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Pros: - Decent performance when compared to other SSD's in it's price range
- More reliable than the Trion 100
- Good price (great price when on sale)
Cons: - OCZ isn't exactly a trusted brand right now, and there remains some risk associated with longevity (although it should be noted that there are riskier SSD brands out there in the same price range).
Other Thoughts: It's hard to quantify how good or bad any SSD is right now. Practically any SSD, regardless of its performance level will be faster and draw less power than even high end HDDs, yet people still buy those and (to an extent) are happy with the performance (most of the time). So, ultimately what I'm really concerned about with SSDs comes down to price, reliability, with performance as a distant third. I'll break down this particular drive with that in mind.
Price - The Samsung 850 EVO (a drive all SSDs are compared against) costs between 50-100% more in an equivalent size, but it's without question a better performing and more reliable drive, so that makes sense. If I put it up against a more comparable crucial BX200, the Trion is signficantly faster and costs a bit less, but might have a shorter life span. Ultimately, the Trion is at a good price point, and when there are sales and rebates it occasionally hits a GREAT price point. 4/5
Reliability - This is a bit hard to reliably measure. As with most things, one has to form an opinion based off of other people's experiences, often without knowing the full story. For instance, in cases where someone posts a review stating that they had multiple bad drives...is it possible that the person didn't know that they would first have to format the drive for it to become recognized? Do they know how to handle computer equipment without frying it? In this case, the real issue is that OCZ has a long and storied history of unreliable ssds. Toshiba (still not a top shelf brand, but a good one) recently bought OCZ and have been trying to move them to a better light, but that will take time. For now, a tarnished reputation means a risk, but with a potential reward of a fairly strong drive at a good price. 3/5
Performance - This seems to be even harder to quantify than reliability. Even setting aside the speed difference between ssds and hdds, the difference between 300 MB/s and 500 MB/s is rarely noticeable. Even setting THAT fact aside, it's not uncommon for two different drives of the same model to perform differently while performing the same tests. It's entirely possible to have different results performing the same test multiple times on the same drive. Again, ultimately I find myself forming an opinion based off of an ever changing set of facts, and I end up gauging them based off of what's "good", "pretty good" or "Great" ("bad" having equivalent opposites). The Trion lands somewhere between "good" and "pretty good". 3.5/5
Pros: - Incredible Value For The Price
- Surprisingly Capable Processor
- Separate and Removable Battery
- Plenty of Connectivity (USB 3.0, 2.0, HDMI 1.4, Micro SD, Micro USB)
- Portable, easy to hide away
- Makes a pretty solid streaming PC/HTPC
- Cherry Trail GPU has 12 Execution Units
Cons: - 2 GB of RAM cripples an otherwise powerful SoC
- Generates a bit too much heat for comfort (also limiting the potential of the SoC)
- Despite being able to handle 4k, no HDMI 2.0 (stuck at 30hz with 1.4a)
Other Thoughts: This is SO CLOSE to being something amazing, and it still pulls it off in some ways, but the two major problems with this PC (RAM and heat) cripple it to the point that it's usefulness becomes severely limited. For my particular use, I tied it to my tv and connected a wireless keyboard mouse to it, and I use it to easily watch youtube/lynda videos, as well as some light browsing on a large screen when I want to. I've noticed that a good rule of thumb is to have no more than three browsing tabs at a time, or stick with a single tab if you're viewing a video.
InFocus, who makes the Kangaroo, apparently made an upgraded version of this in response to most people saying the same things I did about the RAM and heat. That version has 64GB space, 4GB of RAM, has no OS, costs $170, and has the same thermal issues. It's pretty clear what the problems are here, and it appears that at least on this site, that model is no longer being sold. I would recommend that if InFocus decides to try this again, find a way to reduce the heat (either by adding more venting on the opposite side of the case to improve airflow, or by turning the enclosure itself into a heatsink), bring back the OS and skip the larger capacity in an effort to bring the price back down. This same product with 3-4GB ram and no heat issues would be a powerhouse among mobile PCs.
I've mentioned a few times that the z8500 Cherry Trail SoC is pretty powerful, and to illustrate that, I'll compare it to the vastly more common Z3735 Bay Trail processor. Both pocessors are functionally the same quad-core processor from a hardware perspective, however the 8500 has a slightly higher base speed (1.44 vs 1.33) and a MUCH higher max speed (2.24 vs 1.83) which is one of the benefits of the 14nm die shrink from Bay Trail's 22nm. Memory gets a bit of an upgrade as well, bumping to DDR3 1600 from Bay Trail's 1333. The biggest change however, is in the graphics.
Cherry Trail has a whopping 12 Execution Units, compared to Bay Trail's sparse 4 EU's. From a physical hardware perspective, that's the same amount as a top end Sandy Bridge or a more modern full sized Skylake Pentium core, albeit at half the speed of either of them. This is a whopping amount of graphical power for a low end mobile class SoC, and it does show to an extent with this PC. I'm able to run the Kangaroo at full resolution on my 4k TV at 30hz (only limited by the HDMI connectors) with surprising smoothness. I would be VERY interested to see how well this would run with HDMI 2.0.
Pros: - RGB Lighting
- High build quality (aluminum frame, black anodization, braided cord)
- Cherry MX Red keys
- Surprisingly Great Wrist Rest
- Not everyone will agree, but I really like the media controls (particularly the volume roller).
Cons: - Even as a top shelf keyboard worth paying a premium for, the price is REALLY high.
- The lack of a USB passthrough can be a painful transition if you're coming from a keyboard that had it.
Other Thoughts: Corsair's LED software allows for an impressive amount of customization with the keys. You can change them individually, have them work together in a gradient or ripple effect, or do some amalgamation of both. The LEDs themselves are very bright, but not so much that it's painful. The lighting itself is very even across the keys and lettering, which gives it a very pleasant look.
Having upgraded to this from a 3-4 year old K90 keyboard, I can say a few things:
1. Going from a keyboard that has a USB passthrough to one that doesn't was surprisingly painful
2. The LEDs (which are known for going out quickly) are not as bad in my experience as people believe. The old K90 still has almost all of it's keys lit, with the exception of the F-key bar at the top.
3. I don't know if it's the quality of the keys or if it's better lighting, but the letters on the old k90 have softer edges, and don't look quite as good as the new ones do.
For comparison, the K95 RGB does have the USB passthrough, but also has the extra set of macros on the left side (which I personally don't like). The new STRAFE model (which is a bit lower in price) also has the USB passthrough (and no macro bar), but is made out of plastic and doesn't have the media buttons in the upper right corner.