December is here, and it’s snowing and cold where I am. We’ll start the month off with some news from around the world from our friends. I’ve still got plenty of phones coming up for review and some more interesting stuff on the way as well. For now read the news and see what’s going on with everyone else.
8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 2000MHz DDR3 Memory @ Benchmark Reviews
DESCRIPTION: The maximum speed officially supported by an Intel Core i3/i5 CPU is 1333MHz, and most will know too well that that even lower priced Intel H55/P55 Motherboards can support a 200 BCLK. If you like to dabble in the dark art of overclocking there are a few good reasons to choose a 2000MHz (PC3-16000) RAM kit. Firstly you have the options of lower voltage and tighter timings at lower speeds, and next you have the added benefit of higher memory bandwidth at the top speed. Last but not least though is the overclocking headroom, sure you could try to push your 1600MHz kit to 2000MHz but there are not too many kits that will do that, and you will certainly have to pay a premium. G.Skill have a broad range of DDR3 RAM from basic to extreme, today Benchmark Reviews will be testing the G.Skill Ripjaws 2000MHz CL9 Dual Channel 1.55v 8GB Kit (PN: F3-16000CL9D-8GBRM) priced at $209.99 for your reading pleasure.
Zalman N Series 128GB SandForce SF-1222 SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1472/1/
It seems like every week another company joins the SSD fray with a drive of their own. Granted, there’s still a lot of users that still haven’t made the leap from the trusty old platter hard drive. Does Zalman, a company best known for their cooling and cases, have what it takes to get a piece of the SSD pie? They’re making an effort with their launch of two different SSD lines. We’ll have a look at the N Series to see if it stacks up with the other SandForce drives already on the market.
OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB PCIE SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1460/1/
"OCZ has taken the already impressive RevoDrive and kicked it up to a whole new level with the RevoDrive X2. It simply rocks. It’s hands-down the fastest SSD we have used and its elegant simplicity in use and installation makes it all the more appealing for users of all levels. The performance numbers put up by the OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB PCIe SSD are insane and part of the reason it can reach such numbers is because of the PCI-E interface. A normal SATA II connection allows a theoretical bandwidth limit of 3Gbps or 375MB/s. The PCI Express interface is necessary to reach the potential of this beast…"
Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 2x2GB DDR3 RAM review @ APH Networks
* Description: Whew, time sure flies by. When I pulled up my last Patriot RAM review in preparation for this article today, a quick glance at the date labeled ‘November 8, 2008′ revealed it has been a good two years already (Mind you — the Patriot Extreme Performance series memory we tested back in November 2008 was some very good stuff). For as long as I have been a computer enthusiast, this company has been a prominent player in the industry, making its name among computer enthusiasts as a manufacturer of high performance computer memory products. In addition to the usual flash drives, SSDs, and the such, Patriot also has some cool stuff in their collection, such as the Patriot Box Office network media player we took a look at back in February this year. After giving G.SKILL’s Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB DDR3 a run through our labs, posting a series of very favorable results on the board a couple of weeks ago, it is now the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 2x2GB set’s turn to step up to the challenge. And what a challenge it is. Retailing at around $80 at press time after mail-in rebate, the Viper II Sector 5 running at DDR3-1600 with 8-8-8-24 latencies is, undeniably, priced very competitively among its peers. As the icing on the cake, Patriot also throws in a copy of Futuremark’s 3DMark Vantage benchmarking software as part of the package. If you have been following APH Networks and have read all our reviews from the last two weeks, the benchmark results in our review today should be nothing new to you. But for the stuff that really matters, like what kind of IC Patriot has plugged in behind the Viper II Sector 5’s heatsink, and how well it overclocks, this is where we will have you all filled in. Let’s jump right in and see what we have found out!
Kingston have impressed us recently with many of their products, especially the low cost, high performance SSDNow V100 128GB SSD drive. Today we are looking at their new external storage solution called HyperX MAX 3.0 which utilises the latest USB 3.0 superspeed interface.
According to Kingston the HyperX Max 3.0 drives can achieve speeds of up to 195 MB/s read and 160 MB/s write which will be tantalizingly desirable for demanding performance users on the move. The life expectancy of the drive is said to be 1,000,000 hours and it will support Windows Vista (SP1, SP2), Windows 7 and Windows XP (SP3). To get maximum performance you obviously need a USB 3.0 capable motherboard or expansion card, but it is fully backwards compatible. All models have a 3 year warranty with free 24/7 support.
Read The review here: http://www.kitguru.net/laptops/zardon/kingston-hyperx-max-3-0-128gb-drive-review/
G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 8GB Dual Channel Memory Kit Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Quote: “We are here to yet again do a review on another DDR3 dual channel memory kit. With the standards basically being for DDR3 kits to be 1600Mhz. They are widely used on the AMD AM3 platform to Intel 1156 and 1366 setups as well. DDR3 kits range everywhere from 1066Mhz to the 2500Mhz. When DDR3 1600MHz was coming around to be one of the most popular memory kits, the G.Skill Ripjaws where the best value for the offering. Now today a few months later we are here to put them to the test."
Audio / Video:
Funky Kit Review: Arctic Sound S111 Portable Speakers
We’ve published a review on the Arctic Sound S111 Portable Speakers. Here’s a snip … These portable speakers from Arctic Cooling offer a loud and powerful output of 4W (2W x 2) RMS, producing a sounds that have balanced vocals and good deep bass. It comes with a built-in volume control, as well as 3.5mm jack – compatible with computers, MP3, DVD, CD players.
Read the rest of the review here … http://www.funkykit.com/component/content/article/56-accessories/6337-review-arctic-sound-s111-portable-speakers.html
Samsung NX100 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera.
The micro 4/3rds DSLR camera niche is only a couple years old but in that short period of time they have gained quiet the following! The reason for this is they combine the power of a DSLR (and its interchangeable lenses) with the portability and ease of use of a Point & Shoot. Not that long ago Samsung released their NX10 micro 4/3rds camera and it was very, very good. Now they are back with what can be considered the successor to that camera: the NX100! So what does this new camera bring to the table and why would consumers chose it over the competition? Read on to find out in my full review.
Roku XD Media Player @ Techgage.com
Quote: With the surging popularity of streaming content online, media players are popping up all the place from a countless number of vendors. Roku isn’t a bandwagon jumper, though, as it’s been designing robust media solutions for some time. With all of the competition we’ve tested, we’re taking a look at one of its current products, the XD.
Lenovo Thinkvision L2251P 22" LCD Monitor
"The Lenovo Thinkvision L2251P attempts to stand apart with high energy efficiency and a reputation for high quality inherited from IBM, and today we’ll take a look at the overall performance and usability of this 22-inch widescreen display.
Sony BDP-S1700ES Review
"Sony’s ES (Elevated Standard) line of electronics has long been praised for their superior build quality and excellent picture and sound. The brand stands above Sony’s standard consumer line in both price and proposed performance, and due to changes recently implemented by Sony, is now available exclusively through specialty dealers and installers. That’s right: Sony ES is no longer available online. Here, we review the new BDP-S1700ES and consider whether this new Blu-Ray player warrants going a little out of your way to purchase."
Link to the review: http://www.digitaltrends.com/blu-ray-and-dvd-player-reviews/sony-bdp-s1700es-review/
Teufel CB 200 Review @ XSReviews
Quote: "Home audio and specifically PC sound, is always a bit of an oddball when it comes to the enthusiast. In the same way that high end gaming mice and keyboards are only appreciated when they’ve been experienced, so too is high quality sound. However, despite this even the most well versed and deep pocketed enthusiast can fall into the trap of not acquiring nice Hi-Fi kit for their PC or gaming centre.
Microsoft LifeCam Studio HD Webcam Review
Some of you may have started packing up your stuff for the annual trip to grandma’s house. However, many of you may find yourself away from members of your family during the holidays. How can you feel like you’re there carving the turkey when you’re not physically there? With the Microsoft LifeCam Studio, you might get the next best thing.
Direct Link: http://www.futurelooks.com/microsoft-lifecam-studio-hd-webcam-review/
Arctic Sound P531 USB Gaming Headset
Quote: " Gaming headsets aren’t all alike. Some are very expensive just because of a brand name. Some are feature packed and come with a good price. The Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound P531 USB Gaming Headset falls into the latter category. The P531 brings true 5.1 channel sound for your listening pleasure. "
TechwareLabs Reviews the OCZ Reaper R2 1600MHz 6GB DDR3 Ram Kit
Quote: Enthusiast RAM is like the sports car of the computer world. It can help give you that extra edge and is a must for any serious overclocker. Join us as we check out OCZ’s new entry in the Reaper line, and find out if it can slice through the competition.
LINK: TechwareLabs Reviews the OCZ Reaper R2 1600MHz 6GB DDR3 Ram Kit
For those with more a more modest bank balance, some manufacturers are currently offering 26-27 inch screens for under £350. Today we are looking at the Iiyama Pro Lite B2712HDS a 27 inch Active Matrix Widescreen with a solid specification. It offers 50,000:1 contrast ratio, 400 cd/m2 brightness with a 2ms response time and even has speakers onboard.
OCIA.net has posted their review of the Psyko Audio Labs 5.1 Gaming Headset.
"Many people have a home theater system for watching movies in surround sound. HTPC owners aside, few by comparison have a similar setup for their computer however. The basic 2-channel or 2.1-channel remain the most common speaker systems for home computers. Psyko Audio Labs introduces a 5.1 surround sound headset, in what they have coined as "the dawn of audio as a weapon" to improve positional awareness and reaction time for improved game play. Rather than placing multiple speakers in the ear cups they are located above your head, and use WaveGuides to direct the sound around each ear."
Direct Link: http://www.ocia.net/reviews/psyko51/page1.shtml
A.C. Ryan Playon!HD Essential Media Player Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
"A.C. Ryan are back with the next model in the Playon!HD family, the Essential. With an all new Realtek processor, improved GUI and feature-set aimed at no-fuss operation can the Essential live up to the high standards of previous models?"
Warpia Wireless USB PC to TV Audio / Video Display Adapter Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Quote: “Have you ever been watching something on your laptop and thought, “Hey this would be awesome if I could watch this on my TV”. Well many people spend a lot of money on home theater PC systems when all they need is a simple device that we are reviewing today. The Warpia Wireless USB PC to TV Audio / Video Display Adapter allows you to easily stream what you are viewing on your laptop or PC to any TV or projector. Let’s check it out and see if it’s worth getting over a HTPC system."
‘BlackBerry- neither down, nor out.’ BlackBerry has the #1 market share in the UAE.
The Full Article can be viewed at http://tbreak.com/tech/2010/12/blackberry-neither-down-nor-out/
‘Lenovo Edge 11" Notebook Review’ A beautiful laptop that is highly portable
The Full Article can be viewed at http://tbreak.com/tech/2010/12/lenovo-edge-11-notebook-review/
Slappa Ballistix Aura Laptop Sleeve Review @ [OC]ModShop
Nearly everyone who owns a laptop carries it outside the house or office at some point, and you really can’t subject it to all the slings and arrows of this world. You need some sort of protection for your portable computer, but you may not want to lug around a full-fledged laptop bag or case. Some people like to keep things really minimalized and slim, else what’s the point to buying these ultra-thin (and ultra-expensive) laptops?
For those of you who just want to lug around your computer from place to place without a lot of extra cables
and hassle, then all you really need is a good laptop sleeve. Slappa’s Aura laptop sleeve has lots of protective features without a lot of nonsense.
Review URL :: http://www.ocmodshop.com/ocmodshop.aspx?a=1799
Apple 13" MacBook Air Review
Apple decided to refresh their MacBook Air lineup this year, but rather than simply upgrading the existing machine with a new CPU, GPU or Blu-ray drive, Apple introduced some entirely new pieces of hardware with the new 11" and 13" MacBook Airs. While the 11" machine is certainly intriguing, and a compelling addition to the overall lineup, we’re focusing today on the revamped 13" version here.
QUOTE: "Aimed at the business user, the Vostro series from Dell is today getting a little bit of a face lift and the new V130 is the one we’re checking out. Packing some sweet goodies, the V130 looks like it’s going to indeed hit the spot for the user on the go. Checking out the specifications of the V130 we’ve got on hand, it’s very business-like. We’ve got an Intel i5 470UM which is a Dual Core 1.33GHz CPU that has a total of four threads thanks to HyperThreading. We’ve got a single 4GB DDR3 memory module clocked at 800MHz DDR and graphics is provided by Intel in the form of Arrandale which carries only very basic features with a 166MHz core clock.
Storage comes in the form of a single 500GB HDD. The screen is a 13.3” Anti-Glare LED lit LCD Panel which carries a native resolution of 1366 x 768, which is slightly above “HD” (or 1280 x 720, otherwise known as 720p). Other little extras include a built in camera that sits just above the screen, wireless 802.11b/g/n, Gigabit Networking and Bluetooth. Power is made possible with a 6-Cell Lithium Ion sealed battery. Everything is tied together with a copy of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and very little bloat ware."
Choiix Power Fort 5.5 Portable Charger review @ APH Networks
* Description: Portable gaming, mobile phones, GPS navigation units, digital audio players, Bluetooth headsets — these are all devices we often use on a daily basis (Well, probably not the gaming part, but I would be interested to know what your day job is if that is indeed the case). When we are on the bus, we often pull out the latest gadgets to keep us occupied until we reach our destination. When we do business with our clients, we rely on our smartphones for our on-the-go communication needs. The worst part about traveling to unknown parts of the city is getting lost, so bringing along a portable GPS along would be extremely helpful. But these are just a few examples on how much we rely on these devices every day. Unfortunately, all of them come down to a single common denominator: The battery. Needless to say, when you run out of juice, no matter how high tech your stuff is, you are pretty much out of luck. A few months ago, we reviewed the Choiix Power Fort, a portable charger designed to get your energy-drained electronics up and running again even when an AC power outlet is not readily available. Choiix has come up with yet another creation, but this time, it is smaller and lighter. Much like the original Power Fort, the Choiix Power Fort 5.5 charges all the most common devices we possess. The "5.5" signifies its 5.5WHr battery. From Bluetooth headsets to gaming devices, the Choiix Power Fort 5.5 packs a 1500 mAh Li-Po battery, which is enough for your stuff to last throughout the day. But how does this little guy compare to its brother, which packs a larger 2700 mAh battery? Read on to see how these two compare!
‘When auto-correct misbehaves’ Some hilarious moments caused by iPhones.
The Full Article can be viewed at http://tbreak.com/tech/2010/11/when-auto-correct-misbehaves/
Why Microsoft TV could crush Google TV
"With both Apple and Google now anxiously pawing at the door to consumer living rooms with products like Apple TV and Google TV, it should come as little surprise that Microsoft is apparently lumbering down from Redmond to poke its face in the doorway, too. Early reports suggest Microsoft is developing a paid television service that would use the Xbox 360 to pipe content to TVs. It may be just a sliver of a rumor at the moment, but the concept has legs. Here’s why a Microsoft-developed pay TV service could potentially bowl over Google TV."
Link to the article: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/video-home-theater/why-microsoft-tv-could-crush-google-tv/
Chillblast Fusion Challenger System Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
"Today we have a custom-built performance system on our test bench; aimed at consumers who want a good base specification with potential for future upgrades the Fusion Challenger retails for Â£699 and features a Core i3 CPU at 4.0GHz and plenty of configuration options during the purchase process."
DESCRIPTION: It seems in this day that every company under the sun has their very own media player with various features, but how can you differentiate them? We’re here to try to help! I was at work when a buddy of mine asked me which Media Player device he should buy in order to play all his content. I thought for a moment and then realized how badly even I needed something to compare. This will be a living guide, in that we will constantly be adding devices to it. If you have or know of a media player not listed below, please let us know in the comments below!
Teaser: Facebook founder and CEO, baby-faced billionaire, and unintended star of a hit (don’t miss the double meaning) film Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that it will soon be offering a new messaging system, Facebook Messages, that integrates email (so 20th century), IM, SMS, Facebook, and other social media into one seamless stream of cyber-communication. With this proclamation, Facebook officially demonstrated that it is no longer content being the number-one social networking web site on Earth. Marky Z has decided that it’s time to grow up, aim higher, and take on the big boys of the digital-entertainment-technology-industrial complex (Messrs. Gates, Jobs, and Schmidt).
Click here: http://bit.ly/hqU3QI
HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2010:
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, there’s one question that gets asked rather frequently: Have you been naughty or nice? Of course, we all know that a lot hinges on this seemingly simple question. If you’ve been nice, then perhaps Santa will bring you an awesome gift; that one piece of hardware you’ve been jonesing for. On the other hand, if you’ve been naughty and have cursed your computer (hey, who hasn’t?) or ignored your significant other because Left 4 Dead 2 or Modern Warfare 2 beckoned, then you’d better shape up before it’s too late. Otherwise, the only thing you’ll have to look forward to is a lump of coal, or worse. Believe us–we’ve been there.
Information overflow: pitfalls, traps and the search for a way out
"As the volume of information available on the Internet grows, it also grows the volume of information we need to get in touch with daily. While you can ignore most of this information, there’s some you cannot. The problem is that you can’t avoid to accidentally ignoring some of the information that is important to you and potentially miss something you didn’t want to miss. "
Where is Your PSU Fan? @ Computing on Demand
I recently had an interesting argument with one of my friends about Power Supplies. Our argument was about cooling fan size and placement within the power supply. His argument was that a larger fan is better than a smaller fan. As enthusiast, we have seen both employed, but for some reason, no standard has been defined. Are Power supply companies just playing into the idea that bigger fans are better for cooling? Needless to say, this sparked some interest in research.
Quote: It’s that time of the month when we team up with one of our sponsors to offer you a prize to give away in a competition.
Review of Joby Gorillatorch Blade and Giveaway
Today for review I have the newest DIY helper flashlight from Joby called the Gorillatorch Blade, and it’s become another must have addition to my toolbox. Not only do I have the Blade for review, but Joby has been kind enough to send me two of them, one for review and one to giveaway to one of our readers.
ASRock Vision 3D Blu-ray MCE HTPC @ Benchmark Reviews
DESCRIPTION: Benchmark Reviews has tested several products designed for the Home Theater PC segment, and of them all only ASRock has ever really delivered on the packaged HTPC concept. The ASRock Vision 3D Blu-ray HTPC could be the first solid example of a compact Home Theater PC that finally poses a threat to desktop computers. Armed with NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 425M graphics card, the ASRock Vision-3D enables 3D Blu-ray Disc movie play back or video games using NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology. The Vision 3D system offers powerful dual-core Intel Core-i3 processing, a Blu-ray Disc optical drive, THX audio output, and even includes SuperSpeed USB 3.0. With HDMI 1.4a support, the ASRock Vision 3D also supports Bitstream audio pass through 7.1 channel surround sound with THX TruStudio PRO, making this the ideal Home Theater PC solution.
Today we are looking at their Inspiron One (All In One) 23 system with a mid range configuration at only £679 inc vat – this features a 1080p touch screen panel and a THX Certified sound system.
Will this make an ideal Christmas present for yourself, a partner or a family member? Read our analysis today to make an informed decision.
Read The review here: http://www.kitguru.net/desktop-pc/zardon/dell-inspiron-one-all-in-one-23-system-review/
Gigabyte Aivia K8100 Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
Ozone Radon 5K Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
NZXT Sentry LXE Digital Fan Controller @ Benchmark Reviews
ASUS GeForce GTX 580 Overclocked Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
Best CPU Cooler Performance: Intel Q3-2010 @ Benchmark Reviews
Zalman CNPS9900 MAX CPU Cooler Review @ Benchmark Reviews