Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme PX-256M5P

Up until I embarked on this review, my strongest memory of Plextor is their dominance of the optical drive market in the 1990s. Simply put, they had the best CD-ROM writer in the days when making “coasters” was commonplace. These days Plextor has retained their storage beginnings with a focus on Solid State Drives (SSD). DigitalReviews would like to thank Plextor for providing a M5Pro (PX-256M5P) Xtreme for review. Here’s another review from Kevin Cheng.

Synology DiskStation DS-1512+ : a 5 Bay Powerhouse

It is no secret that DigitalReviews is a big fan of Synology products. We have reviewed a number of their Networked Attached Storage over the past few years and have always been a fan. This time around Synology has kindly supplied a DS-1512+ for a review with a different focus. And here is Kevin Cheng’s report.

Apricorn Aegis Bio 3.0 – a very secure 1 TB External Hard Drive

This review can be short because we have reviewed many products from Apricorn, including an earlier model of the Aegis Bio with fingerprint reader.
We will state our bias upfront: we are fans of this Californian outfit which specialises in manufacturing external storage devices with great security features. However, I’m not particularly a fan of fingerprint readers, much preferring keypad security.
So how did we go with this one? Check out ‘ s take on it.

From the archive: Bill’s Atomic Rant: I Hate Optimum Online!

From the “I Just Gotta Say It” Department: I have come to know and loathe Optimum Online, not only because of its insipid commercials, but also because of its entirely unspectacular customer service. Here’s the deal: At least in theory, once per month the government runs a test of the emergency cable network. Yeah, yeah, they’ve been doing it on network TV for years… You get this notice on the TV screen, on top of a red background, plus a godawful modulated tone. It can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 30 seconds. If that’s all that happened it’d be no big deal. Unfortunately, the same cable line that feeds my TV also feeds my cable modem. When the alert is finished, so is my connection to the Internet –each and every time. Here too, if it only happened once a month, as apparently it’s supposed to, I could deal with it. It’s for safety. This morning was the fifth time this month. (And yesterday afternoon the mail server was down.)

Call tech support? Hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahaahaa! I did that this morning. For the first five minutes of the call, the “tech” tried to connect me with the TV side of the company because, obviously, this was a television problem. Then we went through intermediaries, three of them, as each explained that he or she had no idea what was happening. We finally did get to the TV side and they wanted to schedule a visit. Duh!! Of course, this was the first time they’d ever heard about the problem. And, just as of course, there was nothing they could do about it anyway because the government was seizing their cable lines and sending out that “once a month” signal whether they wanted it to happen or not.

Sure, it all works if I power off the modem, unplug the router and the switch, wait a couple of minutes, power up the modem, wait for it to make its connections, then power the router and the switch. But this shouldn’t happen.

(Sorry about carrying on like that, but today’s the anniversary of my birthday and I just seem to be more outraged than usual about this stupid stuff.)

Alice Responds: Happy Birthday Bill!! I spent my own day in Hell trying to hook up a wireless router and network to an IDSL fixed line connection. But it works, so it’s not a totally bad day! DLink has great tech support. Major shout out to the tech who got me up and running. Two floors up from the router and actually have a good signal strength to boot. Go figure. Sometimes the tech Gods are kind.

Send Bill a Happy Birthday email and then post your own horror stories in the comments below. We’ll showcase the best ones here next week.

Hands On with A.C. Ryan PlayOn!HD3

Read more: Hands On with A.C. Ryan PlayOn!HD3 It has been a while since DigitalReviews visited the networked media player space. To mark our return, we would like to welcome A.C. Ryan’s Playon!HD3 to the DigitalReviews test bench.

Despite the rise and rise of complete media center solutions such as XBMC and Plex, there seems to still be a market for an appliance based solution. So let’s see how the Playon!HD3 performs. Check out Kevin Cheng’s article here.

Eight Bay NAS Overture – Synology DS1812+

Be it small businesses or avid prosumers, storage is one place where less is never going to be more. Understanding this, Synology’s DS1812+ has not four, five or six but eight hard drive bays. With 3TB drives entering affordability, that’s 24TB in one box.

Read on for our full review by Paul Moons.

ESDS Electronic Shark Defense System

Do shark shields or electronic shark defense systems work, you ask? Sure they do! Well it did last time we tested a similar product that produced an electrical field to keep the big “bities away” (an alternative to the ESDS, the Freedom 7 was reviewed here on this site in 2009 – see link ).

We have been using an electronic shark shield pretty much every second day in summer and occasionally even during winter for swimming protection since 2009 and we have not been eaten yet, although nearby sightings have been made. We are absolute believers in the principles that these work on and have done so since the practical first evaluation. We have just been given one that’s just been released to the market, the ESDS.
Check out Joe Baker’s review here.

ION Air Pro WiFi Action Camera – Reviewed

It’s an ever widening field populated by the likes of GoPro, Contour, Sony and Ion Air.
Most of these action cameras sport the same type of basic features: tough build, wide angle view, Full HD video and stills. Where they differ is image quality, controls, waterproofing built-in, shape, and, increasingly, WiFi capability. Most of them also have associated apps for iPhone and Android platforms these days.
Let’s look at the top-of-the-line model from a relative newcomer, ION, here.