External Hard Drive Docking Station Reviews: What is the best dual hard drive dock?

Inateck 2-bay Hard Drive Docking Station FD2002

In this age of digital data proliferation, digital storage is almost always in short supply. To accommodate this thirst for digital storage space, many of us resort to buying multiple external hard disk drives (HDDs) each with its own USB or similar connection hardware, and each with its own power adapter. In addition, as we upgrade computers over the years, many of us are left with a trail of old laptop and desktop computers that are too slow to deal with today's fast moving digital pace but still have usable hard drives inside if only they were more accessible. To address these problems, electronics manufacturers have come up with the hard drive docking station that effectively turns all your spare hard drives and solid state drives (SSDs) into hot-swappable storage units not unlike the old magnetic tape cassettes of yesteryear. Hard drive docking stations come in several flavours from those that handle a single HDD or SSD to other more professional HDD docks that can handle an array of drives. Since here at DeskTopVibes.com we are focused on consumer computing hardware, we favour the 2-bay or dual hard drive docking station for its balance between technical flexibility and yet still reasonable price. To find the best dual HDD docking station, one needs to first know what technical specifications to look for before then choosing a reputable manufacturer.

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Universal Laptop USB Docking Station Reviews: How to Choose the Best One for You

laptop docking station

​​If you have found yourself on this page and you are obviously reading this, then you must be thinking of ways to make your digital life more efficient. And the universal laptop USB docking station could be just the thing. In today’s digital lifestyle, almost everything and everyone has gone mobile crazy with most of us working and playing on laptops and other mobile devices. However, there are often times in one’s digital day when the small screens and limited connectivity of those mobile devices are just not adequate or efficient for the task at hand. Enter the universal laptop docking station. This relatively small device can convert just about any small-screened laptop into a powerhouse of a computer, running multiple displays and connecting to multiple devices. ​It allows us to move our digital workspace on to a far larger setup without having to do any sort of transferring of files or computer synchronisation.

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A Review of Hands-On Throttle-And-Sticks (HOTAS): Which is the best?

Image of an aeroplane cockpit throttle

​In the flight simulator and newly-emerging space simulation gaming genres, using a Hands-On Throttle-And-Stick (H.O.T.A.S), or HOTAS as it is commonly known, is a must have for any serious gamer, as it brings much more realism to flight simulation and also provides a better more intuitive control of the simulated aircraft or spacecraft being commanded. In recent times, Virtual Reality (VR) headsets have also increasingly entered the gaming ecosystem bringing even more realism to flight simulation but with the unwelcome consequence of obstructing the view of the computer’s keyboard where so many of the controls are often located. As a consequence, VR gamers have become even more dependent on the controls in their hands and having strategically-placed buttons and other control hardware on ​a HOTAS is now often essential in order to interact sensibly with the game (although with the advent of voice controls, such as VoiceAttack software, this can be mitigated to some extent).

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Hot swappable drive bay cases

​Why do you need a ​ho​t swappable drive bay case?

Sharkoon 8-bay hard drive enclosure

In today's world of exponential data growth, digital storage space always seems to be in short supply. This is most often true in the home where technical resources are usually more limited. Add to that the rise in prevalence of the Solid State Drive (SSD), a more expensive technology than the traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) meaning smaller storage drives for the same price, and the amount of free digital storage space available to the home user is at constant risk of being overwhelmed.

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What is the best 2TB Drive for PS4?

​Best internal drive for PS4

Image of a Playstation 4 and its controller

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) games console comes installed with an integrated 2.5-inch hard drive on which the system software, the games and the game data are all stored. The size of the hard drive included with the PS4 varies between different PlayStation ​4 models, with the basic PS4 having either a 500GB ​or a 1TB hard drive, ​while the PS4 pro comes with a 1TB hard drive as standard. ​Avid gamers often find that they ​fall short of hard drive space as they accumulate games over t​ime often necessitating a PS4 storage space upgrade. Other more pro-level gamers find that they would like to upgrade ​the PS4 hard drive to one with superior read and write speeds in order to ​improve the game load times as well as the start up time of the gaming console itself. The ​included hard drive in the PS4 is not unlike the hard drives found on many laptop computers and, although it is housed within the body of the game console, it is not difficult to access, making it relatively easy to replace.

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Review: Reference Tracker

Until now, many assignments have left college students with a pile of books stacked upon their desks; sticky notes popping out to mark places of importance. In the twenty-first century this really shouldn’t be an issue. And now for Mac it isn’t thanks to Reference Tracker by Maklinware.

Getting Started

Image of a pile of books

To start using Reference Tracker you simply open it and click on the bright green “New Reference” button. From there you get a drop down menu which allows you to select the appropriate text that you are going to reference. There are a whole host of options to choose from varying from a chapter in a book to a article in a newspaper. Of course there is a generic “Book” option if you can’t find the exact template for your needs.


Below all of the information that you enter is the cited text field. So if you have some quotes that you think you will use in the essay or paper that you are writing, you can drop them in such that they are easily accessible at a moment’s notice. Sticky notes are an added bonus as well. If you have something that you need to remember but have no special place to put it, just open up a sticky and place it wherever you want it in the window.

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Review: Sonicum Iconic Speaker Set

ThinkGeek has always been a reliable source for your dose of geek. I ordered these speakers from them, and 3 days later they arrived on my door step. I was unsure of what to expect, as I had never heard of the company (Sonicum).  However, I had heard of the designer (Art Lebedev) who is well known for his work on the  Optimus Maximus Keyboard. After about 3 weeks of using these speakers, I am amazed.


These are some of the best designed 2.1 speakers out there. They have their own look and feel unlike the majority of other speakers on the market. Their shape is meant to mimic the standard audio-volume symbol icons, hence the “Iconic” name. The two satellites and subwoofer are made of plastic, but they have a nice soft black rubber coating to them. The speakers are very small at 10.5 x 10 x 8 cm and the subwoofer is average sized at 24 x 21.5 x 12cm.

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The Mac Gap

With 3 desktop and laptop models to choose from, Apple has a computer to satisfy many users.  The Mac Mini makes an excellent second machine or the first Mac for a switcher.  The iMac brings power, some portability and a huge screen, while the Mac Pro satisfies the needs of heavy computing users.


​On the laptop side you have the MacBook for nearly everyone, the MacBook Pro for professionals and the MacBook Air for those seeking extreme portability.

​But there is a considerable gap in both lines, and one that could satisfy a large number of users with a new model. You’ll likely remember the 12″ PowerBook G4 (shown at right). Probably my favourite Apple product of all time, it packed an entire full featured laptop into a 12″ aluminum shell. It had a full DVD combo drive, discrete graphics, and a full compliment of ports. This differs from Apple’s current ultraportable laptop, the MacBook Air, because it doesn’t sacrifice power nearly as much.

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Building an Enclosure: Spray Painting

These days everybody and their granny are hacking technology or building some new gizmo. The humble enclosure in which that shiny new piece of brilliance is to live is often overlooked, but as any good marketer knows, the money is in the design. Today, Desktop Vibes looks at some of the tools needed for successfully spray-painting your new gadget enclosure.

Enclosures come in all shapes, sizes and materials so the tools you need to color your build can largely depend on a number of factors which can vary quite extensively. No one wants to purchase a tool for every kind of paint job that they might encounter so what’s the best equipment to get to make sure that one is covered for most situations? A medium-sized air sprayer like the 1.5mm Neiko HVLP Air Spray Gun or similar air sprayer is the preferred ‘universal’ tool for spray painting. It has a fine nozzle that can be used for both large and small jobs with minimal wastage and mess, and the paint cup size and its air-adjustment valve are ideal for a range of enclosure sizes. Of course you are going to need an air compressor to power the air spray gun which can make the cost of purchase prohibitively expensive for some. However, air compressors can be useful in a variety of DIY and everyday household tasks so you have to balance whether it is worth the mula that you will need to fork out to get one. Air compressors (that can be used for spray painting) come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to make sure that the air compressor can handle the relatively high volume of air that it needs to generate to operate a spray gun effectively. We use a California Air Tools 10020 in the shop and it has been invaluable in producing some very stylish results.

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Microsoft’s SideWinder X6.

Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Keyboard


Microsoft’s new Sidewinder keyboard, the verdict…insanely awesome. Microsoft’s gaming products have been making a debut as of lately, most notibly with their new Sidewinder X6 keyboard and Sidewinder X5 gaming mouse. Microsoft isn’t exactly known for their gaming products, but it would seem that they’ve done their homework this time around.


The Ultimate Control

The new Sidewinder X6 is fully stocked.  With a backlit keyboard and a detachable number pad that can be programmed for up to 90 Macro’s, the X6 is always up to the task.  As you can see from the pictures, the final products looks awesome. Especially those volume & light controls, which set it apart from your average gaming keyboard. Microsoft said that they didn’t want people having two keyboards on their desks, just one for gaming and another for working.  The X6 is great for both of these tasks.

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