In yet another example of a design that likely looked way better on
paper than in practice, we find ourselves struggling to come to terms
with the Cooler Master 690’s more unique features. We can’t fault the
company for trying; in some ways, we applaud Cooler Master’s attempts
at distinguishing the 690 from the rest of its cadre in the crowded
When it comes to case design, innovation is a double-edged sword. If a company gets it right, it can win attention and accolades for introducing a fresh and functional approach to an otherwise stale and unchanging market. Let’s face it, a lot of new cases look just like the plain ol’ boxes of yore, with maybe a couple of new fan holes here and there.
Only the best-sounding speakers ever earn our highest praise. Griffin’s Evolve wireless iPod quite speakers don’t reach that height, but their wireless capabilities are almost remarkable enough to overcome their middle-of-the-road sound.
With new teams entering the terabyte storage market, it was only a matter of time before one smacked down the great Hitachi 7K1000 1TB drive. That distinction goes to Seagate’s 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 drive.
We’ve been waiting with bated breath for Western Digital’s entrance into the world of the almighty terabyte. Its Caviar GP drive may have lost the right to stand at the top of the market and yell, “Firsties!” but it is the only terabyte drive built with energy-savings in mind.
We hadn’t even heard of Hanns.G until about five months ago, when we tested the company’s HW223DPB. That 22-inch model’s 6-bit color, bare-bones build, and lack of HDCP earned it just a 6 verdict in our August issue. But Hanns.G is clearly stepping it up a notch with its HG281DPB. The monitor’s 27.5-inch screen and 1920x1200 resolution put it in a league with Dell’s stellar 2707WFP, but for almost $500 less—making us wonder if this is a bargain we should pounce on.
Although it seems impossible, we have reached an apex of technology in the exciting world of external storage. Icy Dock’s MB664US-1S hard drive enclosure is an absolute dream come true. It’s a marvel of functionality and form, a shining beacon that serves as an example to every competing product we’ve come across. It is the steel-colored Lancelot of your storage needs, the kind of friend you hope your hard drive keeps for the entirety of its life span. With the MB664US-1S, your data will stay safe, speedy, and easily swappable.
There are so many iPod speaker systems these days that we’ve resolved to cover only the most interesting devices. Boring, me-too products need not apply. Griffin’s Journi made the cut by virtue of its stylish industrial design.
We’re so accustomed to noise in the Lab that we’re often taken aback by its absence. We knew HIS’s new Radeon HD 2600XT would be quiet, thanks to the factory-installed Zalman iSilenceIII, but it still surprised us.
The ongoing joke at Maximum PC is that SilverStone releases a new TJ series case but once a year. Like the arrival of Punxsutawney Phil, the Video Music Awards, and the Dream Machine, this glorious event is marked with celebrations and drunken revelry—only this time around, instead of booze, we’re tipping back kegs of awesome. SilverStone’s TJ10 case is a welcome addition to the company’s strong dynasty of chassis. Like its father before it, the TJ10 is polished and almost perfect… almost.