Robots are not just work horses but can provide fun and entertainment for the youngest members of the family.
With a title that gives a clear indication as to the product’s general appearance, the Boxer (no relation to a hit Paul Simon song) is an interactive box-shaped AI robotic toy. As one of the top twelve entries in the latest DreamToys listing, the Boxer has been developed by Spin Master Toys and is being aimed at the 6+ age group or anybody who is young at heart and enjoys technology.
While a NAS has long been something for larger organisations and even smaller companies it now has a place for the SOHO or even the Home user as Synology have recently launched a single bay NAS and also Seagate have launched a drive designed for NAS use so a recent visit to London had me finding my way around the chaos at Euston caused by Crossrail for the construction of the Elizabeth line.
While the 22x7x15cm box has the Synology name, they are the people who produce the operating system that it runs on and the drive it has inside is made by Seagate, in fact the drive in the unit I have is made by Seagate especially for NAS use. Also in the box with the NAS are getting started instructions, an Ethernet lead and a mains lead.
Stated to be capable of copying 8K video as captured according to the box. I can certainly confirm capture of 4K video without any problem on two separate devices. It is an SDHC UHS-II Card, mine was 32GB but they do other capacities.
Looking at the face of the card it is no different in size (dimensions) to any other SD card. Turn it over and you see a difference, the same row of contacts at the inward edge of the card but below that an additional row of contacts. It is stated to have read speeds of up to 270MB/s*² and write speeds of up to 260MB/s*². However due to the high quality for one year there is data recovery software available for free. The card itself is warrantied for five years.
A new Synology NAS box provides users with personal data access.
Based in Milton Keynes, Synology is a company that is synonymous with NAS technology, devices and related issues. Recently I have been checking out the company’s DS119j product. With the “DS” part of the product’s title standing for “Disk Station”, this NAS box is being marketed as a budget-friendly, versatile and easy-to-use one-bay NAS product designed to host, share and protect the data of personal users.
To be precise this is a Micro SD Card but it does come with an SD card holder so it could be used as an SD should you so wish. Being old my mind boggles at the size (capacity) of these tiny items. I well remember the first consumer hard drives they were heavy took a full size 5.25 inch drive bay and the capacity was 10MB.
About two years ago the size of Micro SD card acceptable to recent mobile phones started to rise and before this unit arrived the largest I had to test was 64GB now I can check claims with this 128GB offering that without the SD card is small enough to get easily lost and of course at this sort of capacity is both expensive and perhaps could contain a great deal of information not easily immediately recreatable. So most of my tests have been with a range of recent mobile phones.
The latest range of USB3 small external drives from Toshiba sees the Canvio Advance (highest specified of three) cross my desk to be given the real world test over a matter of weeks, using transfer by USB2, USB3 and this time also USB ‘C’ for good measure.
As I was testing this with Windows PC’s and I had used similar products all I did was unbox the drive and connect the supplied USB3 cable. Unlike earlier USB drives this takes the small amount of power required from the USB port so it is true ‘plug and play’. While this is stated to be 2TB and by the 1000 calculation method it is but Windows used the 1024 calculation so it only shows as 1.81TB this is normal.
With its background in hard drives, WD has come up with a personal Cloud solution.
Where do you store the ever-increasing amount of personal data? With the options available, such as local drives, network facilities, flash devices and Cloud services, the choice and spread of the data is wide and varied. You could opt for a single location or prefer to mix and match as circumstances decree.
With the appearance of a bathroom wall tile, this next product under review offers 1TB of portable storage space.
The My Passport Ultra is a portable storage device from Western Digital (WD). Available in a choice of either Black & Grey or White & Gold, there are models with a capacity of 1, 2, 3 or 4TB of storage space. I have been sent the 1TB White & Gold unit for the purpose of this review. Slightly smaller and lighter than the 3 and 4TB models, my review sample has dimensions of 110 x 81.5 x 13.
Larger memory sticks are always useful if you need to transfer large files such as videos to various destinations, if these devices have the ability to work on what are otherwise conflicting operating systems then so much the better.
It is only slightly longer than a standard USB stick at 6.5x2.3x1cm and both the end pieces are covered. It weighs only 16grams. Assuming you only lift one cover the other is held in place as the rubberised cover has two strips down the back which if required can be integrated into a belt so you never lose the stick unless that is you lose your trousers. The Lightning connector is one end and a standard USB3 (actually USB3.1) connector the other.
If you need to move data around then on a Ethernet or Wi-Fi network should be easy, if however the files are in different places this is harder, so maybe a large capacity USB stick can help, or possibly to move from a mobile device to a PC then an OTG device can help, both are covered with the below.
Inflation is a thing most of us have problems with in one way or another, as far as computer memory it means that programs and the data they use can be larger, much larger, a long time ago – yes I am old – the operating system its programs and data fitted on a floppy disc of less than 100MB here however is a USB stick that can contain up to 115GB of data.
With claims that much of its stock being 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UL, Reichelt Electronics supplied this next product.
File sizes, over the years, have grown at a prodigious rate, even far outstripping my waist measurement. At the same time, hard disk sizes and other types of storage media devices, such as flash sticks and memory cards, have expanded to create the storage space necessary to hold the bloated software products that we cannot do with out. Talk of 20MB hard drives.
StarTech were a name new to me but as I know their PR company through the good things of a totally different item I said I would look at the product offered, initially I failed as the item offered had limited availability of the cards to use in it. Then I was offered this offering which if you have USB C on your mobile device is very useful.
It is 7x6.5x1.5cm and weighs 66grams. It has a hard wired 20cm USB C lead emerging from the back. The front of the unit has Compact Flash on the top and SD and Micro SD under it. Before you say everything is SD or Micro SD these days – and you are probably correct – there are still some top of the range cameras that have Compact Flash alongside SD to capture images and videos.
Who has heard of EU GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation), you may say with Brexit this does not apply to the UK, rightly or wrongly they do as they came into force in 2016 and complete implementation comes into force in 2018. This replaces a 1995 (yes the date is correct) directive.
‘In case of a data breach businesses will face fines of up to 4% of their annual global revenue or 20 million euros (whichever is greater) and must inform their national supervisory authority’. So for any business that should cure any personal constipation. Last year Kingston Technology purchased Ironkey who market encrypted USB drives and they are now fully part of Kingston Technology.
Verbatim have recently launched some larger capacity drives, while it was not possible to get these newest items in for review their PR person assured me the smaller capacity ones sent to me were identical in all but capacity.
So the two drives getting a look at are both external drives the ‘Store ‘n’ Go and the Store ‘n’ Save. I was sent a 500GB portable drive, the first problem is extracting it from the shelf pack and once your scissors have cut your way in there is still another layer of protection to remove. Having plugged the supplied USB3 lead into the drive you find four files on the drive – two each for MAC and PC.
Offering to keep your data secure from unauthorised access is a portable hard drive from iStorage,
Adding to its range of encrypted portable drives, iStorage has released the company’s diskAshur PRO product. Promising to provide the capability of an ultra-secure hardware encrypted portable hard drive, the diskAshur PRO is available with capacities of 500GB, 1TB or 2TB options. I have been checking out the 1TB model. Rectangular in shape with rounded corners, the diskAshur PRO has a weight of 237g and dimensions of 124 x 84 x 20 mm (H x W x D).
Almost all SmartPhones and other devices that accept a Micro SD Card will now support up to 64GB. Some will support 128GB or even more but 64GB is now a safe size to purchase and that can hold a lot of video or a mountain of music.
For modern SmartPhones that record high quality video you need a card that can accept a lot of video being transferred to it quickly and to do that you have a higher standard. The last thing you want is lots of dropped frames from a possibly irreplaceable video. So for those who have not seen such a device it is 25cm long without sleeve, 1.3cm wide at the USB type ‘A’ end and less than half that at the USB type ‘C’ end and the width is .5cm.
Offering to keep your data secure is a hardware device from iStorage.
Described as the “most secure hard disk drives ever made”, iStorage has launched its new ultra-secure diskAshur range of devices. The range consists of diskAshur , diskAshur SSD, diskAshur PRO , diskAshur PRO SSD and diskAshur DT models. This new range features fast USB 3.1 speeds. PIN authenticated hardware encryption incorporating iStorage’s unique Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption (EDGE™) technology.
Adding power and extra storage to your LAN is the task undertaken by the Buffalo TeraStation.
Classified by Buffalo as “an affordable larger capacity NAS device with robust RAID 5 capability”, the company’s TeraStation™ ES series is available in a variety of capacities. I have been taking a look at the TS-XEL/R5 unit which is available as a 4-bay fully populated device. My particular unit came with four 500GB drives giving the product a total capacity of 2.0 TB of storage.
SSD drives always carry a substantial premium over conventional hard drives, however the price of storage is one of the few things that continue to drop, while we are meant to have low inflation few have seen real wage growth for many years.
While an external hard drive used to be almost as big as an internal drive, then when they went from 5¼ inch to 3½ inch things began to tumble in size as well as cost. Original USB drives needed external power as well as that provided by the USB bus, now few if any USB drives – however large – require more power that delivered by the USB bus. This drive is tiny at 9x5.5x1cm and weighs only 69 grams, with its box and lead its 156grams.
Moving files – especially larger ones – between devices like phones and PC’s has always required extra thought, the trouble is they are often last minute thoughts? Here a solution from Kingston that is as easy as plug it in to a USB port.
A while ago their solution for micro USB ports arrived here a solution if your phone has a USB C port. It is 3x1.5x.7cm and weights a tiny 4 grams. The capacity sizes available are up to 128GB the sample that I requested to be sent was 64GB simply because not all phones will accept 128GB.