Monday, October 24, 2011

Samsung SyncMaster 2333T 23" Monitor

Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: Lots of screen real-estate, full quality 1080p HD, relatively inexpensive
Cons: No DisplayPort or HDMI port, controls on the side instead of the front

Introduction

I had used an older 4:3 Samsung SyncMaster 19 inch flat panel monitor for many years. The whole time I owned it, I never had a single problem with it. It looked great, had no dead or stuck pixels and had plenty of screen real-estate at it's native resolution of 1280x1024. I liked it so much that I never bothered upgrading to a larger monitor or to a widescreen. Well, after about 10 years of nearly 24/7 use, it finally decided one day that it no longer wanted to power on so off I went browsing Newegg for a replacement.

I obviously was going to get a bigger monitor since I was replacing it anyway, and I was long overdue for a widescreen. Even if I hadn't wanted a widescreen, the standard 4:3 monitors seem to be getting phased out and aren't as common anyway. Newegg was the logical choice as a retailer as they usually have competitive pricing and I've racked up tens of thousands of dollars worth of purchases from them over the years.

I looked at a number of monitors in my price range of about $150, and was almost set on a nice 23" Acer. I even had the Acer monitor in my cart, but when I got to the last page of monitors I noticed this 23" Samsung SyncMaster 2333T for only a few dollars more. Since I loved my old SyncMaster so much, I knew instantly I wanted the new SyncMaster instead of the Acer. It happened to be $159 with free shipping and a $10 mail in rebate, so after the rebate it ended up being $1 cheaper than the $150 Acer anyway.

Unboxing

My SyncMaster 2333T arrived in a standard brown box cardboard box from Samsung, and was packed well enough to remain undamaged while traveling from New Jersey to Michigan via UPS ground. The screen itself was surrounded by 2 rigid pieces of Styrofoam to keep it secure and hold it in place for transport. Also include in the box was the monitor base, a standard power cord, a dust cloth, a cable arrangement link, a D-Sub cable, a driver CD and a user manual. Yea, I said D-Sub cable, Samsung didn't include a DVI cable with this monitor for some reason.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how much bigger this monitor was than my old one. I had already gotten rid of the old one, but the 2333T appeared to be approximately the same height -- but a good 50% wider than the old one. This monitor is 21.94 inches wide, 14.4 inches tall and 2.81 inches deep. The stand adds a couple of inches to the height, and the base of the stand is about 8 inches deep to support the monitor. The Samsung SyncMaster 2333T weighs 11.68 pounds.

The whole monitor is black, with the front being a little glossy. It looks nice, but unfortunately collects dust and fingerprints. The bezel around the actual screen is approximately an inch wide, except for the bottom where it's closer to 2 inches on the sides and probably 3 inches in the center where it rounds down to the blue power LED. The LED appears to be diffused through a piece of plastic so it's not overly bright, and thus the power indicator light ends up being a couple inches wide across the center of the bottom of the monitor.

The central back portion of the monitor is a flat black, and has about 10 strange looking flower-type designs of various sizes engraved in the plastic. I was glad to see a standard 100mm square VESA wall mount, despite the fact that I don't currently use it. When I pick up a second monitor, I had planned to grab one of those dual monitor stands and put both monitors on it side by side. I figured the VESA mount would help to facilitate the process.

Unfortunately upon closer examination of the monitor, I realized that may be a little more difficult than I had anticipated. The power and control buttons for this monitor are on the side of the monitor instead of the front face. Directly on the side. This means that any dual monitor mount that butts two monitors up against each other like I wanted would make it impossible for me to access the power button or adjust the monitor in any way. Not a deal breaker by any means, but it means that when I get a second one it will be sitting on the desk on it's base beside this one instead of in a mount.

At least the base is decent, so that won't be so terrible. The screw that goes from the bottom of the base up into the monitor seemed a little short to me when I first got the monitor -- but the base has been attached for nearly a year now and been jostled and bumped around many times with no issues. While the monitor will wobble a bit if I shake my "desk" (my desk is a six foot long folding table, so it's a little less stable than most) or slam the door, it otherwise seems to hold the monitor pretty steady. It also tilts from -1º (forward) to approximately 16º (backward), give or take a degree. Every few days I notice the monitor is almost straight again, so the tilting mechanism must very slowly release as the monitor gets jostled around from my desk wobbling.

Details

The Samsung SyncMaster 2333T is a 23 inch widescreen TFT/LCD monitor. It features a default resolution of 1920x1080, a 16:9 aspect ratio and a viewing angle of 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically. The viewing angle is great, and allows you to view the screen from far off to either side as well as above or below the monitor. It has an 8ms response time, which is the time it takes a single pixel to switch from a full black color to full white and back again. There are some expensive monitors that have 1ms response times, and some old ones that have upwards of 16ms. Lower values help to prevent ghosting in movies and games. There is a slight amount, as 8ms isn't all that terrific, but it's not enough to hamper my gameplay. In comparison, my old 19" SyncMaster had a 5ms response time.

It has an operating temperature of 50ºF (10ºC) to 104ºF (45ºC) and operates in a range of humidity from 10% to 80%, non-condensing. You can store the monitor in temperatures ranging from -4ºF (-20ºC) to 113ºF (45ºC), and in humidity ranging from 5% to 95%, non-condensing. When the monitor is on it uses approximately 45 watts of power. When it's off, or in power saving mode (the power LED is flashing) it uses less than 1 watt.

The 2333T features a 4,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. The Samsung SyncMaster 2333T monitor is Plug & Play compatible in accordance with the VESA international standard DDC 2B.

There are no DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPorts on this monitor. This means if you plan to use this monitor in an Eyefinity setup, you'll either have to use a different make/model at least for the 3rd monitor, or purchase an active DisplayPort to DVI adapter. Unfortunately, there is not a single HDMI port either. I knew this before I made the purchase, but it's still a little disappointing.

The SyncMaster 2333T will display HD 1080p video at full quality. Mine is connected via a DVI-D cable that I had left over from my previous monitor. I use this monitor for a lot of gaming, web browsing and editing text documents. I also watch my fair share of videos on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu on this monitor. The display quality is excellent -- colors are lucid and vibrant, text is crisp and clear. There is some very minimal ghosting during heavy fast-paced action, but it's barely discernible during normal use. This can be reduced by setting the monitor's response time to "Fastest" in the menu while you play fast-paced games or watch movies.

I have absolutely no dead or stuck pixels in my monitor; there is however an insignificant amount of bleed-through on the left side of the screen. It is imperceptible except for rare occasions when your screen is really dark and you are in a really dark room, then you can see the smallest amount of white light shining through from behind the left corners of the monitor. I wouldn't have even noticed it if I hadn't been specifically looking for it.

Controls/OSD

The language of the OSD (On Screen Display) menu can be set to English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Portuguese or Turkish.

There are six buttons on the bottom right side of the monitor. The top brings up the OSD menu while the next two scroll up and down through the menu and the fourth button is used to select an option from the menu. The final two buttons are the auto-adjust button followed by the power button at the bottom. If you press the selection button without the OSD menu on the screen, it switches the monitor between analog and digital input modes. The analog mode is used when the monitor is connected with the D-Sub cable, and the digital mode is for use with the (optional, not included) DVI cable.

Without the OSD menu on the screen, the "scroll up" button is a shortcut to the brightness controls and the "scroll down" button is a shortcut to the MagicBright feature of the monitor by default. The auto-adjust button is only available in analog mode with the D-Sub connector, and automatically adjusts the screen settings when you press it.

The MagicBright feature provides picture presets that are supposedly optimized for different uses. This can be set to Custom, Text, Game, Sport, Movie or Dynamic Contrast. Text mode is for editing a document and Internet mode is for surfing the net with text and pictures. Game mode is for playing games that require a fast screen refresh rate and have lots of graphics. Sport mode is for watching games that have a lot of fast movement, while Movie mode attempts to set your brightness and sharpness to be close to a television's settings for best viewing. Dynamic Contrast automatically adjusts the contrast so bright pictures and dark pictures are pretty well balanced overall. Finally, Custom mode lets you configure the brightness and contrast yourself.

You can perform all the standard adjustments from the OSD menu. Brightness, contrast, sharpness, and response time. Set the horizontal and vertical position and image size, the menu transparency, etc. There's also an option to switch between PC and AV (audio video) mode, which toggles the available options in the Image Size menu. Setting this to PC (default) lets you choose between Auto or Wide modes. Auto leaves the display at the default aspect ratio of the input, and wide makes it show in full screen regardless of the input aspect ratio. The response time is set to "Faster" by default, and the manual recommends you leave it on "Normal" or "Faster" when not watching a movie.

Setting PC/AV to AV mode lets you choose between 4:3, 16:9, or Screen Fit. 4:3 and 16:9 obviously do as their names imply and display your content at their respective aspect ratios. Screen Fit makes it so that if a 720p, 1080i or 1080p signal comes through the DVI cable then it is displayed unaltered and without truncating it.

Final Thoughts

I love the Samsung SyncMaster 2333T, and recommend it with a couple of caveats. First, the lack of so much as a single HDMI port is a little disappointing. Make sure you keep this in mind if you're thinking about purchasing one of these monitors. I did not plan to hook any HDMI inputs up to my monitor in the first place because they're all hooked up to the television in the living room. It's always a nice option to have though, and you never know what new gadgets I may get in the next year that I might end up wishing it did have a port for.

The other thing was the control buttons being on the side of the monitor instead of the front. Definitely a no-no if you're going to mount two of these butted up against each other, as the controls on one of them will be inaccessible. Other than those couple things to be aware of prior to purchase, I have no qualms with the Samsung SyncMaster 2333T monitor whatsoever.

Current System

AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz Processor
Antec 300 Case
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD Burner
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AMD870 Motherboard
ASUS Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card
Corsair Builder Series CX600 PSU
G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive
Samsung Spinpoint F4 EcoGreen 2TB Hard Drive
Samsung SyncMaster 2333T 23" LCD Widescreen Monitor

Friday, October 21, 2011

Transcend USB 2.0 Card Reader


 
 
Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: Portable, handy, easy to use and does it's job
Cons: Cap could be lost easy and only fits on one direction
 
Having long ago lost the cord to our digital camera, I was forced to remove the pictures from it in a ridiculous fashion to share them with relatives who don't have internet access. Take the SD card out of the camera, put it in the laptop. Copy the pictures from the laptop and put them on a flash drive. Take the flash drive to my relative's house and copy the pictures to their computer. Annoying and unnecessary, it was apparently time to pick up a cheap card reader.

Since I wanted to be able to copy files at other people's houses, I obviously had to get an external card reader. Since USB is the most common and everyone has it, that was the obvious choice. I picked up a generic card reader from some random website for $1.99 and free shipping from Hong Kong. Well that was a brilliant idea, it didn't work from the start and got tossed in the trash. Next time I went to a reputable website and picked up the cheapest SD card reader I could find with a good user rating. Being able to read microSD (TransFlash) was a plus, as that means the card in my Motorola Droid could also be used in the card reader if I didn't have my USB cable with me. Also, being able to read SDHC was a major plus. The little 1 GB card in the digital camera is a regular SD card and not HC, but chances are when I upgrade the card it will likely be a SDHC for the extra capacity.

Taking all the factors into account, I ended up choosing the Transcend TS-RDP5K USB Card Reader. Not only does it meet my requirements of being inexpensive, well rated, and reading SD/SDHC/microSD cards, but it also reads MMC, MCplus, MMCmobile, RS-MMC, and Memory Stick Micro (M2) cards. It will also read miniSD, miniSDHC and MMCmicro cards with an adapter (not included).

The card reader itself is almost the exact same size as my flash drive at 66.9mm by 22.6mm by 12mm (about 2.5" x 1" x .5"). It weighs 13 grams (about half an ounce) and has an operating temperature of 0ºC (32ºF) to 70ºC (158ºF). It arrived in a colorful retail blister pack with a quick start guide and warranty information card.

The Transcend USB Card Reader is an attractive glossy black color, except for the USB end of the reader which is neon green colored. The name Transcend and company logo are on the top face of the reader, and the FCC sticker is on the bottom face. The cap is also glossy black and devoid of any writing or stickers. The cap looks plain and is unattached to the drive by any means, but unfortunately only fits one direction onto the card reader. That's annoying since it looks exactly on the top as it does on the bottom.

The card reader isn't as bulky as the generic one I previously threw away. Plugging it into a horizontal-facing USB port like on the front of my computer leaves whatever memory card is inserted into the side of it sticking slightly out to the right of the card reader. Plugging it into a vertical-facing USB port in the back of my computer leaves the memory card sticking slightly out the bottom of the card reader. Even a full-size SD card doesn't stick out very far, maybe half the total SD card's width. This lets the card reader leave plenty of room for other USB devices to be plugged in around it without interfering.

Check Flash 1.16.2 shows this Transcend USB Card Reader boasting a read speed of 7.40 MB/s and a write speed of 7.07 MB/s when reading and writing from a standard 1 GB SD card. It was a hair slower with the microSD card out of my Droid, boasting a read speed of 7.19 and a write speed of 6.82 MB/s.

The Transcend TS-RDP5K USB Card Reader is Plug & Play, and requires no drivers with Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS 10.x or later and Linux Kernel 2.6.3 or later.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Logitech M100 Mouse

Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: Inexpensive, simple and reliable, easy to use, works great
Cons: Some people may not like lack of extra buttons

Introduction

I go through a lot of mice. For some reason, and for as long as I can remember, I've held my mouse different from most people. I hold it with my hand straight, but the mouse at a diagonal, pointing up and to the right on my mouse pad. This leaves me to hit the left mouse button with my middle finger, scroll the mouse wheel with the middle of my ring finger and hit the right button with the bottom of my ring finger. While this may be odd, I've grown accustomed to it and it works well for me. Unfortunately I tend to somehow wear out my right mouse button a little quicker than most, and I have to get a new mouse button because it quits clicking correctly.

Also due to the way I hold my mouse, an ergonomic mouse is practically unusable to me, as are smaller travel sized mice. The same holds true for many of the newer mice with extra buttons, or goofy trim pieces everywhere. On top of that, I just plain hate the looks of many of those flashy mice. I saw a review the other day of a mouse shaped like a car, and while that was awesome as heck, I wouldn't (even if I was able to) use it myself.

PS2, USB, Wireless or Bluetooth?

The wireless and Bluetooth mice both have similar pros and cons. I wanted a wired mouse because I've had such terrible luck with the battery life in wireless mice in the past. In addition to this, wireless and Bluetooth mice can experience occasional signal loss and latency. As for a PS2 mouse, while my current computer does have a PS2 port in the back, another computer in the house does not. PS2 mice have already been all but replaced by USB, and soon they will be phased out entirely in the same way serial mice were phased out by PS2. That left me with needing a USB mouse.

Ball, Optical or Laser?

Even if I could still find one for sale, I sure wasn't going with a ball mouse that would skip and stutter and required constant cleaning to function. I also chose not to get a laser mouse. They may be a little more precise, but they also cost more and the little bit of added precision was unnecessary for me. An optical mouse it is then, and the Logitech M100 Mouse features high definition optical tracking at 1000 dpi (dots per inch). This makes for smooth and responsive pointer control that is pretty responsive and doesn't jitter or jump around the screen. It's more than adequate for all my computer needs, including my extensive gaming sessions. It's comfortable in my hand and tracks well on my mouse pad as well on the 6 foot heavy plastic folding table I use as a computer desk.

Description

The Logitech M100 Mouse is a full sized mouse that can be used either left or right-handed due to it's ambidextrous design. It's approximately 4.5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, and 1.5 inches tall. It's a pretty light-weight mouse, and the cord is about 6 foot long to allow plenty of room to position the mouse precisely where you need it. It's grey in color with a black mouse wheel and trim. The wheel scrolls smoothly with a light clicking noise each notch, and can also be clicked to the side to allow side-to-side scrolling or instant photo zooming. All the buttons click smoothly with a light but firm click. The Logitech M100 Mouse is just your average, three button (2 + wheel) USB mouse without any particularly distinguishing characteristics or features, which is exactly what I wanted.

System Requirements

PC: Windows 7/Vista/XP
Mac: Mac OS X 10.4 or newer
Linux: Linux kernel 2.6 or newer
All: USB port

The package only includes the mouse itself and a thin quick-start guide. No driver software is needed -- just plug it into an available USB port and you're good to go. It does come with a three year limited hardware warranty from Logitech, but it's such an inexpensive mouse in the first place that it would probably not be worth sending back when or if it eventually required replacing.

Final Thoughts

Personally I just buy a new mouse every year anyway, but this one seems to be holding up better than most and maybe I can skip a year this time. It's nice to have the quality and reliability that comes with Logitech mice. I really like this mouse myself because of the ridiculous way I hold mice, but I'm also pretty happy with it in general. There are no real downsides for anyone who doesn't require the extra buttons or ergonomic features of more expensive mice, or extra precise tracking of a laser mouse. Wireless mice are really nice themselves, but between battery life and signal latency they're not a great choice for anyone who plays any twitchy games like first person shooters or people (like me) who use their computer an excessive amount.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Corsair Builder Series CX600 Power Supply

 
Rating: 5 out of 5
Pros:Inexpensive, lots of connectors, plenty of power. 40 amps on the 12v rail
Cons: Not modular?

Current System

AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz Processor (Overclocked to 3.6GHz)
Antec 300 Case
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD Burner
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AMD870 Motherboard
ASUS Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card
Corsair Builder Series CX600 PSU
G.SKILL Ripjaw X 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive
Samsung Spinpoint F4 EcoGreen 2TB Hard Drive
Samsung SyncMaster 2333T 23" LCD Widescreen Monitor

Computers today use way more power than they did just five years ago. Even when building a low to mid-range gaming system like this one, it requires more than the 350 watt puppies that come from many computer manufacturers. At the time of this writing, Walmart has an eMachines computer for sale with a 220 watt power supply. That's just a little bit ridiculous, and if you ever put a proper video card in there it wouldn't be anywhere nearly enough power for it, let alone for adding anything else.

If your power supply isn't strong enough to power your system, you may experience random system freezing, reboots, or maybe it won't start at all. Even more important than the total wattage, however, is the quality of the power supply.

When a cheap power supply goes out it can take out system components along with it, so it's often worth it even in a budget build to not cheap out on the power supply and end up having to replace motherboards, processors or RAM sticks later. When my previous power supply decided it was time to leave the world it merely sparked once, whistled, and billowed forth a stream of nasty stinky smoke. It didn't take out any other parts and it was a simple matter to swap in a replacement and be on with my day, but it could have been much worse.

I've had other terrific products from Corsair in the past, such as my flash drive, so it made sense to go with them again when I replaced my power supply. The replacement I opted to go with is the Corsair Builder Series CX600. While the Builder Series power supplies are not as top-of-the-line as the Professional Series or Enthusiast Series, the CX600 was more than sufficient for my needs. It's quite a bit quieter than my previous Thermaltake power supply, and can supply plenty of power to my system. In addition, it also has plenty of connectors for all of my components, which is a major thing to keep in mind when deciding on a power supply unit.

Connectors

1x 24 Pin ATX/Main
1x 8 Pin EPS/CPU
4x Molex/Peripheral
6x SATA
2x PCI-E
1x Floppy

The CX600 features fully sleeved cables for all it's connectors, and they are extra long to aid in routing in a full tower case. It has a single 120mm fan to push plenty of air while keeping the noise level down. It's ATX12V v2.3 standard and energy efficient up to 80%. It also has short circuit protection as well as over and under voltage protection to help protect your components from disaster.

My CX600 came in a shrink wrapped glossy black cardboard box, with a brown cardboard box inside of that. It contained the actual power supply unit wrapped in bubble wrap, along with a case badge sticker, a power cord, a product manual, 4 black screws and a baggie of black cable ties. The power supply itself is an attractive flat black color with the standard logo and output stickers. Having the cable ties included is nice because of how long the cables are.

The power supply mounts in the bottom of my case, and it was no problem at all to install. First, I shut off the hard switch on the back of the old power supply and then unplugged it. Next I had to unplug the 24 pin ATX connector and the 8 pin EPS connector from my motherboard, the hard drive SATA connectors, the DVD SATA connector, and a couple fans that were plugged into peripheral connectors. Remove 4 screws that held the old power the old power supply to the back of the case, and then reverse the process with the new power supply unit.

Specifications

150mm wide, 86mm tall, 140mm long
4.44 pounds
0.99 Active Power Factor Correction
Universal AC input from 90~264V
Maximum Power: 600W continuous output at 30ºC
Input: 90V-264V
Output: +3.3V@25A, +5V@25A, +12V@40A, -12V@0.8A, +5VSB@3A
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures): 100,000 hours
2 year warranty

CPUID Hardware Monitor shows 11.53 volts on the +12v rail, and 4.96 volts on the +5 volt. System temperature is a comfortable 40ºC with a max of 42ºC.

I've had this power supply for about 8 months now in my computer, and it's been completely perfect the whole time. My computer runs 24/7 except for the one day I shut it off to move it, and reboots for updates to install. I always have a few things going at once, I play loads of games on it and tax the system compiling programs. Even the one time our power momentarily flickered, both of the other computers in the house restarted but mine kept going without skipping a beat. I would certainly recommend the CX600 to a friend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Corsair 8GB Flash Voyager


Rating: 5 out of 5
Pros: Extremely rugged and durable, decent speed and capacity
Cons: A little slow on the write speed, not ReadyBoost capable

The Corsair Flash Voyager is pretty nice looking as far as flash drives go. It's neither a plain ugly box nor is it a spinning, blinding neon waste of space. It's a rugged, durable rubber coated drive with a removable cap. This simple looking flash drive is mostly black with blue down the sides and at the tip of the cap. There is one single blue LED near the bottom of the drive, just above the rubber lanyard/keyring loop. It's not overly bright, but serves it's function as an activity indicator light perfectly fine.

It says Flash Voyager in yellow down the front of the drive and has Corsair's website down the back. The Corsair name and logo are in white on the cap. Speaking of the cap, while it's removable and not attached to the actual drive, it does fit snugly and I haven't lost mine after more than 3 years of ownership. Another benefit of the cap fitting so snugly is the fact that this makes the drive waterproof, to an extent. They are not certified as waterproof, but as long as it's not terribly deep the water has a hard time penetrating and mine has survived both water and snow. The drive is average sized -- nearly three inches long, one inch wide and a little over a half-inch tall. Two of them fit nicely side by in the front ports of my Antec 300 case.

I've left my flash drive in the hot (90º F) car during the summer and the cold (-20º F) car during the winter. The rubber did start feeling a very little bit tacky during the really hot time in the car, so it possibly might have an issue during a hot Arizona summer or something. Living in Michigan though, I obviously have nothing more to base that thought on. I've dropped it more times than I could possibly count, stepped on it multiple times, spilled Mountain Dew on it, and even accidentally put it through the washer once and it's still going strong.

After the first couple of years that I had mine, my brother decided to get one identical to it because of how well it held up. He's particularly rough on things and hadn't previously gotten a flash drive because it likely wouldn't have lasted him long enough to make it worth the purchase. His is also still holding up nicely, and works like new over a year later.

My Flash Voyager came in a retail blister pack, and the package did not include anything except for the drive itself. No lanyard, driver CD or short USB extension cable like I've gotten with other Corsair flash drives.

Check Flash 1.16.2 shows this USB 2.0 flash drive has a pretty good read speed of 29.74 MB/s and a slower write speed of 11.26 MB/s. It is also backward compatible with USB 1.1. It took me about 45 seconds to transfer a 500 MB game demo to the Flash Voyager from my computer hard drive. Unfortunately, the Flash Voyager does not meet the performance requirements to be used for the ReadyBoost feature in Windows 7/Vista.

The Corsair Flash Voyager has a total drive capacity of 8,069,808,128 bytes (7.51 GB), which was more space than I needed when I originally purchased the drive. It's still, in fact, an adequate amount of space for my current needs so I have no intention of replacing it in the near future. I like to keep mine loaded with portable applications for use when I'm not at home on my own computer. Portable versions of programs like ClamWin anti-virus, 7-Zip, VLC Media Player, Firefox and Notepad++ are always nice to have on hand wherever I'm at. Even with all my normal programs, I still have a ton of room for saving files on the go and transferring things back and forth between computers.

The Flash Voyager is completely Plug & Play; It requires no additional drivers to be installed for Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000/ME, Linux kernel 2.4 or newer, or Mac OS 9 and newer. It also works fine in my Nintendo Wii, my RCA television and my Phillips DVD/DivX player. It has a 10 year standard warranty from Corsair.