TweakTown top picks

Hello TechEye viewers, this is TweakTown’s Content Editor reporting back with another weekly update of all the highlights over at TweakTown recently. This past week has seen another good dose of activity that covers multiple market segments.

The week started off with a look at one of Dell’s latest entries into its UltraSharp family of LCDs. Despite the model name being indicative as a replacement to the popular U2410, the new U2412M is a lower priced offering with its E-IPS (Economy) versus the more expensive S-IPS used in the former. It still proves to be a fantastic quality monitor, though, and could be a great alternative to help make Eyefinity (3+ screens) a possibility without breaking the bank.

If you frequently carry around a fair amount of precious data with you, but find yourself often getting paranoid with your choice of portable storage against the elements and want the ultimate peace of mind, we looked at one of the best options on the market this week from ruggedized specialists, ioSafe in the Rugged Portable. The primary purpose of the ioSafe Rugged Portable is to keep your data safe and secure no matter where you are. At CES we shot one with a shotgun, threw it on the concrete floor as hard as we could and the unit kept on running perfectly.

Do you find yourself using your notebook around the house more than your desktop? Or perhaps it’s even your desktop replacement of choice; you would be one of a very large group of users that do if so. I think you would also have found that heat buildup from most laptops that have been on for prolonged periods of time can get a little discomforting after a while, especially when simply resting on your lap.

We separately looked at two NotePal series solutions from Cooler Master this week to help combat that; the multi-tilt capable NotePal U Stand and the more nimble NotePal X-Slim, both of which faired quite well in our tests when it comes to helping keep those temps at bay.

Thinking of building a nice compact mini-ITX based rig? Motherboard manufacturers are really nailing it these days with multiple options on the market that pack a wealth of features and power, also using some of the latest desktop chipsets on the market. We looked at one such model from ASRock this week, the A75M-ITX which uses an ideal chipset for mITX, the new Fusion based A75. It could be that perfect candidate for your next HTPC or workhorse build.

Aside from the motherboard above, another of the primary decisions to make when planning your mITX build is of course the case you’re going to house it in. Lian Li graced us this week with one such unit in its Mini-Q series, the PC-Q25; a clean looking small form factor chassis which thanks to its compact box like stature and conservative, quiet design cues, should do rather well to blend into most any environment.

This week we also took a closer, more detailed look at Intel’s new Smart Response Technology found on their latest consumer level chipset, Z68. If you aren’t too sure what that’s all about, the basic idea is that you can use a smaller SSD drive, say 20GB, and combine that with a larger traditional mechanical drive whereby the SSD would act as a super fast cache, thus increasing the overall storage performance without having to invest in a high speed, high capacity SSD.

With GIGABYTE’s new 20GB mSATA SLC SSD equipped Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard in hand, we covered the board in two separate articles this week – this first one looking at how effective Intel’s SRT is and another that gives a more detailed look at the overall board itself.

And that wraps up the major happenings from our neck of the woods over this past week. Until next, adios folks!