Trending March 2024 # Review: Caldigit Av Pro 2 – An External Storage Solution With A Built # Suggested April 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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CalDigit is no stranger when it comes to producing peripherals for the Mac. In particular, the California-based company has concentrated on Apple’s laptops with USB-C and Thunderbolt. The CalDigit AV Pro 2 is its latest such product: an external storage solution wrapped in a high-grade aluminum enclosure.

CalDigit has merged external storage with a USB 3.0 hub to create a product capable of providing three things of interest to MacBook owners — access to more storage, additional USB ports, and charging up to 30W. Have a look at our video walkthrough as we unbox and go hands-on with the CalDigit AV Pro 2.

Specifications

Removable drive module with lock

Supports 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives

Front side power button/drive access LED

Uplink: USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C or USB 3.0 Micro B

Hub: USB 3.0 Type-A (x2)

30W laptop charging via Type-C port

7.5W USB charging for mobile devices

Smart fan

Kensington Lock

Drive stand

Supports Apple’s SuperDrive

Support for (UASP) USB attached SCSI protocol

Dimensions: 5.8-inches-by-1.8-inches-by-9.5-inches

Weight: 4.37 lbs

The AV Pro 2 can accommodate either a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive. The model we reviewed was one equipped with a 3TB 3.5-inch HDD.

Other CalDigit products share the same drive module form factor, which means that you can easily swap modules between other storage devices. You can also order replacement drive modules, and each comes with a hard case lined with foam to ensure safe transport for backups and archival drives.

Like CalDigit products that we’ve seen before, the AV Pro 2 features a familiar aluminum chassis with ridged accents on the side. It’s a premium enclosure that should feel right at home on your desk next to a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Video walkthrough

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What’s included?

CalDigit includes everything you need to get started inside the box. You’ll find a drive module with a preinstalled drive, USB Type-C cable, and a USB Type-A to Micro-B cable for connecting to your computer. There’s also an AC adapter, drive keys, and a drive stand included in the package.

The AV Pro 2, at 5.8-inches-by-1.8-inches-by-9.5-inches, is fairly large, so it’s not the type of drive that you’ll want to carry around while traveling. You’d be better off grabbing one of the company’s portable Tuff Drives, or Samsung’s T5 for that. But if you regularly use a MacBook Pro, MacBook, or even an iMac at your desk, then the AV Pro 2 makes for an interesting desk companion.

The unit features four built-in rubber feet, allowing it to sit flat on a desk, or you can opt for the included clear plastic stand, which allows it to stand up vertically to save on desk real estate.

In particular, I think that the AV Pro 2 is a handy companion for those working with video. When editing extra-large Pro Res files produced by gear like the Atomos Ninja Inferno, a spinning hard drive is probably more practical for storage purposes than an SSD at this point in time. Pairing a fast, extra-large hard drive with the AV Pro 2 may be a good choice if that’s a relatable scenario for you.

Drive access

The AV Pro 2 drive module can be removed by means of a pair of keys included in the package. This key-based removal system prevents the drive module from being removed by accident or by theft when combined with the Kensington lock.

There are two keys included with the AV Pro 2. One of the keys is used to lock or unlock the drive module, and the other is used to eject the drive module.

To be honest, it’s kind of a hassle to have to use both keys to fully secure or un-secure the module, and I wish that a single key was able to do both. The key system works, but it may be annoying to those who just want to easily mount or dismount drive modules without having to fool with keys.

Speed

The AV Pro 2 provides a variety of use-cases based on its specifications, just don’t be fooled into thinking that it utilizes USB 3.1 (gen 2) (10Gbps) or Thunderbolt 3. The unit is backward compatible with those technologies, but is bound by the maximum theoretical 5Gbps transfer rates of USB 3.0/3.1 (gen 1).

7200 RPM 3TB HDD vs 1TB SSD

With all of that said, USB 3.0 is still fairly fast, especially since CalDigit makes sure to support UASP, or USB attached SCSI protocol. UASP allows devices to execute commands bi-directionally for better throughput performance over the interface.

CalDigit notes that its AV Pro 2, when paired with an SSD, will support read speeds up to 433MB/s, and that’s pretty much spot on from my testing. Spinning hard drives will obviously be a lot slower, with the 7200 RPM drive that I tested maxing out just shy of 200MB/s in both read and write. That’s fast enough to handle 4K video editing at slower frame rates, but you’ll probably want to opt for an SSD if you regularly edit high-bitrate 4K video at 60 frames per second.

Charging Smart Fan

The majority of the noise emitted from the AV Pro 2 occurred when I had the spinning hard drive connected. If you’re looking for silent operation, then you’ll definitely want to opt for an SSD instead of a traditional hard drive.

Besides the drive itself, the AV Pro 2 includes a fan on the case’s rear. CalDigit notes that this is a “Smart Fan” capable of turning on when needed, and staying off when it isn’t. The aluminum chassis itself is basically a giant heatsink, so the AV Pro 2 can dissipate heat without needing to rely on a fan. When the temperatures do rise due to ambient conditions or drive performance, the fan will spin up to help keep things cool.

SuperDrive compatibility

If you still have an Apple SuperDrive lying around, then you may be interested to know that the AV Pro 2 supports it via its USB hub. CalDigit notes on its product page that no other external storage devices available for sale are able to support Apple’s SuperDrive. Keep in mind that you’ll need to download a special driver in order to properly connect to Apple’s external disc reader.

Conclusion

Due to its size, and potential heft with a spinning hard disk module, The AV Pro 2 isn’t the type of unit that you’d normally go traveling with. However, it makes for a solid desktop companion.

The AV Pro 2, as mentioned, is essentially three devices in one. It’s an external storage device, capable of interfacing with removable SSD or HDD drive modules. It’s a USB 3.0 hub, which supports both daisy-chaining additional AV Pro 2 units, and is SuperDrive compatible. Lastly, it’s a 30W charger for charging your MacBook or MacBook Pro.

There is one big thing missing in the whole package, and that’s support for external displays. If that’s something you need (highly likely in a desktop environment) you can connect the unit to a dock that supports external displays.

The bottom line is that not all Mac users will have a need for such a device. As someone who works with extremely large video files, however, I can see the appeal of having access to an external drive source that supports large, swappable, spinning hard drives, as well as SSDs.

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Black Shark 2 Pro With Snapdragon 855 Plus, Ufs 3.0 Storage Launched In China

Gaming phone makers strive to offer the ultimate performance to its users. Be it in terms of raw power or features that complement your gaming experience. Black Shark 2 arrived earlier this year with some notable features such as 240Hz touch response, Liquid Cooling 3.0 and more.

Black Shark 2 Pro: Price and Availability

Black Shark 2 Pro has been priced starting at 2,999 yuan (roughly Rs. 30,000) for the 12GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. You will, however, have to shell out 3,499 yuan (roughly Rs. 35,000) for the 12GB+256GB variant.

Apart from this, Black Shark has partnered with Chinese e-sports team LNG to unveil three custom edition Pro variants too. Black Shark 2 Pro has been available to pre-order in China for close to a week now and will officially go on sale from 2nd August.

Black Shark 2 Pro: Specs and Features

Black Shark 2 Pro features a design and build not much different fro its predecessor. The metal and glass build has been carried forward but refined to now offer a trendy gradient finish to gamers. The company has placed a ton of focus on bettering the design with the addition of a green gradient to the black glass. It looks awesome as the green colour glass reflects light. Black Shark 2 Pro has also upped the ante on RGB lighting with the addition of two LED lights along the mid-frame on the rear.

Similar to its predecessor, Black Shark 2 Pro features a 6.39-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED display as well – without any punch-holes or notch. It has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and 2340×1080 pixels resolution. The display still has a 240Hz touch response, offering much-improved latency and response time dropping down to 34.7ms – which is lower and even better than its predecessor.

Black Shark 2 Pro is powered by the recently launched Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset. It’s the second phone to be launched with this overclocked chipset — after the ROG Phone 2. This is paired with 12GB RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. There’s no other RAM configuration – neither 6GB nor 8GB – available for this Pro variant.

This smartphone also sees the company make the shift to the faster UFS 3.0 storage in comparison to UFS 2.1 on the Black Shark 2. This improves the read & write speeds by 82%, along with faster game startup times as well.

Much like its predecessor, Black Shark 2 retains the dual front-facing speakers for an immersive gaming experience, along with three microphones for improved in-game voice communication. There’s Liquid Cooling 3.0+ onboard here, offering heat dissipation using two vapour chambers and a massive copper plate. The heat sinks are now in direct contact with the major components, so heat is eliminated quickly and more efficiently.

Black Shark 2 Pro comes equipped with the same 4,000mAh battery pack as its non-Pro variant, coupled with a USB Type-C 27W fast-charger (which supports quick charge 4.0) too. It also has the usual connectivity options and a fingerprint sensor under the display.

Review: Lg Optimus G Pro Is An Oversized Phone With A Beautiful Screen

LG hasn’t always been a fan favorite: For a long time the company was best known for its budget handsets that did little to stand out from the competition. In recent years, however, LG has earned a reputation for creating solid, reliable devices. The LG Optimus G Pro continues that string of successes, blowing away its nearest competitor in size and design, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, and rivaling the recent HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 as one of the best Android phones on the market. The G Pro runs like a sports car engine in the body of a family minivan—an unassuming aesthetic mixed with luxury performance. Provided you can fit it in your hand (a big caveat), this quick, flashy giant might very well be the phone for you.

Built for Goliath

At 5.9 by 3.0 by 0.4 inches the Optimus G Pro is larger than almost any other phone on the market. Like last year’s Galaxy Note II, the G Pro packs 5.5 inches of screen real estate, straddling that fine line between tablet and phone. Michael HomnickThe LG Optimus G Pro (right) next to the Samsung Galaxy Note II (left).

On the other hand, the G Pro carries its size well. It’s definitely overlarge (people with tiny hands, beware), but I found the G Pro surprisingly comfortable to operate. In addition to a volume rocker, the left spine of the handset features a quick-launch button that can be customized to open any app on the device—handy for accessing the camera or a browser. The G Pro is slightly slimmer than the Galaxy Note II, which helped it sit better in my average-size hands. You’re also able to compress the keyboard closer to the left or right side if you really want to use the device one-handed.

Michael HomnickThe G Pro has a great-looking display.

As for the screen, it’s a beautiful behemoth running at 1920 by 1080 resolution, with a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch. That’s a much higher resolution than what you get on the Galaxy Note II’s 267 pixels per inch and 1280-by-720-resolution display, though the G Pro’s density doesn’t quite live up to what the HTC One and Galaxy S4 offer (both are 1920 by 1080 displays, with 469 and 441 pixels per inch, respectively). Unfortunately, this beautiful screen is housed in a cheap plastic exterior that relentlessly attracts smudges. The phone is by no means ugly—especially with the screen on—but it just doesn’t stand out, as the lovingly-honed HTC One does.

Performs like a pro

Driving this enormous phone is the same basic architecture as the HTC One—a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM. The G Pro feels quick and incredibly responsive. The phone handled everything I threw at it with ease, including bleeding-edge games and resource-intensive applications. The G Pro comes equipped with 23GB of usable storage out of the box, though you can always add more via a MicroSD card.

Michael HomnickThe G Pro packs a lot of performance into a slim package.

The phone’s battery shouldn’t have any problem handling an average day of use. However, the huge screen definitely chews into battery life during prolonged usage. If you’re heavy on games or constantly checking Twitter, consider toting a charger on your outings.

One area where the Galaxy Note II bests the G Pro is in multitasking. Though LG touts the ability to view multiple apps on the G Pro, that feature is fairly limited: You can’t view apps side by side but instead must rely on LG’s QSlide feature to do more than one thing at a time. QSlide can launch one of four apps—calendar, notes, video, or calculator—above whatever’s currently running. While the international version of QSlide includes a browser, that’s not in the U.S. version. As a result, the G Pro’s multitasking capability feels lopped off at the knees.

AT&T only

For some reason, LG made the baffling decision to lock the G Pro to AT&T, so keep that in mind if you’re considering this device.

The G Pro’s call quality leaves a bit to be desired. Noise sometimes crept into the outgoing voice, and the incoming audio sounded a little tinny (though plenty loud). The handset is also not very good at cutting out background noise—which is odd, since using speakerphone on the G Pro makes you sound incredibly distant even if you’re only 6 inches away.

4G LTE reception was fast enough in our San Francisco office location to stream video and download apps over AT&T’s network with ease (your results will vary depending on AT&T’s coverage in your area).

13 is a lot of megapixels, but…

Michael HomnickThe G Pro has a 13-megapixel camera.

Even though it’s packed with pixels, the 13-megapixel camera on the G Pro didn’t meet our expectations. Images taken under normal conditions were significantly fuzzier than what we’ve seen from the similarly spec’d Samsung Galaxy S4. The G Pro’s low-light performance was better than that of Samsung’s offering, but overall the G Pro’s camera performance was subpar.

The G Pro’s camera app has a number of extras, including HDR (high dynamic range) and Panorama mode, both of which have their share of quirks. Panoramic shots look sharp at first glance, but lose clarity even faster than the G Pro’s standard shooting mode once you begin zooming in. The HDR setting works well, but takes too long to shoot and process images for regular use.

The G Pro also features an “Intelligent Auto” mode, which adjusts aperture, white balance, and shutter speed on the fly to take better pictures. Unfortunately the mode is a bit fidgety, especially when it comes to white balance. It has a bad habit of completely changing the white balance for a split second right as you go to snap the perfect shot, leaving everything too orange or blue. It’s better to adjust the options manually.

If you’re obsessed with taking high-quality pictures on your phone, the G Pro’s camera might be a deal breaker. It certainly doesn’t hold up to the S4, and its options are quite limited. On the other hand, if you treat the camera as supplemental to the other features, or as a nonissue, it should work fine for most of your needs.

Bottom line

LG’s Optimus G Pro is king of the small—but growing—phone/tablet hybrid market (I refuse to use the term “phablet”). It’s a performance powerhouse that, despite its large size, is relatively comfortable to use even with average-size hands. The G Pro loses a few points for its limited multitasking features, but if you’re looking to buy a large Android phone and aren’t dismayed by the underperforming camera, then the G Pro is definitely worth considering.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus Review: A Powerhouse With Potholes

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G (8GB/256GB): £449.99 / €499.90 / ₹33,999

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is the top smartphone from the Xiaomi sub-brand for 2023. It is the more premium handheld of the Redmi Note 12 series, bringing a bigger primary camera and faster charging over the Redmi Note 12 Pro. It also features thinner bezels and more subtle curves around the edges than the completely flat back of the Note 12 Pro, making it easier to hold. Both have Gorilla Glass 5 front and back with a plastic frame, though the 12 Pro Plus is roughly 20 grams heavier than the 12 Pro.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus carries over many of the selling points of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G from the previous generation, such as those aforementioned speedy 120W charging capabilities. Moreover, it houses a better chipset and a bigger battery. However, the most eye-catching addition is the sizeable 200MP camera. It isn’t entirely uncommon to find big megapixel cameras on budget phones. For instance, the upcoming Realme 12 Pro Plus will feature a similar 200MP wide shooter. Although the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus uses the recent Samsung Isocell HPX sensor, it isn’t the same Isocell HP2 in the Galaxy S23 Ultra, so don’t expect photos of equal quality on megapixels alone.

Redmi is swinging for the fences with some big specs to compete with popular mid-rangers

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is more expensive than what Xiaomi phones typically go for (it’s £50 more than the 8GB/128GB Note 11 Pro Plus), but the brand is swinging for the fences with some big specs to compete at the price point of popular mid-range device series, like the Google Pixel 7a and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. To help sweeten the deal, Xiaomi includes a 120W wall charger in the box, a USB-C cable, and a plastic phone case for good measure. The Note 12 Pro Plus comes with twice the storage of the Note 12 Pro at 256GB and 8GB of RAM. Neither phone has a microSD card slot for expandable storage.

Xiaomi first released the Redmi Note 12 series in China in October 2023, before an India launch in January 2023, followed by Europe in March 2023. As usual, none of the Redmi Note 12 series will officially come to North America. There are three color options for the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus: Midnight Black, Polar White, and Sky Blue, and the phone runs Android 12 and MIUI 14 out of the box. The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is set to receive two OS updates and four years of security patches for its lifespan, which shows an improvement in the company’s update commitment, even if it doesn’t match Samsung and Google.

What I like about the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

Adam Birney / Android Authority

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus has a large 6.67-inch AMOLED display with support for HDR10 Plus. But despite a larger diagonal than, say, the Galaxy A54 5G, it does have a lower pixel density (~395ppi vs ~403ppi). Still, I found the colors to be very vibrant and punchy. I also appreciated the support for Dolby Vision, which improved contrast for streaming videos. It’s not the brightest panel out there, topping out at 900 nits, which can be dim outdoors, but the viewing angles compensate well. The fast 120Hz refresh rate makes for smooth scrolling and swiping, and the phone automatically dials down to 60Hz when you stop interacting with it, which I did find helpful in saving energy.

Powering the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chipset, an upgrade over the Dimensity 920 in the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus. We’ve seen the same chipset in other recent mid-range phones, such as the Realme 10 Pro Plus and the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G. It may not be the biggest powerhouse in this class, but it is a respectable processor for the price range. In our benchmark testing, the Dimensity 1080 came up a tad short on the Exynos 1380 chipset found in the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, which delivers higher GPU frequency and better battery life efficiency. It’s also left in the dust behind the Tensor G2 powering the Pixel 7a.

In my testing, the phone handled games well, and the Game Turbo mode helps to clear memory and dedicates all of the phone’s resources to your game if you need more oomph. When enabled, Game Turbo can boost the frames per second to 110, and in Performance Mode can reach up to 125, although the phone will get warm in hand despite the “Vapor Chamber cooling system.” I put the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus through over an hour with Call of Duty Mobile, which performed best at low graphical settings with 60fps. On the other hand, games like Honkai: Star Rail could maintain very high graphics quality running at 30 fps, but only when Game Turbo was turned on. Basically, if you are going to be playing games, don’t have anything else running in the background.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus features a pair of Dolby Atmos stereo speakers. Overall, I was satisfied with the sound quality; it delivered nice vocals and some bass while listening to music. At max volume, the audio output was loud, balanced, and without distortion. It’s also one of the increasingly few smartphones nowadays to sport a headphone jack for wired listening.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus’ version of Android is outdated out of the box, and MIUI 14 is bloated.

There are a few silly guardrails in place, such as the fact that the “always” on display actually only stays on for ten seconds, and there’s no way to change it. It may be a minor gripe but still something I can’t help but scratch my head at. Xiaomi also made a couple of iOS-like tweaks to MIUI 14 in their quick settings and notification pulldowns from the home screen. It’s easy enough to navigate, but I would have preferred a more stock-like Android experience instead of trying to copy the iOS interface.

There is a noticeable drop-off in quality moving to the 8MP ultrawide. It has a useful 120-degree field of view, but detail, exposure, and color accuracy are slightly compromised compared to the primary shooter. The macro is even worse and doesn’t make much difference for close-up shots unless the lens is right up against whatever you are photographing. Perhaps there would be better results if Redmi had included the higher-res 5MP macro camera from the Note 10 Pro Plus.

As is typical for Redmi phones, the beauty mode is enabled by default when using the 16MP front-facing camera. Switching off is easy, but you might be surprised at the excessive face smoothing in those first few shots. Otherwise, the selfie shooter captures skin tones accurately, and in portrait mode, edge detection is decent enough, even without a depth sensor.

The cameras stay fairly responsive at nighttime, and the dedicated low-light mode helps avoid blurry snaps. However, pictures aren’t without image noise, and while colors remain accurate, it can take a little longer to focus on dimly lit subjects. There’s no doubt that the Pixel A series is still the low-light champion at this end of the price spectrum.

The primary camera lets you capture 4K videos at a frame rate of up to 30fps, which is a pretty big compromise at this price, given that Samsung and Google both offer 4K at 60fps. As such, recordings can be a bit shaky, even though they are well-balanced with true-to-life colors with minimal noise. The selfie camera’s 1080p videos are decent enough, delivering ample detail and rich contrast. The subjects are nicely lit when given plenty of light, though the background may occasionally appear overexposed due to the limited dynamic range.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus packs a powerful primary shooter, charging, and display, but the rest feels unpolished.

Ultimately, it feels like Redmi has put everything into those three departments at the expense of the rest. Although the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus will have two OS updates, running Android 12 in 2023 means that it will only get you to Android 14. And between the shaky 4K video and the mediocre performance benchmarks, it’s just one too many compromises to justify the price tag when you could spend the same money on the Samsung Galaxy 54 5G ($395 at Amazon), the Google Pixel 7a ($449 at Amazon), or even last year’s Pixel 6a for less ($304 at Amazon).

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is powerful in places but unpolished in some key areas that could have made it that much better. It’s still a solid phone, but perhaps wait until the inevitable sale prices kick in.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

Detailed 200MP primary camera • Sharp and snappy 120Hz, AMOLED display • Super fast 120W charging

MSRP: $469.99

200MP, 120Hz, 120W. Redmi is bringing the big numbers!

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is a mid-range smartphone that swings for the fences. With its solid 200MP primary camera, speedy 120Hz AMOLED display, and lightning-fast 120W charging, this powerhouse delivers a handful of premium features without breaking the bank.

See price at Amazon

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus review: Q&A

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus retails for £414.99, €454.90, or 31,999 rupees.

Yes, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus supports 5G connectivity.

No, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus does not support wireless charging.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus has an IP53 rating providing minimal water and dust resistance.

Yes, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus has Gorilla Glass 5 display protection.

Kioxia Exceria Pro Review: Dial M.2 For Gen 4

Pros

Fast as any Gen 4 drive

Sensibly priced

Should work with PS5

Cons

No hardware encryption

No heat spreader included

Only 1- or 2TB

Our Verdict

If you put aside the lack of encryption, everything else about the Exceria Pro is good or excellent. It’s one of the fastest Gen4 designs, marginally undercuts most of its competitors and provides a sufficient lifespan for most users.

For those wondering who Kioxia is, this business went under the modest title of the Toshiba Memory Corporation before it was spun off from the rest of Toshiba and given new branding.

But long before that happened, Toshiba Memory Corporation invented NAND Flash memory in the early 1980s, the memory technology at the heart of the Kioxia product I’m reviewing today.

In the chronicles of Gen 4 NVMe storage, Kioxia hasn’t exactly rushed to deliver its first products to market. Others got their products out much earlier, though some of these early designs didn’t live up to their billing and have subsequently been replaced with revamped second-generation solutions anyway.

So what has the Exceria Pro got to offer PC builders that they can’t get from rivals like Samsung, Crucial and Corsair?

Design & Build

The review sample sent by Kioxia was a 2TB version of 2280 M.2 stick, and this comes without a heat spreader attached to the single-sided NVMe board.

What’s slightly odd is that Kioxia created a label for the top face of the Exceria Pro that covers all the chips except for the NAND module on the far left, enabling us to easily read that part number without removing it.

These NAND modules are BiCS TLC 3D Flash Memory, and on the 2TB drive, there are four chips, each probably containing two 1Gbit NAND modules and half as many on the 1TB drive. Because the performance of the 1TB drive is as good or better than the 2TB reveals, the bandwidth between the controller and the NAND must be the same on both capacities.

Kioxia doesn’t offer the Exceria Pro in any other capacities, as this product is considered exclusively for ‘Professional users’. This is perhaps why there’s no sizes smaller than 1TB available but doesn’t explain why there’s no 4TB option.

Many NVMe board makers go with designs where the controller and discrete electronics are at one end, the design of the Exceria Pro has the NAND modules at either end with the controller sitting in the middle.

Where other brands are happy to provide detailed specifications of their controller and cache configuration, Kioxia doesn’t include this information in the specs. The controller is almost certainly a custom part created by the makers specifically for this product, but Kioxia hasn’t confirmed or denied that assumption.

To get the full performance from the Exceria Pro requires a Gen 4 PCIe M.2 slot with all four lanes, delivering a maximum of 8GB/s of bandwidth from the drive to the host system.

Specs & Features

Being a little late to the Gen 4 SSD party, I wondered what Kioxia included that might set the Exceria Pro aside from the herd.

In the specifications, Kioxia quotes a read and write speed of 7,3000 and 6,400MB/s and maximum IOPS of 800,000 reading and 1,300,000 writing. Those numbers are right at the top of what Gen 4 drives can achieve with this 8GB/s interface and are bordering on the theoretical limits.

The TBW (Total bytes written) is 400TB for the 1TB model and 800TB for the 2TB design. I should clarify that those numbers are calculated based on the worst possible random write scenarios. Both drive sizes should survive the five-year warranty if they stay within those TBW boundaries.

One feature that’s notably missing is hardware encryption, available on several competitor products such as the Corsair MP600 Pro LPX and Crucial P5 Plus. Arguments have been made that gaming drives don’t need hardware encryption, but given how Kioxia has positioned the Exceria Pro as being above its enthusiast pitched Exceria Plus G2 series, perhaps it should have had it.

It is much more difficult to be critical is the performance that this unit can deliver, being up there with the Seagate FireCuda 530 and Kingston KC3000 in terms of raw speed of reading and writing.

Performance

One peculiarity of this design is that the 2TB has a 20% lower read IOPS than the 1TB model but 18% faster write IOPS. This hints that whatever cache mechanism Kioxia uses favours the extra space on the larger drive. But, conversely, for best read speeds, the amount of NAND is a hindrance.

In synthetic benchmarking, the Exceria Pro 2TB hit the quoted 7,300MB/s read speeds but fell slightly short on the write performance, generally being closer to 6,000MB/s.

ATTO is an old but reliable test that isn’t often fooled by caching tricks and it recorded a peak read of 6.97GB/s and a best write speed of 5.62GB/s. And finally, PCMark 10 storage test for system drive scored the Exceria Pro 2723 on my test system, which is highly respectable.

These results put the Exceria Pro on par (or a little better in some tests) than the two best Gen 4 drives we’ve previously reviewed, the Seagate FireCuda 530 and Kingston KC3000.

My only concern about this design is that the lack of a heat spreader makes reaching the thermal limits of this design more likely under stress and that without active cooling, it will throttle.

While benchmarking, it did reach 75C on a few occasions, the point where throttling is employed by the module to avoid overheating.

Price

In the UK, the Exceria Pro can be found for around £172.98 and £294.99 for the 1TB and 2TB models through the online retailer Ebuyer, though it is more expensive at other retailers such as LamdaTek and Comet.

However, Kioxia tells me that once sufficient stock enters the market the price will be £249.99 for the 2TB option, a level that would make this drive an instant success.

Sadly, customers Kioxia withdrew from the US market in 2023, resulting in its line-up of consumer flash and storage products are no longer available in the United States. It can still be found through imports from Japan and Europe, though based on the current high cost of international mailing, this might not prove economically viable.

If we compare the 2TB drive with its competitors, even at the current pricing the Exceria Pro is cheaper than the Seagate FireCuda 530 (£317.99), Samsung 980 Pro (£319.98) and Corsair MP600 Pro LPX (£312.22), but many of those designs do come with a heat spreader.

It’s undercut by the WD Black SN850 (£284), but that drive has much lower write performance than the Exceria Pro.

Overall, if you don’t intend to add a heat spreader, you can save a small amount by picking the Exceria Pro, and that might be more significant for those with a tight budget or who are building multiple systems.

Check out our chart of the  best SSDs to see all your options.

Verdict

The stand out feature of this design is the excellent performance, and Kioxia has aggressively priced it to get it better noticed by system builders.

Therefore, if you intend to drive an SSD to the point of NAND failure, then the Seagate or the Kingston might be a better choice.

Unless you must have hardware encryption, the Exceria Pro is a good choice for performance-related tasks. The lack of the integrated heat spreader allows it to be installed in a laptop, and it is equally at home in a desktop system.

The only caveat to PS5 and laptop use are that when this drive works hard, it gets hot, and without a heat spreader, it can throttle. In a desktop system or a PS5, a third-party heat spreader is probably a solid investment. How well it works in a laptop will be directly related to how much ventilation and the room it has in the M.2 slot.

A 4TB model would have been nice, but not all makers offer this option, and maybe one can be added later.

Specs Kioxia Exceria Pro: Specs

Capacities: 1TB and 2TB

Colour: Black

Form Factor: M.2 Type 2280-S2-M

Controller: Unknown

Flash Memory: 112-Layer BiCS TLC 3D Flash Memory

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 80.15 mm x 22.15 mm x 2.23 mm

Weight: 8.0g (2TB), 7.6g (1TB)

Interface: M.2 NVMe PCI slot (PCIe Gen4, downgradable to Gen3, Gen2 and Gen1)

Quoted Sequential Read: 7,300MB/s

Quoted Sequential Write: 6,400 MB/s

Quoted Random Read IOPS (1TB, 2TB): 1,000K, 800K

Quoted Random Write IOPS (1TB, 2TB): 1,100K, 1,300K

Total Bytes Written (1TB, 2TB): 400TB, 800TB. Active Power Consumption: 8.9W (typ.) Warranty: 5 years

Wondershare Pdfelement 8 Review: A Complete Software Solution For Pdf Management

PDF Editors are powerful tools that open a wide array of possibilities for those who work with this kind of archive. However, it’s not that easy to find accessible software that provides a seamless experience for experienced users and newcomers. We have plenty of software solutions in the market, but the big majority is expensive and hard to use. Based in this need for a complete package that targets both the experienced and the newbie audience, Wondershare created PDFelement. It’s a powerful PDF editor with a nice set of features and an intuitive interface. After just a couple of minutes, you’ll be completely used to the software and will not need to knock your head against the wall to edit your PDFs.

According to Wondershare, PDFelement has been designed with simplicity in mind. It comes to offer an affordable desktop and mobile PDF solutions that make it easy for users to create, edit, convert, collaborate, and sign official documents. It’s a good alternative for users who can’t pay too much for other complicated software solutions.

DOWNLOAD PDFelement 8

On November 27, Wondershare revealed the latest iteration of its PDF editing platform – PDFelement 8. It starts a new era for the platform marked by integration with the Wondershare Document Cloud. The second highlight is a new Electronic Signature feature with a wide array of possibilities.

A new intuitive design with a wide array of features

The new PDFelement also brings a refreshed design and makes it better. We have to say that the previous iterations were already good providing intuitive design, but PDFelement 8 gives a step further.

Multiple Editing Options fitted inside of an intuitive UI

As we’ve mentioned before, you don’t need to learn rocket science to do all your work with PDFelement. The interface is very intuitive, so in just a few minutes you’ll overcome all the challenges of PDF editing.

Start your journey with PDFelement 8

You can also crop a document or add a watermark. The software evens allow you to flatten a file which can be useful when you scan a document and discovers that it isn’t perfectly aligned. You can also reduce the size of an existing PDF through the “Optimize PDF” option. This is particularly useful when you scan a set of pages in high-quality. This can optimize your PDF to make it more suitable for e-mails, Cloud and so.

With PDFelement you can easily add forms to a document as well as a simple text box or an image stored in your computer.

Furthermore, the software brings an interesting feature dubbed “Protect”. From there you can determine passwords that will be necessary for opening a PDF. This is quite useful when you need to send a private document to someone. There is also another interesting feature that searches through the text and redacts it. Moreover, we have the Signature option that will add an electronic signature to a document. Finally, we have one of the new groundbreaking technologies bought by PDFelement 8, the so-called Electronic Signature.

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With this software, you can sign-in a document using the Wondershare Online Signing service. This is an interesting way the providers of PDFelement have found to integrate its portfolio of services with the PDF Editor.

PDFelement 8 brings a set of optimizations

In fact, the new update has been optimized in memory usage from 120MB to 40MB which is awesome for some PCs. Moreover, the waiting times for opening the app or a document have been greatly reduced. As a result, you will pass less time waiting for a document to open.

During my usage, I didn’t experience any crash or lag. So, you will have some trouble trying to crash this software. After all, it seems to be really optimized for all PCs.

How to use Wondershare PDFelement 8?

There is no mystery in PDFelement 8 usage. As I’ve stated before, the software is simple and intuitive. But if you’re having any problem, Wondershare is getting you covered with a short introduction video that will teach you a lot about its PDF Editing platform.

Does it really worth it?

For comparison, Adobe Acrobat costs $14,99 per month in the Pro variant. So you’ll end an entire year paying $149,99. Nitro PDF also has a perpetual license, but it will set you back by $160. That’s $30 more than the perpetual license of PDFelement 8. As you can see, right now, PDFelement 8 is the best value-for-money software you can get.

GET $50 OFF on PDFelement 8

Conclusion

With the new #PDFYourWay slogan, PDFelement 8 really tries to inspire newcomers to trace their path with this app companion. We have to say, after testing it that it’s a great software solution for newcomers in the world of PDF Editing. However, experienced users will not miss anything in this platform since it is fully packed with well-established features and also innovates with exclusive ones.

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