Category >> Miscellaneous
Cooler Master ARC Stand for Macbook and iPad 07-05-2012

Cooler Master recently sent out a press release announcing the availability of the ARC Macbook and iPad Stand. We saw this device briefly during our meeting with Cooler Master at CES earlier this year although it didn't make our final coverage article. Today we will be taking a closer look at the dual-purpose device aimed squarely at Apple product owners.

ASUS Wireless Adapters 02-01-2012

Wireless is fast becoming the standard way to connect to networks. True there are still applications where traditional wired Ethernet is not only preferred, but recommended, but in typical day-to-day use wireless, is not only sufficient but often preferred based on convenience alone. Today we are going to look at few different products from ASUS, a company that is largely known for motherboards, video cards and notebooks.

Asus Black Diamond RT-N56U Router and USB-N13 Adapter 08-21-2011

It feels like just yesterday that the name Asus was associated with motherboards and graphics cards; a big name to enthusiasts, but not to the consumer electronics market. Now, Asus has snuck into all kinds of mainstream markets, including laptops, Android tablets, and even wireless hardware. Today, we’ll be taking a look at their “Black Diamond” RT-N56U Wireless-N Router in combination with the USB-N13 Wireless-N Adapter.

Zotac Zbox HD Blu-Ray All-in-One Mini-PC 04-15-2011

Not everyone wants to build their own HTPC, and despite the relative small size of most HTPC cases compared to a full tower for example, they're still fairly large next to most other electronic devices in a home theater environment. The Zotac Zbox on the other hand, is a fully functional HTPC in a very slim size; about the same as the average netbook. Offering a choice of barebone or pre-configured hardware, the model we have for review today includes the Intel Atom D525 dual-core CPU, nVidia ION2 graphics, 250Gb hard drive, 2Gb of memory and a slot-loading Blu-Ray drive. Add to that Gigabit wired and 802.11n wireless networking, 6-in-1 card reader, HDMI, USB3 and eSATA, and you've got a huge amount of functionality packed into one tiny device.

NZXT Bunker USB Locking Device 01-17-2011

If you frequently attend LAN gaming events, share common living space or otherwise have reason to leave your computer in a public area, one thing you're likely concerned with is theft. The likelihood that someone could walk off unnoticed with your case under their arm may be slim, however peripherals such as keyboards and mice are much more susceptible. NZXT has come up with a solution to this problem with their Bunker USB Locking Device. Compatible with any case that has a free 5¼" external drive bay, the Bunker offers four USB 2.0 ports that can be locked down to prevent the devices from being unplugged.

Patriot PBO Core Box Office Media Player 01-05-2011

For many computer enthusiasts, dedicating a machine just for HTPC isn't a big deal but not everyone wants to spend extra money or hassle setting up a purpose-built computer. This is where media players come in. The Patriot PBO Box Office is a multimedia playback device that interfaces between your television and any digital media you may have stored, such as on an external USB drive or networked computer. It supports full HD video up to 1080p, Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, UPnP streaming, IMS and custom RMS feeds and a whole slew of popular video, picture and music file types. In other words, there's not much that the PBO can't play.

LG Hitachi 8x Blu-Ray Burner WH08LS20 12-30-2010

Blu-ray Disk or BD has been around for nearly a decade, but it has really taken off in popularity the last few years. With the explosion in sales of progressively lower-priced LCD and Plasma HDTVs, and the end of the format war with HD DVD, Blu-ray has firmly established itself as the new standard for high definition video. While initially very expensive, just as DVD-R and CD-R were in their infancy, BD-R drives have recently hit the sub-$100 level, and blanks can be had for about a buck a piece when purchased in bulk. The LG WH08LS20 combo drive from Geeks.com fits this category, and is the subject of our review today.

OtterBox Commuter Case for HTC EVO 4g 11-01-2010

OtterBox is one of the handful of case providers that isn't just in it for your money and the average consumer seems to be catching on to this fact. They have been making phone and other protective cases since before it was cool. Each time a highly anticipated phone is released, the OtterBox FaceBook page gets hammered with posts asking when a case will be available. Unfortunately, OtterBox is not always able to have cases available on the release date for every new mobile phone that comes out. Such was the case with Sprint's flagship HTC Evo 4G.

NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller 10-03-2010

The introduction from NZXT is what first caught my eye on this. The Sentry LXE is different from the prior models that we have reviewed due to it being a stand-alone controller. The LXE features a controller card that takes up a rear expansion slot, a cable that is run to the controller, and the controller itself. The previous models had it taking up a 5.25” expansion bay.

Gateway FX 6840-01e Desktop Gaming System 09-27-2010

Gateway released a few updates to their FX desktop line earlier this year. The FX represents Gateway's high end gaming division and comes in a variety of configurations with base prices ranging from the sub-$1,000 mark all the way up to $3,000 (although the high end system is last year's model and should be discontinued at this point based on its aging hardware). Manufactured PCs aren't for everyone, but the truth of the matter is that not everyone has the time, patience or know-how to build their own computer. Today we will be taking a look at the entry model FX from Gateway, the 6840-01e. With an MSRP of $999.99, does the budget FX model have what it takes to earn our respect as a gaming machine?

Asus SBC-06D1S-U Slim External Blu-Ray Combo Drive 09-07-2010

Today's review item is the Asus SBC-06D1S-U. The SBC-06D1S-U is a slim external USB 2.0 Blu-Ray combo drive; quite a mouthful for what we used to call a simple optical drive. Onboard the SBC-06D1S-U is all the functionality you would expect: DVD read and write, CD read and write, and Blu-Ray read. It's even plug and play and has some shiny blue lights.

Choiix Power Fort Portable Charger 08-04-2010

The Choiix Power Fort hopes to provide a solution to the chronic dead battery issue. The Power Fort is a pocket sized rechargeable battery that outputs power through a USB port. Because the majority of mobile electronics either arrive with a compatible USB cable or charge off of a USB variant (micro and mini cables are included in the package), the Power Fort should be compatible with a huge range of portable electronics.

SilverStone SST-AP121 120mm Fan 07-19-2010

SilverStone has created what they call the "Air Penetrator Fan." It is specifically designed for intake fan applications. The design goal for Air Penetrator is to focus airflow into a column that can be channeled through various obstacles inside the modern computer case for more efficient cooling performance. This is different than a traditional fan that makes a cone of air and deals with the obstacles by increasing the RPMs and subsequently, the noise.

Choiix Comforter Lapdesk 07-14-2010

Here at OCIA.net, our fans are used to reading content on enthusiast computer hardware and accessories. Once in a blue moon, however, we receive a product whose primary focus is usability, rather than performance. Today's review item, the Choiix Comforter Lapdesk, fits neatly into that category. Choiix is a new division of Cooler Master whose accessories and peripherals are geared towards the computer user rather than enthusiast.

Icy Dock 2.5 to 3.5 SATA SSD HDD Converters 03-24-2010

With the ever increasing speeds obtainable from modern solid state drives, more and more enthusiasts are switching to using them as their primary system drive in desktop machines. Since most SSDs are designed in the 2½" notebook format however, which many desktop computer cases are not equipped to handle, this leaves users with a quandary over how to mount their new drive. Use only one or two screws to hold it? Double-sided tape? Or maybe just leave it dangling at the end of the SATA cable? For those who want something a little more secure and a cleaner looking installation, Icy Dock has the perfect solution.

NZXT Premium Cables 03-16-2010

Today we will be taking a look at NZXT's new line of premium extension cables. I realize that a review of extension cables doesn't sound very interesting, but this could be a product that you didn't even realize you need / want. Aside from the obvious fact that these cables will extend the length of your current power supply cables, they are also individually sleeved in black mesh which can drastically improve the aesthetics of your system build while helping to improve airflow. Join along as I take a closer look at the NZXT Premium Cables.

Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700 03-12-2010

When I think of a notebook computer, I typically envision it out and about with its owner, whether it be in a coffee shop, on an airplane, in a hotel room or at the office. Perhaps this is because I own a desktop and spend the majority of my computing time on it. But the fact of the matter is that there are many people that use their notebooks around the house to listen to music, surf the web, chat, check email and watch movies. I even know a few people who rely on a notebook as their only computer. Logitech is targeting users just like this with their newly released Speaker Lapdesk N700.

NZXT IU01 USB Expansion 01-22-2010

In addition to their current case lineup, NZXT produces several different types of accessories, from cables to power supplies, cooling fans to fan controllers, and other case accessories as well. The item we have for review today falls into that last category, the IU01 USB Expansion module. As NZXT points out, the IU01 addresses an issue common to most gaming PCs, a lack of substantial power and expandability from front panel USB. While it is not uncommon for motherboards to have several USB headers, cases often only have one or two sets of front panel USB ports to connect to them. Some USB devices may also have higher voltage requirements than can be provided from the motherboard through a traditional USB port. This is where the NZXT IU01 can really help.

Airlink101 SkyIPCam777W Surveillance Camera 11-07-2009

Securing your home and business can be a costly venture. Some spend thousands of dollars on closed-circuit cameras and expensive installation. Today we will be taking a look at a wireless night-vision camera that can be monitored from your PC or 3G phone at a cost of under two hundred dollars. Say hello to the Airlink101 SkyIPCam777W.

Sumo Lounge Omni Bean bag Chair 09-01-2009

OCIA.net traditionally reviews computer hardware. We normally review things that every computer user wants or needs. So, it may come as a surprise to you to find out that today's review item is a beanbag chair. But, if you think about it, it's not so out-of-the-blue. I don't know about you, but all I do all day is sit: I sit in my car and go to work, I sit all day at work, I sit in the car on the way back from work, and then I sit at my desk reviewing at night. Okay, my life is a little more interesting than that, but you get the point; even computer enthusiasts need a place to plop their keister.

TrickleStar PC TrickleSaver 08-31-2009

Last year in the hot summer heat, during the peak of power usage for most of the US, OCIA.net reviewed the P3 Kill-A-Watt electricity meter. This nifty little device earned our Seal of Approval for its usefulness in monitoring exactly how much power our electronic devices consume. However, manually plugging and unplugging devices or having to crawl under your desk to flip the switch on a power strip can become tedious or at the very least, inconvenient for most people, just to save a few bucks on our electric bill. Today I have two new products for review from a company named TrickleStar that address these issues. It's the PC TrickleSaver and accompanying accessory, the TrickleSwitch.

OCZ Neutrino 10in DIY Netbook 08-07-2009

Today’s review sample, the OCZ Neutrino, gives the consumer a little bit of wiggle room outside of the norm of entirely preconfigured netbook systems. The Neutrino arrives without hard-drive, RAM, or operating system, leaving the purchase and installation of these components entirely up to the user. Because those are the only components that really vary between netbooks, all of the choice you might want in specifying a netbook is yours.

Cooler Master SNA (Slim Notebook Adapter) 95 07-31-2009

Cooler Master recently introduced the SNA (Slim Notebook Adapter) 95 to cover these and any other circumstance you can think of where having a spare adapter might be handy. The SNA 95 is unique in that it comes with nine different adapter tips to fit most any make / model of notebook. Furthermore, Cooler Master included a built-in USB port that can be used to charge USB devices. Oh, and did we mention this is the smallest 95W notebook adapter on the market?

OtterBox for BlackBerry Bold Defender Series 01-26-2009

As you reach for the unfamiliar device it seems to jump out of your hand in a glorious leap of faith. Although you attempt to use cat-like reflexes to regain control of your prized possession, the phone smashes into the pavement below. Horrified at what you have just witnessed, you slowly approach the now inanimate mobile phone and find its once glorious LCD screen cracked. Gravity wins again.

Spectroniq Portable DVD Player 01-24-2009

The portable DVD player we have for review from Geeks.com is the PDV-70X from Spectroniq which offers a 7" widescreen LCD display housed in an attractive silver body. It supports 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, has a standard 480 x 234 resolution, supports DVD, VCD, CD and JPEG playback and advertises up to 2½ hours of power with the included rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack.

CradlePoint Technology PHS300 WWAN Router 06-26-2008

WWAN is becoming more and more popular for business travelers and remote locations for internet connectivity. With a simple USB or PCMCIA card stuck in your laptop, you can pretty much connect from anywhere you can get cell service, and the bandwidth available on these wireless plans is about what you'd expect from an entry level DSL connection. Which means sooner or later you might think to yourself, "boy it sure would be nice to be able to share this big pipe with more users than just my laptop".

USB 2.0 Computer Copy Cable 05-07-2008

For most computer savvy users, transferring data between two computers is relatively easy. If you have a network set up, you can share data between two computers. Alternatively, you can simply use a flash drive... but that might not be very efficient if you are transferring a large amount of data. But, for those users who aren't as "skilled" with computers, this can present quite a problem. I have seen countless people burn CD after CD of data to transfer to their laptop, which of course is time-consuming and wasteful.

Zibra Open It! Package Opener 04-25-2008

The design of the Open It! is based on diagonal cutters, better known to people not into electronics as wire cutters, wire snippers, or wire clippers. They are 8.5” from the tips of the blades to the end of the longest handle. The handles are made of high impact plastic, the darker edges are a rubberized non-slip material.

Sanyo Xacti CG6 Digital Camcorder 04-15-2008

The size of the CG6 is perfect. It is small enough to fit into a purse or pocket, yet large enough that you don't feel like you are going to break or drop it during use. The camera uses a pistol-grip style which works perfectly for both left and right-handed users. The fact that the camera is so small also means it is extremely lightweight.

LapWorks Attache Laptop Desk 04-10-2008

Today we will be taking a look at a "dedicated" desktop stand from LapWorks, the Attache Desktop Stand. The Attache picks up where the Futura left off in terms of desktop stands, adding several features that should greatly improve usage in this configuration.

Solio H1000 Universal Hybrid Charger 03-26-2008

When it comes to saving money, I am all ears. Throw in some environmental benefits and you are well on your way to a great product. Today I will be taking a look at a product that incorporates both of these features into a single device, the Solio H1000 Universal Hybrid Charger. This portable battery charger draws it energy directly from the sun, thanks to an integrated solar panel and stores this power for up to a full year using an internal 1000mAh lithium ion battery.

Yoggie Security Systems Gatekeeper Pico 03-02-2008

You may remember during our CES 2008 coverage we highlighted a product from Yoggie Security Systems called the Gatekeeper Pico. The product was named "Best of Innovations 2008 - Computer Accessories" at the Consumer Electronics Show and Yoggie Security Systems has sent over a demo of the Gatekeeper Pico for our review.

LapWorks Futura Laptop Desk 02-03-2008

The Futura provides a simple solution to the problems of using a notebook in your lap. No power necessary, no moving parts and it fits in your notebook carrying case or backpack. It weighs just a hair over one pound.

Lite-On LH-20A1S 20x DVD+/-RW Drive 01-14-2008

With all of this ballyhoo about HD-DVD-this and Blu-Ray-that, it’s easy to forget that regular old DVDs and even our old faithful CDs are still quite posh. Not only is your box nearly unusable without some sort of compact disc reader for software, but most forms of entertainment such as movies and music still sells predominantly on these “old” formats of DVD and CD.

Ultra Products Stackables 11-10-2007

Ultra sent over four components from their Stackables line: Stackables 180-Watt Multi-Outlet Power Center, Stackables All-In-1 Card Reader & USB 2.0 Hub, Stackables 3.5" SATA Hard Drive Enclosure and the Stackables 3.5" IDE Hard Drive Enclosure. I will take a look at each product in detail throughout this review.

Non-Contact Handheld Infrared Thermometer 11-05-2007

Geeks has provided us with many random computer gadgets in the past, and this product is right up their alley. Most people may not consider a wireless thermometer as a computer tool, but if you think about it, this fits perfectly into your geek toolbox.

Cirago Micro Bluetooth USB Adapter 11-02-2007

Mobile phone and PDA manufacturers have integrated Bluetooth into many of their handsets, which allow us to use wireless headsets and connect our electronics to computers and other devices to share pictures, music, etc. Today we will be taking a look at a modern Bluetooth product in the Cirago Micro Bluetooth USB Adapter.

Ultra Products 7 Port USB Buddy Hub 10-24-2007

I had pretty much settled on this cluttered system... that is, until I came across the Ultra Products 7 Port USB Buddy Hub. This USB hub seemed to be the answer to all of my problems and would leave me with a much cleaner workstation. I contacted Ultra Products and a few weeks later, the Buddy Hub arrived for testing. Will this hub really solve all of my problems?

Soyo TechAID 06-05-2007

Well here's something that might just fit the bill. It's a little gadget made by Soyo Group (the same folks that made motherboards) and it's called the TechAID. It's a small diagnostics card that plugs into a PCI slot on any motherboard and reads and displays BIOS trouble codes during POST.

CoolMax PSU Tester 05-19-2007

Today I am reviewing a tester from CoolMax that offers exactly that... an LCD that displays exact voltage outputs for each of the different rails. CoolMax advertises this tester to be accurate to within +/- 0.1V and with all outputs displayed to the tenth of a volt we can infer the unit is simply rounding up or down.

Logitech G25 Racing Wheel 02-01-2007

As I approach his back bumper I hit redline and slam it in third. With the finish line fast approaching, I made my move, flying around him on the left and crossing the finish line with half a car length to spare. I had won the race! I step out of my car and throw my fists in the air. I look to the crowd for my much earned recognition only to find two cats and my girlfriend looking at me with expressions of bewilderment, bringing me full circle back to reality.

Titan TTC-G3T Aluminum Notebook Cooling Pad 12-19-2006

Laptop coolers of various forms have been around for years, from special insulating pads to stands to things with fins and fans, but for every different type you see there are a myriad of mixed reviews over whether they're actually very effective or not. As I mentioned, in my experience their performance has been less than stellar.

OtterBox 1920 Palm Treo Case 12-04-2006

The keypad lines up directly over the buttons on the phone, giving you full access to all of the buttons on the Treo. I did run into a slight issue here, however. With my Treo 700p, the green "call" button and the red "end call" buttons were not properly labeled. For the 700p and 700w, the correct placement for these icons would be on the horizontal buttons directly above their current placement.

Palm Treo 700p (Sprint) 10-23-2006

The 700p comes with plenty of memory to start you out. 128 MB of onboard memory (60 MB available to the end user) allowed me to install all of the applications that I wanted, including some games. I still had roughly 45 MB or so left over. This leaves enough room to store a fair amount of music or tons of pictures and videos without even touching the expansion card.

Cooler Master NotePal P1 Notebook Cooler 10-06-2006

Of course laptop coolers of various forms have been around for years, from special insulating pads to stands to things with fins and fans, but for every different type you see there are a myriad of mixed reviews over whether they're actually very effective or not. I must admit I'm a bit of a skeptic and never bought into these kinds of products, but when Cooler Master, who's been in the PC cooling business for 10 years, said they were sending over one of their new Notepal P1's, I couldn't wait to try it out.


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