Thursday, January 11, 2018

Drobo 5N review

The market for high-performance storage devices is diverse and constantly growing. There are plenty of products that offer decent storage capabilities out there, but they often compromise on usability and are targeted at people with technology expertise.

And when you find something that’s easy to use and has all the top features you require, it can prove costly. Drobo, a company well-known for its storage products and solutions, wants to change this with the Drobo 5N.

It’s an affordable, easy-to-use network-based 64TB storage solution and is gunning for the average NAS drive. As well as being easy to get up and running, the device - which costs around £479 (around $600/AUS$800) - is flexible and expandable. And it aims to keep your data safe at the same time.

Storage units needn’t be bulky, as the Drobo 5N certainly proves. The device has been designed with portability and easy-of-use in mind. Weighing 3.9kg without the hard drives or power cables installed, you shouldn’t find it too heavy to transport.

In terms of dimensions, it has a width of 5.9 inches, a height of 7.3 inches and a depth 10.3 inches. As a result, you’ll unlikely run into any problems when it comes to finding space for it. It’ll sit next to an ethernet supply or computer nicely, although you could easily tuck it away on a shelf should you feel it’s making your office look untidy.

One of the best things about the 5N is that it’s expandable. There isn’t a long, complicated process when it comes to beefing up the storage, and you don’t have to dispose of RAID sets to cater for better drives. Instead, when the time is right, you can access the 5N’s contents to insert new disk drives or replace older ones. You don’t need any tools for this, which makes things even better.

The 5N also sports a set of LED indicators, which are located on the front. When you’re running low on space, they flash and you can then make an action. Similarly, you’re notified if there’s a problem with one of the drives, letting you replace it straight away. Issues never go under the radar, and your new investment won’t end up getting damaged due to a faulty drive.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

RAVPower 20100mAh External Battery Pack review: Charger sports a versatile set of ports

While the RAVPOWER EXTERNAL BATTERY has the same six-cell structure as the best in this class from Anker, it performs significantly worse. In testing, we found it delivered much less power to the MacBook overall, charging it only to about 90 percent before it was exhausted. Different cell suppliers and different circuitry designed to protect those cells certainly has an impact. The RAVPower also notably heated up during charging and recharging, despite its metal case, though not uncomfortably. (Testing of other RAVPower units at other sites showed a poor rated capacity to available power ratio for similarly high mAh models.)

However, if you need speed and diversity of ports, and you have the right mobile equipment to go with it, you might prefer the RAVPower to the Anker model. It can be recharged through two ports (Micro-USB and USB-C), and the USB-C port can also charge other devices. And it has two Type-A ports with distinct characteristics.

Unique among batteries tested, it can not only charge other devices using the increasingly common Quick Charge 2.0 standard (developed by Qualcomm), but also be recharged that way as well. Charging requires an appropriate mobile device, like a Moto X Pure Edition. Recharging the pack’s internal cells speedily relies on a separate USB charger with that technology; I purchased an Aukey 36W 2-port Quick Charge 2.0 adapter for about $23.

Quick Charge pairs relatively high amperage with high voltage, and the 2.0 flavor can work as high as 60W. In my testing, the RavPower charged 12V at about 1.9A or about 23W, compared to about 15W maximum via the USB-C port. It took about five hours to charge it completely, matching the time that RAVPower says it should take. (The Anker unit took a couple hours longer, but tested with more available capacity.)

Friday, April 14, 2017

8 Steps for Nurturing a Winning Business Idea

About 50 percent of small businesses fail -- that is, cease operations entirely -- within five years, according to the Small Business Association. What can you do to ensure that your company won’t be one of the ones that fails? The key lies in making sure you have a viable business idea that’s positioned well to help your company succeed.
Here are eight steps you’ll need to take to develop and nurture a winning business idea:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

5 Strategies I Used to Start and Grow a Successful Business With Only $200

I graduated from college in the worst year for finding a job in recent history: 2009. I had one interview after another, and the one offer I did receive kept getting delayed. I needed to find a job fast or move back home to California from D.C.

Having always been entrepreneurial, and with a passion for marketing, I decided to form a PR firm with only $200, and a whole lot of unknowns and risks. Six years later, Cutler PR is a leading boutique tech PR firm based in New York that has serviced over 70 clients including major adtech, edtech, fintech and consumer tech companies.

Like many entrepreneurs, I was starting a business with little to no capital. While a generous line of credit, a handful of investors or an attractive inheritance can make starting a business easier, it’s possible to start a business with very little funding. But to do so, the sweat equity will be tremendous.

Don’t let a limited budget stand in the way of what could be a successful business and rewarding career. Here are five ways first-time entrepreneurs can bootstrap their way to startup success. It will be incredibly difficult, but it can be done.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The 5 Best Business Mantras From 'Mr. Wonderful'

We all know Mr. Wonderful. He’s the shrewd and sometimes insolent shark on ABC’s Shark Tank. Whether you love or hate him, there’s one thing we can agree on: he speaks the unfiltered truth. I recently met with Kevin O’Leary to talk about business, entrepreneurship and life. The best part of our meeting was that I left with five of the most memorable business mantras ever.