There’s really no better way to summarize our thoughts about Thermaltake’s newest, well—we’ll call it an enclosure, for comparison’s sake. In actuality, the BlacX is more the spaceport docking bay to your Millennium Falcon of a hard drive. Your storage apparatus of choice sits half-submerged in the BlacX itself, its tail pointed to the heavens. The drive remains “enclosed” by nothing more than the molecules of oxygen hovering around its bare exterior. It’s a little perilous of a situation and definitely a little goofy. But yet, it works!
But it’s not your fault. You spend an hour or so arranging your desk, moving your monitor, setting up your speakers—the last thing on your mind is cable management. When it comes time to plug everything in, you just want to fire up your rig and commence fragging, or movie watching, or minesweeping. You don’t want to get arm-deep in the mucky muck you’ve created behind your computer. What you can’t see won’t hurt you, right?
Nvidia’s introduction of the GeForce 8800 GT left us wondering what would happen to the slightly older 8800 GTS—the model coupled with a 320MB frame buffer more so than the one paired with 640MB of memory. Nvidia cleared it all up by introducing the GeForce 8800 GTS, which has a 512MB frame buffer. Confused? We can’t blame you.
We've tested some crazy mice over the years, from ergonomic wonders designed to prevent RSI to dedicated gaming mice shaped like an actual handgun, but the new Zalman FPSGun is one of the oddest-looking designs we've ever tested. We approve of its neutral-grip, sensor-forward design, but the actual implementation has resulted in a mouse that's just too small for the vast majority of gamers to use.
For a device called the Jazz, Enermax’s newest USB and eSATA external 3.5” hard drive enclosure isn’t much of an improvisation in the ho-hum world of storage containers. In fact, we can only think of one major differences that set this device apart from most every other enclosure we’ve tested: you can see through it.
We’ve never liked headphones that use active noise cancellation because they simply mask environmental noise by generating background hiss. But Creative’s Aurvana X-Fi headphones are almost good enough to win us over.
The Archos 604 has been one of our favorite digital media players since its introduction late last year. Our opinion of the new Archos 605 WiFi—which adds a high-resolution touch screen and wireless networking capabilities—isn’t as lofty.
It’s hard to find much innovation in the exciting world of air cooling. At some point, cooling potential is defined by a simple equation of heat pipes, fan speeds, and block materials—increase the efficiency of any of the above, and you’ll see lower temperatures.
We have 300 words to tell you about the wonders of SilverStone’s DS351 external hard drive enclosure, but we need just four syllables: me-di-o-cre. It’s not that the enclosure is overwhelmingly slow, broken, or impossible to manage, but the device dips its toe enough into each of each these categories to make for a less than stellar experience.
It’s no surprise that high-def optical drives are getting less expensive while their specs improve—that’s the trajectory of all emergent technologies—but we are still taken aback by the dramatic strides LG’s GGW-H20LI represents. Just a few months ago, in our September issue, we reviewed this drive’s predecessor, the GGW-H10NI, and not only is its follow-up better in every respect, it’s half the price!