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Category Archives: Reviews

ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof USB 3.0 Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Speedy as it is Secure

By Ian Chiu

In certain situations and environments, physical security is going to be paramount in your data backup and recovery plan. Maybe you are a SOHO business, or just have a lot of precious data that you want to be sure will survive no matter what natural disaster hits your home! For situations like this, nothing beats offsite storage. Sadly, this is not an option for everyone, and as strange as it may seem some services offer barely above the “dial-up connection” transfer speed levels. So, an alternative is fire and water proof storage solutions.

One such example, which is not only durable (and yes we tried our best to kill the darn thing!) but is also fast is the ioSafe SoloPRO USB 3.0 hard drive. This bad boy not only boasts fire protection of 1550ºF for 30 minutes and is waterproof (though only the hard drive as the unit WILL be dead after water immersion), it also boasts a USB 3.0 interface. This combination makes it as fast as an internal hard drive would be while still being much more durable in case of bad things happening to your environment. As a nice little bonus ioSafe even includes free data recovery service if their device does fail (first year only, with extensions of up to 4 more years available). On paper, it sounds awfully tempting as peace of mind is priceless.

How does it fare in real life? The 1TB Hitachi hard drive is not exactly going to win any speed contests but was found to be more than “good enough”. The only real down side is its price of $249 for only 1TB of space, which makes this solution a tad pricey for some people’s budgets. Everything USB has the full review.

[Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Logitech G700 Gaming Mouse Reviewed. Verdict: Near Perfect Balance Between Performance and Ergonomics

By Ian Chiu

Logitech has always been known for their great peripherals and have consistently released some down right marvelous mice. To many consumers when they think “mouse” they think Logitech; unfortunately, not every GAMING user thinks Logitech when think gaming mice. This is the crux of the matter, so what can Logitech do to not only outdo their past models but more importantly, entice even more jaded PC gaming aficionados away from the competition and back to Logitech?

The answer Logitech has come up with is to offer a seamless wired / wireless combination mouse with a downright whopping 13 buttons and call this beast the “G700”! The G700 certainly is an interesting solution and one that merits closer investigation. One thing that is now gone is the weight customization which has been with the G5, G9 and G9x. So, the mouse could be too heavy for some. The battery life also fails to impress. You could only get about six to eight hours out of the single AA battery. Perhaps this is the reason why Logitech provides a USB cable that also turns the G700 into a wired gaming mouse and at the same time re-charges the 2000mAh battery inside. The Logitech G700 isn’t perfect, but it certainly qualifies as a killer gaming peripheral as well as a all round everyday mouse. Everything USB has the full review.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Asus U3S6 USB 3.0 / SATA 6 Hybrid Card. Verdict: A Killer Upgrade

By Ian Chiu

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a brand new motherboard with integrated USB 3.0 ports; yet, many want to take advantage of the theoretical tenfold increase in speed the new copper interface has to offer.  For this burgeoning market many manufacturers have started to offer small add-on cards which can upgrade an existing rig to USB 3.0.

Sadly, not all of these add-on cards are created equal as there seems to be two separate and distinct types: PCI Express x1 and PCI Express x4. The latter seem to be the better choice if the ASUS U3S6 is any indication.  This particular board packs in not only two USB 3.0 ports, but also a pair of SATA 6GB/s ports.  It’s a killer combination with one caveat – the U3S6 isn’t an optimal solution unless your existing motherboard is on the extremely short ASUS approved motherboard list. If you disable the SATA 6, the USB 3.0 ports will most definitely work, and you can expect speed up to 245MB/s with a USB 3.0 SSD. For under $30, it’s a price that is hard to beat.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Reviewed. Verdict: Highly Recommended Monster Mouse

By Ian Chiu

When it comes to gaming mice, or even mice in general, not much has really changed in the past couple years. Sure the number of buttons, number of programmable settings and DPI sensitivity may have increased, but when it came to the ergonomics of it, there wasn’t much you could do to change it if a given mouse didn’t fit your hand. Sure some mice allow you to swap out one sized “skin” or covering for another, but even this has always been a very clunky way of doing things and you could just as easily end up with a mouse which was too big instead of too small… or vice versa.

Mad Catz plans to change all that with their Cyborg RAT 7 as this bad boy has more customizable features crammed into it than any mouse ever before! Don’t like where the palm swell is? Change it out for a different one or move it forwards or backwards until is does feel comfortable! Don’t like the pinkie grip? Swap it out for one of the two others which come included! Don’t like where the thumb buttons are? Move the whole freaking area until it is comfortable. This is what the RAT 7 is all about; or at least that is the THEORY behind it. Is the theory the same as the reality? Everything USB has the full review.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

MS Arc Keyboard Reviewed. Verdict: Aesthetically Pleasing as it is Versatile

By Ian Chiu

MS Arc Keyboard seems to have something for everyone. Whether you need a miniature wireless input device for your HTPC or an easy-to-carry laptop keyboard replacement, the Arc looks like it can serve these roles just well enough to get by. The keyboard itself has a familiar layout for touch typists, and has acceptably low latency to satisfy casual gamers. Though, the D-pad is a pain to deal with during text selections. There’s also no built-in mouse controls which may not be particularly important in a home theater PC environment.

The lightweight keyboard measures just 12″ x 6″, making it extremely portable especially with the bundled nylon pouch. A tiny USB receiver can be quickly stowed into an open compartment on the underside of the keyboard. It’s a shame however that the Arc-shaped keyboard and the mouse couldn’t share the same nano USB dongle, unlike Logitech’s Unifying receiver. As the Arc is primarily made to save precious desktop space and to minimize carry weight for road warriors, the miniature keyboard with a slight curvature lacks a lot of advanced features found on similarly priced alternatives yet it should fit nicely in various environment.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Corsair Flash Padlock 2 Secure Flash Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Hurray for Hardened Security

By Ian Chiu

Some time ago, Corsair debuted their numeric padlock flash drive that allowed end users to unlock the storage by entering a four to ten digit PIN code. The obvious advantage of this implementation is to bypass software altogether, easily making it cross-platform friendly. However, the original version was hacked effortlessly by a group of dutch engineers armed with a simple 10K resistor.

To regain trust among consumers and lost reputation, Corsair is now back with Flash Padlock 2, and this time, the company didn’t take any chance by equipping the drive with 256-bit AES hardware encryption. Corsair also covers the components with epoxy compound to make it tamperproof; otherwise, the PCB would be exposed and likely be prone to hacking. In the performance department, you can expect the secure flash drive to hover around 17MB/s during read and 8MB/s during write. The Flash Padlock 2 is a bit weak in terms of small file write though, and it only comes in 8GB. Read on for the full review to check out all the extra security measures Corsair implemented to make drive safer.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard Reviewed. Verdict: Worth Dropping Two Benjamins

Gaming keyboards have come a long way since the original G15. All the G-keys and the use of LCD to show player stats are ingenious additions that have become an indispensable tool for WoW fans, hardcore CoD4 players, and macro-happy gamers. Since then, the market has definitely saturated.

Despite the stiff competition, Logitech hasn’t lost its edge. The new G19 gaming keyboard is the first major upgrade since the G15 revision. Improvements to the Logitech’s flagship keyboard include full color LCD (including YouTube and VLC compatibility); intuitive creation of powerful macros; support for six simultaneous keypresses; customizable key backlighting; and two self-powered USB 2.0 jacks. Impressive features demand high price and higher power requirement, which is why the G19 costs $200 and why the G19 is the first gaming keyboard that needs an AC adapter (warning: bulky). Everything USB’s reviewer is so impressed with the G19 that any hardcore gamers with $200 to spare should run out and get one. Those who don’t take fragging too seriously should really look elsewhere.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Logitech G35 Gaming Cans Reviewed. Verdict: Do Your Research First

By Ian Chiu

Four years after the inception of the famous G-series peripherals, Logitech surprisingly hasn’t made one gaming headset, until now. The Logitech G35 is the company’s first foray in the highly competitive gaming headset market. So what makes the Logitech any different than say a pair of regular USB headsets or a pair of 8-driver cans? For starters, the Logitech G35 is powered by 2nd-generation Dolby Headphones – a glorified term coined for virtualized surround sound. Dolby Headphones 2.0 is now able to simulate 7.1-channel audio (up from 5.1) through just two drivers. It also supports Dolby Pro Logic II audio tracks (for DVD movies), and its voice morphing (which can be activated through one of the G-keys) allows you to easily mask your voice behind one of six filters.

Everything USB has recently reviewed it and has a rather mixed view on the G35 gaming headset. While the sound quality is simply breathtaking, the voice morphing is a lot of fun and the Dolby Headphone effects are actually better than the reviewer could have ever imagined for virtual surround sound, the fact that G35’s surround sound option only works with 60% of the games tested is a let down. And at a MSRP of $130, the G35 USB headset constitutes a ‘serious investment’ for any gamers. Read on for the full review which includes a comprehensive compatibility chart and a voice morphing demo.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

MS Arc Mouse Reviewed. Verdict: An Excellent Travel Companion

By Ian Chiu

For road warriors going on a business a trip, the second most important thing other than a notebook is a mobile mouse, which can greatly affect productivity. Having said that, Microsoft has had numerous laptop mice over the years that are both functional and portable, but none of them is more eye catching as the Arc Mouse. The aptly-named Arc sports a hinged semicircular shape that allows it to close to nearly half-size for travel, and to unfold to a full-sized mouse. The mini USB dongle is also hidden in a crevice on the underside of the folding wing, which becomes the mouse’s palm rest.

After Everything USB spent nearly two weeks with the Arc, surfing the web and checking emails, they found the mouse to be spot-on for most tasks while preventing fatigue. The rubberized sides also allow you to get a good grip since the surface of the Arc is in gloss paint with a glass-smooth finish. In the end, while there are certainly some minor flaws in usability and set-up, the Arc mobile mouse is praised as “an excellent travel companion” that is well worth the price.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]