So, maybe you’re an avid outdoors person, or just an occasional camper. Perhaps you just want to dip your toe into solar power generation, or ensure there’s a way to charge your phone during a power outage. Well, Archeer has something for you: an inexpensive, folding solar charger, the Archeer AR-SC-21, that purports to be able to charge up to two USB-chargeable devices at 1.8 amps each. Benchmark Reviews will check out this charger to see if it can live up to its claims.
Tag Archive: David Ramsey
Benchmark Reviews has previously tested both the budget OCZ Trion SSD and the premium OCZ RD400 m.2 PCIe SSD; the new VX500 represents the middle of Toshiba/OCZ’s SSD range. At the time of our reviews, the 512GB RD400 was $309.99 while the 480GB Trion 150 was $139.99; with a price of $154.99, the OCZ VX500 SSD is only slightly more than the budget Trion 150 (whose price has since dropped), but it’s still much less expensive than the RD400. Let’s see how the performance and features compare.
Transcend Information Inc. was founded in Taiwan in 1988, and the company prides itself on “organizing your digital life.” Their new ESD400 series of external USB SSDs is their entry into the market for portable, USB-powered SSDs that aims to replace the mature 2.5″ hard drive that’s dominated the small external drive market for years. With sequential read and write speeds both spec’d in the range of 400 megabytes per second, the rated performance of this drive is vastly better than any spinning hard drive. Benchmark Reviews checks out the 256GB version of the ESD400 in this review.
Taiwanese company G. SKILL, probably best known for its desktop and laptop memory products, jumps into the enthusiast gaming mouse market with its new Ripjaws MX780 Gaming Mouse. Stuffed with features like an 8,200-DPI Avago laser sensor, Omron switches, 1,000Hz polling, 4-zone RGB lighting, adjustable weights, switchable, ambidextrous side grips, an adjustable-height palm rest, and 512K of onboard memory for macro storage, this mouse sure looks good on paper, especially at the price. Benchmark Reviews will determine how well it stands up to the competition.
LaCie is a well-known brand to Mac users, as it started as a company supporting Macs in the early 1990s. Acquired by Seagate Technology in 2012, it now serves as Seagate’s “premium brand”, designing “world-class storage solutions for photographers, videographers, audio professionals, and other power users.” Utilizing the latest USB-C connector and providing up to 8GB of storage as well as simultaneously charging your laptop computer, the LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive is powerful, stylish, and usable with any computer with a USB 3.0/3.1 port. There are other features as well, which Benchmark Reviews will test in this review of this interesting external drive system.
These days, better performance can be achieved with a PCIEx4 SSD in the m.2 form factor, mounted on a simple PCIe adapter card (that you don’t have to use if your motherboard has an m.2 slot). Today Benchmark Reviews checks out this modern iteration of a PCIe SSD in the 512GB Toshiba RD400.
In this article, Benchmark Reviews looks at the A4Tech Bloody LED B188 Light Strike Keys Gaming Keyboard, the low-cost entrant in Bloody’s keyboard lineup. Bloody keeps the cost down by using rubber-dome switches for most of the keys, saving their pricier infrared mechanical switches for the 8 special gaming keys.
A4Tech is a Taiwanese company whose “Bloody” gaming division was launched in 2012. Bloody produces gaming keyboards and mice using a unique switch technology: rather than metal contact points closing an electrical circuit when a key is pressed, Bloody’s mechanical switches use infrared LEDS and photosensors, which Bloody claims provides faster key response and a more reliable and durable switch. Benchmark Reviews checks out the Bloody B720 Light Strike gaming keyboard to see how it compared to other premium gaming keyboards.
London-based Fnatic PTY Ltd is primarily an eSports team company, with sponsored players and their own YouTube channel. But they also offer a few hardware items under the Fnatic Gear imprint. Even casual gamers need a good gaming-oriented mouse, but these can be very expensive. The Fnatic Gear FLICK G1 Optical Mouse offers Omron switches, a Pixart sensor, and a maximum resolution of 5,000dpi. Fnatic says that their mouse is “eSports inspired”, but the proof is in the pudding…or in this case, the proof is in the testing. Benchmark Reviews takes this mouse on a gaming journey to see how well it fares.
With mechanical gaming keyboards now common, vendors are looking for more ways to distinguish their products. Corsair competes on features, and in an exclusive deal with German key switch manufacturer Cherry, brings a new mechanical switch to the market: the Cherry MX Speed. This switch forms the backbone of the new Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE mechanical gaming keyboard, and while it’s an impressive new feature, it’s far from all this high-end keyboard has to offer. Benchmark Reviews offers a look at this new product for gamers who want only the very best.
The London-based company Fnatic currently offers four products: the Rush keyboard, the Flick mouse, and two types of mouse pad. Today Benchmark Reviews will look at the Fnatic Rush G1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard equipped with Cherry MX Red switches. Fnatic says that the RUSH keyboard is “…pro-player tested and approved for the highest levels of competitive play.” Let’s take it for a spin and see if they’re right.
In this article Benchmark Reviews has the Tesoro Sagitta Spectrum Gaming Mouse for review. Boasting full RGB lighting, 5000dpi resolution, 1MHz polling, a 32-bit ARM processor backed by 512K of internal memory, and a comfortable, anti-microbial coating, this could be one of the best midrange gaming mice out there.
Samsung’s 950 PRO m.2 PCI-E SSD set new performance records for a consumer SSD, blasting through the limits of SSDs tethered to the old SATA interface. What could be better than one of these blazing-fast solid state storage monsters? Two of them in RAID 0! In this article, Benchmark Reviews explores the outer limits of storage performance with a pair of 512GB Samsung 950 PRO SSDs on our MSI Z170A Gaming M7 test system.
OCZ Storage Solutions, a subsidiary of Toshiba, has a new entry into the burgeoning field of low-cost consumer TLC (triple-level cell) NAND SSDs: the Trion 150. Featuring a new (and somewhat mysterious) Toshiba controller backing up also new Toshiba 15nm TLC NAND, the Trion 150 is aimed squarely at the consumer who’s been waiting for prices on larger SSDs to drop to this level. Historically, drives based on TLC NAND have suffered from significant performance and durability compromises. Benchmark Reviews will run this drive through our gamut of tests to see if these issues are still a factor you should be aware of.
Samsung’s new Portable SSD T3 offers up to 2TB of amazingly fast external storage in a metal enclosure that’s smaller than a business card, if somewhat thicker. Equipped with the latest USB Type C connector implementing USB 3.1 (Gen.1) protocols, the Portable SSD T3 is now compatible with Android mobile devices that have Type C connectors, as well as Windows and Mac OS. Sporting Samsung’s VNAND flash memory architecture with Turbo Write technology, the drive also comes with easy-to-use security software for Windows, Mac, and Android. Is the Samsung Portable SSD T3 a compelling solution for fast external storage? Benchmark Reviews checks this new drive out to see what it’s got.
I have had poor results with early generation smart locks – the kind you control from a Bluetooth-enabled phone – so when U-Tec offered Benchmark Reviews the opportunity to review their new Ultraloq UL3 Smart Lock, I jumped at the chance. Rather than using your phone, the Ultraloq UL3 offers access through an electronic keypad and an integrated fingerprint reader. In this article, I test the features of this lock and put it to work on a real door.
MyDigitalSSD specializes in solid state drives that compete on price-performance, and they say that their new MyDigitalSSD BP5e 240GB SSD, equipped with the latest PHISON PS3110 controller and Toshiba triple-level NAND, will redefine performance in the value area of the consumer SSD market. Benchmark Reviews runs this drive through our suite of benchmarks to see if this is true.
The glut of mechanical keyboards with per-key RGB lighting continues with the release of Corsair’s Strafe RGB Cherry MX Silent series. In addition to features such as extremely versatile programmable lighting, a pass-through USB port, optional textured key caps, and a detachable wrist rest, Corsair adds a unique to them (for now) “silent” version of the Cherry MX Red key switch.
The advent of Intel’s Skylake 6th-generation Core processors and their supporting Z170 chipset marks the biggest change in Intel’s consumer line since the original X68. While the Skylake CPU holds few surprises other than its support for DDR4 memory, the Z170 chipset finally brings to the mainstream market what it’s so desperately needed: more PCI-E lanes, and of the 3.0 variety at that! Of course MSI adds their own unique touches to this system and today Benchmark Reviews checks out the MSI Z170A Gaming M7 LGA1151 motherboard.
The m.2 form factor is becoming popular for SSDs due to its small size, and, in PCI-E guise, superior performance. As our recent test of the Samsung 950 Pro m.2 SSD has shown, PCI-E m.2 SSDs offer performance many times that of the very best SATA SSDs, so if you’re looking for a storage upgrade, m.2 is definitely the way to go. While m.2 slots are only available on the latest motherboards, SilverStone Technology’s ECM20 m.2 adapter card offers an inexpensive way for older systems to enjoy the performance and space savings of modern m.2 SSDs. Benchmark Reviews tests the ECM20 and compares the performance of a modern m.2 PCI-E SSD on this adapter card with its performance on a native m.2 port.
Just a few months ago, full RGB mechanical keyboards were rare beasts, and the inclusion of full per-key RGB lighting commanded a very high price, with some keyboards selling for almost $200.00. Now, prices are coming down rapidly and vendors are starting to compete on features, but how many more features are there left to add? Today Benchmark Reviews looks at the latest entry in the “full color per-key RGB keyboard” market, Thermaltake’s Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
Benchmark Reviews has looked at a number of gaming keyboards of late, and most are stuffed with features: extra keys, elaborate macro definition software, dual-core CPUs and megabytes of RAM to hold all the key definitions and macros. And there’s also the elaborate RGB lighting that has become de rigueur in this market segment. So it’s almost a relief to see that the Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid-i is a compact, minimalist TKL (ten-keyless) version of their Quickfire Rapid series of gaming keyboards. Benchmark Reviews will check out this new minimalist entry to see if less really is more.
Centon isn’t a name many enthusiasts will know. I’d never heard of the company myself until this review sample; apparently, they’ve been in business for over 35 years manufacturing DRAM and flash memory products, and have only recently entered the consumer marketplace. The Centon C-380 480GB SSD SATA-III Solid State Drive, part of the “Enthusiast Solutions” series, is the focus of what Benchmark Reviews will be putting through our test suite.
Founded in 2001, the Taiwanese company ADATA Technology Corporation specializes in memory-based products. A few years ago they branched out into SSDs, and have been competing aggressively on price/performance as SSD prices continue to fall. Benchmark Reviews has previously looked at the ADATA Premier SP550 mainstream and ADATA XPG SX930 performance SSDs; today we have the ADATA Premier SP550. With Hynix TLC NAND backed by a Silicon Motion controller and LDPC error correction, is the SP550 the price/performance sweet spot in ADATA’s lineup?
With SSD prices falling under intense competition, and most consumer-level drives bumping up against the bandwidth limitations of SATA 6, how does a vendor distinguish their product? ADATA thinks their SX930 “Extreme Performance Gaming” (XPG) drive can do it, bolstered by features like enterprise-grade NAND, a JMicron JMF670H controller, hardware-based BHC error correction, pSLC cache technology, all supported with free application software and a five-year warranty. Benchmark Reviews runs the ADATA XPG SX930 Gaming SSD through our test suite to see how it performs.