Some Of The Biggest Brands In The World Had Their Products (Part 11)

12/10/2012 3:46:10 PM

WD Red 3TB - Splattered with blood

Going all out with its new naming system, WD Red will be one of Western Digital's products to start using colour as its name. The rest of WD's series will also bears other colours like Green, Black and Blue. The Red series is targeted at small office and home office (SOHO) NAS users. Based on the specs alone, it is clear that WD wants the Red range to provide low cost drives for use in NAS environments. Let's put this to a spin.

New stuff

Featuring an all new technology called 3D Active Balancing, this helps eliminate vibration by tuning the drive to boost the performance. As for NAS support, WD has bundled NASware together with its WD Red, which features a slew of technologies that is aimed at keeping the drive from dropping off a RAID array. This is achieved through extended error recovery. These features also work to offer improved power performance.

Steady transfers

We used the QNAP TS-412 4-bay NAS box to test a pair of WD Red 3TB hard disks. The plan is to set up both 3TB Reds on a RAID 0 (striped) and RAID 1 (mirrored) configuration. We then decided to upload around 4GB of pictures, which is sitting in one of our servers, into the WD Red that had been designated RAID 0. In terms of performance, we clocked in a sequential read performance of 123.5MB per second and a sequential write performance of 113.7MB per second. The average transfer speed for this 4GB package over a wired connection is less than 10 minutes and it took even less time RAID 0. As for RAID 1, the read/write speeds had slightly lower read/write times but they are not too significant in differences.


·         Dimensions: 147 x 101.6 x 25.4mm

·         Type: Internal

·         Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s

·         Cache: 64MB

·         Features: NAS ready, WD NASWare, RAID array support


·         High speed storage at its finest

·         Value: 9/10

·         Features: 9/10

·         Performance: 9/10

·         Design: 9/10

·         Usability: 9/10

·         Score: 9.0/10

DOSS ASIMOM DS-1042 - Does not compute

DOSS ASIMOM DS-1042 - Does not compute

Traditionally, tiny speakers are a waste of time and money, especially when you can have a decent pair of earphones for about the same price. That's why the oddly named ASIMOM DS-1042 had given us such a pleasant surprise.

The barrel

It is not very impressive on the outside since the entire chassis is just a round cylinder. Honestly, it isn't the most striking shape to use as a speaker design. It does, however, have a very small footprint and can sit by itself on your desk. It can be a cute desk accessory if nothing else.

Making music

Even if the design of the ASIMOM is rather mundane, it makes up for it by having the best sound quality that we've heard in a long time for a tiny speaker unit. The sound performance is very solid and so unlike the usual hollow ringing that's endemic to these kinds of products. Even the bass provides a table rumbling thump when require. Admittedly, it's not the best of audio quality, but it does manage to pass at the top of its class.


·         Price: $36

·         Dimension: 57 x 60 mm

·         Power: 3W

·         Connectivity: Bluetooth, headphone jack


·         Not a bad choice for a Bluetooth speaker

·         Value: 8/10

·         Features: 6/10

·         Performance: 7/10

·         Design: 6/10

·         Usability: 8/10

·         Score: 7.0/10

iRig Mic Cast - Crystal Clear Recording

iRig Mic Cast - Crystal Clear Recording

The iPhone can be considered a very good voice recorder, thus the plethora of apps you can download from the Apple store. Even so, the built in microphone can only do so much and for other enhancements you will need a more professional microphone to capture interviews and such in better clarity. IK Multimedia is a name well known in the music industry with their innovative products for computers and mobile. Today we have their most compact product in their list, the iRig Mic Cast.

Big box

When you get the box, it is a bit deceiving as the box is bigger than the product itself. This is because the iRig comes with a stand for you to prop up your iPhone when you are using it. Operating it is very easy - download the accompanying app, plug the mic into your headphone jack, run the app and have fun!

Better app

The accompanying app, called the iRig Recorder, is a simple looking app but comes with a wealth of settings you can tinker around. You can even export whatever you recorded to emails, iTunes, WiFi, FTP or SoundCloud. Using the iRig, all of our interviews were truly free of background noise. Indeed, it is totally clear for us to use for transcribing. We like this product!


·         Price: $64

·         Microphones: Dual omnidirectional

·         Mode: low / high sensitivity

·         Plug: 3.5 mm


·         A great companion for interviews

·         Value: 8/10

·         Features: 8/10

·         Performance: 8/10

·         Design: 8/10

·         Usability: 8/10

·         Score: 8.0/10

TITAN - Rockin’ Shootin’ Robots

TITAN - Rockin’ Shootin’ Robots s

A decade ago, there had been a game called as Mechwarrior 3050, which had players driving a giant robot around to shoot at things. Today, we have Titan, a game that runs in a similar vein. Players take control of a remote drone on a damaged spaceship and must run around destroying other robots for some reason or another. Things are a little fuzzy and all you really need to know is who to point your guns at.

Somehow there is a feeling that this game would be better with some proper controls since you are expected to drive the killing machine around while aiming the torso guns at enemies. The one screen simulated joysticks just don't provide the same satisfaction or level of finesse that comes with a physical interface. That being said, it's still good enough that you won't be dodging into enemy fire too often.

Custom tiles maker - Custom things are good

Custom tiles maker - Custom things are good

This is one app that you assuredly will not find on any other platform, for obvious reasons. It also fixes one common gripe about Windows Phone: the lack of backgrounds (something I will never understand).

The app lets users turn pictures into tiles on the phone, and assign them to different functions. It's more like making shortcuts with snazzy icons. There is also the option to break up a picture into multiple tiles, to create a kind of mosaic picture of shortcuts. It's really quite a novel idea and anyone who has played around with Facebooks cover image will definitely find a way to be creative.

Sadly, the free version doesn't allow for this option and creativity will have to pay the price. Expect to shell out RM3 on the Marketplace for the advance options.

ZAGAT - Hunger Begone

ZAGAT - Hunger Begone

Frequent travellers or food enthusiast will have a reason to go out again because the Zagat app offers locations of local delicacies while not skimping on any of the restaurants out there. The app gives users a chance to explore as it offers a multitude of options with the long list of restaurants it has available.

The app will give users a year's worth of ratings and reviews for every Zagat-rated restaurant in 45 cities. This is way better than spending money to get a printed guide that covers just one city. Or risk spending more for a list of the top-rated restaurants.

The GPS-powered app will save travellers' time in filtering out all the good, bad and ugly in terms of restaurant picking. Furthermore, there is also the option to book a reservation at the selected restaurant if users need to eat there. Zagat is definitely the stomach's best friend.

My backup - Got your back

My backup - Got your back

There are times when users have no choice but to factory reset their phone. It causes great pain to say goodbye to all the wonderful apps and the information inside. Thankfully there is an app to backup all of these and there is no need to root the Android smartphone. Aside from all the apps, My Backup will also save photos, contacts, call log, texts messages, calendar, system Settings, home screens (including shortcut positions), alarms, music playlists, and more. It is a whole suite!

My Backup takes things a step further by allowing users to save the backups not only on the microSD card or internal storage, but also on an online server that is wholly dedicated for such purposes. This is one of the best offers available as using the online server will be the best option for protection. The reason is if one loses the device, there is still access to files for restoring to the new device.

RerWare gives users 100MB for free with the option of purchasing 250MB for US$10 per year or 1GB for US$20 per year. It is not a lot to pay for something that offers so much. Last but not least, users can always schedule automatic daily or weekly backups instead of doing it all the time. It is always great news to know that this app got the users' back.


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