Kingston HyperX Predator USB 3.0 512GB Review

The Kingston HyperX Predator USB 3.0 flash drive is the kind of stuff we used to dream about a decade back, or even a couple of years ago. Capacity was never that much of a problem with USB drives, what with microSD cards giving us ridiculous storage for its size. It was always about speed.

With the advent of USB 3.0 and the promise of up to 10 times more speed than USB 2.0, having a respectably fast flash drive with large capacity became a reasonable hope. And Kingston became the first company in the world to come out with a massive 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive, the 1TB version coming out within a month or two.

Packaging

Make no mistake, the Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB is a premium flash drive with high capacity, performance and a commanding price that follows. It comes in a flashy tin box with a USB 3.0 extension cables. This is crucial for PCs that don’t have the type of breadth required to use the Hyper Predator directly. Out of the box the HyperX Predator 512GB comes preformatted in FAT32 format with 479GB available, that’s 93.5% available of actual usable space.

So let’s see how well the HyperX Predator 512GB performs in both real life tests and synthetic benchmarks. But before that, our testbed:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2600K

Motherboard: MSI Z77 MPower

Hard Drive: Plextor M3 Pro 256GB SSD

OS:Windows 8 Pro

Synthetic Benchmarks

While CrystalDisk Mark shows performance higher than what Kingston themselves rate (240MBps Read and 160MBps write), ATTO shows a slighly different story, with half the rated write speed, although read speed seems to be close to rated speeds.

Real Life Test

Copying a 15.7 GB file of Battlefield 3 from my C: Drive to the HyperX Predator 512GB took 119 seconds, giving an average write speed of 135MBps.

Conversely when copying the 15.7GB Battlefield 3 folder from the HyperX Predator 512GB to my desktop it took 79 seconds, giving an average read speed of 203MBps.

Conclusion

So the Kingston HyperX Predator certainly lives up to its name. As of now there is no USB 3.0 stick we have tested in our labs that outperforms it, rather even come close to its performance.  With a solid build and premium look, the HyperX Predator feels excellent in hand. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient to use the extension cable in tightly spaced USB ports, but not really a deal breaker.

What it comes down to is whether you’re willing to shell out the price of an entry-level ultrabook or a mid-level laptop for a USB flash drive. Actually the price is similar to 512GB SSDs.

Right now nobody in the world has what Kingston does, and so they can charge a premium for it. Once the 1TB model is out, with other manufacturers following suit, I’m sure prices will come down to something more easier to swallow. For now, the Kingston HyperX Predator is the Bugatti Veyron of USB flash drives.

Orchestra Mailbox app

Old habits die hard. But every once in a while you come across an experience that forces you to change the way you’ve been doing something. Mailbox app from Orchestra is exactly one such experience- an app that treats your inbox as a to-do list allowing you to mark emails as read, delete them, list them into categories or snooze them for a later time to get back to- all through a simple swipe. While all of these concepts have existed in one form or another, it’s the execution that forces you to fall in love with the recently released Mailbox app by Orchestra.

While I’ve always understood the concept of an Inbox 0, it’s one that has never really intrigued me. For me an inbox has simply been a space that holds all my emails. If an email is read, it is generally replied and forgotten. But that’s not always the case and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never missed replying an email that required my attention. That’s where Mailbox app comes in and executes in a manner that has suddenly made me a fan of Inbox 0- and a little less envious of the superb Gmail app found on Android devices.

To use Mailbox, for the moment you need to have an iPhone and GMail as your service provider as thats the only combination that it currently supports. Orchestra is planning on porting the app to other platforms like Android, iPad and Macs as well as other email providers such as iCloud but they haven’t given any timeframe yet. Also, they’re rolling out the service to users slowly and gradually to make sure their servers are capable of handling all the Gmail that passes through it and last I read, there were close to half a million users waiting in the pipeline.

If you do have an iPhone and use GMail and manage to get to the front of the waiting line, there is one last pill to swallow. Mailbox app requires you to permit it to pass all your Gmail through its servers before delivering it to your iPhone. This is done so Orchestra can cut out all the unnecessary info from your email such as previous quotes etc. and only keep the actual content so while viewing it on your iPhone, it appears as a threaded text conversation. This is primarily the reason why the wait for the app is so long as Orchestra probably has to process millions of emails and they want to make sure they can handle the load.

If you are ok with everything above and are ready to jump into Mailbox, be prepared to find an astonishingly efficient email client that makes almost every other mobile email client feel like it’s something out of the previous century. The way Mailbox App works is by organizing your email in three panes- your current conversation, messages marked to be checked at a later stage and messages you’re done dealing with. Here’s a video of how it works:

As you saw, swipes to left and right determine the action you want to take with your email from your main- the conversation view which is where all your new emails land. A halfway swipe to the right archives the email which means that you’re done dealing with it while a full swipe deletes the email. A half swipe on the left brings up the later menu where you can designate a time such as later today, tomorrow or next week to come back to the email or swipe all the way to the left to add the email to a list (or a label) such as “For later reading” or “Expenses.” Color codes on swiping make sure you’re performing the action you intended to.

As good as Mailbox App is, it’s not perfect and there are areas where Orchestra can improve upon. For example, I couldn’t find a way to delete a particular email from a conversation- it was either deleting the entire conversation or nothing from it. Also while viewing a message, an option to move to the next message would be nice instead of forcing you to return to your inbox. As far as app navigation is concerned an undo would certainly be welcomed after an accidental swipe- although that might be coming by a shake to undo as per my conversation with Orchestra.

While many companies have tried re-inventing email, I don’t think any of them have really been successful. Its an aging messaging protocol that will probably always be around but if you have an app like Mailbox, you’ll never want it to go away.

BlackBerry Z10 has best launch ever in Canada & UK

February 10, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Smartphones

BlackBerry’s new Z10 handset is being watched by the whole industry too see whether the much troubled firm can rise to it’s former glory days. To that end the new Z10 comes with a whole lot of promise and indeed in our own review we found it to be quite a capable and competitive modern smartphone.

While we don’t have actual numbers, BlackBerry’s CEO Thorsten Heins told Phonearena, “In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50 percent better than any other launch day in our history in Canada. In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone.”

The BlackBerry Z`0 officially launches today in UAE available from all major retail stores for AED 2,599 or with du and Etisalat on contract.

Next Xbox will have a Siri of its own

February 10, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Microsoft’s next iteration of its motion-sensing camera, Kinect 2.0, will be able to recognize more natural queries like Siri, according to source at The Verge. When paired with the next Xbox, users can power on the console by simply saying, “Xbox on”, or view their friends list by asking “what are my friends playing?”.

Kinect 2.0 will also be able to produce specific results, and even suggest user-specific data when a user comes into view.

The current Kinect does offer voice recognition but it is implemented at its most basic form. Kinect with the Xbox 360 can be used to launch apps shown on the screen, or flick through menus, but is incapable of doing more advance task like Apple’s voice assistant.

Microsoft is still mum on the next Xbox and Kinect, with rumors hinting towards a Holiday 2013 release.  While Sony might be preparing to announce the PlayStation 4 on February 20th, it is unclear when Microsoft will make the move. Perhaps at E3 in June?

Egypt court orders YouTube one month suspension

February 10, 2013 by  
Filed under News

An Egyptian court has ordered that Google’s YouTube service be suspended for one month, following the broadcast of an anti-Islam film.

The film, “Innocence of Muslims” was uploaded to YouTube back in July 2012, and has since sparked controversy across several Arab countries, including Egypt and Libya. While Google does not necessarily police the videos uploaded to its YouTube service, it does take down or block videos that are flagged by the community as offensive or in violation of copyright. The video in question is still available online, however it carries the warning “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or inappropriate. Viewer discretion is advised.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has previously vehemently denied any involvement of the U.S government with the film in question, and called the video “disgusting and repressible”.

Egypt’s National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority said it would carry out the ruling as soon as it receives a copy of the final verdict.

(via Reuters)

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