Zotac’s first salvo in the SSD market is quite a bombshell

Zotac might not have as much experience in the storage business as more well known brands, but it sees where the industry is headed. It’s launched its first PCIE SSD with a bang with the Sonix, a PCIE solid state drive (SSD), with high-end performance. The Sonix SSD’s capacity is a reserved 480GB, but it plugs straight into a PCIe 3.0 port, and can deliver reads speeds up to 2,600 megabytes per second.

That is sequential of course, so we can’t expect that to be the default performance level. Likewise with the write speed, which operates at a slower 1,300MBps sequentially. However, that’s not to say that this won’t be a very powerful piece of kit. The performance is comparable to and in some cases, better than the competition — if it comes close to its stated maximum.

Zotac utilizes Toshiba MLC NAND internally, and features 512MB of DDR3 for its cache. Externally, it has a blue PCB, though most of that is hidden by a snazzy aluminium EMI shroud, which also serves to aid ventilation — with some small air vents along its ‘front’ side — and to advertise the manufacturer with a big cut-out Zotac logo.

It seems a shame that Zotac didn’t provide more general usage numbers, like random read/write and access times, but presumably we’ll learn more about those as we get closer to a release, which at the time of writing hasn’t been detailed. We also don’t have any pricing, unfortunately, but expect it to be comparable to contemporary offerings from other manufacturers.

That list of competitors is going to continue to go grow too. The performance offered by PCIE compatible SSDs is undeniable, and though it might mean taking up an extra slot on your motherboard, it’s preferable to trying to link up multiple SATA III connections.

Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.

Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains

Nvidia's pricey Jetson AGX Xavier might help drive the next generation of smart robots. Nvidia hopes that developers will use its new Xavier module to power AI-driven machines like delivery drones and robots used in manufacturing.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Amazon takes $300 off Intel Core i7 Surface Pro 6 in latest sale

If you're looking for savings on the Surface Pro 6, Amazon is the place to shop. It currently is discounting the Intel Core i7 variant of Microsoft's latest 2-in-1 by $300, though no Type Cover is included.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Don't keep typing the same thing -- learn to copy and paste with these shortcuts!

Looking for useful Windows keyboard shortcuts? The most common are the cut, copy, paste and undo shortcuts compatible with all kinds of tasks. They can save you an awful lot of time if you learn how to use them.

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.