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This review is from: Timbuk2 Plush Layer 15in. Laptop Sleeve
Pros: Great look, plush inner liner, non-scratch zipper (plastic).
Other Thoughts: I got this for cheap and was super impressed by the quality of the case. It fits my 15" MacBook Pro without any issues. This is as good as any other sleeve I've seen in stores. The kicker was how good it looks and feels. The inner liner has a plush feel to it, with a little bit of cushion that doesn't add bulk. I got this to protect my work laptop, and I feel very secure with this sleeve!READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Connectivity: 5/5
This is where the Voyager Air really shines. USB 3.0 is standard for portable hard drives. With the addition of not only a LAN interface, but also WIFI (b/g/n), this drive is extremely flexible and easy to connect with. More on the WIFI connectivity later. One of the main selling points of this drive is the portability, including the option to connect mobile devices. You can download either the Android or the iOS app called Voyager Air in their respective marketplaces. Connect your mobile device to the VoyagerAir’s WIFI network, and the app will immediately show the drive’s folders. You can stream video or music to the in app player, or download the files to the device. Music streaming works well enough, but video playback will have mixed results based on various formats and codecs. You may need to download to the device and using a dedicated video app to play them back. Overall, the fact that this drive offers these features at all is pretty cool.
You can run on WIFI and battery power, with no wires. Spectacular. Not only that, but the battery life is quite high, I've seen 6-7 hours with light use and 4-5 with heavy use.
Much of the drive is wrapped in a thin, rubbery coat. The base has four rubbery pads. The switches on the front for the power and WIFI are symmetrical and have a nice click to them when switched to off/on positions. The LED indicators for power, battery life, charging, and WIFI are all highly visible and look great. This is drive looks slick. The drive also comes with a USB 3.0 cable, a power cable that connects to USB or a wall outlet, and a nice drive sleeve to keep the drive scuff-free in transit.
Cons: Performance: 2/5
This drive is slow, even as far as 2.5” HDDs go. Read speeds were around 45MB/s over Gigabit LAN and write speeds topped out at 18MB/s. In comparison, I’ll get 100MB/s read & write on my Synology NAS. This works well enough for streaming videos or music, but moving large files will be a bear. Given the price, I’d hope for this drive to not be so slow. My guess is that speed and performance were sacrificed for rather exceptional battery life. These speeds don’t change whether the drive is plugged in or running off the battery though.
This set of features is still really new on a portable drive, but the price is still too high especially given the slow performance. I could see paying double the price for a 1TB portable, but the premium is more like triple. The price seems to keep dropping, at least.
Other Thoughts: How the WIFI works
The drive has a dedicated switch on the front to toggle the WIFI. Connecting to VoyagerAir will leave you without an Internet connection, initially. Connecting to the LAN port does not remedy this, the drive will not act as an access point. It does, however, work as a passthrough. Visiting any web address will bring you to an admin interface (default address is 192.168.77.1). There you can configure “Passthru,” where you can join the drive to another WIFI network. This will restore Internet access to any connected devices. You can also set a password which will enable WPA2 encryption, or change the drive name, which corresponds to the WIFI network name.
Using Passthru will not be as fast as connecting directly to your normal WIFI network. Some basic testing yielded a drop from 25 Mb/s download to 14 Mb/s. Upload speeds dipped only slightly, from 4.5 to 4.4 Mb/s. This is by no means unusable, and a reasonable sacrifice for the WIFI connectivity.
I’m really pleased to see the portable hard drive learn some new tricks. I can live w/ the subpar performance, given the highly flexible connectivity options and a very good battery life of several hours. The price needs to come down some more. Ultimately, it boils down to whether you’d take advantage of the portability.
Pros: Totally stable, handles multiple monitors smoothly
Cons: Not as quiet as I hoped
Other Thoughts: My previous card was an AMD 5770, also an MSI Twin Frozr model. Given my experience with that card, I was hoping this would be a repeat of a relatively quiet experience. While this card is by no means loud, I would say it's a step louder than the AMD card. It's idle noise is more noticable. At load, they are more similar.
Most importantly, this card is absolutely stable. I don't have any problems playing the latest games (Warframe, BF3, Borderlands 2), even at very high settings at fully native 1920x1200 resolution. And that's with extremely playable framerates (~60fps or more). Sometimes I'll take expensive options like lighting down to medium quality, but I am still very satisfied with how this card is holding up.
I'm still very happy with the MSI Twin Frozr models. This card remains relatively quiet, especially at idle. There might be quieter options, if you care about that.
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