2015 Newest Model Dell XPS13 Ultrabook Computer – the World’s First 13.3″ FHD WLED Backlit Infinity Display, 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U Processor 2.2GHz / 4GB DDR3 / 128GB SSD / Windows 8.1 Reviews

  • The World’s Frst Infinity Display of 13.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Backlit WLED Screen
  • 5th Generation Broadwell Intel Core i5-5200U 2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.70 GHz
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM / 128GB SSD / Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Exceptionally Long-Lasting Battery Life up to 15 hrs
  • Windows 8.1 (64-bit), light weight only 2.6 lbs

Product Reviews

“Dude, I got a Dell!!! And it’s Awesome!!! (Google for the Dell Dude reference. lol)” – Quentin Moore “The Tech Ranker”
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Like everyone else, I saw all of the positive press the Dell XPS 13 received during CES 2015. Since the XPS 13 was made available for ordering right after it was announced, and since I needed a new laptop to replace my failed Microsoft Surface Pro 3 experiment, I decided to take a plunge and buy the latest and greatest thing.

I like the Surface Pro 3, but I need a laptop that has good performance + a good keyboard + long battery life. So far the XPS 13 appears to have answered all of my prayers. Here are some of my quick thoughts on the device thus far:


– Beautiful “bezel-less” screen. Wide viewing angles. Can be viewed in direct sunlight
– Thin screen bezel allows this 13″ laptop to fit within an 11″ laptop size chassis
– Build quality is solid. There’s no flex in the keyboard or the bottom of the device
– Thin, light weight, and ultra-portable. Its soft touch carbon fiber material looks and feels premium
– Performance is good for a low power, Intel core processor
– You can opt to save money and battery life and get the 1920×1080 non-touch screen model, or you can upgrade to the 3200 x 1800 touch screen model
– HD Video looked good and worked as you expect it to
– While researching Ultrabooks, I found many to have trackpad issues. The XPS 13 doesn’t have this problem. Its trackpad is accurate and nicely sized
– The trackpad allows you to perform some gestures (scrolling, pinch and zoom, etc.) that will help you miss the touch screen less, should you go with the non touch screen model
– It includes 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi for maximum wireless performance. Bluetooth 4.0 is included as well
– It has a backlit keyboard
– Battery life is great. Plus you can add a small external battery to increase battery life even further
– Low starting price, although I would suggest that most upgrade to the i5, 8GB ram unit.
– It has a full size SD card slot, which should make photographers happy. Note that 1/3 of the SD card protrudes from the slot
– Includes a display port. Optional Dell adapter allows you to add HDMI, VGA, and Ethernet ports. Or you can get a cheap HDMI adapter
– Optional docking station supports up to three external monitors, including 1 4K monitor
– The PCIe M.2 SSD drive is upgradable. Unless you need 512GB, the Dell $100 upgrade to 256GB is a good value.
– You can plug the AC adapter into the optional external battery, then plug the external battery into the XPS to charge the XPS and external battery simultaneously.


– The fan kicks in when you are taxing the system. If you use the High Performance power setting, the fan seems to run constantly
– The screen on the touch-screen version is very glossy. I don’t mind glossy but some people will.
– Key travel on the keyboard is a tad bit shallow. It’s not bad but it’s worth noting.
– Due to the thin bezel, the web cam is under the screen. As a result, your fingers may show up on the webcam while you type during webcam sessions
– The body can get warm, although I have yet to experience uncomfortable warmth
– Air vents are on the bottom so be careful about resting the XPS 13 on your bed or rug
– The speakers are on the sides instead of the front and sound tiny
– The low entry price increases quickly once you add a few upgrades
– No HDMI port, although you can add one via an optional Dell Adapter
– No Stylus pen support.
– No 4G option as of this writing
– Don’t expect to play 3D games with this laptop as its integrated graphics can’t handle it


– Just like with all Windows Computers, before you begin using your XPS 13, run Windows Update. Repeat running Windows Update until there are no more updates available.
– If you have the Ethernet equipped Dell adapter accessory, consider using the Ethernet port to speed up the update process.
– If you encounter a failed update, restart your computer and try again. Another thing to try is a clean restart before performing the update. (Google: windows 8 clean restart)
– I find that I get the least amount of fan noise when I use the default Dell Power Settings. In High Performance mode, the fan runs constantly.
– Unless you need 512GB of storage or more, get the Dell $100 256GB SSD upgrade. It’s more economical than an after market upgrade to 256GB (unless you can sell the 128GB PCIe M.2 SSD drive you are replacing)


– The Dell Power Companion 12,000 mAh external battery works great. Plus you can charge it and your XPS 13 with the AC Adapter at the same time
– The Dell Adapter adds these ports to the XPS 13: HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, USB 2.0. I got it primarily to add VGA and Ethernet ports.


Non Touch Screen
+ Cheaper! 🙂
+ 15 hours of battery life
+ Matted Screen minimizes glare
– Will not be able to use touch centric, Metro apps
– Lower resolution (1920×1080 vs 3200×1800), although, I doubt most people will miss the bigger resolution

Touch Screen
+ Fully compatible with touch centric, Metro apps
+ Higher resolution screen (3200×1800 vs 1920×1080)
– More Expensive
– Glossy screen leads to more glare
– Less battery life (12 hours) than the other model (15 hours)

✔ Dell XPS 13 vs Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550

Yes, the LaVie is very light but the battery life is only 6 hours. If you are always near a power outlet, this may not be an issue for you. Personally I don’t see the point in having a light and portable laptop that only gets an OEM rated 6 hours of battery life. Real world battery life will likely be less.

The LaVie also has a higher starting price than the XPS 13 ($1299), although, I generally recommend getting at least the $1299 XPS 13. Note that you can often save on Dell laptops via coupons, cash back offers, and finance deals. The LaVie’s high price coupled with the smallish battery makes me think the XPS 13 is the clear winner in this battle of early 2015 Ultrabooks.


Between work and personal laptops, I’ve probably used over a dozen laptops over the years. This includes the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 that was supposed to replace laptops but missed the mark (at least for me). Without a doubt, the Dell XPS 13 is my favorite of all time. It’s beautifully designed, it’s light and thin, and it has a solid build. It’s both functional and cool. Depending on whether or not you need the upgrades, it can be had for relatively cheap ($799 minus coupons, cash back offers, and other deals).

My favorite feature is the combination of long battery life, and the ability to further extend its longevity via an optional, small external battery. I purchased this thing for its ability to handle long travel days, long meeting days moving from conference room to conference room without a power cable, and long work sessions at Starbucks. So far, the XPS 13 has worked well for my personal use cases.

There are a few compromises to be aware of, such as the glossy screen, webcam location, and tiny speakers. Also, 3D gamers should definitely choose something else. If these issues do not matter to you, I suspect you will love the Dell XPS 13. It’s a premium device and probably one of the best mainstream laptops Dell has released in years.


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** Did you find this review helpful? I hope so! If you have questions about the XPS 13, please post a comment. **

Quick Review” – Wayne Ngo
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

My configuration: Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 1080p matte display at $899 (Microsoft Store)

Things I Like:

The aluminum finish is extremely clean. It’s a tad darker than Apple’s aluminum finish and both the lid and bottom are solid with that cold metal feel upon touch. The palm rest area has an interesting carbon fiber pattern that adds a unique look and has a very nice soft touch finish. The Dell logos on the lid and beneath the screen is tidy and minimalist.

+Size & Weight:
I considered the MBP 13″ Retina to be one of the smallest 13″ notebooks but the XPS 13 is even smaller thanks to the extremely thin bezels. The XPS 13 may not be the thinnest but it has the smallest foot print of any 13″ notebook – it’s basically the size of the MacBook Air 11″. I am very much enjoying the compact size and the associated lack of weight (2.6 lbs for my model).

Fit and finish are impeccable. Despite the small size, the XPS 13 feels extremely solid. The carbon fiber palm rests feel sturdy and rigid and there is no creaking when I put pressure on them. The hinge is nice and tight and there is no screen wobble when typing. There are no gaps between the carbon fiber deck and bottom panel nor are there any between the screen and bezel. The keyboard is rigid on the perimeter and has minimal flex in the center.

I chose the 1080p non touch option because for me, 1080p on a 13″ screen is more than enough. Additionally, it’s matte! I’d pick the matte 1080p panel over the 3200×1800 glossy panel on any day of the week. Having no glare and gaining ~4 hours of battery life is worth more to me than an (unnecessarily) high resolution.

At $899, I was expecting the 1080p screen to be a cheap TN panel, but it’s not! The colors are pretty vibrant and the horizontal and vertical viewing angles are wide. Adjusting the screen angle produces minimal color shifts. With the default scaling to 150% DPI, text is sharp and easy to read. Overall, this is a much, much better panel than that of the MacBook Air’s – I’m absolutely impressed at what you get for this price.

Also, I’ll note that the screen tilts back at a farther angle than the previous model. Standing and using the XPS 13 is comfortable.

Most Windows PC touchpads are not so great but Dell has cooperated with Microsoft to make their “Precision” track pad for the XPS 13. Basically, the responsiveness is very close to the MacBook track pads and I haven’t experienced any errant cursor jumps while typing. Coming from a Mac, I got situated pretty easily – the only thing I miss are the touch gestures of OS X.

Pressing on the track pad actuates a rather loud click and the left and right buttons are marked by a painted line. I use tap to click on all track pads so the noise isn’t an issue for me. This is much better than the track pad on the Surface Pro 3’s keyboard cover. The XPS 13’s track pad has less friction and is bigger compared to the coarsely textured track pad of the SP3’s cover. The XPS 13’s track pad is thus much easier to use.

Speaking of typing, the keys offer decent travel for the thickness of the machine. I’d say the key travel is similar to the Macbook Air models but slightly shorter. The keyboard is definitely full sized despite the XPS’s compactness and I got used to it very quickly. I’d be pretty satisfied with this keyboard for long periods of work.

The top function rows are inversed – meaning if you press f1 you will mute the volume instead actually activating f1. The f1 key is activated by pressing fn + f1 and so on for f2, f3… I consider this a nice touch that saves time when wanting to adjust basic functions like display and keyboard brightness. However, if you wish to inverse this behavior, just press fn + esc to set the function keys as default.

My Core i5, 4 GB RAM, and 128 SSD model performs perfectly. I’ve not experienced any hiccups or crashes. I mainly use the XPS 13 for MATLAB, CAD through remote desktop connection, MS Office suite, and general internet and email browsing. I also watch the occasional YouTube video but I don’t play any 3D games.

Compared to my Surface Pro 3 (Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD), the XPS 13 is smoother in every day operation. The Surface Pro 3 suffers from throttling with the Core i5, i7 models so I opted for the lower end Core i3. The Core i3 SP3 unfortunately stutters from time to time and 1080p YouTube videos are slightly choppy. With this experience in mind and the fact that Broadwell only offers at most a 10% performance increase over Haswell, I would steer clear of the Core i3 XPS 13. The $100 upgrade to a Core i5 is a must if you want absolutely smooth performance.

There are people who clamor for 8 GB or 16 GB RAM minimum, but in my experience, you don’t really benefit unless you are doing rendering or other heavy workloads. There is a point of diminishing returns with RAM and this is another debate for another day. For my tasks on a laptop, 4 GB is more than enough. I’ll leave the heavy lifting to a workstation PC.

On a side note, the Intel HD 5500 is capable of driving a 3840 x 2160 (4K) display at 60 Hz through DP 1.2.

+Heat & Noise:
Heat is very minimal even when watching 1080p YouTube videos. While doing lighter tasks like writing this review, I’ve noticed no heat from the palm rest area or upper keyboard deck. Because the lack of heat, the fans have stayed off for the majority of the time I’ve used the XPS 13.

Also, I can report that there is no coil whine for those who used the previous model.

Battery life has been stellar so far. I couldn’t kill the battery in a day with light tasks. Dell rates the battery for the 1080p model at 15 hours but I’d say a more realistic number would be around 11-12 hours. Your mileage may vary of course. I’ll update this section with more usage details and numbers after a week or so.

Update: After 3 weeks of using the XPS 13, I can confidently say the battery life lasts at least 10 hours for moderate usage. I define my moderate usage as using 5+ web pages open with multiple PDFs, Word docs and Excel sheets open at the same time. I can easily get 10 hours using the XPS 13 to code on MATLAB while having reference documents open. To get the 15 hours Dell claims, you would have to be doing light tasks like word processing or browsing the web with a few tabs open while having brightness at 20-30%. For those light tasks, I can easily get 12 hours. I usually always use 50% screen brightness.

I believe the 1080p model has the most value of any model. Compared to the MacBook Air 13″, this $899 model has more bang for the buck because of the better screen and smaller size. I would say their battery life are similar but remember that the XPS 13 is driving a higher resolution display at 1920 x 1080 vs. 1440 x 900.

I bought my XPS 13 at the Microsoft Store and used the 10% education discount. On top of this, you can text MSSTORE to 295-02 to get a 4.5% off coupon for any purchase. Basically, I got about $130 off which is a steal. Dell also has $100 coupons (just Google “Dell Coupons”) if you prefer to shop on their website.
Things I Don’t Like:

Backlighting only has 2 settings: high and low – not a big deal to me but may matter to some.

Only mini Display Port – you will need to carry a dongle around if you give presentations often. However, an SD card reader is included unlike last year’s model!

The angle is awkward because you can see you fingers if you type while video conferencing.

Unfortunately, the XPS 13 has an air intake at the bottom. This means you shouldn’t use it on your carpet or bed if you want to avoid overheating. There is a ridge that helps raise the intake above the floor but I’m not a big fan of this design. I much prefer the MacBook Pro’s side intakes and back vents.
However, I think this should be fine for using on your lap – I’ll update this section in a week or so.

These aren’t the loudest but serviceable for my tasks. They fire from the sides if that helps anyone.
Conclusion as of 1/19/15:

As an engineering student heading into the field and running a business on the side – I can whole-heartedly recommend the XPS 13 for anyone needing an ultra-mobile computing package. It’s small, it’s light, and the battery goes and goes.

I think Dell has really stepped up their game in manufacturing and design. Fit and finish are top notch and they refined the previous design by removing the thick bezels and increasing battery life. For me, the 2015 XPS 13 ticks all the right boxes because Dell nailed the core functionality (performance and battery life) and user experience(matte screen, good keyboard and track pad).
Update 2/10/15:
After using the XPS 13 for 3 weeks, here are some of my thoughts:

+ I wish they made an extrusion at the front of the laptop so you can lift the screen up easily. Opening the lid is usually a 2 handed operation.
+ I haven’t had any overheating problems using this on my lap. I looked at the tear-down of the XPS 13 and there is 1 small fan positioned at the left edge of the underside vents so there is plenty of room for air to be sucked in thanks to the sheer size of the intake vents.
+ Under similar workloads, the XPS 13 is cooler than my Surface Pro 3 with Core i3. The excellent thermal management of the XPS 13 is well documented in notebookcheck.net if you want a more detailed review.
+ The exterior finish is free of scratches and dents. No wear of the carbon fiber deck or track pad.
– The track pad can sometimes get confused when you click on something and would register as a double click. This is disappointing because the multi-touch gestures work pretty well. I hope that Dell will release a firmware update for this. Fortunately, this happens only occasionally.
– The display has automatic dimming built in that you can’t disable. This is very hard to notice, but if you are looking for it, you will notice. Apparently, this helps increase the battery life by dynamically darkening or brightening the screen based on the colors displayed. This dimming is very gradual and isn’t noticeable during regular usage.

XPS 13 – 2015 – Signature Edition from Microsoft Store” – Robert Francis
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Other reviewers have dealt with specs. I’d like to share more general impressions.

This machine strikes me as the most unusual, unexpected, and exciting development in the laptop market since the Macbook Air debuted in 2008 and perhaps before that when the Titanium G4 Powerbook appeared back in 2000. (A close runner up would be the X1 Carbon from Lenovo.)

There are several things about this computer that haven’t ceased to impress me from the time I brought it home a week ago.

I can’t overstate the pleasure of the “infinity display.” The effect is something like the vastly greater sense of immersion people felt when first using the iPad and its full-screen apps. But here it’s different. It’s not the full screen effect so much as a kind of “levitating” screen effect. It’s as though you’re staring at a screen and nothing else. There is no edge or border to it. When you expand an app to take up the whole screen, you see the app and nothing but a thin black line edging the screen—not quite “framing it,” but edging it. Everything looks punchier. Cleaner. More elegant.

The next most noticeable feature is the size and scale. Staring at the screen, I see that it’s bigger than other computers I’ve used—the surface, the 12.5” thinkpad yoga–but at the same time, it’s much smaller. It’s a strange optical illusion. I see more screen, but feel less computer on my lap or in my hands. Carrying it also feels so much lighter than the 13” Air or 12” thinkpads I’ve used.

I also really like the keyboard, and this too was a pleasant surprise. When I tried the display model at the Microsoft Store, I found the keyboard distractingly shallow. It was almost a deal-breaker for me. Many of the reviews complained about the shallowness of the travel but said it isn’t as bad as the keyboards on macbook airs or pros (which are very shallow). Despite being sensitive to this detail, I thought I’d take a chance and just buy the machine and return it if I didn’t like it.

I may have ended up with a great specimen, by luck, but I suspect not. In any case, the keyboard is fantastic—and oddly enough, it’s one of my favourite features. The travel is not as deep as it is on a thinkpad, but as I discovered here, it’s the quality of the travel that matters. (I know I’m getting very geeky here!) I think in this case it has to do with the nature of the materials used in the XPS, the seating, the casing, etc – whatever it is, the keys have a really satisfying springiness and clack to them, such that even though they don’t travel far, they feel great to type on. The backlighting is a nice touch too, though I’m disappointed to see that the lights don’t stay on (even when plugged in). It would be nice if they did, but it’s not fatal.

There has also been some discussion in the forums about the adaptive brightness issue with the screen. This is certainly an issue, and I would prefer that the screen didn’t have this odd quirk. But given how many other things they got absolutely right with this machine – and how unique it is – I’m prepared to overlook this. It’s also not bad enough to be all that distracting. It’s noticeable, but slight.

I have the 4gig, 128 model, with matte screen. If I could pay another $100 or two to have 8 gigs of ram, I might think about it. But so far, 4 hasn’t been an issue. (I use it only for typing, email, and light surfing.) Even if it were an issue, though, I’d be reluctant to return the model I happen to have, because I’m inclined to think I got an especially good one and wouldn’t want to take my chances…

If you appreciate good design and true innovation in tech, check this out. It’s a genuinely new experience as far as laptops go—and pictures don’t do it justice. The changes here are slight in theory but significant in practice. It’s a gem of a computer. Kuddos to the designers and engineers.

beautifully designed, but flawed and buggy” – pjs
Score: 3/5 Source: Amazon.com

The laptop is beautifully designed, has great specs, and is a good value. If all went well, this would be the ideal laptop. I switched from Mac just because of this model. But the fan is absurdly loud. It runs virtually non-stop, even when the laptop is not used for CPU intensive purposes. (It’s louder than my desktop fan.) The touchpad is overly sensitive, jerky, intermittent, and sometimes non-responsive. The battery life isn’t anywhere close to the advertised duration. The keyboard is nice, but oftentimes doubles a pressed key (e.g. two letters instead of just one). Maybe future generations of this laptop will have these issues resolved. In the meantime, though, these design flaws really undermine the full potential of this product.

UPDATE 4/1/15

Dell replaced the laptop, and the replacement is much better. The trackpad is solid, and the keyboard is much sturdier. The keys still sometimes double up, but less frequently. The fan was screaming out of the box, but a BIOS update seems to have calmed it significantly. So, it seems that Dell are working out the kinks. I will post a further update once I’ve had more time with the new machine.

UPDATE 4/29/15

The fan noise appears to be fixed. The BIOS update helped, and you can further control it with the power management settings. It hasn’t been a problem for me in weeks.

The remaining weak spots are the trackpad and keyboard. The trackpad is much better than on the first generation model but still nowhere close to Apple’s: it’s jerky, not as precise as the name “precision trackpad” would suggest, and if you rest your thumb on it by accident, it doesn’t respond when you try to control the pointer with your other finger, whereas the Mac trackpad is smart enough to overlook the resting thumb. Maybe future driver updates will fix this. The keyboard seems too sensitive, and doubles up many of the keys. I type fast and press the keys pretty hard, but I’ve used hundreds of keyboards in my life, and I’ve never had this problem before, so I don’t think the fault is entirely mine. I suspect future generations of the keyboard will have this resolved, too.

Other than that, this laptop is a beauty. If it weren’t for these remaining imperfections with the keyboard and trackpad, I’d give it 5 starts.

The laptop that finally switched me back to Windows” – Y. Zhou
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I have been using Macbooks for the last 5 years as my main laptop preference. I have tried Windows laptops over the years but never really found one that I preferred over a MacBook. I was running with the MacBook Air 13″ 2014 before buying this, but have used the pro and retina models as well. Here is a pros/cons and comparison to my old MacBook.

I bought the i5, 4gb, 128gb, and 1080p model.


– Lightweight. It’s a little thicker than my MacBook Air but it’s smaller in width and length.
– Screen. A lot better than the TN panel on the Air. Viewing angles are great! Very bright screen. I like that it’s a matte over glossy but that’s a personal preference.
– Bezels. The bezels just makes everything look sexy about this laptop. I changed the Windows theme to black to match the laptop.
– Battery Life seems decent. Not as much as my Air’s but it gets me through the day. I’m estimating about 8-10 hours or realistic usage.
– Charger Power Brick. Dell seemed to have copied Apple’s MacBook charger. They made the charger so that you can directly plug the power brick into the outlet. I always like this feature on the MacBook chargers so that I don’t have to lug around an extra wire with me along with the brick. Just seems more simpler this way. They also give you a wire if you’re used to that. They also have a light at the tip of the charger so you know where it is in the dark.
– Sound. For a laptop this size, the sound is surprisingly loud. Speakers are on the left and right side of the laptop. Don’t expect quality audio though.
– Keyboard. Some people complain that there’s flex in the keyboard. I didn’t really notice any.
– Price. When Dell first introduced this laptop with the thin bezels, I thought they would jack up the price unreasonably high for early adopters. When they announced that it was starting at $799, I was really surprised. There is definitely a premium to pay for the touchscreen and higher res models. Be warned: the higher res touchscreen models will noticeably reduce your battery life.


– Microphone. I had a Skype chat but it was hard for the other person to hear what I say. He said my voice went in and out and was inconsistent.
– Trackpad. Coming from a MacBook, I may be spoiled by their trackpad. This one just can’t compare. The XPS’s was decent for a Windows trackpad though. Two finger scrolling jumps around a lot making me miss things on webpages.
– Opening the lid. There is no real place for you to put your finger under to open up the laptop. It’s almost always a 2 handed operation. It only requires 1 finger to open up pretty much every MacBook built after 2009.
– Connectivity. The only video output it has is a mini-displayport. I can’t really blame them due to the small size but I rather take an HDMI port.
Comparison to Macbooks:
– Much cheaper.
– Build quality is slightly below a MacBook (small keyboard flex), but more stylish.
– Louder speakers
– Better screen than non-retina macbooks
– More portable than most Macbooks
– Worse trackpad, worse lid mechanism, worse battery,

Despite the cons, this is the best laptop in the market for the price. I do not think the premium higher res models are worth it though. If you’re a long time Windows user, this laptop is the best portable option out there that provides a complete package. If you’re coming from a MacBook, I wouldn’t say this laptop is a huge upgrade, so it really depends on your OS preference. I chose to go back to windows mainly because of its compatibility with games.

A very nice ultrabook spoiled by a wonky trackpad” – Jeff2468
Score: 3/5 Source: Amazon.com

I really wanted to like the new XPS 13 1080P non-touchscreen model that I tried with Windows 8. The computer is sleek and light, had a very nice screen and a very usable keyboard for a computer this thin and light. I had all day battery life and liked that the media keys were the default rather than requiring the use the fn key, which is reversible in the BIOS if you prefer. Backlit keyboard was well done. The 256GB solid state drive I ordered was very fast and boot times were only a few seconds. The wireless 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual Band 2.4 & 5GHz, 2×2 radio was very slow and short range on 2.4GHz, half the speed and significantly less range than my old VAIO on 2.4GHz, but the 5GHz radio was as fast as my VAIOs 2.4 GHz with a little less range providing approximately 50Mbps+ down and 25Mbps+ up. I have an old Belkin dual band router with Comcast cable and was therefore unable to test the AC radio.

Unfortunately I was unable to live with the trackpad which has known issues. Dell already posted a firmware update that I flashed which improved the trackpad a little but it was still too wonky for me. The cursor doesn’t react until I move my finger a mm or so and then jumps past where I want to be if I am trying for just a small movement. In addition, the cursor often jumps off the button or location I am trying to select when removing my finger from the trackpad. Palm rejection when typing seems non-existent with touch select for the trackpad turned on in PC settings and still unacceptable when touch select is turned off. The cursor is very sensitive to location on buttons and doesn’t recognize a button unless exactly centered on the button. Also, there are only a few multi-touch features available on this “precision touchpad,” it doesn’t have the option to swipe for forward or backwards on websites or recognize 3 or 4 finger gestures. The home button requires holding the fn key to go to the top of the page. Because of these trackpad deficiencies I returned the computer to Dell yesterday. I don’t know how many stars to give, if it weren’t for the trackpad I would give this computer 4 or 4.5 stars, for me personally it is unusable and therefore 1 star.

Un-upgradable RAM” – Roda Ruus
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

Almost perfect computer in any way BUT for some reason the DELL people decided to make it almost completely un-upgradable
you can upgrade the SSD drive ( you need to take all computer apart in order to do so – but still – it’s doable)
but you CANT upgrade your RAM.
So if you buy it with 4gb it will stay forever this way.
There is no expansion slots for it.
And initial RAM is build in on the motherboard.
Review from a Computer Science Major (Student)” – kindle fire
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

I ordered the UltraSharp QHD (3200 x 1800 resolution), 8gigs of Ram, Core i7 version of this beautiful laptop with Windows 8 Pro (over $1600).
I sold my 13” Macbook Air (2014 edition) for this and I can honestly say I’m satisfied.
But before I sold it, I tested both of them first to see if I truly loved it. First noticeable differences…- Speakers: The Dell is definitely louder than the Macbook Air. Granted, at full volume, the speakers’ sounded a little statically so it’s best it on a littler lower setting.- Screen: Soooooo much better than the Macbook Air. And the brightness is better too. I have this device on 20% brightness whenever I’m at a coffee shop doing my assignments. I do get a little bit of glare from the ceiling lights, but you can angle the screen more than the Macbook Air by a good extra degrees.

– Body: I love the fact that it’s carbon fiber inside and it doesn’t get cold like my Macbook Air. I can open this and rest my palms on it right away so I can start working (my house is usually 60 degrees). The aluminum is darker than the Macbook Air by a few shades sort of like a lead color on a piece of white paper. This weighs lighter but only a few grams. If both of them are laid out on the table, the Dell is slightly taller than the Macbook but the body is smaller like the Macbook 11” Air. The compact design is great.

– Keyboard: The backlight only has three modes: High, low, off. I usually have it on low and the backlight will switch itself off if left untyped after a few seconds (to conserve battery). Since the inner body is all black, the backlight keyboard gives off a nice glow. Typing on it is good. It did take a bit of a learning curve to get use to typing on a compact size. I don’t have thick fingers so if you have man hands then it might be a problem.

– TrackPad: It’s alright. I got to admit, I do miss the Macbook trackpad a lot on this area. It does have some of the features but I find myself struggling to have some reaction to it whenever I touch it. I later discovered that the finger should be placed directly in the middle if you want to scroll or pinch.

– Performance: It may vary depending on what is loaded in your computer and the CPU/RAM that is installed. Since I got the highest end model, so far no hiccups or lags whenever I load in my program. I use Firefox as my browser so it works great on this laptop. But I am concern about how much RAM it takes up whenever I’m using it… This could take away battery life.

– Battery: I was informed that 15 hours battery life is possible on this laptop, 12 hours if it’s the touch screen and QHD model (which I have). I don’t know if it’s my Core i7, or my antivirus (BitDefender) constantly running in the background along with my Firefox, but on average I get about 7-8 hours of battery life. I had to get the Dell battery companion just so I can get 2-3 more hours out of it. So together, basically 9-10 hours average. The Macbook Air is better at this topic, I got 10-12 hours without a battery companion so I will miss that a little. I usually stay at a coffee shop for 8 hours when I’m doing my assignments so don’t worry about finding an outlet if this is you.

Overall, great purchase. I was hesitant at first since this is an expensive laptop. But once I got used to it, I let go my Macbook Air go. There is one thing I will miss about Macbook the most…. Opening it with one hand. When opening the Dell, there’s no lip for the fingers to grasp on. I usually have to open this laptop vertically with my thumb grasping each plate. It’s not much of a struggle but gosh… I will miss that the most.

Good ultrabook with some trade-offs (vs ThinkPad X1 Carbon)” – The GOAT
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

I bought the new Dell XPS 13 despite having always preferred ThinkPads (mainly because of the quality keyboards and “UltraNav” dual trackpad and pointer). I decided to go with the Dell because of the innovative packaging and the lower price. The Dell was about $300 less than a comparable, and bigger, ThinkPad X1 Carbon (14″). I originally lamented the lack of an i7 option, which was available on the ThinkPad (for even more money). Now I think the i5 is sufficient, and it appears Dell plans to offer an i7 XPS 13. I’m not convinced I made the right choice yet, but so far the good outweighs the bad.

First, my system specs. I decided on the base model matte FHD (1920×1080) display because of better battery life and the fact that I hate touch screens. (I don’t want to see finger smudges while I’m trying to work.) I got an i5 5200U (which runs 2.2GHz) with 8GB RAM and the 256GB SSD. The dell product page gives most of the necessary info:

Full specs can be downloaded here (which shows an i7 option):

Before the good, is the awesome… the physical design, size, weight, and screen. The new XPS is gorgeous. It looks like a little MacBook, and that’s not a bad thing. The exterior, both top and bottom, is real aluminum, not painted plastic. It’s not flimsy either; about 1.5mm thick all the way around the edge. There’s also blessedly little clutter and stickers. There’s an “Intel inside CORE i5” sticker on the palm rest and that’s it. The bottom has a magnetic, spring-loaded metal latch that covers the mandatory government info. There’s a single, long vent that runs along the bottom and eight exposed screws (more on those later). I’ll include a picture of the bottom since there isn’t one on the Dell website.

The size and weight are self-explanatory from the specs, but you really have to see this next to other laptops to appreciate it. My former ThinkPad X300 was the smallest laptop I’d used prior to this. The XPS 13 makes that ThinkPad (Lenovo’s first response to the MacBook Air) look clunky. The screen is only 4mm thick. The front edge is also 4mm, although the bottom angles away so the laptop is actually 15mm thick at the front (and 20mm at the rear). Dell’s specs are smaller, but I suspect they’re ignoring the rubber pads on the bottom.

The screen is the other bright spot for the Dell. The comparable ThinkPad (1920×1080) comes with a TN display, rather than an IPS panel like the XPS 13. Even at 40% brightness on battery power, the screen is great at every angle. I don’t know why someone would pay extra for the QHD+ (3200×1800) display, especially since Windows and many software programs do not scale well. If you’re the type who insists on 20 mega pixel cameras to post pictures to Facebook, you probably don’t mind spending extra (money and battery life) for “the best,” but the FHD display is plenty good. (If you want a touch screen, you have to go with a QHD+ screen… and a heavier laptop.)

Other goodness that surprised me include Dell’s customer support, the relative lack of bloatware, battery life, and the speed/silence of the hardware. I had issues with the website, but each time I wrote an e-mail, I was promptly contacted by customer support and they resolved the problem. They even sent me recovery media (on an 8GB USB3 flash drive). It’s not the factory image my XPS 13 came with, but it gives you a clean version of Windows 8.1 with only two installed programs (Dell Rescue and Recovery and My Dell), and no drivers… a great option for DIY-types.

While Lenovo is having some issues with Malware, Dell has surprisingly little pre-installed software (based on my previous experience). Sadly, one of those is McAfee. I wish Dell offered an option to exclude this. Instead, you get a choice of 12 months or 36 months (for an extra charge). It can be removed, but you have to go to the McAfee website to download an uninstaller. Here’s a list of all the pre-installed software (not including drivers):

– Dell Applications:
— MyDell (PC Doctor)
— Dell Backup and Recovery
— Dell Data Services
— Dell Digital Delivery
— Dell Foundation Services
— Dell Product Registration
— Dell Update
– Dropbox
– McAfee LiveSafe (with 12 month subscription)
– Microsoft Office 2013 (which you have to pay for if you want to use it)

The Backup and Recovery software can be used to create factory restore DVDs (needs two DVDs), but that’s about it. It constantly bugs you to pay for an upgrade, which can be used to create images and manage software backups (all of which Windows can do anyway). The benefit (I guess) is that you can store your images and backups on Dell servers. I’m not sure it uninstalls cleanly, because I’ve seen the icon appear on the system tray.

There are a lot of people complaining that battery life on the XPS 13 doesn’t match the advertised 15 hours. I don’t think they read the fine print. Dell says the 15 hours is for web browsing on the FHD display at 40% brightness. I haven’t sat at the computer for 15 straight hours, but I think that number is pretty close. I did read a review that showed only 6 hours of battery life, but that was playing HD video. BTW, the Dell has a higher capacity battery than the larger ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

One of the first things I noticed was the eerie silence when I first booted up the XPS 13. The i5 doesn’t even break a sweat in day-to-day computing (Word, Excel, web, etc.). I’ve only heard the cooling fan turn on once in two weeks and even then, it wasn’t very loud. That includes several factory restores as I played with installing and uninstalling various things.

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine with the XPS. The operating system and keyboard make for daily frustration. The XPS 13 only comes with Windows 8.1. You can still get a ThinkPad with Windows 7, but you have to pay $50 extra. I wish there was a way to disable the Metro interface and all the associated worthless apps. I have “Classic Start Menu” and can almost exclusively stay on the desktop, but every now and then an app will load and I have to use Task Manager to kill those memory hogs. Another annoyance is the lack of DVD or Blu-ray capability. I know Microsoft has to pay for the licenses, but it was only about $2 for Windows 7 to play DVDs. I’m disappointed that Dell didn’t provide codecs, even if it was an optional charge. I would’ve paid to avoid a third-party player.

If you need your laptop for a lot of video chats, you may want to avoid the XPS 13. The cost of the fancy display is a bottom-left mounted camera. The people on the other end will mainly see your left hand, and when that’s not in the way, they’ll get a good view up your nostrils. Fortunately, I don’t need the camera so it’s not a big deal to me.

Another annoyance is the lack of a “stereo mix” record option. I’m not sure if that’s Windows 8.1, or Dell modifying the RealTek driver options. I used to use “stereo mix” to capture sound bites on my old computer (RealTek HD audio codec), but the only option on the XPS 13 is microphone. The system uses an I2S controller and RealTek HW audio codec. I couldn’t find a standalone driver from RealTek.

I definitely miss my UltraNav pointing stick, which serves for both scrolling and cursor movement on a ThinkPad. It allows you to work much more efficiently, without having to take your hands off the keyboard. I can almost deal with not having a pointing stick, but the Dell keyboard is horrible compared to a ThinkPad keyboard. It’s not nearly as tactile or smooth, but the design itself is what drives me nuts. The compromises for the smaller size seem to be from designers who don’t actually use keyboards. The lack of dedicated scroll keys (Home, End, PgUp, PgDn) definitely slows down my productivity.

Another issue with the XPS 13 is the lack of a true port replicator. Dell offers a USB port replicator, but that’s not as elegant as the ThinkPad solution (which uses a single connector to the laptop). I use my XPS 13 as a desktop replacement, but I have to connect three cables: power, USB and mini-DP (both to my Dell U2415 monitor). That also means I can’t turn on my computer without opening the screen, which then changes my display resolution.

One more positive note for the Dell… maybe, because I won’t know for sure for two or three years. Those exposed screws on the bottom of the XPS 13 mean it’s somewhat easy to open up and replace the battery. The folks at ifixit.com go through all the stops to completely disassemble the XPS 13 and they conclude it’s reasonably easy to work on for such a small laptop. I’m hoping Dell makes batteries available whenever it comes time to replace mine.

After all that, should you get an XPS 13? That depends on your priorities. A friend of mine insists on a 17″ screen for his “laptop.” Unless you’re an NBA player, that’s not really a laptop. Portability was key for me even though I use this as my daily computer. If your time away from a real keyboard is limited, the XPS 13 is definitely the way to go. Ask me again in a few months if I ever get over the frustrating keyboard.

Dell XPS 13 with Infinity Display (2015)” – THOR’S HAMMER
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

It’s been roughly 3 years since I’ve last upgraded my laptop, which is long overdue considering the progressive leap in technology in recent years. My main criteria for my next laptop consists of:

– Portable thin and light (3 lb or less)
– Stylish design, not boxy
– At least 1080p screen resolution
– 4GB of ram minimum (prefer 8GB)

Of course, most of the things listed above can be found in most ultrabooks these days. However, it is Dell’s latest model that really shined in this year’s CES show in Las Vegas.


First thing anyone’s going to notice from this laptop is it’s stunning, nearly bezel-free Infinity Display. Notably, this is not the UltraSharp Quad HD 3200 x 1800 resolution model featured on the higher specced variation. Despite this, the 1080p display still retains the thin, thin 5mm border and sleek form factor and very impressive bright viewing angles. More importantly, I was able to see noticeable improvements in battery life over the higher resolution counterpart.


The XPS 13 is comprised of high quality materials like the aluminum lid and carbon-fiber palm rest. Despite being under 3 lbs, the laptop was still considerably solid, with virtually no flex to the keyboard. Speaking of which, the keyboard is chiclet styled with the much appreciated backlight. Another appreciated feature: there is a battery indicator light located on the left

The large clickpad-style touchpad is similar to what’s been used on many other high-end systems. It works fine for basic navigating and tapping or clicking. Since there’s no touchscreen here, this is important.


This is one of the very first 2015 laptop models to feature Intel’s latest 5th gen. Broadwell Core i5 (5200U) processors. I saw a considerable boost in speed, responsiveness, and multitasking prowess in most mainstream tasks, like Microsoft Office, HD Twitch streaming, Photoshop, and iTunes. The sluggishness experienced on the Core M variant chips are absent here, thankfully.

No Like:

– Webcam is relocated to the bottom left portion of the display due to the thin bezel
– No touchscreen feature for this model
– Only 2 USB 3.0 ports (none of the new USB standard)
– Display port instead of dedicated HDMI port
– Built-in speakers are a bit tinny at higher volume levels (common among many Ultrabooks)
– Only 128 GB SSD and 4GB ram for this model
– Only one color choice available so far

Overall, I still find this to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing and good performance portable laptop of early 2015. Recommended!

NETGEAR ProSAFE GS728TP 24-Port Gigabit PoE Smart Switch 10/100/1000Mbps Reviews

  • 24 auto-sensing Gigabit RJ45 ports + 4 SFP Gigabit Fiber Ports
  • 24 Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports including 8 PoE+ (803at) ports, 192w total PoE budget
  • Comprehensive networking features such as VLAN, QoS, IGMP and MLD snooping, Static Routing, Link Aggregation, ACL
  • Auto Voice/Video VLAN speed up VoIP and IP Surveillance deployments
  • Easy to use Web management GUI, IPv6 management supported
  • LIFETIME Advanced Tech Support via chat

Product Reviews

“Great PoE Switch” – gray-eagle
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

The main reason I selected this switch was the energy budget of 192 watts. I did not need half this much but the next size down fell short by about 10 watts. When you first power up, it takes longer than non PoE switches to boot. It has to look at the power demands in addition to IP address and other constraints.

That said, I installed this switch three months ago to connect to and to power multiple wireless access points for a large multi story building. Configuration is accomplished via browser. After several reboots during the configuration it has not been necessary to reboot or in any other way deal with this switch. If I do have to deal with it, it has it’s own IP address so I can log into it remotely.

“Great PoE for the price” – FLI IT Dept
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

we bought two of these for a new place and they work perfectly. They are connected with a fiber backbone and one of them is connecting and giving power to 12 Cisco access points, the second one connects 6 access points and 6 phones with the PoE.
We couldn’t be more happy about them.
“Switcharama Powerama” – Brian Flores
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

One of our favorite 24 poet POE switches. Install the crap out of them. Powers polycom phones, Access Points, and IP cameras. And, has 4 SFP GBIC ports. Getcha-sum.
“Another happy Netgear customer” – James Mullen
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is probably overkill for my home network but more and more devices are supporting POE so I justified the upgrade. I have a few cameras and will soon be installing a few POE access points within the next month. As near as I can tell this switch has plenty of capacity for my power needs and I’ve had it running for about a month without any issues.
“Excellent PoE Switch!” – D. Matheny
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

We have been using a Netgear ProSAFE GS752TP 48-Port Gigabit PoE Switch to power the network and VOIP phones in our office for the last year.

It’s worked extremely well; so, when we expended into a new section of the office, we decided to use this smaller version to expand our network.

Fortunately, the performance of this GS728TP is just as good as the original switch – and our phones and network are continuing to run perfectly.

Here are the things we like about these switches:

1) The performance is excellent. We’re running a total of 21 IP phones as well as computers and servers through these two switches without any hick-ups.

2) They auto-detect whether a device needs power or not, and automatically supply power if needed. There isn’t any problem with running PoE and non-PoE equipment through the same switch.

3) The GUI isn’t perfect; but, it isn’t bad either. I can only access it using Internet Explorer in ‘Compatibility Mode’, so keep that in mind – Chrome doesn’t work at all.

Even though I’m definitely giving the router a well-deserved 5 stars, there are some issues to be aware of:

1) The VLAN stuff isn’t very intuitive, and it’s spread between several different menus – which makes it even more complicated. Even the Netgear support people had trouble figuring out what the settings should be to get it working…

2) This switch absolutely did NOT like Netgear’s own Prosecure UTM-9 Router. Originally, I thought the problem was with the switch; but, we ended up moving over to a Peplink Balance 305 Router, and the problems completely went away. With the UTM-9, our IP phones were almost unusable with this switch; but, they’re working better than ever with the Peplink 305. (We did work with Netgear support on this, but they couldn’t figure out what the problem was either.)

I know this switch is expensive (at least compared to the switch we were using); but, if you’re looking to get good bandwidth, combined with reliable PoE capabilities, I would highly recommend it. This has been well worth the money for us – and we’re able to discard all those irritating power bricks that came with the phones. 🙂

“Quality Unit” – R. Foy “Techsity”
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Easy to install and works like a charm…PoE is the way to go! I have 20 IP phones connected no power adapter needed
“Good price on a just what I needed to switch …” – A.P. Henderson
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Good price on a just what I needed to switch office over to VOIP using PoE ports which this has plenty of. Also has automatic configuration of vLANs to separate the phones on the network. Very easy setup, no problems.
One minor issue which I’m not deducting for in this review but which should not have happened: there was a slight noise when first powering on the device. I didn’t have time to send it back so, reluctantly, I opened it – which didn’t require breaking any seals. With the cover off it was easy to see that the noise was coming from a wire that had apparently moved during shipping and was interfering with the cooling fan. I rerouted the wire and the noise disappeared.
“Noisy fan” – D. Coral
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

This switch has some wonderful features but.. the two fans on the side are unusually annoying sounding even when there is no PoE load when no cables are plugged in. It sounds like grandma’s old refrigerator from across the room. Although it’s not super loud, even the “gentle” fan noise becomes rather annoying when it sounds like mini gears turning plus a metallic tunnel sound of a whirring fridge compressor. I didn’t want to risk the noise again, so when I decided on a replacement I went with the Cisco SG300-10MPP which is fanless and has 10 PoE+ ports and super reliable as well.
“The unit was easy to set up and work great” – Staybright
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I bought this to provide a central switch for my home ethernet system. The unit was easy to set up and work great. I love the fact that you can see with a glance whether the interconnected units are running at gigabit speeds or not.
The web interface is very intuitive and easy to use as such.
The fans are fairly quiet but I am glad I mounted my rack in the garage. Putting this in an out of the way closet or the garage like I did is the best way to go I believe.
“Works” – Lauren C
Score: 2/5 Source: Amazon.com

Works as described. Sometimes the web interface loads, sometimes it takes a long time to load, sometimes it doesn’t load at all, which is annoying. Interface has a couple confusing sections. For instance, there is no “firmware upgrade” section, you have to “download” the firmware to the switch, then choose the newer image under the “dual image configuration.”

Yamaha NSIW960 2-Way Speaker Review

  • Crossover Type-2-way;Minimum Frequency Response-50 Hz; Physical Characteristics-Weight (Approximate)-6.20 lb.;
  • Crossover Frequency-6.50 kHz; Maximum Frequency Response-28 kHz;
  • PMPO Output Power-150 W;Impedance-8 Ohm;
  • Dual 6.5″ Kevlar cone woofers
  • 1″ titanium swivel dome tweeter
  • 150-Watt maximum input capability
  • High-capacity, high-quality customized crossover network
  • Gold-plated push-type speaker terminals

Product Reviews

“Great sound” – Anthony
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I purchased 3 and hooked them in a LCR setup for my basement 7.1 theater and I’m amazed with the clear sound I’m getting out of the 3 front speakers and the 4 NS-IW470- 6.5″ surround speakers also Yamaha, I would recommend this set up to anyone.
“Solid, high quality speaker” – Dave
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

Recently upgraded my receiver and wanted to clean up my home theater space so I decided to get rid of my bookshelf speakers and mount something in the wall. Having always been a fan of Yamaha, I took a look at their in-wall line and liked the look of the 760s and 960s. Specs were very similar between their single-woofer models and the duals and I thought that I’d like the look of the duals a bit more; and for slightly more ($20 per speaker) the 960s add 20W of power and have Kevlar woofers, which I am hoping may last a little longer than the coated paper.

Have had them for several months now so they’ve had time to break in, and these are nice, natural-sounding speakers. I listen to music CDs or concert DVDs more than movies and, when in pure stereo mode, these 960s have a very life-like staging. If you have a passive subwoofer or one with relatively low power, you may want to opt for an 8-inch single-woofer model, like the Polk MC85, that will give you a deeper response; if you have a decent sub and need your fronts to concentrate on the mids and highs, the 960s should be quite pleasing. And with handling of 150W, they can fill a decent sized room with no problem.

As far as installation, these were a breeze. Supplied is a template – simply trace it and cut out your drywall. Attach your speaker wire to the binding posts, press the speaker into the hole and tighten the 6 screws. And if you’re painting them before installation, Yamaha includes a plastic tray that fits snuggly into the groove where the grill fits – just put that in place and spray paint the frames, and do the grills as well. I’d suggest spraying both sides of the grill to make sure you’ve covered the inside of the holes. I matched them to my wall color and they blend into the decor nicely; if you’d rather paint them black to compliment your flat-screen monitor, I’m sure that would look great as well.

In all, the 960s are a solid flush-mount speaker. Good power, nice sound and simple installation. Decent buy at $199 each, but a great buy from Amazon at under $100 each.

“Great speaker – but hard to install as a center” – Do-It Yourselfer
Score: 3/5 Source: Amazon.com

We selected this speaker as a center channel for our home theater system. The sound is fantastic, but because of the size, it won’t fit between two studs, so you end up having to cut studs and frame around the speaker. It would be a 5-star product for vertical installation (which would be EXTREMELY easy, but for horizontal installation…Let’s just say that I would probably choose something else if I were to do it again.
“great center channel” – Amazon Customer
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

First let me start by saying this thing sounds great. The bad thing is most houses have 16″ stud spacing. If you are actually constructing a room, plan for this. You’ll need 24″ stud spacing. Now, if this fits the bill and you’re able to fit this, you’ll love it. The clarity is excellent. You hear every bit of what you should with a center channel. The dual kevlar woofers are well built, the tweeter is crisp, construction quality is top notch, and the grill is elegantly curved versus flat. I didn’t use the “glue” to hold the grill on. It stays on without the mess. The color, like most in wall or in ceiling speakers, is more off white, so don’t expect brilliant white. I gave it a 4 star because of the width restriction.
“Yamaha NS-IW960 In-Wall Speaker” – David B. Katz
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is an awesome speaker as a whole. It serves as my center channel directly below my 50″ Panasonic plasma. The sound quality is very good. Installation was easy if you are technically inclined. This speaker was a bit longer than other LCR speakers I looked at in this price range. I decided to go with it partially for that reason (so it wouldn’t look so small under the tv). I hand painted the trim in less than 10″ with a brush. The grill took two coats with a home depot handheld sprayer (cartridge type, $10). The paint was diluted with water at least 10 fold. If a whole fills with paint simply blow on it to pop it out. The speaker is visible, but blends right into the wall. Given the inexspensive price and all of this, I couldn’t be more pleased.
“Yamaha in Wall speakers!” – K. Arnold
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

These speaker cabinets are not small for in wall applications, so pay attention to the product dimensions. The sound is very good for the price. Installation requires that you pay attention to directions, it is easy enough to break off the plastic clamps that hook into the drywall behind the speaker if you use a power screw driver so exercise some care with this detail! These are used for side and rear speakers on a 7.1 surround sound Pioneer Elite sound system at 110 watts per channel with good results. Finding a reasonably priced speaker with decent sound for use at these power levels is not always easy and these Yamaha’s fit the bill nicely.
“yamaha quality” – Scott P. Peevy
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Great product. Yamaha quality in every aspect. These are being used as left and right front speakers and the sound matches well with the center channel (yamaha ns-c225) and rear surrounds (yamaha ns-iw360c).
“Great Unit – Size larger than expected for horizontal mounting.” – LotusEater
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Works great as my center channel. Be aware that it is wider than typical 2×4 spacing if mounting horizontally. I had to remove a part of a stud and build a header to support this as vertical mounting was not an option.
“Excellent as a center speaker.” – Toolmanjsp
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Great sounding speaker to my ears. I use one of these for the center channel in an office training room (7.2 surround system) and it seems well suited for this. No distortion all the way up to max volume when the amp starts to clip. Voices and center channel sounds very clear.

If you are putting them horizontally in a stud wall, you will need to cut at least one stud out to get the clear width needed to put these in the wall. Mounting vertically they will of course fit within one stud cavity but this didn’t seem right for the center channel.

I had trouble with two of the six clamps. It could be because I was installing in a commercial building with 5/8″ drywall (instead of standard 1/2″ in a house) because when I loosened the screw far enough to get clearance two of the toggles refused to turn to the clamp position (friction between the screw and the toggle is supposed to make it turn so it clamps the edge of the hole). Nonetheless 4 clamps seem to hold it well enough and I give it 5 stars for the appearance and sound. I’d take off 1/2 star for the mounting system if Amazon allowed it.

“Excellent buy. Good bang for your buck.” – Charles Williams
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Really nice speaker. I have Klispch and Polk speakers too. I have installed all 3 in customers homes. I went with the NSIW960 version because I liked the Kevlar cone. I use it as a center and 2 for fronts in my den 18X32X8. The sound is full and clear. The power handling is accurate. I am powering my speakers with the Pioneer VX 1123K and a Pioneer VX 1124K. I also have Yamaha 6.5 3 way as my rears. You will not find a better speaker for the price. Dollar for dollar these these Yamaha speakers are as good as Martin Logan in this price range. They are better than Polk or Klispch at a lower price. Let me be clear. These are not just entry level low grade speakers. They are of excellent construction and a great crossover.

Western Digital 250 GB WD Black SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Notebook Hard Drive WD2500BEKX Reviews

  • Sophisticated performance enhancing features deliver the speed you need for demanding applications like photo and video editing and Internet gaming.
  • High performance, high capacity, high reliability, and cutting-edge technology make up WD Black, the ideal drive for those who demand only the best.
  • Dual processor provides twice the processing power to maximize performance.
  • 250 GB capacity holds up to 50,000 digital photos, 62,000 MP3 files, and up to 30 hours of HD video.
  • 5 year limited warranty.
  • Package includes a hard drive only – no screws, cables, manuals included. Please purchase mounting hardware and cables separately if necessary.

Product Reviews

“Fast” – Kamran
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I’ve replaced the original HDD of my notebook, which was Seagate ST750LM022, with this one, and I’ve been using it for two weeks. For me, the following changes were tangible:
1. Increased performance: Of course not as much as using an SSD drive, but in comparison to my previous HDD this drive is much faster. While the Windows 8’s score remain the same for two HDDs (5.9), the increased performance is clear. Just don’t expect a huge enhancement.
2. Increase power consumption: The battery life time of my notebook has been decreased from 7 hours to less than 4.5 hours! It seems awful, but I don’t have any complain about this, since this is a black edition product of Western Digital and is specifically designed for performance.
3. HDD noise is a little bit higher, but it is still in an acceptable level and can be neglected.
4. Vibration of this HDD is more than the previous one, which should be natural for 7200 rpm drives.
Hope this information help you find your right HDD.
“Drive’s Good, Packing-Shipping Much Improved” – bentsnake
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

The drive itself is a Western Digital Black. There are millions of them running right now all over the world. Given half a chance (mostly meaning no shipping damage, and not overheated) these drives will run happily for years.

As for it being an “Advanced Format” drive (AFD), I’m running Windows XP on two such drives. Western Digital provides a program that makes the needed adjustments (if any) to the drive, though oddly, you can only download the program after you register your warranty. The program itself is simple to run.

The important thing here is that Amazon seems to have cleaned up the way it ships hard drives. I’ve posted pictures of the shipment I received. The drive was contained in what appears to be a factory box, and that box was contained in another.

Sadly, there was no packing material at all between the two boxes. All shipped boxes are thrown around by carriers (if not by human handlers, then by the sorting machinery) and the lack of packing material here can actually amplify shock loads when the small box slides inside the larger. Even a small amount of brown paper wadding here would make all the difference. But still this is a huge improvement over Amazon’s previous near-useless packing methods, so credit where it’s due.

Again sadly, it’s not certain that every shipment is packed this way (or perhaps better, with packing materials between the two boxes). In the past different Amazon shipping points have used different packing methods, so unless Amazon makes an announcement we can only hope for the best.

There are some general things to know about hard drives. None of this is my personal opinion, it’s all information I’ve gotten from the Western Digital and Seagate web sites:

All hard drives are essentially silent. Any intrusive noises, including loud clicks, and especially including any grinding noises, are guarantees of imminent failure.

Hard drives have no noticeable vibration. Put your hand on the metal casing (not the circuit board) and you can barely feel the disks spinning, and that’s all be vibration there should ever be. Anything more means, again, imminent failure.

An occasional exception to the no-noise-no-vibration rule happens when the metal parts of the computer case vibrate, which can amplify sound the way a guitar top does. But this is not common, and the general rule about hard drives is: you should never know it’s running.

Overheating is death to all electronics. If you’re at all geeky do a web search for a free program named Speccy, by piriform dot com. Speccy requires no installation. Just 2click to run it, and it reports various internal temperatures. Anything over 50 degrees Celsius is bad, and lower is better. Check your fan(s), make sure air vents are clear, always ensure that there’s a cooling airflow.

As a matter of information, these are laptop drives but I have two and run them in my two desktops. The data (small) and power (large) cable connectors are the same, they plug in with no alterations or adapters of any kind. The connectors themselves automatically make the right connections.

And finally, my opinion is don’t hesitate to use Amazon’s 30-day warranty. Shipping damage seems to be the #1 cause of hard drive failures, so if you have any suspicion at all that you received a damaged drive, then I say back she goes.

“Very fast & RELIABLE mechanical drive” – Stephanie Sullivan
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

When I upgraded one of my laptop hard drives for more space last summer I selected the WD Black 750GB because it was at a “sweet spot” in the value/performance curve at that time. This is a very fast 2.5″ drive within its class and I found a noticeable performance advantage over my older 7200 RPM Toshiba laptop drive.

I can hear this WD Black drive a little bit when it’s busy. While any drive noise may bother some people, I find it useful feedback that the drive is busy.

Power consumption specs are higher than the older Toshiba. That makes sense with a mechanical drive: high performance takes higher power. However, I’ve not noticed my usable time on battery has changed for the worse so I don’t think it’s a power hog. Power is a place where modern and more expensive SSD drives shine over mechanical drives, but since I normally have power plugged in this isn’t an issue for me.

Alternatives I considered include a Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive. Because of bad experiences (documented in my review of that drive) I did not feel I could trust it. The Seagate Hybrid drive is very fast for frequently used files and the OS, but the failure mode I’d experienced was total loss of access – no recovery possible. OUCH!

I also considered the WD Black2 Dual Drive: 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD that I installed for a client. He is doing video editing on a laptop. It can be a good solution for certain specific kind of use. The dual drive (NOT Hybrid) solution has shortcomings and a price that take it way off the price/performance curve for general use. My review of that drive covers that thoroughly.

The price of SSD drives has been decreasing pretty quickly and their reliability is improving. I expect if I were to consider this sort of upgrade a year or so from now I’d be selecting a SSD. Perhaps one like a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB or the Crucial M500 480GB which I just bought for a client at $260 and has been reported to have a longer expected lifetime.

This WD Black drive was selected in part because of a long personal history of reliable drives from WD and when there has been a problem, hassle-free service.

If you need plenty of space for a very low cost and the top performance available from a mechanical drive is satisfying, this WD 750GB black drive is a very good choice. For outstanding economy, reliability and performance at the top of its class I think this drive has earned 5 stars.

Hope this is helpful

“Operates as expected” – adugas
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Installed into a macbook pro 2010 model. Nothing out the ordinary during setup and operation is as expected. I expect this drive to last for the lifetime of my macbook. One thing to note when changing a laptop drive. Make sure you have a torque drive set otherwise you will not be able to attach mounting screws.
“Very fast 2.5 hard disk I’ve owned” – Ka Na
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is the fastest 2.5″ hard drive I’ve owned so far.

Write/Read (average) using a very fast USB3 (goes up to 435 MB/s for SSDs) enclosure on Macbook Pro:
127/128 MB/s

(WD’s spec sheet ([…] says the max internal transfer rate is 160 MB/s)

For comparison, the previous model WD7500BPKT, performs at 80/80 MB/s;
fastest 3.5″ disks I own perform around 180 MB/s.

Noise is audible when running, but it is acceptable for my ears.

This is still brand new – I’ll update this review if I find any issues.

“Great HDD even better customer support!” – Joshua Taylor
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I have had this drive for about 2 years in my laptop and it eventually started to fail. I am still able to get my data off just fine but it fails diagnostics. Contacted western digital and got an advance replacement. Needless to say I am thrilled with what they sent me. I received a drive that is larger and newer than the original. This is exactly why I have bought Western Digital for years and why I will continue. They did the same thing years ago with my Raptor that went bad. I absolutely love this company.
“AWESOME!! — A rock-solid storage solution with exceptional versatility: it’s fast, reliable, affordable, & has a great warranty” – ZapNZs
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is, in my opinion, THE product of choice when you need a reliable, affordable, and fast 2.5-inch drive. While the solid state drive is arguably the pinnacle of fast, this is the pinnacle of reasonably fast but much more affordable.

It’s high-speed makes it a good choice if a solid state drive is not a possibility for your main disk, and its reliability and durability makes it great for desktop computing even though it is marketed as a mobile drive. It may also be a good choice for upgradable gaming consoles when a SSD or hybrid drive isn’t an option. It runs circles around most other mobile HDDs, and at a price that is surprisingly affordable.

Whether you are using a Mac or a PC, this is the perfect drive to use as a high-speed clone (there are good programs for both OS’.) You use this WD Black in an external enclosure as a self-powered backup drive to make a clone of your hard disk. If you local disk fails, you literally drop this into the laptop and you can boot from it. It is equally great for a progressive point-in-time backup such as OS X’s Time Machine, or just as a self-powered external to give you extra data storage for your computer.

I am sorry to say that many Sellers are either intentionally or unintentionally misleading customers when it comes to hard drives. Western Digital is aware of this, and they have implemented an online tool called the “WD Warranty Checker” in which you can enter the serial number of your drive and confirm it is authentic with a valid warranty (you can with HGST as well, and Seagate has their own authentication system.) I do not recommend purchasing used hard drives from any third party Sellers because there is no way to know how that hard drive was used (and possibly used so much that the service life is almost over.)

Because the plain OEM cardboard boxes that Western Digital bare drives are packaged in are easy to replicate (as is the sticker on the outside that says the model and serial number), they are moving in the direction of shipping their OEM/Bare drives in a tamper-free type of packaging inside of the box. The hard drive is SEALED in a magnetic bag with a yellow Western Digital watermark on the bottom, and this bag cannot be opened without being physically torn or cut open. If you get a Western Digital product in a bag sealed only with a sticker or tape, I would be sure to use the WD Warranty Checker to verify it is just in an older packaging rather than a repackaging used by a Seller to make a hard drive appear brand new when it is not. I have attached a picture showing this. If the hard drive you get has had this packaging torn open previously and taped up, reject the shipment as that drive is NOT new.

Many used hard drives on Amazon are also sold as “refurbished” but in reality they are simply used drives marketed in a fashion to make it sound as if you aren’t taking a gamble on inheriting someone else’s old problems. Some Sellers seem to feel that making a few extra pennies at the price of their integrity is worth it, and it’s put a lot of good people into very stressful situations that they didn’t deserve. There are too many sellers engaging in this practice to even start listing names, but I strongly caution reviewing Seller credentials and buying a hard drive from a Seller with a solid return policy in the event you pay for a new drive and a 5 year old used drive shows up on your doorstep. This happens a lot more than you might expect…some of the Sellers who do this are even part of Amazon’s Fulfillment Program. Amazon needs to step up here and take action as this isn’t fair to you and it isn’t fair to me.

I’ve been in a position in which I have worked with a lot of drives over the years and have developed my own beliefs and mindset. This is to summarize how I look at Hard Disk Drives and my advice for storing data. The two biggest assumptions I operate under are:
1) ALL HARD DRIVES WILL FAIL. What differs is the run time the drive gives before it fails, and this is neither consistent nor predictable to a degree of good accuracy.

Because of that, I stress that one should NEVER STORE IMPORTANT DATA IN A SINGLE LOCATION THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE OK WITH LOSING FOREVER. While a home user may not need a RAID 5, setup using a Thunderbolt interface, they should always keep data in more than one location. That could be as simple as an external hard drive backing up data from Win 8 or OS X’s built-in backup systems so that the data is on the local disk of a computer as well as an external hard drive. Cloud services also have some backup advantages. Whatever method, just be sure to keep it in multiple locations. If one of those locations are damaged/lost, replace what was lost to ensure the data stays stored across more than one source. If the data is very important, store it in two different geographic locations (or inside a fireproof safe) in the event of fire or water damage.

I do not give brand loyalty to any single brand and the reason is because most major hard drive makers offer both some great and some terrible products. I occasionally have had hard drives fail on me that were some of the finest made. This happens and it is not avoidable. When you are putting coatings on the disk platter that are under 1 nanometer thick, there is an incredibly narrow acceptable margin of error. Such unpredictability means a consumer must take defensive action or else they are setting themselves up for an expensive, stressful, and costly incident of data loss.

My advice with any new hard drive is to spend the time to stress test it, and not to rely on it fully until it has been used at least for a few weeks if not tested extensively.

Google’s study of hard drives showed us some very interesting observations. Most specifically, it showed how failure rates of new hard drives are really unpredictable. While after the 4-year mark shows a progressive trend of higher probability of failure, that isn’t the case when new. The first month of ownership can be one of uncertainty, but the trend suggests that a drive with a defect will generally fail in this time period. Failure rates in the short 0-1 month period are often higher than the period of years 1-3.

My solution to this has been to “stress test” ALL new drives heavily. I run a secure delete that takes multiple passes over the entire drive more than once. Then I will transfer an ungodly amount of data on and then off the drive, if possible, filling most of the drive. I will use a benchtest program that runs a multi-hour stress test. It makes the drive work hard, get hot, use the entire surface area, and work for a sustained period. Simultaneously, I also use an advanced disk management program that can take a very detailed look at the drive’s health. This simulates the real-world usage a drive will see if used intensely, which most of the drives I oversee are. My findings are that in many cases this is enough to get a drive with an issue to display symptoms of compromised reliability or have a catastrophic failure. Drives that have no issues generally go on to work reliably for years without a hiccup. It’s not perfect, but this has helped weed out many of the drives that would wind up failing shortly after they were put into service.

Why would someone want to spend the time pushing a drive specifically to see if it will fail? My logic is that I prefer it happen when doing a test rather than after I have set everything up and put important data on it. Especially given 1) the cost of data recovery is high, and 2) I prefer not to send a drive that may have partially recoverable confidential data that can’t be securely deleted. If one of my drives fails during the testing, I feel a lot better sending it back to a vendor with 10 copies of Shrek on it than I do business materials intended for internal usage or personal documents/files.

Not too long ago, the older version of this product was called the WD Scorpio Black. WD’s 2.5-inch laptop drives had the Scorpio name, and their 3.5-inch desktop drives had the Caviar name. Their two common home-use grades were Blue and Black: Blue noted general-purpose usage, Black noted high-performance usage with often a longer warranty. Generally Blue was 5400 RPM and Black 7200 RPM (that has since changed as many Blue desktop lines are now 7200 RPM as well.)

The track records of these products are exceptional: always good speeds for their era, excellent GB-to-dollar value, great reliability, great durability, and very good warranty service. I am still using older Scorpio Black & Blue drives, and a few Caviar Black drives. Some of these are OLD for HDDs. They have long passed what is a reasonable expectation of service life. They have given consistent performance over many years, with extremely low failure rates. The quality that has characterized the lineage that this drive comes from shows how well this product is designed, and why this is a good choice today, and will still be a good choice years down the road when it is still working flawlessly.

This current WD Black mobile drive is great. In a USB 3 enclosure, I am getting sustained read and write speeds of around 110 megabytes a second, which for a 2.5-inch hard drive is fantastic and an improvement over my older Scorpio Blacks (the upgraded processor certainly plays a role.) Like the older WD Scorpio Black, the energy consumption is reasonably low for a 7200-RPM hard drive and so if you use this in a laptop to replace a 5400-RPM drive, it should not have a majorly negative impact on battery life. It is also quieter than my Scorpio Blacks, and while some noise with a faster speed drive cannot be avoided, this is reasonably silent for a high-performance HDD. Like previous generations, the drive does a good job dissipating heat and inside of an aluminum external it rapidly dissipates the heat generated.

Like many other drives, this drive moves from SATA 2 (3.0 Gbps) to SATA 3 (6.0 Gbps), doubling the theoretical peak transfer of 3.0 Gbps to 6.0 Gbps. However, a single drive is not nearly fast enough to max out the older SATA 2, so if you are using this drive in a standalone fashion, the change from SATA 2 to SATA 3 really won’t affect you one way or another, and it’s more of a marketing aspect than a functional improvement for users of single drive systems. Like virtually all SATA 3 drives, it is backwards compatible with SATA 2 and SATA 1 enclosures and computers.

Also of note is the warranty on this drive: a 5-year warranty for a home-use drive is unusual. Generally, that kind of warranty comes with enterprise class drives. Western Digital’s willingness to offer a 5-year warranty on a home use product only further speaks to how confident they are of the long-term reliability of this drive (otherwise, offering an unusually long warranty for such an inexpensive hard drive would cost them a fortune.) The User Reviews here also demonstrate this.

You may also notice that Western Digital now has two versions of the 500, 320, and 250 GB versions of this drive. The slightly more expensive versions have a larger cache, slightly improved shock resistance, and are slightly thinner. They likely have slightly faster read and write speeds. I have not used these models, but the thinner profile and doubled cache may be beneficial to some users (neither are critical for my own applications.)

The speed of this drive is almost double the theoretical maximum speed that USB 2 supports. If you want to utilize the full read & write capability of this drive and you are using it as an external hard drive, you will need to use a high/super-speed port such as USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, or eSATA (ideally the 3.0 Gbps revision, which is common.)

Using a slower port like USB 2 or FireWire 800/400 will result in the connection throttling back the drive speed to only run as fast at the max speed of the connection will allow. Therefore you will need an enclosure, a cable, and a computer that are all capable of using one of these faster interfaces. (USB 3.0 is generally the least expensive and most universal of the above-noted possibilities.)

Overall, this is an extremely versatile hard disk drive. Even with the advantages of SSDs and their recent price decreases, HDDs like this WD Black will continue to have a role in computing. This drive is affordable, fast, and reliable. It’s a rock-solid storage solution that will give you years of usage for an affordable price; therefore, I highly recommend this product.

Pretty fast” – BigWill3
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I needed to upgrade the hard-drive in my old Alienware m15x laptop and after some research opted for the WD Black drive. I was looking for a fast and affordable hard-drive with plenty of space. This hard-drive definitely fits my criteria. I would have preferred to go with a SSD but for 750GB of space the prices were just way out of my price range. If you’re in the same situation as me with a slightly older laptop with only one available drive slot (with no option for mSATA) then this is about the largest/fastest drive that you can get. The reasonable price makes it a slam dunk.

Also worth noting, I was concerned initially with some reviews stating that the packaging used during shipping was sub par. This would be a concern for me because any excessive jarring about could affect the long term longevity of the drive. In my case I found the drive was well secured and suitably padded during shipping.

“Great HDD!!” – Anthony
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I bought this HDD knowing what I was buying and definitely got what I wanted. The only SSD/HDD I buy are from WD or Kingston. I have had great experiences with both brands and have no complaints.

SO HERE IS THE SCOOP!!! As always, I’m big a the packaging especially when it comes to pc hardware. Amazon, as always, packaged it well and it arrived on time with Amazon Prime. Most people aren’t really up to speed with the difference between HDD, SSD, and hybrid drives. The SSD is self explanatory, so I’ll move on. I have 3 laptops…. HP Envy, HP tx2, and a HP g7. All are running SSD and 2 laptops are running dual drives, one a SSD and one a HHD. I started to buy hybrid drives first and quickly realized that at this point in time, hybrids are a waste of money….. A big waste of money!! This WD drive is in both laptops and they ARE as fast, or faster, than a hybrid. Why? the reason is that hybrid drives learn your habits when you do the same thing(s) over and over, and stores the info to make the software load and run a lot faster. The problem? If you tend to do different things like myself, the hybrid drive is always learning, and because of this, it will not work like a SSD. It will work like a 5400 rpm HHD that isn’t a hybrid. You money is better spent buying a WD 7200 rpm or another brand that your partial to that is also a 7200 rpm. This WD drive is fast and the load time from power on to windows is a lot quicker as opposed to a 5400 rpm. I have an old Dell tester laptop that took almost 2 minutes to fully load windows, with this drive it loads in well under 1 minute. I test and help create software as part time employment, and I’m always looking for quality, innovation, and reliability. And yes I’m very partial to WD drives because they work and they just keep going year after year.

I almost failed to mention something very very important that most people may not be aware of…. These drives do not like to install Windows 8.1 when your doing a fresh install when you receive the drive. My 2 newest WD HDD 7200 drives have an advanced format and would not read as an external drive in Windows 8.1 or as an internal drive when trying to install Windows 8.1. Because I got a bit lazy, I installed Window 7 Ultimate and then Windows 8 read it as an external drive. I then wiped the drive and the Windows 8 install was flawless. I’m assuming I may have had an issue because the drive was used, but never really USED. The prior owner most likely got confused on how to handle a drive with advanced formatting, as they work a little bit different and seem to be pretty specific to windows 7 until you reformat them. This drive would not align with the Acronis cloning software the WD gives you for free when you buy their drives…. Any drive!! That it in itself is nice perk, as long as you can get the drive to align.

“Good drive, just not for the PS4” – Scott Kreger
Score: 2/5 Source: Amazon.com

To start, my reviews always get negative votes when I am just trying to help. Please, if you do not agree, just move along. What I post are facts and when I get so many negative votes buyers overlook my comments. Now on to the review.

This drive is very, very fast. It is also very loud but that should not be a concern of yours when looking for a HDD. Drives these days just make more noise. A loud drive minus any very unusual sounds does not mean something is wrong with it or it will die soon. This is by far the fastest 7200rpm laptop hdd I have ever used. The problem is the PS4 and this drive running too hot. If I were to use this in a PC, it would get 5 stars. You will not have a heat problem using this drive in a laptop. I tested it on three different laptops. I gave this HDD two stars to get the attention of buyers looking for a HDD for their PS4. I am sorry I had to do this but no one reads 5 star reviews. Once again, if you just use this in a laptop this is best HDD you will find by a mile.

Now, on to what to expect with this drive in your PS4

– Very, very unstable performance. One minute it’s breezing through the UI and the next moment it takes 15 or so seconds to load the settings menu. The HDD stalls left and right on the UI and it is just not usable after a certain point.

– Game performance is great. To the point where I did not get one single stutter in Warframe or DC Online. No joke, no stutters. Not one single stutter. I have tried 3 different HDD’s (that includes the stock HDD the PS4 came with) and they all stutter like crazy in those games but this ran those games flawless. However, I should mention I did get stutters in Killzone when the HDD was getting too hot.

– Heat. After about 10-15 minutes into any game the PS4 fans kick in so loud you’d think it’s about to take off. Killzone and Resogun are known to make the fan louder on the PS4. However, games like Warframe and DC Online are pretty quite with the stock HDD and other drives. They are not quite with this HDD. The hotter the HDD gets the worse it performs as well. It got to the point where while I was playing a game and I paused it to go to the UI and clicked storage management it took over 1 minute to load to see my games. The whole UI was sluggish. On a cold boot with the PS4 being off awhile it runs great for the first 10-15 minutes. Yes, it gets that hot that quick.

So, let’s scratch this off the list sadly of PS4 HDDs that work well. Here is what I have tried so far:


Seagate Laptop Thin 500 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6Gb/s 64 MB Cache 2.5 Inch ST500LM000

This drive does everything perfectly minus one major flaw: games that require heavy streaming from the HDD are slow. DC Online and Warframe are a chopfest. This drive while it boots everything very quick has the worst read speeds in games I have ever seen. I made a review of this one that got down voted. Go read that one for more detailed info.

So, what’s next?


HGST Travelstar 2.5 Inch 500GB 7200 RPM SATA II 16 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive (0S02858)

I got this drive as this is the closest HDD to the stock PS4 HDD I could find with better performance (i hope). Sata 2 just like the stock HDD etc.

Look for my review on this drive soon as I have not received it yet.

Please note I go with the 500GB versions of these drives as it is a single platter and that means faster read times. I have spent over 220.00 alone on testing HDDs for the PS4. I tell the truth and I am very picky. I want it all to run perfect. This is why my reviews get down voted I assume. However, if you are like me and demand top performance and stability I would suggest you take my reviews seriously. I do not hold back.

I will be happy to answer any questions about my review and this HDD as long as you are polite. Sorry for my grammar.

Intel 730 Series SSD Review – Fastest SSD Hard Drive?

There she is, the fastest SSD hard drive to date…

Intel has released a new line of solid-state drives, and with each new iteration, solid-state drives are making the old technology of platter based hard drives obsolete. While old-school hard drives are capped at slow speeds and high failure rates, SSD hard drives use groundbreaking flash technology to sustain absurd read and write speeds. Simply put, solid-state hard drives are leagues above the standard hard drive. So why not supercharge your computer with one?

The Intel 730 series 2.5 inch 240 GB Internal Solid-State Drive is fast; so fast that it can boot up Windows in seconds, load files at the speed of light, and never be the limiting factor of your computer’s speeds.. The Intel 730 series is able to read files at up to 550 MB per second and write files at up to 270 MB per second. To put this in perspective, most standard hard drives can only read at around 80 to 100 MB per second and write at 75 to 100 MB per second. In other words, the Intel 730 series leaves mechanical hard drives in the dust.

Intel always makes good products… The 730 Series is no different.

Garnering 4.8 out of five stars on Amazon for over 350 reviews, the Intel 730 series solid-state hard drive (SSD) is considered the solid-state hard drive on the market. It has an incredibly low failure rate and comes in first place for nearly any benchmark test that it is put through. It is optimized for demanding tasks such as digital content creation extreme gaming, as it is rated for speeds of up to 86,000 IOPS.

The Intel 730 series solid-state hard drive also is built with Intel Rapid Storage Technology. This new technology allows transfer speeds of up to 1 GB per second blazing fast performance and productive multitasking and power management. Supports RAID 0/1/5/10 modes and up to six drives, making it possible to have large storage space and super fast speeds.

Is important to keep your files safe. That is why you need to select hard drive that you know will not fail when you needed the most. Luckily, The Intel Solid-State Drive 730 Series guarantees 70 GB of writes per day for over five years. This means that you can write over 70 GB of data to the solid-state hard drive every day for five years and the drive will still function as if it were just out of the box. And with an onboard firmware and 20 nm Intel NAND flash memory, file storage is optimized to ensure lifespan and speed.

Put two of these in RAID configuration and you’ll have the fastest PC out of anyone you know

So what are you waiting for? Ditch your old, outdated mechanical hard drive an update to an Intel 730 series solid-state hard drive. It guarantees a longer lifespan, blazing fast write and read speeds, and amazing data storage functionality that will leave you stunned with its amazing performance. Watch Windows boot up in seconds and your programs load in the blink of an eye. We aren’t joking. Simply try out a solid-state hard drive for yourself and you’ll immediately notice the difference.


What is a Sound Card Used For?

While the average PC user can honestly say that they’ve heard of the term “Sound Card” before, it is estimated that about 76% of these people do not know the true function of the sound card. Yes, sound cards do aid in sound signal processing and output, but unless you know the internal functions of the sound card and what it can achieve, you’ll never be able to answer the question, “What is a Sound Card used for?

So what exactly is a Sound Card used for?

Sound cards are computer components that plug into your computer’s motherboard and help facilitate the input and output of audio signals. This can be helpful for a wide array of activities, such as processing sound effects in a video game or enabling surround sound support for movies that you play on your computer.
This is what an average sound card looks like
In a nutshell, a sound card is used for mixing sound channels and outputting them to multiple output jacks to enable surround sound support. Take a look at the image above, for instance. Notice the multiple audio jacks on the left side of the card? There is a blue jack, a red jack, a green jack, and a black jack. One of these jacks is likely an input, allowing a microphone to be attached and used to record audio. On the other hand, the three other jacks all output separate audio channels. For instance, the green audio jack is often used for a common 2-speaker sound output, while the red and blue jacks may output sound to a subwoofer and rear speakers.
The primary job of a sound card is not only to send and receive audio signals. The cards are often built to enhance sound quality, remove the slight electric buzz that can be heard when dealing with 3.5mm audio jacks, and mix sound channels for rich, explosive sound.
We’re telling you about the sound enhancement features of sound cards, but simply stating that they make everything sound better doesn’t really do the cards justice…and you probably still have no idea what we’re talking about. Luckily, we found a video that can display the difference a sound card makes in terms of virtual surround and positional audio functionality.

You are going to want to pay close attention to the small details in the audio when watching this video, as well as throw on a pair of headphones. The sound cards displayed in this video all process sound into rich formats that capture the experience of the movie or game you are enjoying.

So, to recap: What is a Sound Card used for? It is used to enable surround sound, process sound into rich directional audio, and make the sound effects present in most games and movies stand out, resulting a truly immersive experience.

How Much is a Sound Card?

How much is a sound card you ask? Well, it all depends on the brand and model you decide to go with. Lower-end sound cards that provide minimal functionality can be as cheap as around $35. On the other hand, higher-end models that perform all sorts of neat sound processing functions can be up to $200!
For the average gamer or movie enthusiast, we recommend going with a middle-man; a card that isn’t top of the line but can clearly surpass a wimpy $35 sound card. Below are a handful of sound cards that we hand-picked ourselves. Take a look at their respective product pages and read their features and reviews to decide if the sound card is right for you.

Iconic Video Game Glitches and Why They Happen

Glitches are something every gamer encounters on occasion. With games becoming more complex in design every year, it is impossible to prevent malfunctions within the game’s code, resulting in sometimes comical but often monotonous problems.

Every glitch is different. While some may have similar effects, coding differences result in the root cause of glitches to be completely unique. We here at TechReviewFeed have done research on some of the most iconic glitches in video game history, and we’re here to explain why they happen.


The game-breaking glitch known as “The A-Bomb Bug” or the “Animation Bug” is known to occur after players have spent between 250-400 hours in-game. When triggered, secondary animations tend to be extremely slow or freeze altogether. Spells linger and blind the player in first-person mode, and doors that don’t utilize loading screens don’t open. Additionally, Gates to Oblivion and other quest necessities stop working altogether, essentially breaking the game for those who have poured their heart and soul into their character. Have a look for yourself:
Why it happens: As time passes in the game, a single variable slowly increases in the save file. Starting around 40, the variable continuously increases. When the variable surpasses a value of 48, the variable that governs the speed of secondary animations is reset to a decimal number close to zero. The animations are then played back at an incredibly low speed, breaking the game.
While Bethesda has acknowledged that this bug is real, they have not released a patch fixing the problem. nor will they, as it is a bug with the Gamebryo engine. Luckily, there are multiple community tools that can reset value in save files to correct the glitch until the number increases above 48 again.


Sometimes developers overlook small details, such as the physical properties of certain objects. In Grand Theft Auto IV, this applies to the swingsets found throughout the map. If players run a vehicle into the swingset or attempt to climb the swingset on foot, the game’s physics go berserk and send the player flying through the skies of Liberty City.
Why it Happens: The swingset object acts independently of the terrain, much like stop signs and light poles do. However, just as they are in real-file, the swingset is placed inside the ground. Objects aren’t normally supposed to be colliding like this, but the developers made an exception for the swingset. When the swingset is moved, even if just a little bit, the game tries to correct its position by elastically moving it back into place. This pushes players and vehicles with considerable force, often launching them hundreds of feet into the air.
This glitch makes somewhat of a comeback in Grand Theft Auto V, as specific gates can also launch vehicles into the air.


What happens when game developers add an effect to a quest but overlook a loophole allowing it to exist outside of its intended zone? You get the Corrupted Blood Incident. In September of 2005, a bug caused a debuff to plague entire cities, dealing considerable amounts of damage to all players in the vicinity. Here’s a video of the chaos that followed:
Why it Happened: When Blizzard patched in a new raid for players, they added a debuff that infects players and spreads to other players within a certain distance. Normally, this debuff is only enabled during the raid. However, players’ pets and minions were also susceptible to the debuff, and some of them accidentally carried it outside of the quest zone after the raid was over. The so-called disease then spread to towns with large populations, creating a virtual epidemic. While high-level players could survive the damage being dealt to them, lower level players would repeatedly die. This was eventually fixed when Blizzard released a patch and reset the servers, but it cost them thousands in cancelled memberships and frustrated players.


Remember the good old days of blowing on cartridges, hoping that your efforts would remove enough dust to allow the game to work? As if the games didn’t pose enough of a challenge to get working, they also were the root cause of many glitches. While dust did cause some bugs to present themselves, many gamers also abused the old-school technology to observe hilarious and often cartridge-breaking errors. We are, of course, talking about cartridge tilting.
How it Works: Nintendo 64 Cartridges transmit game data through the connection of metal pins located on the bottom of the cartridge. Assets such as animations and models are loaded from the cartridge on-the-fly, so what happens when some of these pins lose connection to the Nintendo 64? All hell breaks loose. Normally, the system will freeze after disconnecting the cartridge, but if you can manage to tilt it in just the right way, the game will go berserk while still being (relatively) playable. In some games, however, performing a Cartridge Tilt can result in loss of saved games, corruption of the game cartridge, and even corruption of the Nintendo 64 console. For this reason, we don’t recommend doing this unless you don’t care about preserving your game and/or console.


Possibly the most iconic video game bug to date, MissingNo is shrouded in mystery. This glitch Pokemon makes an appearance in Pokemon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow versions, usually after the player has performed one of a handful of glitches present in the games. This bug is not something that is easily explained. Rather, it is one that you should see for yourself.
How it Works: When players ask the Old Man to teach them how to catch Pokemon, it stores the player’s name temporarily in a free memory address while it switches the player’s name variable with the Old Man’s. After the tutorial, the player’s name is correctly restored, but it still remains where it was stored in the memory. Next, players Fly to Cinnabar Island. As it turns out, the game’s programmers forgot to define which Pokemon appear on the east coastline of the island. Since there is no set rule for which Pokemon are supposed to appear in the area, the game attempts to guess which Pokemon is supposed to spawn by using the same memory address that the player’s name was stored in during the tutorial. This causes a bunch of errors to occur, causing MissingNo. to appear.
The level and attributes of MissingNo can be altered depending on the player’s name. For instance,
if the third, fifth, or seventh slot of a player’s name is G, H, J, M, S, or T, the regular glitchy L-shaped block will appear, but if one of the slots contain a lower-case ‘w’, MissingNo appears using the Kabutops Fossil sprite. For more information on influencing how MissingNo. spawns, please refer to Bulbapedia’s MissingNo Wiki.


Video game bugs often have to do with faulty Physics logic. Realistically, the laws of physics are hard to emulate with code, causing physics engines to sometimes glitch out in awkward ways. On that note, Halo 2’s physics engine is prone to glitching for this very reason. Dubbed the Super Bounce, this simple-to-replicate exploit caused quite the fuss back in the Halo 2 multiplayer days.
How it Works: In order to Super Bounce, players must cause the multiplayer match to de-sync. This is achieved by crouching and walking into a small area that does not allow players to stand back up in, such as an alcove or diagonal beam. From the player’s point of view, he is just crouch-waling straight into a wall, but from the other players’ point of view, he is walking partially through the wall. Well, the physics engine doesn’t like this, so it begins to freak out. Now that the physics are bugged, if the player jumps and lands on a jagged edge or polygonal seam of the map, the physics engine accidentally lets him fall slightly through the map. The physics engine then attempts to fix itself by adding an upwards force to the player to push him out of the map’s geometry (much like what happens in the Grand Theft Auto IV Swingset Glitch). The force applied is usually much higher than needed, resulting in a Super Bounce.


The Super Mario Bros. Minus World glitch is arguably the most famous video game glitch of all time. Appearing after abusing a collision detection glitch, the warp pipe sends players to a mysterious World -1. This level looks similar to other levels, but it is completely under water, and the pipe at the end of the stage warps Mario back to the beginning, making the level impossible to beat.
How it Works: When a player normally enters the warp zone in World 1-2, they are supposed to do so by walking above the bricks on the top of the stage. However, if the player does a backwards crouch jump, he can clip straight through the wall. This skips the trigger that loads the correct warp zone designations. Instead of assigning warp destinations of Worlds 2, 3, and 4, it loads the destinations of the warp zone in World 4. This is where the problem begins. You see, the warp zone in World 4 only contains one pipe – the middle pipe – to World 5. The left and right side pipes are non-existant in this warp zone, and, like all invisible objects in this game, the non-existant pipes are assigned a value of 36.
Here’s where the magic begins. Since the designations for the warp zone from World 4 were loaded, the left and right pipes, which technically should not exist, are assigned to warp players to a non-existant World 36. And since objects with the value of 36 are programmed to appear invisible, the title of the world appears as World   -1.


Most Coin-Op arcade games were designed to never be beaten. Rather, the goal of the developers was to have the game become increasingly difficult so that players would eventually lose and move on to another game. But what happens when a professional player just won’t die? You get a Kill Screen.
How it Works: Many of the older Coin-Op arcade games were designed with 8-bit architecture. This meant that the max possible value for a normal integer was 255. Because some professional players would be able to avoid dying for so long, they would sometimes be able to surpass level 255. What comes next? Well, it depends on the game, but the end result is an integer overflow which resets the level to either -255 or 0. These levels are noted as being glitch levels, as they often are impossible to complete, either due to the game’s timer being too short for the player to possibly complete the level or simply a major malfunction of the game itself. Regardless, there is no way to get past this screen, and when they are reached, the run is essentially over.


Know of a famous glitch that belongs on this list? We’re sure we’ve missed a lot of them. Drop us a line in the comments section below and we might add it to the list! We want this to be an ongoing project, and we welcome any suggestions! Let’s make this list great together!

Best Gaming Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

For the past few weeks, we have been assessing a wide array of computer monitors in pursuit of finding the best gaming monitor. This was no easy task. With the hundreds of choices currently available and fierce competition in the marketplace, deciding which monitor to give the title “best gaming monitor” was quite a challenge. After all, there are plenty of amazing choices from brands like LG, BenQ, Dell, and Samsung, all of which offer outstanding performance.

We decided to narrow our search for the best gaming monitor to the scope of 24 inch monitors, as we feel that this size is adequate for most PC gamers. 24 inches is big enough to provide stunning detail and great clarity, all while remaining affordable and in budget. We also took into consideration the price of each monitor when assessing them. After all, most people I’m looking at spending over a grand on the best available monitor. Because of that we wanted to stay within an affordable price range.

So, we set out to work. We gathered a list of candidates online, analyzed the reviews of each, and even went as far as to test them out ourselves so that we could get a good feel of each monitors performance. We narrowed down the list, and the narrative down again. Finally, after hours of painstaking research and analysis, we finally concluded on what we believe to be the best gaming monitor available today.


The winner for our “Best Gaming Monitor” award goes to the ASUS VG 248 QE 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor. This flat screen monitor displays in up to 1080p at 144Hz, meaning the refresh rate is extremely fast so as to not miss a single frame. Granted, most games will require hefty PC in order to display at 144Hz, but older games should have no problem adapting to the newly available refresh rate.

The ASUS VG248QE 144Hz flat screen monitor is without a doubt the best 24 inch monitor for gaming. We’ve already mentioned it’s extremely fast refresh rate, but our word simply doesn’t put it to justice. Games play in buttery smooth 144 frames per second, basically solving the problem of screen tearing. Actions feel responsive and fluid, and gamers will be able to see each pixel of action faster than their opponents, leading to more victories and aiding in player skill.

So what makes this monitor the best gaming monitor on the market? To answer that, we’ll need to delve into the product specifications and analyze each component, much like we did for each candidate. Simply put, you cannot judge a monitor or any other piece of hardware without first taking into account the features that the product offers. Let’s take a look.

  • 24-inch Full HD LED-backlit 144Hz display (1920×1080)

Standing at an impressive 24 inches in broadcasting images at 144Hz, the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz monitor displays brilliant HD-quality visuals in stunning clarity and color response. Colors seemingly pop out of the screen and vibrant textures stand out more than you’d expect them to. This ASYS gaming monitor does a great job of displaying lifelike visuals that really do the modern generation of games justice. While many monitors failed to produce a quality of today’s gaming standard, the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor displays visuals the way that developers intended for you to see them.

  • GamePlus Functionality

A really cool feature of the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor is its ASUS GamePlus
functionality. GamePlus allows gamers to display a crosshair overlay or in-game timer to give players an edge over the competition. With four unique crosshairs, players can have precise aiming, even during hard-core death matches where the on-screen heads-up display is limited. Also, players can enable an on-screen timer to keep track of spawn and build times in real-time strategy games.

  • 1ms Trace Free II Technology

    This is what ghosting looks like.
A common problem with most gaming monitors is ghosting. Ghosting is when an image that was previously displayed on the monitor is still partially visible. This is not burn-in. Rather, this is due to the fact that some monitors fail to completely erase the previous frame before displaying the next one, resulting in an outline of the previous frame being slightly visible. The ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor comes with a lightning fast 1 ms response time and ASUS’s very own Trace Free Technology. This ensures that there is no ghosting going on at any point, enhancing movies and gaming like never before.

  • 80,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio

Image quality is highly dependent on a monitors contrast ratio. Gamers should expect to have a contrast ratio that is able to deliver the darkest blacks, the brightest whites, and All the shades of gray in between. Monitors that have a low contrast ratio often looked washed out and unappealing. The ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor has a contrast ratio of 80,000,000:1 (80 million to 1), meaning that the monitor is capable of displaying all 80 million colors that reside between black and white, making colors appear incredibly rich and vivid.

  • Fully adjustable Height, Tilt, and Swivel

Most monitors have a functionally limited stand, meaning that it is often hard, if not impossible, to stand the monitor in accordance with your viewing angle. This can cause many problems, most notably washed out colors from extreme viewing angles. Luckily, the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor ships with a fully adjustable monitor stand, allowing gamers to adjust the tilt, height, and swivel of the monitor to provide the perfect viewing angle for any occasion.

  • DisplayPort, DVI-D, and HDMI ports

while certainly not exclusive to the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor itself, DisplayPort, DVI-D, and HDMI ports are readily available on the back of the monitor, allowing users to connect anything from computers to gaming consoles to Blu-ray players. The monitor can also switch between inputs, allowing for multiple devices to be attached at the same time. This allows the monitor to be used for just about any scenario imaginable.

  • Support for NVIDIA 3D Technology

A big reason for why we chose this monitor over the others is the out-of-the-box support for NVIDIA 3-D technology. The ASUS VG248QE 144zhz gaming monitor is NVIDIA 3D Vision ready as soon as it is turned on, enabling 3D modes for over 700 games, 3D Blu-ray movies, and 3D YouTube videos. Integrated NVIDIA 3D LightBoost Technology allows for a brighter LED backlight, resulting in better performance during 3D playback, all without increasing the total energy consumption of the monitor.

  • Unrivaled Warranty Program

Each ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor comes with a three-year system and panel warranty in case anything happens to your monitor. If your screen begins to flake out within this period, ASUS will prepare it at no extra cost. ASUS also understands that being without a monitor is unacceptable, and thanks to their new rapid replacement service, ASUS will send you a replacement unit as soon as the defective unit is in the mail, reducing the amount of time that you will have to wait to obtain a working monitor.

What Comes In The Box?

In the boxes everything that gamers will need to get there monitor up and running perfectly. Materials include:

  • ASUS VG248QE 144Hz Gaming Monitor
  • DVI-D Cable
  • Power Cord
  • 3.5mm Audio Cord
  • Quick Starter Guide
  • Warranty Information Card

Western Digital My Cloud EX2 – Your Own Personal Data Center

For those of you been following the Western Digital 2015 product line, you probably notice that the company has been releasing higher-end storage solutions aimed at lowing businesses and high-end consumers. With the addition of the Western Digital My Cloud EX2, Western Digital has released a solution for people who seemingly always run out of disk space. The EX2 houses a whopping 4-12 TBs of personal cloud storage, pretty much erasing any possibility of ever running out of disk space.

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 is essentially a giant enclosure for two massive hard drives running in RAID configuration. And the disk space doesn’t stop there. Western Digital actually offers a 12 TB version of the EX2 for costly $625, with iterations dropping disk space by 2 TB all the way down to a 4 TB model priced at $323.99. Regardless of what option you choose, the My Cloud EX2 will store more files and data then you’ll know what to do with.

Use two hard drives to extend storage space or speed up performance

  • Two-bay storage solution for your home or small office with advanced features and a full suite of apps for a truly customized experience

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 contains two bays for Western Digital RED drives to amount to massive storage options configured to store massive quantities of data. While something as large as 12 TB isn’t needed for home use, a 4 TB drive is great for backing up photos, documents, videos, and other data. Each EX2 ships as the host of various software suites that allow cloud accessing data, making this the ultimate drive for backing up files and large-scale file storage.

  • High-performance NAS

NAS is short for network-attached storage. In essence, this means that the EX2 operates as a file server that is meant to be connected to a network, hence the use of the buzzword “cloud”. Sporting a hefty 512 MB of memory in 1.2 GHz processor, the EX2 delivers files through network interfaces in blazing fast speeds. In fact, multiple computers to access the files at the same time, making this a great fileserver for low to medium, end businesses.

This thing flies with a RAID 0 configuration

  • Flexible drive management options

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 offers a wide variety of modes for the hard drives to operate. Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD modes, which all act in a different way to fully customize the fileserver to your preferences.

RAID 0 is where pieces of data are stored in parts spanning across both drives. Because there are multiple parts of each file on each of the drives, accessing files will be much faster. However, if one of the two hard drives, fails, then certain pieces of data will be on the failing hard drive, resulting in corrupted files and loss of data. The performance benefit is massive, but the lack of redundancy makes this a risky option.

RAID 1, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.. While not giving as much of a performance boost as a RAID 0 configuration, RAID 1 stores copies of the files on each drive, in essence creating excellent redundancy as the two discs mirror each other.

JBOD is a technical term for “just a bunch of discs”. This option provides neither redundancy nor performance enhancement, but rather has both drives acting as one, increasing the storage space available. This is perfect for the storage of files that users do not mind losing in case of an accident.

  • Works as a backup right out of the box

A great thing about the EX2 is that it was built as a backup drive. Right out of the box, it works with either the WD Smart Ware Pro software for PC users or Apple Time Machine software for Mac users. Due to the sheer amount of storage that the My Cloud EX2 offers, it is ideal for data backup, and because it works right out of the box at doing so, users will find it easy and simple to use.

  • Works as a Web server

You read that right. When connected to the Internet, the Western Digital My Cloud EX2 can be configured to act as its own Web server. This means that you can run your own FTP server, P2P torrent server, WordPress, Transmission, and other CMS Web server. This means that the My Cloud EX2 can be used to run your website from your own home. All it takes is a bit of port mapping and configuration, and in no time you’ll be using the EX2 in any way you see fit.

We think the My Cloud software is pretty sleek

  • Anywhere access from computers, tablets and smart phones with My Cloud desktop and mobile apps

As long as your EX2 is connected to the Internet (it being a cloud drive, why wouldn’t it be?), you will be able to access your files from anywhere in the world. Western Digital offers a My Cloud software suite that allows you connect to your drive while on the go. Stream movies, view pictures, and access data with the click of a button, all while on the go.

  • Support for external hard drives

Western Digital is always bringing innovative ideas to the table. However, never before have we seen innovation such as this. The My Cloud EX2 allows users to attach another external hard drive to further increase storage space. This is extremely useful if you’re running your own P2P torrent download server or are just looking to back up your external hard drives to the cloud. With all of this room for expansion, you are guaranteed to never run out of space.

  • No monthly fees and no limits

Being a cloud drive, you would expect that Western Digital would charge monthly for access to your files while on the go. This is simply not the case. Once you have purchased the EX2 and configured it, you will not have to pay another dime. You’ll be able to access all of your movies, pictures, music, and documents all at the expense of Western Digital themselves. While it is a hefty initial investment, you will find that there are no hidden fees.

  • Why should I get a Western Digital My Cloud EX2?

There are plenty of reasons to get an EX2. The My Cloud EX2 is ideal for centralizing and organizing your important documents, photos, videos and music in one secure location. Having access to all of your files no matter where you are is invaluable, as will never quite know when you’ll need your documents the most. The EX2 is also great for streaming media to connected TVs, media players, and gaming consoles. With its massive storage space and flexible options, you will be able to stream your media to any device you wish, whether be local or through a network. Lastly, the EX2 is great for backing up all of your data in the case of a hard drive malfunction. When hard drives fail, it is often very hard and costly, if not impossible to recover your data. That is why making backups of your data is always a good idea.

With its wide array of options, integrated serving capabilities, cloud functionality, and excellent backup options, you simply cannot go wrong with the My Cloud EX2. Simply spending a few minutes with the device will give you a good indication of its blazing fast speed and excellent reliability. For those of you who are looking for a backup solution for cloud solution, look no further. Western Digital has you covered.


SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive for Smartphones and Tablets – Review

Flash drives and wireless media hubs have long served as mediums for storing and accessing entertainment on the go. However, never before has a flash drive acted as a wireless media hub itself. SanDisk has recently begun selling their new Connect 32 GB wireless flash drive for smart phones and tablets, and the addition of the device on the market is a game changer. And were not kidding, the SanDisk Connect 32 GB Wireless Flash Drive is unlike any other storage medium we’ve seen before. It functions as a typical flash drive, but accepts micro SD cards to store all the data that you put on as well as offers a wireless functionality to allow for wireless accessing of files while on the go, making it great for storing music, movies, TV shows, and other important files without cluttering up your mobile device.

  • Wirelessly store, share, stream movies, photos, music, and documents across your smart phones, tablets, and computers.

The metallic wireless button located in the middle of the device serves as a connection mechanism for Wi-Fi functionality. Clicking this button will make the flash drive visible to any mobile device, allowing the devices to stream files such as music and movies without the flash drive ever needing to be plugged in. This makes the SanDisk Connect 32 GB wireless flash drive ideal for long road trips and frequent bus rides. Best of all, you can bring all of your work with you on the go, boosting productivity during periods of downtime.

  • Simultaneously connect and access data stored on up to eight devices via Wi-Fi

Whether it’s purpose is a family network or group project, the SanDisk connect 32 GB wireless flash drive has the ability to connect up to eight smart phones and tablets at the same time. While many flash drives struggle to transmit data to just one computer, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive has the power to stream to each device without loss of quality. Because of this it is ideal for team projects where everyone will be working at the same time, as well as family members who have different tastes in movies and music.

  • No Internet connection, cables or router required, works on all Wi-Fi enabled devices

Never struggle to find a Wi-Fi hotspot again! The Connect Wireless Flash Drive has its own built-in Wi-Fi technology, allowing you to transmit data regardless of Wi-Fi being present or not. Unlike Bluetooth, the built-in wireless mechanism can transmit data at blazing fast speeds while sustaining several connections to separate devices. All this is being done with very little energy use, resulting in a long battery life so that you can access your files when you need them the most.

  • Up to four hours of video streaming on a single charge

The SanDisk Connect 32 GB Wireless Flash Drive can transmit wireless signals simultaneously to devices for up to four hours continuously. When the battery gets low, simply plug it into a computer or other charging station and the Wireless Flash Drive will charge will continuing to transmit data to devices. You can even use the SanDisk Flash Drive on a computer while it’s charging and transmitting data to other devices, allowing everyone to access files when they need to.

  • Access with free app, compatible with iOS 5.0 or later, android 2.3 or later and Kindle devices

The SanDisk Connect 32 GB Wireless Flash Drive for Smart Phones and Tablets comes with its own iPhone and Android app, allowing easy access to files stored on the drive itself while connecting via Wi-Fi. The app can open files stored on the flash drive, as well as allow users to listen to music and watch movies in the app itself. The app is extremely easy to use and streams data from the flash drive at blazing fast speeds.

  • Access with Internet browser, compatible with all Wi-Fi enabled devices

If using the included app isn’t your thing, you can also access all of your files, movies, and music through an Internet browser. Much like how the device itself functions, accessing your files through a web browser also does not require Wi-Fi access point to be located nearby. Simply connect your computer or other device to the wireless signal emitting from the Connect Flash Drive and you will be able to access your files in seconds.

  • Optional Wi-Fi password protection and 128-bit AES encryption

Of course, sometimes you don’t want to share your files with everyone. After all, the function of the flash drive is to contain sensitive data that is meant for your eyes only. Luckily, The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive supports password protection when being connected to wirelessly. Featuring 128-bit AES encryption, the likelihood of attackers breaking in to your personal files is almost zero.. This protects your flash drive and the sensitive file stored on it.

  • Charging and accessing with USB 2.0 connection interface or higher

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive charges when it is plugged into a USB slot. While charging, you can still continue to use its file storage features, making it useful to use on the computer while others are accessing files at the same time. This way the device gets charged, the person using the computer gets to access his or her files, and any other devices that are connecting the flash drive may continue their operation.

  • Available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB sizes

The Connect Wireless Flash Drive is sold in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models. All the device does not store the data itself, the model you purchase will determine the size of the microSD card that comes with the flash drive itself. At any time, users can switch out the microSD card to upgrade storage or create backups of their files. Best of all, you can use any brand of microSD card with the device; the microSD cards do not have to be SanDisk brand.

  • Stream up to five different HD movie simultaneously

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive can stream up to five movies on eight devices, making it the ultimate portable file system for the road. With its four hour battery life, amazing implementation of Wi-Fi functionality, and great deal of customizability, this flash drive is perfect for anyone looking to store and share files will only go.

Ditch your old flash drive! Wireless and cloud-based file storage are the future, and the standard is quickly moving in that direction. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is unparalleled innovation, and as technology advances in this field, will begin to see wireless capabilities on accessories and compliances that we never would have imagined to be wireless. Do yourself a favor and get a head start on the future by getting yourself one of these flash drives. You won’t regret it.