Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA Docking Station

September 10th, 2014

We like USB/HDD docking stations, very handy to have when you’ve got spare HDDs or SSDs lying around. And here’s a cool one from Sabrent.

It can handle 3.5, 2.5 inch HDDs and SSDs in its dual bays with a USB 3.0 connection to the PC. The really funky feature on the Sabrent EC-HDD2 is the Standalone Duplicator, which as its name suggests allows you to clone a hard drive without being connected to a PC. Simply drop in a couple of HDDs (one being blank ideally!) and hit the copy button and let the docking station do its thing! Just to round off its features are the facts that the EC-HDD2 is hot-swappable and plug and play. What could be easier?

Interested? You should be! Check it out on Amazon.

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HP 2711 LED 27 inch monitor

March 25th, 2011

Today we’re taking a look at a 27 inch LED monitor, namely the HP 2711. The boys at Palo Alto have produced a full Hi-Def res ultra-slim monitor for you to view your favourite PC games on. Of course it’ll work just as well with other types of software. The 2711 sports a BrightView panel for cutting down glare, has a Tilt Adjustment feature which allows to fold the screen down to be flush with your desk for some reason! It’s Energy Star Compliant and sports VGA, DVI-D and HDMI inputs for all round connectivity. Check out some more details for the HP 2711 27 inch monitor

* 27 inches, 1920 x 1080 res widescreen display
* Supported Video Formats 1080p
* 16:9 aspect ration
* Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI inputs
* 7.3 x 18.5 x 25.8 inches
* 12.6 pounds
* 170/160 degree viewing angles
* 3,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio


TestFreaks – 8.9
PCMag – 3 out of 5
Amazon customer reviews – 4.5 stars out of 5

Pros – Good design, colour and performance, ultra thin
Cons – Bad grayscale, limited adjustability, glossy surface, no height adjustment

So there’s a bit of a mixed reaction to the actual quality of the display and no height adjustment seems a bit of odd feature to leave out, but if you are still interested then check out the HP 2711 27 inch LED monitor over at Amazon.

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HP Mini 210-1142CL netbook

July 15th, 2010
HP Mini 210-1142CL netbook

HP have added a new model to their Mini 210 netbook range with the 1142CL. The unit sports over 9 hours of battery life from its 6-Cell lithium-ion battery and has a 10.1 inch WSVGA LED display. Here are the full details on the latest HP Mini 210.

* Product Number XA523UA#ABA
* 1.66GHz Intel Atom Processor N455
* 1GB DDR3 System Memory (1 DIMM) max
* Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
* 250GB (7200RPM) HDD
* Multimedia Drive
* 10.1” diagonal WSVGA HP BrightView Infinity LED Display (1024 x 600)
* Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN
* 802.11b/g/n WLAN connectivity
* HD Audio
* stereo speakers
* integrated microphone
* 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards
* 3 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0
* 1 VGA (15-pin)
* 1 RJ -45 (LAN)
* 1 Headphone-out/Microphone-in combo jack (compatible with 3.5mm 4-conductor jack with stereo audio and mono mic)
* 10.55 in (L) x 6.9 in (D) x 0.9-1.11 in (H)
* 2.99 lbs
* 6-Cell 66.6WHr Lithium-Ion Battery

The upgrading of the Mini 210 from HP shows the competitiveness of the netbook market. If you want to win you’ve can’t afford to fall behind, as each manufacturer tries to squeeze more bang for buck from their models. The 1142CL Mini 210 will set you back $370 (list price) and certainly sports the features you’d expect from a new netbook.

We could only find one online review of this new Mini 210 over at PC Mag where they gave the 1142CL 3.5 stars out of 5. They stated a dodgy touchpad, badly placed memory slots and its looks as negatives whilst the Mini 210’s fast HDD, large battery and competitive pricing as positives.

If you have managed to have a play with HP’s latest Mini 210 do let us know what you think of it.

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Gateway NV52 laptop series

May 14th, 2010
Gateway NV52 laptop

Today we are taking a look at Gateway’s NV52 laptop, an Athlon powered 15 inch range of models. The base unit, NV5207u, sports the following bells and whistles for the minimalist price tag of $500.

* AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 QL-65 Dual-Core Processor (2.1GHz, 667MHz FSB, 1MB L2 Cache)
* Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
* 4GB Dual-Channel DDR2 667MHz sDRAM Support
* 320GB SATA hard drive
* ATI Radeon® HD 3200 Graphics
* 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
* 8x DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
* 6-Cell Lithium Ion (4400 mAh)
* 26-37mm (H) x 372mm (W) x 250mm (D)
* 15.6″ HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display (1366 x 768 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio)
* 4 x USB 2.0, VGA Port, HDMI™ Port
* Media Card Reader
* 56K ITU V.92 ready Fax/Modem (RJ-11 port)
* Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
* Integrated Webcam
* 2.65 kg

With a price tag of $499 we must admit that the Gateway NV5207u seems to offer some good features for a reasonable price. Unfortunately CNet don’t share our view and give the NV5207u a three stars out of five, citing a weak processor and poor battery performance as the downsides. ZDNet also complain about the processor, comparing it to our canine friends, when giving it a 7.4 rating.

If anyone out there has used one of these suckers or even owns a Gateway NV5207u laptop please let us know what you think in the comment box below.

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MSI launch CR600 laptop

February 18th, 2010

MSI CR600-234US laptop

MSI have just cranked out a bunch of new laptops for your perusal. There are three new models in the CR620 range, but we shall take a look at the latest addition to the CR600 range, the CR600-234US model. The new CR600 is powered by an Intel Dual-Core T5400 processor, managed by Windows 7 Home Premium and has a 16 inch LCD display. Other snazzy features include an HDMI output, brushed aluminium touchpad and built-in webcam and microphone. The full details on the CR600-234US are as follows

* Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core T4500 2.3GHz 800 MHz FSB Processor
* Windows 7 Home Premium OS
* Black or Silver options
* 16 inch 1366 x 768 res WXGA LCD 16:9 display
* GeForce 8200M G GPU
* 1W x 2 internal speakers
* 3 GB memory
* DVD Super Multi Optical drive
* 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN connection
* 802.11b/g/draft n WLAN Card built-in
* 4 in 1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/XD)
* 1.3 MP webcam
* 3 x USB 2.0 outputs
* VGA, HDMI output
* Headphone, Mic-in, Line-in ports
* 14.73 x 9.73 x 0.63 – 1.18 inches

It all sounds quite impressive to us and with price tag of $526.20 at Amazon the MSI CR600
looks very attractive indeed. As we’ve discussed a large number of laptops recently we thought we’d point out a couple of units that are just priced above the MSI CR600. For $800 Alienware’s M11x compares nicely but admittedly it’s aimed at a different market and Lenovo’s IdeaPad G560 with the same $800 price tag sports an extra 1 GB of memory over the CR600’s spec. So if you’re looking for a laptop under $600 then the MSI CR600 seems like a good option to us.

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ATI Radeon HD 5450 card with three outputs

February 5th, 2010

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5450

AMD have just unleashed a cheap graphics card with three outputs, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3.2 support. The ATI Radeon HD 5450 has a measly $60 price tag and will apparently

Expand your visual real estate across up to three displays and get lost in the action with ATI Eyefinity Technology.

Here are the numbers on the ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card

* 80 Stream Processing Units
* 8 Texture Units
* PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
* DirectX® 11 support
* OpenGL 3.2 support
* Three independent display controllers – Drive up to three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
* Display grouping – Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
* ATI Stream acceleration technology
* ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
* ATI Avivo HD Video & Display technology
* Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
* Brighter whites processing (blue stretch)
* Independent video gamma control
* Support for H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, and Adobe Flash
* Dual-stream (HD+SD) playback support
* Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP14 – Max resolution: 2560×1600
* Integrated DisplayPort output – Max resolution: 2560×1600
* Integrated HDMI 1.3 output – Max resolution: 1920×1200
* Integrated VGA output – Max resolution: 2048×1536
* 3D stereoscopic display/glasses support
* Integrated HD audio controller
* Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
* Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
* ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology
* Certified drivers for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

Three independent outputs, integrated HD audio support and only for $60. We reckon the Radeon HD 5450 is a bargain in anyone’s books. Here are three reviews for you to read if you’re still not convinced from Techspot, HotHardware and LegitReviews. Admittedly HotHardware say its not a great card for gamers, but all agree if you need a card with three outputs the ATI Radeon HD 5450 is pretty hard to beat.

Source: AMD

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Brando Unitek USB 3.0 to SATA adapter (Y-1034)

December 30th, 2009

Brando Unitek USB 3.0 to SATA adapter

The guys at Brando have very kindly come up with a very cunning device, the Y-1034 USB 3.0 to SATA adapter. Attach the Y-1034 to any old SATA HDDs and then plug the other end into your shiny new USB 3.0 port on your desktop and the files on the HDD will become available at the theoretical USB 3.0 speed of 5.0 Gbps. This ‘theoretical’ speed is ten times faster than USB 2.0 – now you’re interested! Here are some more details on the Y-1034 USB to SATA adapter from Brando

* USB 3.0 connectivity
* Plays nicely with Window 7 / Vista / Xp, Linux
* 69 x 40 x 12mm
* 67g

The price tag on this is a mere $48, how can you say no? And for IDE devices you’ll need an extra gizmo, the ‘Docking Convertor’, but that’s only $16. So for $64 tops, you can grab an old HDD and convert it instantly into a USB 3.0 external HDD. How cool is that?

Source: Brando

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