a stock mouse or trackpad for any user.
GIGABYTE did not reveal an MSRP or launch date yet, but it looks like it could be a mouse to look forward to for many casual and office users.
If you haven’t made the switch to 4K yet then Samsung’s latest monitor offerings might be right up your alley and something to take into your purchase decision. Not only do the specs look nice, they also come at a very nice price point.
The U24E590D and U28E590D are 24-inch and 28-inch respectively and they are Samsung’s first monitors in the UHD line to deploy AMD’s FreeSync technology. The UHD monitors come with a 3840×2160 resolution and can both do 60Hz at this resolution.
Samsung didn’t just add DisplayPort connectivity but also HDMI 2.0 allowing you to choose wich method you want to use and still get 60Hz. The grey to grey refresh rate is 4ms for the small monitor and 1ms for the big one. But impressive and both would be suited well for both work and gameplay.
The two monitors variate slightly as the 24-inch (23.6″) uses a PLS panel while the 28-inch uses a TN panel. The small has 178-degree viewing angles in all directions where the 28-inch only has 170/160 degrees. On the other hand, the large one has a better brightness level of 370cd/m2 where the small only has 300. Both monitors offer Picture-in-Picture Picture-by-Picture technology
The U24E590D has an MSRP of just $399.99 and will be available July 26. The U28E590D is available now and comes with an MSRP of $599.99.
Last week we brought you the news that NASA now also was uploading 4K 60fps videos to YouTube, but initially only shared a 20 seconds clip. That has since been followed up with more 4K footage as the international space station got the full 4K upgrade.
Not all their 4K videos are 60fps, and they don’t need to be in order to look stunning. The video below shows some amazing views both inside and outside the space station. The view of life in space got a major boost with the introduction of 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) video, providing an unprecedented look at what it is like to live and work aboard the International Space Station.
While these cameras mainly should be used for experiments and increase the amount of things the astronauts can do onboard of the space station, that doesn’t mean that it should be used exclusively for experiments. It also bestows the most breathtaking views of planet Earth that haven’t been seen like that before.
We also get to see what they eat up there, and it might be a bit surprising for some of you; it isn’t all dehydrated instant food.
NASA promised to release a lot more videos in the future and I for once can’t wait to see more. I might be too much of a coward to want to go into space myself, but I do enjoy the breathtaking views of our planet with an outside perspective.
HP announced a new monitor that professional artists and other creative people will love, the DreamColor Z32x 4K monitor. The 31.5-inch 4K UHD IPS monitor can display a resolution up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz and features the award-winning HP DreamColor technology for exceptional color precision and consistency straight out of the box on a wide 10-bit color spectrum and with 100% sRGB/BT.709 and 99.5% AdobeRGB color coverage.
You can connect a wide array of devices straight to the monitor, including mobile devices via the Mini-DP, DisplayPort, MHL, and two HDMI ports. It also has a built-in four-port USB 3.0 hub and audio out connectors.
It has 4-way, customizable tilt, height adjustment, swivel, and pivot settings to adjust from landscape to portrait to give you the right option for your work. The panel has a 178 degree viewing angle, both horizontal and vertical, a 300cd/m2 brightness, and an 8ms grey to grey response time.
Availability for the HP Z32x DreamColor Display is planned for this summer, but no official word on the pricing yet.
HP Also announced five new monitors in the HP Ultra-Narrow Bezel series. The models HP Z27n (quad-HD), Z25n (quad-HD), Z24n (16:10 aspect ratio), Z24nf (full-HD), and Z24nq (quad-HD), offer edge-to-edge viewing experiences to enhance productivity. The HP Z Displays are also color-calibrated right out of the box and offer a cool and flexible daisy-chain connectivity for up to four displays as well as picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functionality. All models provide an adjustable swivel, tilt, height, and pivot stand and the displays can be used equally side-by-side in either landscape or portrait mode.
The ultra-narrow bezel display planned availability begins in June and pricing is as follows: The HP Z24n costs $379, the HP Z25n costs $429, the Z27n costs $649, the Z24nf costs $299 and finally the Z24nq will cost $379.
Ultra-High-Definition resolution at 60 Hz, SpectraView Engine and Multi-Picture Mode for enhanced conferencing are just a few of the features from NEC’s newest display, the X651UHD. The 65-inch screen provides crystal clear colours in 4K resolution thanks to the high-performance S-IPS LCD panel with 500 cd/m2 maximum brightness and a 1400:1 contrast ratio.
The new Multi-Picture Mode feature enables up to four simultaneous content feeds to be displayed and manipulated to better serve the customer. The display also has the ability to enhance content non-native to the resolution of the panel. The new UHD Upscaling feature uses algorithms to adjust pixels based on the intensity and color of surrounding pixels in order to provide an even sharper and richer image than traditional upscaling.
“The new 65-inch UHD display offers vivid content and a multitude of application options,” said Keith Yanke, Senior Director of Product Marketing at NEC Display. “Its Multi-Picture Mode feature delivers up to four simultaneous feeds to the display at once, allowing for content flexibility for different digital signage applications, while the SpectraView Engine support gives users the ability to showcase mission-critical color accuracy and adjustment for those applications where colors matter most.”
There is plenty of connectivity on this monitor beside the DisplayPort 1.2. It also has four HDMI 1.4 ports, two Dual-link DVI ports and also comes with two LAN ports, built-in USB hub, and RS232C. Audio is provided by built-in 10W stereo speakers , 3.5mm audio jack, and speaker connections. Such an amount of features and display size needs some power and the X651UHD draws 150W when in use. It also features integrated temperature sensors and thermodynamic cooling fans for the most rigorous digital signage apps and to keep everything running smooth.
NEC’s new X651UHD display will be available in April 2015 at a minimum advertised price of $6,899, but the display ships with a 3-year parts and labor warranty that includes the backlight.
So you’ve just bought that amazing new 4K monitor and you’re loving the resolution and stunning images, except every time you get back to your notebook or other older computer that can’t handle such a resolution. Diamond comes to the rescue with their BVU5500 USB 3.0 to 4K Display Port Adapter.
The Diamond BVU5500 features DisplayLink’s 4K technology with a DisplayPort 1.2 plug and adds this to your old laptop, tablet or computer, increasing the resolutions up to four times that of 1080P. If one extra monitor shouldn’t be enough for you, then just add some more. You can have up to six BVU5500 adapters connected at the same time, increasing your PCs capability with six times 4k resolution.
The device in itself is very simple and relative small. It has a short USB cable attached at one end, a DisplayPort 1.2 at the other end, and the side offers two 3.5mm audio jacks. On the bottom it has 4 small rubber feet for better surface grip where it’s placed as well as a sticker with the serial and model numbers. The weight of 90 grams and size of 80 x 48 x 25 mm also make it highly portable so you can take it with you where ever you need it.
This is such a simple tool, yet so useful. It is also one of those gadgets when used once, you just can’t seem to think how you ever lived without it before. At least when you own a 4K monitor like I do and also have a lot of older systems running for different tasks. It’s only the newest that support 4K natively and this already makes the Diamond BVU5500 adapter a winner in my book.
The adapter is almost plug and play, it will require you to either download the drivers or install them from the included disk. It only takes a couple of seconds and Windows will recognize the adapter and extend your desktop; It could hardly be any easier.
Inside it features a DisplayLink DL-5500 chipset that can handle a maximum resolution of 3840×2160, and the BVU5500 also supports HDCP 2.0 protected video playback. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 and only requires a 1.2GHz CPU with SSE2 support to work. For 4K resolution you’ll need a system that is a little faster, recommended is an Intel Core i5 with 2GHz or more. You’ll also need to have a 4K capable display, a USB 3.0 or 2.0 port, 30 megabytes of free disk space, 1GB system memory, and either a CD/DVD drive or an internet connection to get the drivers.
“Updates to the screen are automatically detected and compressed using the DisplayLink compression technology (DL2+ or DL3). This adaptive compression technology automatically balances the compression methods based on the content, available CPU power, and USB bandwidth, providing the best possible USB graphics experience at any given moment.”
While 4K UHD displays haven’t even been adopted properly due to the high prices, lack of content and sufficient performance of graphics adapters, LG goes further ahead and begins promoting the next step in resolution, the 8K UHD.
LG has reminded in a new press release that it is working on releasing 8K UHD 7680 x 4320 pixels displays, namely the 98-inch Color Prime Ultra HDTV presented at CES 2015. The company has also stated that it has improved the brightness of its 55-inch 8K UHD IPS panel boasting a resolution of 7680 x 4320 and 500nit by implementing M+ panel technology, adding textures to the existing RGB sub-pixel structure.
The company did not state when it will start mass production of the displays, but Apple has announced that they will be revealing an iMac 8K later this year. If it is an all-in-one PC or a standalone display, it remains to be seen when Apple decides to reveal its product. At the same time, Microsoft’s Windows 10 has already confirmed it will support 8K resolution displays.
While 8K sounds great at this stage, the market still lacks content in 8K. Currently, the only place that streams 8K resolution is NHK in Japan and the Technical Research Institute of Korean Broadcasting System. Even major Hollywood studios shoot movies in 6K and it will be a while until they adopt the 8K standard. Nonetheless, LG seems to be very optimistic about the future of 8K.
Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information
MMD Phillips Displays has announced their new addition to the line-up of Philips UltraWide displays, they 34-inch BDM3470UP. The quad HD extra wide resolution is perfect for video editors among others, but especially those want the perfect picture.
The latest Philips display uses advanced AH-IPS LED panels to keep colours consistently bright and accurate even at a 178° viewing angles. The UltraWide 21:9 panoramic view offers room to arrange multiple windows, for side-by-side comparison or for busy multitasking involving a whole range of applications.
It has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels and also features Philips SmartUniformity mode: “with dedicated metrics to assess colour accuracy, the mode is calibrated to deliver at least 95% average luminance uniformity.”
The Philips BDM3470UP also has a big list of connection options. It supports HDMI and MHL for enjoying mobile content on the big screen, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA as well as USB 3.0 for fast data transfers, USB 2.0 for peripherals and even has a USB charging port.
The display also features MultiView technology, which enables users to work with two devices simultaneously and to partition the UltraWide screen area for viewing content from two separate streams.
The new Philips 34-inch BDM3470UP display should be available now at a £749 MSRP.
Thanks to MMD for providing us with this information
Feeling big with that new 4K ASUS latop, or 5K iMac? Well now feel what it’s like to be brought back down to earth. The guilty party for doing so is the Video Electronics Standards Association (or VESA for short) has unveiled Embedded DisplayPort 1.4a, which allows for all-in-ones and laptops to connect to 8K displays. To make this easier, the technology uses compression to get all the data into the video feed, and divides displays into two or four segments, allowing the pipeline to cope with the extra pixels.
But wait, there’s more! In doing this, PCs will need less data paths to drive lower resolutions, which will result in the usage of tinner and more efficient displays. This means laptops that “only” support 4K could gain increased battery life. With these new systems using DisplayPort 1.4a shipping next year, this is more than a theoretical exercise. However, all this will be dependent on how fast 8K displays become readily available and affordable.
Razer has unveiled their upgraded 14-inch Blade gaming notebook with the better CPU, GPU and display.
“When we debuted the Razer Blade in 2013, we set the benchmark for gaming laptops – and other companies worldwide have followed in our footsteps,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “We continue to listen as gamer needs evolve and the new Razer Blade again sets the industry standard by which gaming laptops are measured.”
The new version got a GTX 970M graphics card with 3GB VRAM and an IGZO QHD display with a 3200×1800 pixel resolution for great graphic performance. The Nvidia Optimus technology makes the Blade switch between the Nvidia graphics and Intel HD Graphics in the background to save on power when the performance isn’t needed.
The new CPU is the Intel Core i7-4720HQ quad-core (eight threads) CPU with a 2.6GHz base clock and 3.6GHz turbo boost. It further has up to 512GB SSD and 16GB 1600MHz RAM.
The new Razer Blade will be available between now and March 16th depending on your location and starts at $2199. A non-touch Full HD model will also be made available in March, but it comes with less memory and storage – and slightly cheaper at $1999.
Thanks to Razer for providing us with this information