PlexEasy PX-650US: Computer free back ups

Whilst all the talk is about cloud based storage and blue sky thinking, Plextor have their feet planted firmly on the ground. After all, there is still a market out there for those who prefer a more hands on way of storing data.

PlexEasy

Plextor have cut their teeth on producing low cost peripherals and the PlexEasy PX-650US is another affordable storage device that provides 8X DVD and CD backups without the need for a computer.

Using the built-in SD/MMC card reader the PlexEasy PX-650US allows users to transfer and create backups from data stored on a memory card or directly from devices with USB such as tablets, smartphones, hard disks, flash drives, camcorders, and even digital and SLR cameras using the PTP protocol.

The slim, light and portable device will be a handy tool if you’re travelling or out and about and in need of a quick data back up. It’s a simple process made easier through the integrated LCD screen so you can check the progress of your data back up. You can even copy discs on the go too.

The PlexEasy is not entirely PC independent though. It can also be connected to a PC or notebook and be used as a mains free back up device too with all the functionality of an external DVD rewriter burner drawing power from its USB Y connection.

At just £90 including VAT the PlexEasy PX-650US is an affordable and efficient way of backing up whilst travelling, and perfect for those of you who prefer clouds just for looking at.

www.plextor.com

Plextor PX256M2S SSD review

Harddrives ain’t the most glamorous of components; no matter how large or fast they get. SSD harddrives have injected a bit of glamour into the market by dramatically increasing performance, but they’re usually dismissed as toys of rich gamin’ playboys. Then one – the Plextor PX256M2S – landed on our desks and we changed our minds; it was wonderful.

Plextor PX256M2S

Using flash memory – i.e. the kind found in SD cards – Solid State Drives are much faster, smaller, lighter and less power-hungry than their old-school counterparts.

The Plextor is the same size as a standard 2.5″ drive, but weighs a meek 72g – nearly half the weight of a standard 2.5” HDD. It’s also pretty aesthetically pleasing, all smooth and silvery.

Aesthetics aside, the performance speaks for itself, with write speeds of 480MBps and read speeds of around 330MBps.

To achieve that intense throughput the drive uses the latest generation of SATA interface – the 6Gbps, SATA3 kind. That means your motherboard has to support SATA3 to get the full benefits – SATA2 may provide a bottleneck to the breakneck speed of the Plextor.

Of course, if you’re spending around £250 on a hard drive, shopping around for a slightly better motherboard is worth the effort.

Beneath the 256GB model, there are 64GB and 128B versions offering “up to 370MBps” for writing and up to 110MBps for reading.

Whatever the incarnation, however, the drives are fast. A straight-up clone of our 210GB Windows 7 installation onto the drive took 45 seconds to boot the first time – down from 77 on our old 5200RPM harddrive.

After a couple of boot-ups to perfect the file-cacheing, the Plextor fell down to just above 30 seconds – considering 7-10 seconds of that was BIOS time, that’s lightning.

The included software (Acronis TrueImage HD) allows you to easily transfer your existing Windows installation over to the Plextor, although some people have reported slight files errors. Of course, a clean install of Windows will always be the best option, and any problems will be the software – not the outstanding SDD.

While we love the fast boot times, it’ll also work well if you’re looking for a second drive for scratch disks (video or photo editing) or want to use Windows 7’s ReadyBoost feature. Ideally, get two.

Tune in, log on and watch movies while you’re on the move

If you’ve been inspired by the London Marathon or are one of the thousands who took part in the Race for Life, and are keen to continue your running training, a few tunes should help you along the way.

On-The-Move

Radiopaq has just launched a designer sports headset that has been fashioned to offer a secure, lightweight and tailored fit for anyone who likes to listen to music on the go – whether they’re running round the park or doing something rather more rigorous – think snowboard tricks on the halfpipe on the slopes, for instance.

The Radiopaq Flex headset has automatic call cut-in, so that you can answer any calls that come in while you’re listening to your favourite artists, plus a flow-away cable that makes sure you don’t get caught up in wires while you’re concentrating on your latest moves. Plus there is a selection of ear pieces to choose from, so that you should get a comfortable fit whatever the size and shape of your lugholes!

The headset comes in a choice of colours- including this season’s hottest shade – copper. The Flex headset costs £24.99 – for more head to www.radiopaqproducts.com.

If you tend to be on the move in the car or train, rather than on two feet, an ultra portable notebook could be what you need.

Asus has turned to the designers at Lamborghini for inspiration with its latest 12.1in VX6 notebook – the ASUS-Lamborghini Eee PC VX6. With the sleek looks of the Murcielago LP640 Roadster as its inspiration, the notebook comes in glossy white or black with the iconic Lamborghini badge on its lid.

Under the bonnet sit a Dual Core Intel Atom D525 processor, audio designed by Bang & Olufsen IcePower, and NVIDIA Ion 2 graphics, as well as USB and Bluetooth for connection.

The ASUS-Lamborghini Eee PC VX6 costs £499 from the likes of www.pcworld.co.uk and www.ebuyer.com.

Finally, if you want to enjoy movies while you’re on the move, Plextor has released the portable Blu-ray drive – the Plextor PX-B120U – which can be connected to a PC or laptop and offer high-quality fast playback of both 3D and 2D high-def content.

The Plextor PX-B120U costs £79.99 from www.Ebuyer.co.uk.

Plextor PX-B12OU: 3D movies when you’re on the move

3D films are definitely the next big thing and if you have a 3D-compatible display, but nothing to play them on this could be the solution.

The plug-and-play Plextor PX-B120OU is a portable Blu-ray player that comes in at around £92. It looks pretty good, with its ripple design on the top, and can be used to playback in two different ways.

Plextor-PX-B31OU

First, the Blu-ray player can connect via USB to a media centre, laptop or PC. All you need is a system running Windows XP/Vista/7 or above, and 128MB RAM. You will be able to connect direct to a TV when you use the PlexMedia box, which is due to launch next year

So it means you can enjoy 3D playback both at home and when you’re out – a good way to liven up dull car journeys (if you’re not the one driving, obviously).

Discs are top-loaded, which is handy if you’re on the move, as you don’t need to allow space for the loading tray to pop out.

However, the Plextor only offers playback – there is no write function – and it is possible to pick up Desktop Blu-ray drives that play and write for probably around 20 pounds less.

The only reason that we can see for actually buying this is if you have a laptop that does not offer Blu-ray playback, and you want to enjoy movies in the car or on the train, where the USB powered drive would be a bonus.