REVIEW – AMAZON KINDLE 2019 MODEL (10TH GENERATION)

The main improvement offered by the 10th generation base model Kindle over its predecessors, is the inclusion of an integrated light, which was previously only a feature of the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis, and this is a game-changer. The inclusion of the light vastly increases the ease by which you can read the Kindle in various conditions and dramatically improves screen visibility.  

While on the topic of the screen, it is Amazon’s 6″ e-Ink glare-free display, with a PPI of 167 pixels per inch and offers a 16-level grayscale color palette, meaning even comic books and graphic novels are easily readable and details do not get lost.

The Kindle 2019 model offers a comfortable read, with text size easily resizable to user taste and allows for much quicker reading.

The Kindle supports books, comics books\graphic novels, magazines, and audiobooks across the following file formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion; Audible audio format (AAX). Amazon has also vastly improved PDF support, and reading PDFs is now far less painful than in the past.

The Kindle model reviewed here comes with 8GB of non-expandable storage, enough to hold ample books and comics. However, heavy audiobook listeners might want to look at the 32GB version of the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis instead.

A Bluetooth audio device is required (Headphone, Speaker, etc.) to listen to audiobooks, and the Kindle does allow the user to switch between reading and listening rather seamlessly.

The Kindle is entirely Wi-Fi enabled, and once online, it seamlessly integrates into the Amazon ecosystem.

Amazon claims a battery life of up to 4-weeks, obviously depending on usage and light brightness selected. I found the Kindle needed to be charged once every ten days or so with moderate usage (1-2 hours a day), and the light turned up to roughly 80% brightness.

The Kindle weighs in at 174g without a cover, making it shockingly light for its size, definitely contributing to its reading comfort.

The Kindle 2019 model retails on Amazon for $89.99 with the special offer enabled (ads show on the device lock screen) and $109.99 without the special offer. I find the special offer unintrusive, especially if you use a cover that obstructs the screen when not in use.

Amazon’s Kindle e-book readers are pretty much the de facto standard for e-book readers, with Amazon controlling over 80% of the e-book reader market, and it is easy to see why. From the ease of use to simple convenience, Amazons Kindle Devices and Ecosystems are hard to beat.    

REVIEW – AMAZON KINDLE 2019 MODEL (10TH GENERATION)

SURVIVING LOCKDOWN

I had to travel for work to New York City for a week at the end of February (returning early March), and upon returning, I became ill with the flu (I was tested for CODID-19, and luckily tests came back negative). Nevertheless, I was placed on doctor mandated self-isolation. On the 26th March at 23:59, the government of South Africa put the country on lockdown, meaning that you can only leave your house to buy food, get medication, or seek urgent medical assistance. The Army was deployed to assist the police in enforcing the lockdown, and leaving your home for any other reason than the ones mentioned above can result in you being arrested.

This does mean that I have been at home, except a handful of exceptions, for over a month now, and have kept myself busy with a variety of things, such as playing video games, watching some movies, doing a few Python courses and 3d printing a few things.
From a gaming perspective, I have been playing the following games:

Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening (on the Nintendo Switch)

71u6nI9eAcL._SL1500_

I thoroughly enjoyed Link’s Awakening, and it is an amazing remake of the Gameboy classic. The game has buckets of charm and is very enjoyable. It is not a challenging game, except for the last boss that can be a bit tricky. I highly recommend Link’s Awakening, and I enjoyed every second from beginning to end, and it took me about 15 hours to complete.

Animal Crossing New Horizons (on the Nintendo Switch)

81s8etnYPrL._SL1500_

I have been absolutely obsessed with Animal Crossing New Horizons, and I must have logged over 40 hours of gameplay to date, and I am still far from done with this game. It is the perfect game while stuck at home, and it is a fantastically fun and feel-good game.

Afterparty (on the Nintendo Switch)

afterparty-switch-hero

A delightful adventure by Night School Studio, the creators of Oxenfree. I enjoyed this game, and I love the art style. The game is about 6 hours long, and I am now busy with my second play through doing alternative paths from my first playthrough. Afterparty is a must for anyone who loves adventure games.

Doom 64 (on the Nintendo Switch)

doom-64-switch-hero

Doom64 is a tremendous classic fps, and it plays fantastically in Switch Handheld mode. Initially released in 1997 on the Nintendo 64, it has now been re-released on modern platforms. All the enemies and weapons received a redesign from the original Doom games, and I love how enemies look in Doom 64. Doom 64 is a must-play for any Doom fan.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (on the Nintendo Switch)

91KQmjDxj-L._SL1500_

I am busy playing through Mario Kart 8 again, I have finished the game on the WiiU previously, but I am casually playing through it again between Animal Crossing sessions. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch is the definitive version of Mario Kart 8, with all the DLC included and with enhanced graphics (and a fixed battle mode), it is the best Mario Kart game to date.

Doom Eternal (on PC)

81IiXIFw0lL._SL1500_

Doom Eternal is a beautiful game, and it definitely amps up the difficulty from Doom 2016. All the enemies received a redesign from Doom 2016, with the new designs being more closely inspired by the original Doom games (Doom and Doom II). I love the redesigns of the enemies, and thus far, I am enjoying the game. The game has more strategy compared to Doom 2016, with some enemies having specific weak points that can be exploited, and certain kills (glory kill, chainsaw and flamethrower) providing specific pickups (either health, ammo or armor). The game truly looks amazing and performs great, and I am having no issues running the game at 144fps on Ultra Nightmare settings at 1440p on my 9900k and RTX2080. A definite must-play for FPS fans.

I have also watched a fair number of movies, including:

Not for Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary

Untitled

I enjoyed this documentary about Video Game stores and physical media, and I will be posting a full review soon.

Indie Game the Movie

indie-game-the-movie

An entertaining and informative look at the indie game industry, a must-watch for anyone interested in the process of creating video games. I will also be posting a full review of Indie Game the Movie soon.

I have also kept myself busy 3D printing a few things, mostly using the CCTree PLA Wood filament. I have had a few requests from colleagues and friends for Baby Groot and Pikachu models, so I printed out a few of each to give away.

IMG_1132

SURVIVING LOCKDOWN

MY AUDIO SETUP

IMG_0085

This article will cover the different components of the hi-fi audio setup I use with my PC.  The setup described below offers excellent quality audio without breaking the bank.

When building a PC based hi-fi audio setup, the following main components will be required:

  • A DAC
  • An Audio Switch
  • A Headphone Amplifier
  • Audio Cables
  • Headphones
  • Studio Monitors (Speakers)

We will now cover each of the components mentioned above for my setup.

DAC

A DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) converts digital signals that computers use to audio we can hear. A DAC is one of the most significant determining factors with regard to audio quality. Although most motherboards and laptops have onboard audio solutions, they tend to be mediocre at best, and using a dedicated DAC is the quickest way of gaining a significant bump in audio quality.

For a DAC, I selected the SMSL M100 DAC. The M100 utilises the AK4452 DAC chip and implements the XMOX 2nd generation Audio USB interface. It supports PCM signals of up to 32bit 768kHz and DSD up to DSD512.

For inputs, the M100 offers optical, USB and coaxial inputs, and for output RCA. If the DAC is not connected to the PC via USB, power will have to be provided via a USB micro power port.

The M100 is a fantastic little DAC, offering sound quality that would have cost a fortune five years ago. The M100 currently sells for $80 (USD) on Amazon.

Audio Switch

An audio switch allows you to switch between different audio inputs and outputs, for example, selecting if you want audio to play through speakers or headphones with the flick of a switch.

For an audio switch, I use the NobSound Little Bear MC403, which is a 4 to 3 out audio switch. For input, it offers a 3.5mm jack, two sets of RCA jacks and Bluetooth, and for output, it has a 3.5mm jack and once again two sets of RCA jacks. The MC403 implements Bluetooth 4.0, and in order to use it as a Bluetooth receiver, it must be powered (5V DC). However, none of its other functionalities requires it to be powered.

IMG_0142

It is imperative to select an Audio Switch that has complete audio line isolation. I have previously used an inexpensive switch that did not properly isolate all its audio lines, and that resulted in a great deal of line noise.

The MC403 offers excellent audio line isolation, with no noise interference between different inputs. The NobSound Little Bear MC403 sells on Amazon for around $70(USD).

Headphone Amplifier

For a headphone amplifier, I selected the Sabaj PHA3 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier. The PHA3 utilises two 6J9 Vacuum tubes. A headphone amplifier obviously amplifies the sound delivered to the headphones (a must for high impedance headphones as the DAC will not be powerful enough to play sounds over these headphones at a reasonable level). However, an additional benefit of vacuum tube headphone amplifiers specifically is that they enrich the sound quality and widens the sound stage. The effect of Vacuum tubes on sound quality is very subjective, and it is not an effect everyone enjoys, however personally, I find it makes the audio playback sound more natural and makes the listening experience more enjoyable.

The Sabaj PHA3 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier can be purchased on Amazon for around $50(USD).

IMG_0142

Audio Cables

Not all audio cables are made equally. There is no point in spending a fair amount on money on an audio setup and then using inexpensive low-quality cables to connect everything together, as this will have a negative effect on the overall audio quality.

I use the Seismic Audio Premium Red RCA Audio Patch Cables to connect the different parts of my setup. They are amazing quality cables that offer spring strain relief, and 24K gold plated RCA connectors. It is very difficult to explain the quality these cables offer until you hold a set of these cables in your hands and then becomes apparent why they are different from your average RCA patch cables. They are available on Amazon for around $10(USD).

Headphones

I have four sets of headphones\earphones I frequently use for a variety of use cases. I have two primary headphones I use with my hi-fi setup, and they are the Samson Z55 and the Phillips SHP9500. Let us have a look at these two headphones first:

Samson Z55

My daily use headphones are the Samson Z55 Professional Reference Headphones. They are closed-back headphones that offer best in class sound quality and excellent sound isolation. The headphones use 45mm neodymium drivers and have an impedance of 32 ohms. The Z55 offers a frequency response of 10Hz-25kHz.

The Headphones have a detachable cable (as all good headphones do), and the cable has a locking mechanism to ensure a secure fit.

The Samson Z55 comes with lambskin ear pads and has a very tight clamp, which can cause a bit of discomfort after prolonged use, especially in a warmer climate.

I have made two customisations to my Z55 headphones. Firstly, replacing the earpads with the Brainwavz Hybrid Memory Foam Ear Pads, which are incredibly comfortable and a massive upgrade over the standard earpads from a comfort and sound isolation perspective.

Secondly, I use a headband cover, the LTYIVABHTTW headband cover, as my headband started showing signs of wear and tear after more than a year of daily use. The LTYIVABHTTW headband cover is made from durable stretchy material and uses a zipper to attach over the headphone headband. It is incredibly comfortable, and you do not even notice it is there.

The Samson Z55 Headphones can be picked up from Amazon for around $100(USD).

The Brainwavz Hybrid Memory Foam Ear Pads cost around $25(USD)  on Amazon.

Lastly, the LTYIVABHTTW headband cover sells for under $15 (USD) on Amazon.

Phillips SHP9500

The Phillips SHP9500 are open-back headphones that are unbelievable value for money, costing only $70(USD) on Amazon, the sound quality they offer rival headphones that cost four times more. As they are open-back headphones, the SHP9500 offers little to no sound isolation, but they do offer a large sound stage.

The Phillips SHP9500 uses 50mm neodymium drivers, with a 32 ohms impedance and a frequency response of 12Hz-35kHz. Additionally, the Phillips SHP9500 has a detachable cord.

These headphones are hands down the most comfortable headphones I have ever tried and can easily be worn all day without causing any discomfort. This is the main reason why I alternate between them and the Samson Z55, as especially in a warmer climate, the Z55 can become uncomfortable after long listening sessions. In contrast, the SHP9500, with its light clamping pressure, can be comfortable used even on the warmest summer day without any problems.

Additionally, to the two headphones mentioned above, I also use the JBL Under Armour Sport Train Headphones while at the gym (the only time I would typically use wireless headphones) and then I also use the Sony MDRXB50 Wired Earbuds when out and about on my Amazon Fire 10 tablet and Nintendo Switch. Let us have a look at these now:

JBL Under Armour Sport Headphones

The Headphones I use in the gym is the JBL Under Armour Sport Headphones. They are Bluetooth headphones specially designed to be worn while physically active. They have a tight clamp on-ear design to stay on while moving around. They are sweatproof, and the earpads and headband are made of Under Armour’s breathe material. The headphones have a folding design and come with a sturdy carry case, which is ideal for protecting the headphones while they are in your gym bag.

From a technical specification perspective, the JBL Under Armour Sport Headphones implements a Bluetooth 4.1 interface, has 40mm Drivers with an impedance of 32 ohms, and an estimated battery life of 16 hours.

The headphones offer good sound quality for Bluetooth headphones, and they are very comfortable while working out.

The JBL Under Armour Sport Headphones is available from Amazon for $160(USD). 

Sony MDRXB50 Wired Earbuds

I use the Sony MDRXB50 Wired Earbuds when I’m am out and about with my Amazon Fire 10 tablet and Nintendo Switch. They are high quality, relatively inexpensive earbuds available for around $30 on Amazon.

The MDRXB50 uses 12mm dome-type drivers along with high-energy neodymium magnets, which deliver excellent sound quality for their small size. The earbuds have a frequency response of 4Hz – 24kHz and a 16ohms impedance.

These earbuds offer great value for money and come with a carry pouch and flat tangle-free cable, making them an excellent compact option for when traveling or just out of the house.

Studio Monitors (Speakers)                    

Samson Media One BT3

For speakers, I use the Samson Media One BT3 powered studio monitors. They are good quality speakers offering Bluetooth as well as 3.5mm and RCA inputs. They are sturdily constructed stereo speakers, and each of the two speakers contains a 3-inch copolymer woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. They offer excellent sound quality and 15 watts per channel RMS (30 watts peak)  that can easily fill a large room.

They are available from Amazon for around $100(USD).

IMG_0143

MY AUDIO SETUP

DESK TOUR

After a few posts with photos of my desk, I have received a few questions and requests to do a post regarding my desk setup, so here is a quick desk tour.

IMG_7895

As can be seen in the photos above I run two 27-inch monitors, for a secondary monitor I use the Dell SE2717H, a 75Hz 1080P FreeSync monitor, and for a primary display, I use the Dell S2716DG, a 144Hz 1440p G-Sync monitor.

The full specs of the PC can be found in a previous post here, with only a few minor changes since then that I will cover now.

The first change made was replacing the standard plastic backplate of the Corsair H150i Pro with an all metal one, as can be seen in the image below:

metal backplate

The plastic backplate that came with the H150i never felt completely stable, and with the new metal backplate, the whole mounting feels much more robust. This backplate is available from Amazon. While replacing the backplate, I also replaced the thermal paste that came pre-applied with the AIO cooler with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. This process resulted in the CPU temperatures dropping by approximately 2-3°C.

The next thing that changed was the addition of a Corsair Lighting Node Pro and RGB Strips, as well as a storage upgrade with an additional 4TB Western Digital Blue drive, total storage is now 17.5 TB consisting of 500GB NVMe storage, 1TB SSD storage and 16 TB spinning disk storage of which 4 TB is accelerated with 32GB Intel Optane Memory.

IMG_7477

As the case front panel, Corsair AIO and the Corsair Lighting Node Pro requires USB 2 headers and my motherboard only has two, this resulted in a problem which was solved by installing an NXZT Internal USB Hub.

IMG_7606

I also added Phanteks Halos to my AIO fans, that was covered in a previous post here.

The final change was the switching out of the MSI Gaming X GTX 1080 with the Zotac RTX 2080 Amp Extreme.

The only additional change that might happen in the short term is the addition of a PSU shroud.

Now that we have covered the PC let us get back to the rest of the desk.

IMG_7556

The photo above shows that on each side of the primary monitor there is a speaker, they are Samson studio monitors, the MediaOne BT3. The microphone I use can be seen on top of one of the speakers, the Samson Meteor USB Studio Microphone. And the webcam used is the Razer Kiyo, which is set up on top of the primary monitor.

IMG_7702

On the back of both the monitors and desk, RGB strips have been mounted and the remote to control them is stored in a custom 3D printed housing under the desk.

IMG_7880

Various figures decorate my desk, most of them made by Funko, but some were 3D printed.

From a peripheral perspective, I use the Corsair K70 MK2 mechanical keyboard and Razer Mamba Tournament Edition mouse (although I am considering replacing the Razer Mamba TE with the new Corsair IronClaw Wireless RGB mouse). Both the keyboard and mouse are on top of the Razer Goliathus Extended Speed Edition Mouse Pad. For a controller, I use an Xbox One controller, the Volcano Shadow Special Edition, which is kept out of the way when not in use by Vault Boy.

I use two headphones, one Wireless Gaming Headset, the Corsair HS70, and one wired professional studio headphones, the Samson Z55. I have a Silicon Headphone Anker under the desk to store these headphones when they are not in use.

IMG_7621

I store a precision screwdriver set under the primary monitor for easy access, the Xiaomi Wiha Precision Aluminum Screwdriver set.

My VR Headset and controller are stored on top of the pc case, it is the Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality Headset. This was covered in a post here.

IMG_7535

I have 3D printed a cable box, for easier access when plugging in the VR Headset.

IMG_7878

Lastly, behind the second monitor is where my 3D Printer is located, the Wanhao i3 Mini.

IMG_7740

DESK TOUR

REVIEW – CORSAIR K70 MK2 MECHANICAL GAMING KEYBOARD

IMG_7518

The K70 MK2 is a mechanical gaming keyboard available with Cherry MX speed, brown, red, blue and silent switches. The one reviewed here is the blue switch configuration as I prefer a clicky tactile keyboard.

The keyboard comes with a detachable wrist rest which is very comfortable.

Some additional features of the K70 MK2 is an aluminium frame, fully configurable RGB, dedicated media and volume controls, additional key caps for FPS and MOBA games (which are colored and textured differently from the normal key caps), USB pass-through and 100% anti-ghosting full key roll-over.

Due to the aluminium frame the keyboard is very rigid and volume roller is one of the most useful features I have ever used on a keyboard.

The Corsair K70 has a reputation as one of the best keyboards available and it is well deserved, it is the best keyboard I have ever used.

REVIEW – CORSAIR K70 MK2 MECHANICAL GAMING KEYBOARD

REVIEW – RAZER KIYO WEBCAM

IMG_6301

The Razer Kiyo is a USB webcam that retails for around $100. It is capable of 720p video at 60fps and 1080p at 30fps.

The main differentiating feature of the Razer Kiyo compared to other webcams is that the Kiyo has an integrated LED light ring (with adjustable brightness) and this makes a huge difference to the image quality captured by the webcam.

As with most Razer products it is configured and controlled with Razer Synapse, where things like brightness, contrast, saturation, white balance and auto\manual focus can be configured.

The Razer Kiyo has a strong streaming focus and is fully compatible with Open Broadcast Software (OBS) and Xsplit.

The Kiyo does however have two shortcomings, firstly the auto focus is not well implemented, and continuously refocuses for even the slightest movement, resulting in the auto focus being pretty much unusable. The second shortcoming is that the built-in microphone is not great, this is however a very common problem with webcams.

Even with these shortfalls the Razer Kiyo is a compact and convenient solution compared to alternative camera\lighting solutions. It is a good all in one solution as long as you use manual focus and an external microphone.

REVIEW – RAZER KIYO WEBCAM

REVIEW – CORSAIR HS70 WIRELESS GAMING HEADSET

The Corsair HS70 is a wireless headset which features virtual 7.1 surround sound using 50mm drivers in a closed back design. The headset connects to your PC using an included USB dongle and utilises a 2.4GHz low latency wireless connection.

Additional features of the headset include on ear controls, a detachable microphone and an advertised battery life of 16 hours (although my experience was closer to 12 hours), all of which makes the HS70 a very alluring offer at a retail, price of approximately $100.

The headset is extremely comfortable and the build quality is good. Sound quality is also exceptionally good for a wireless headset, and this is from someone who normally avoids wireless headsets and uses professional grade wired studio headphones that cost about 6 times more than the HS70. The microphone quality is also good and delivers crisp and clear quality sound.

In closing, the Corsair HS70 is a great wireless headset at a great price.

REVIEW – CORSAIR HS70 WIRELESS GAMING HEADSET

REVIEW – AMAZON FIRE 10 HD (7TH GENERATION)

The Fire 10 HD is a tablet computer developed by Amazon. The one we are looking at today is the most recent iteration of this tablet, the 7th generation which was released in 2017.

The Fire 10 HD is a 10.1-inch tablet with a screen to body ration of approximately 71%. The screen is a 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD panel with a 16:10 screen ration and a screen density of 224 ppi. The screen is by far the best part of this tablet, it is bright, crisp and has a very large viewing angle.

 The Fire 10 HD has a Quad-core processor consisting of two 1.8GHz Cortex-A72 cores and two 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 cores, making the tablet feel snappy and responsive. For a GPU the tablet uses the PowerVR G6250. The Fire 10 has 2 GB of RAM and comes in two variations for storage 32 and 64 GB but both can accept SD cards of up to 256GB.

The tablet has a VGA front-facing camera and a 2MP rear-facing camera which is capable of 720p video recording. The cameras are definitely the weak point of this tablet and to be frank they terrible to the point of being unusable. However, I have never actually used the camera functionality on any tablet I have owned so this does not really bother me.

The Fire 10 has a 3.5 mm stereo jack and the integrated dual stereo speakers implement Dolby Atmos Audio and they sound great, you can comfortably watch a movie without using headphones.

From a connectivity perspective the Fire 10 has dual-band Wi-Fi and built-in Bluetooth. The tablet has a micro USB connector used for charging the battery and data transfer.

The battery is advertised to last up to 10 hours and after 4 months of daily use I typically get 7-8 hours of usage between charges.

The tablet comes in three color options, red, blue and black and weighs in at around 500 grams.

fireback

A customized version of Android, called Fire OS, is used by Amazon on the Fire product range. This means that the default App store for the device is the Amazon App Store, however the Google Play Store can be easily installed to get access to the entire Android app library.

This device is great for content consumption, and this is predominantly what I use it for. From Amazon Prime video, to Kindle Books and Comic books, to Audible Audio Books, to Magazines, to Podcasts this tablet does an exceptional job at offering a convenient way to get access to a vast variety of content.

Since acquiring this tablet, I read significantly more comic books and magazines as I can easily and relatively inexpensively get access to them.

Now given all this, the real surprise of the Fire 10 HD is the price, coming in at $150(USD) if you opt for the Special Offer option, which means ads will be displayed on the lock screen of the device, or alternatively $15(USD) more to remove the ads. And given that the cheapest variation of the latest iPad is over $300 at present, this tablet offers exceptional value.

From a content consumption perspective, the Fire 10 HD is faultless. With access to the entire Amazon library of content, the selection is endless. So, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the iPad with a well-established ecosystem, or you are just looking for a convenient way to read your electronic books, comics and magazine the Amazon Fire 10 HD is a perfect choice.

REVIEW – AMAZON FIRE 10 HD (7TH GENERATION)

REVIEW – ADATA SD600 EXTERNAL SSD (256GB)

I recently found myself in the market for a high-capacity high-speed external storage solution and after shopping around I decided to pick up the ADATA SD600 External Solid State Drive as it provided 256GB of storage at a very reasonable price of just under $75 (USD).

The SD600 is a USB 3.1 compatible device, advertising read speeds of up to 440MB/s, very fast compared to more traditional external USB hard drives.

The SD600 utilizes 3D NAND technology, thus offering better performance compared to Solid State Drives that does not.

Below is a performance comparison, using Crystal Disk Mark, of the ADATA SD600, a Samsung EVO 850 500GB internal SSD running on SATA III and a SanDisk Ultra Flair 16GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive:

ADATA

ADATA SD600 Results

 

Samsung evo 850 Crystal Disk

Samsung EVO 850 Results (SATA III)

 

USB3 Crystal Disk

SanDisk Ultra Flair 16GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive Results

As can be seen the ADATA SD600 performs much better than the USB 3.0 thumb drive, but does not quite match the results of the Samsung drive running on SATA III. However, for an external storage solution these results are great.

From a size perspective the SD600 is much smaller than a traditional 2.5-inch external Hard Drive and the image below shows the size compared to two USB thumb drives.

ADATA Size

The SD600, however slightly larger than the thumb drives, is really compact and is definitely small enough to be comfortably carried around in your pocket. It is also very durably built and offers a very convenient solution for portable storage.  Thus far, after over a months’ worth of usage the SD600 has given me no problems and serves its purpose exceptionally well. So, if you are in the market for an external storage solution the SD600 offers a great solution at a very reasonable price.

REVIEW – ADATA SD600 EXTERNAL SSD (256GB)

WIND POWER BEAST MODEL KIT

IMG_5864

I picked up this model kit from AMAZON when I was in the United States recently. It is an inexpensive kit, priced under $10.

I have always been interested in the works of Dutch Artist Theo Jansen, especially his StrandBeest moving sculptures, and this model is a great way of gaining understanding of how the mechanics of the legs function.

The model is easy to assemble, taking me under 40 minutes to complete, requiring no tools or glue and once assembled the model functions surprisingly well. The one complaint I do have about the kit is that the provided instructions are not always easy to follow, this is in part due to the very poor English translation.

Even given this fact, I would still recommend this kit, not only because of the learnings it provides in walking mechanics, but also as it looks really cool when completed and to top that off it is really inexpensive as well.

IMG_5948

WIND POWER BEAST MODEL KIT