The graphics are superb, the controls are slightly fiddly, and the story seems like it would kick off, but I found myself getting frustrated and wanting to do something else.
Shame, I was looking forward to it.
Hard drives. From my first exciting 20MB drive to the 1TB beast now keeping my backups. And where you have drives you surely have drive enclosures. Here I’ll be looking at the shiny silver and white Icy Dock MB662 RAID enclosure.
The MB662 is not a complicated NAS storage system. It has no web server, no iTunes software, no ethernet port or media server. It does however have a couple of flashing blue lights and this list of features:
Most of us have a good selection of electronic gadgets gracing our home. TVs, DVD players, TIVOs, home theatre systems, the list goes on. Almost all of these will have an individual remote control requiring not only a home (just where did you put that remote?), but batteries and in many situations the ability to navigate a particular action (such as watching a DVD) across multiple controls.
It’s with this in mind that I looked at my own situation and decided I’d had enough. Watching a DVD required three remote controls. The first to power on the TV and switch the video input. The second to power on the amplifier and switch to DVD input, and the fourth to actually control the DVD (which, being in Chinese I find incredibly difficult to use). Want to watch some TV? Then you’ll need to dig out the amplifier control to switch to the TV input and use the TV control to switch back to the TV. Want to explain that to a guest? Forget it.
Notebooks are not usually big on upgrade potential. The parts are difficult to obtain, are generally more expensive, and people are nervous about opening up an expensive piece of equipment.
One of the few upgrades paths is the optical drive. Typically a notebook will have a CD burner, possibly with DVD reading capabilities. The latest notebooks will undoubtedly contain a DVD burner, but the great majority will be lacking this feature. Enter the Panasonic UJ-845!
Marketed as an OEM drive, the UJ-845 is unlikely to be found in retail stores. However it is easily purchased from any number of websites, and for a surprisingly reasonable cost, especially considering that is dual-layer, slot-loading, and supports DVD-RAM. That’s good going even by desktop standards.
For the purposes of this review, an Acer Travelmate 800 was used as the test notebook, replacing its standard QSI CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive.
The advent of digital content has opened up new markets for devices that play them back. DVD players now support DivX, Microsoft is pushing the Media PC platform, and media extenders and wireless streaming products are appearing rapidly. These are all attempts to bridge the gap between consumer product and PC, and the Mediagate MG-25 is no exception.