This month, WD joins the 500GB party with its Caviar SE 16 drive. Because the 400GB model is already our favorite 7,200rpm drive, we expected big things from its four-platter successor—and we were mostly satisfied.
We gave the Golden Orb II a mediocre 7 verdict back in October 2005, but the Blue Orb II is bigger and much, much better. It’s a massive cooler that squats over the CPU socket like a sumo wrestler, taking up every square millimeter of space.
Most people don’t keep up with the backup drive game, and we don’t blame them. It’s about as exciting as a “You’ll never believe what happened to me last night in Oblivion” story. The Cliff Notes overview is that WD’s Dual-Option Media Center drive has ruled the roost for a long time. We loved its high capacity and somewhat-easy-to-use software, but what really set it apart from the competition was its front-mounted USB port and 8-in-1 media reader.
The AMD-only AK-873 is small enough to fit comfortably in your palm, but its large copper base plate (zinc-coated to ward off corrosion) makes it surprisingly heavy. Two plump 8mm heat pipes carry the heat from the base plate to the upper area of the aluminum heatsink.
If you’re the kind of road warrior who has spent an hour driving around aimlessly looking for an unsecured wireless router to check your email, it might be time to invest in EVDO service.
EVDO, which stands for evolution data optimized, offers “broadband-like” speeds using the CDMA mobile phone network. Such technology has been available for some time but never at the affordable prices it is today.
Sprint’s Mobile Broadband package is available two ways: $40 for 40MB of usage and one-tenth of a cent per additional kilobyte, or all you can eat for $60 (provided you have a voice account with Sprint.)