Silicon Power A66 Drives
Silicon Power A66 Drives

Gear Guide
Fenix PD36 TAC

OLight Open 2, Obulb and MR2
OLight Open, Obulb & MR2

Alcatel 1B & 1X
Alcatel 1B & 1X Smartphones

TCL 2021 CES Announcements

CES 2021 is Virtual this year and we are there! TCL has their full annoucement video posted. Enjoy!


Alcatel 1B & 1X Hands On - Entry Level That Works

There are a lot of high-end phones on the market these days and there are a bunch of companies that claim to offer "flagship killers". Those "killers" used to be quite affordable, but they've crept up in price to the point where they are expensive enough, that they really need to offer something special. Often they don't. They are merely "killers" based on the slightly discounted price and cheaper materials.

The often overlooked smartphone segment is the entry-level arena. While it may not be that exciting, these phones sell way more units and probably make the manufacturer more money than they do from the relatively small number of flagship devices they sell.

Today we are taking a quick look at the low-end of the entry-level market with these Alcatel devices. The 1B comes in at a mere $99 CAD price point at the time of publication and the more expensive 1X is a whopping $168 CAD. Converted to USD for many of you readers, that's $75 and $126 respectively.

Can they hold up, stack up and offer enough performance and features to even seriously consider? We'll show you what you're getting and share our thoughts so keep reading!

Alcatel 1B & 1X



TCL 10 Pro - Mainstream Flagship Has Arrived

If you’re looking for a great new smartphone but don’t have $1400 - $2000 CAD to spend, there aren’t a lot of options. There are a lot of options if you are willing to sacrifice a bunch of features, you can keep the cost down and end up with something adequate. If you want features and quality, you must be willing to spend $1,000 plus outright...or do you?

Enter the TCL 10 Series – namely the 10 Pro. This is a mainstream device with a lot of great features, solid performance and a price that is easy to swallow. We are going to find out and see how it stacks up and if this $665 (outright at Telus), has enough of everything you need and want to satisfy your cravings and if it’s worth leaving the big brands for.

TCL 10 Pro

Keep reading to find out more!


Silicon Power P34A80 1TB NVMe SSD

Today we are looking at the big brother to the P34A60 1TB drive we looked at earlier in March. The P34A80 1TB is a PCIe 3x4 M.2 2280 drive that is geared for high-end performance. This drive features support for NVMe 1.3, SLC Cache and DRAM Cache Buffer. What that means is that you’re going to get top notch performance out of this little beauty. Silicon Power claims that you can expect up to 3400MB/s read speed and write speeds of 3000 MB/s.

They have beefed up the performance on the 80-series NVMe drives and have done it without a lot of additional cost. If you have a PCIe 3.0 supported device with 4x PCIe lanes, you really should consider this unit from Silicon Power. Make sure to keep reading to see how well it performs and if their claimed speeds are anywhere close to what we are getting in the real world.



Fenix PD35 TAC LED Tactical Flashlight - Patriot Ed.

It’s no secret that Fenix makes great lights and they have recently commissioned one for the United States of America and we are looking at the "Patriot" version today. This is an updated PD35 TAC and it is a 1000 lumen light that features a rear tail-cap, side button for mode selection and a paint-job that would make any American Patriot proud. As with many of their other lights, it runs off either a single 18650 or a pair of cold-resistant CR123 batteries. If you're not American, this flavor and window-dressing may not suit you, but the PD35 TAC is the same light underneath. We'll take a look at the light in more detail, but paying particular attention to the actual light - and not the paint.

PD35TAC Patriot


Silicon Power 256GB MicroSDHC UHS-I U3 V30 A2

Companies that specialize in memory cards have had to adapt or die. The market for memory cards has shrunk a fair bit over the past few years as many consumers use mobile devices for video and picture taking. Many wireless handset manufacturers do not implement removeable or expandable storage in their products as they'd rather charge you a huge premium for a device with more storage.

In the past, MicroSD cards were really limited in capacity as well as performance, so they only worked for certain mainstream applications. MicroSD storage has dramatically improved over the past few years and even the mainstream unit from Silicon Power is a bit of a force to be reckoned with. It's not a gale force, but it is a pretty strong contender. Make sure you read more to find out how it holds up.



Silicon Power Blast Plug BP82 True Wireless Earbuds

We follow up our review of the Silicon Power NVMe SSD with another product showing the diversification companies have done to stay current, and we are looking at a pretty small set of true wireless earbuds. These are not their first kick at the can and the Blast Plug BP82 is their sixth audio product and the second of their full wireless earbuds.

The market is crowded with brand name, and a lot of no-name earbuds of this style, so what does Silicon Power offer to set them apart from the $40 - $50 priced earbuds? We’ll going to find out, so stick around!



Silicon Power P34A60 1TB NVMe SSD

Today we are taking a quick look at the Silicon Power P34A60 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x4 1TB NVMe SSD. That’s a lot of numbers and model spec to say that this is Silicon Powers mid-range 1TB NVMe offering. As the model suggests, it’s a four-lane solution that offers solid performance at a great price point. Silicon Power asked if I’d like to look at this particular model, and as I was running out of space on my existing 512GB Patriot Scorch, I figured this was a perfect opportunity.

Silicon Power has diversified their portfolio quite a bit over the past few years, but one of their core products was computer NVRAM. They’ve migrated to SSD storage and offer mSATA, SATA III and NVMe solutions currently. While they often aren’t the first name you think of when it comes to SSD upgrades here in North America, they have a growing presence and offer a wide range of solutions for really great prices. The value is more than just the cost per GB however. The P34A60 1TB drive comes with an impressive 5-year warranty.

SP P34A60


Fenix HM50R Multipurpose LED Headlamp

Fenix is on a roll with their high-quality illumination products and today we are looking at the smallest one we’ve had the pleasure of clicking the switch on yet. We've got the HM50R on our bench and strapped to my head to put our thoughts together and share what we think of this little unit. This unit is little. It’s a mere 2.66-inches long (67.5mm) and weighs in at a mere 63 grams (minus the battery).



Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless ANC Headphones

Just when I thought my review days were winding down, Sennheiser - among others, comes out with a bunch of great new products and they asked me if I would continue to look and share my thoughts on their latest and hopefully greatest. I’ve once again plugged in my laptop, downloaded some great music and made sure that I’m all mellow and ready to spend some solid hours listening and evaluating the new PXC 550-II from Sennheiser.

These are not studio headphones. The PXC series is about active noise cancellation, lightweight and offer a plethora of other features that should appeal to frequent travelers. Just because they are geared for those that spend a bunch of time on the road, on a train or in a plane, doesn’t mean they won’t be a great accessory for those who desire a listening experience immersed in solid comfort, excellent noise cancellation and app features that simplify and allow you to custom tailor the experience for you alone.

PCX 550-II


The advertised MSRP at launch of these headphones is $459.95 CDN or $349.95 USD, they come in a little more affordable than the Momentum 3 we looked at a little while ago. They are priced in the mainstream ANC road-warriors budget and we’ll find out if they are worth your hard-earned green.


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