D-Link AX5400 (DIR-5460) Wi-fi 6 router review

Getting constantly reliable wireless speeds seems to be a life-long mission for many – me included – so when D-Link offered to send me one of its latest wi-fi 6 routers to test out, I jumped at the chance.

Looking like an alien spider that has been flipped onto its back, D-Link says its Exo AX5400 (DIR-5460) mesh wi-fi 6 router brings next-generation wireless to your home, supporting six simultaneous streams and unleashing “lightening fast wi-fi goodness” over larger areas than before.

If you’re read previous router reviews of mine, you’ll know how my house is set up. The services box – where the fibre connection enters the house from the street – is in the garage of my, roughly, 226sq m single-storey, four bedroom house. Inside, there are a handful of wall-installed ethernet ports [one of them in a kitchen cupboard!] There is also an internal door between the router and the rest of the house.

The only device that has a permanent wired connection is my PC: Everything else – smart TV, laptops, iPads – uses wi-fi. Currently, there are four people living at home, including two young adults in their 20s, so the demand on my wi-fi is considerable with media streaming and university work.

D-Link’s DIR-X5460 supports the latest 802.11ax wireless protocol [as well as other available protocols, of course], which D-Link says improves wireless performance and allows multiples devices to connect at once without compromising on performance.

The last D-Link wi-fi 6 router I tested was the bare bones DIR-X1560 but the DIR-X5460 is fully featured, with three LAN ports (10/100/1000Mbps gigabit), an internet port, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port. It also has six antennae [four non-detachable, two-detachable], compared to its smaller sibling’s four.

The DIR-X5460 offers concurrent dual-band wireless (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)  for connections up to 5.4Gbps, six simultaneous data streams and BSS colouring which increases range and reduces interference in “noisy” wi-fi environments, apparently. It’ll set you back around $NZ540.

Bottom line for me when it comes to wi-fi is I want stable, reliable wireless that doesn’t tank during heavy downloads or buffer during extended streaming sessions of The Wire or Peaky Blinders.

Like previous D-Link routers, set-up was super simple using the mobile phone app but you can use a web browser-based set up, too. All I had to do was enter my ISP’s username and password details, the router rebooted and I was up and running. There was a firmware update during the testing period.

Long story short, the DIR-X5460 impressed me, offering reliable wi-fi out a single drop out over the past month, but what about the speeds?

The simplest way to find out how good a router is, is to test it – so that’s what I did, multiple times, using a variety of testing tools: Ookla Speedtest and and website Speedof.me.

I tested the speeds from a variety of locations around the house: Beside the router, in the main bedroom, in the lounge and in the kitchen/dining/family room [these last three are the furtherest from the router]. I tested multiple times in each of the locations then did additional speed tests on September 13 at random times during the day.

The results

Ookla:

  • Kitchen: 28.6Mbps download, 27.8Mbps upload (as low as 12.9Mbps)
  • Lounge: 33.4Mpbs, 30.8Mbps
  • Bedroom: 36.9Mbps, 37.7Mbps
  • Next to router: 38.3Mbps, 55.7Mbps
  • Additional testing (13/9, single connection, various times during the day): 31.5Mbps, 11.4Mbps (lounge); 26.3Mbps, 19.5Mbps (kitchen); 39.1Mbps, 22.7Mbps (main bedroom); 40Mbps, 34.6Mbps (beside router)

Speedof.me

  • Kitchen: 37.43Mbps download (max 52.18Mbps), 20.17Mbps upload
  • Lounge: 39.55Mbps (47.57Mbps), 34.63Mpbs
  • Bedroom: 41.01Mbps (max 53.5Mbps), 41.95Mbps
  • Next to router: 41.75Mbps (max 60.45Mbps), 51.66Mbps)
  • Additional testing (13/9, single connection, various times during the day): 33.6Mbps, 11.74Mbps (lounge); 23.03Mbps, 7.15Mbps (kitchen); 36.87Mbps, 16.24Mbps (main bedroom); 40.14Mbps, 41.6Mbps (beside router)

For me, the DIR-X5460 delivered consistently fast wi-fi speeds right across my house without any drop outs and provided problem-free Netflix, YouTube and Neon streaming – and that’s a massive plus in my book. Obviously the wi-fi signal got weaker the further it got from the router and no doubt there are faster routers out there, but speeds were faster and more consistent with the DIR-5460 than many of the other routers I’ve used previously.

In fact, it must have been alright as I had no complaints from the two young adults currently in the house at all about wi-fi quality, given my daughter had moaned about the wi-fi strength before setting up the new router.

Being wi-fi 6 means the DIR-X5460 is future-proofed, too, meaning as the protocol becomes more commonplace, firmware updates to the router will mean it will prove useful for years to come. Two thumbs up, from me.

PNY offers Geforce RTX30 series graphics cards

Earlier today, graphics card powerhouse nVidia announced its new Geforce RTX 30 series cards and they look pretty damn good, if I don’t mind saying so myself.

I was contemplating picking up an RTX2060 or RTX2070 later this year but while nVidia for some reason hasn’t made New Zealand pricing available, it sounds like an RTX3070 will cost around $AU800 (which means closer to $NZ850, probably) so while not cheap, they seemed competitively priced when compared to the RTX2000 series cards when they were released.

The RTX3090, however, sounds like it’ll need a small mortgage to cover the cost so I suspect it’s not considered a consumer-level card.

Hot on the heels of nVidia’s announcement, memory, RAM and GPU manufacturer PNY has come out announcing its own line-up of RTX30 series cards with the XLR8 gaming series: The  RTX 3090, RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, all powered by the all-new NVIDIA Ampere architecture.

nVidia says the new RTX 30 Series GPUs, the 2nd generation of RTX, features new RT Cores, Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors, bringing stunning visuals, amazingly fast frame rates and AI acceleration to games and creative applications.

In terms of overclocking and RGB customisation, PNY says its XLR8 Gaming GeForce RTX 30 Series is compatible with PNY’s VelocityX overclocking software which allows for the customisation and monitoring of critical stats like core clock, memory clock, core temperature, fan speed, RGB lighting and more, aiming for the perfect balance of performance and efficiency.

Here’s what PNY has to offer in the range:

PNY XLR8 Gaming GeForce RTX 3090

    • 24GB memory
    • 3 fan
    • PCIe 4.0
    • GDDR6X
    • EPIC-X RGBTM
    • Overclocking: via VelocityX Software

PNY XLR8 Gaming GeForce RTX 3080

    • 10GB memory
    • 3 fan
    • PCIe 4.0
    • GDDR6X
    • EPIC-X RGB
    • Overclocking: via VelocityX Software

PNY XLR8 Gaming GeForce RTX 3070

    • 8GB
    • 3 fan and 2 fan variations
    • PCIe 4.0
    • GDDR6
    • EPIC-X RGB on 3 fan version
    • Overclocking: via VelocityX Software

PNY says its RTX3090 will be available from late-September,  the RTX3080 from mid-September and the RTX3070 from mid-October from mWave.com.au in Australia and in New Zealand from  www.pbtech.co.nz/

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: Come fly with me

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Greetings, dear readers! It’s been a little quiet around here lately so apologies [again, that damn day job seems to get in the way]

Lately, I’ve been playing a fair bit of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020 and I love it: It’s the perfect antidote in these crazy times when there is no overseas travel in sight for some time, I think.

Seriously, I love Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. So much so that I’m working on finding a flight stick and throttle combination so I can get more control than the fairly old Saitek Cyborg Evo joystick that I’m using.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is the sort of game that I think is best left to pictures and videos and not long paragraphs of text so I thought I’d post a few photos that I’ve captured from the game and some captures I took of a few flights over the past week.

I’ve flown to Melbourne [and seen the crazy monolith that has sprouted up], Brisbane, New York, Wellington, Lake Tekapo and around my home town of Christchurch, NZ, this week. Where do you reckon I should head to next?

Byte-sized review: Fall Guys Ultimate Knockout (reviewed on PC)

Fall Guys Ultimate Knockout  – a game show-style Battle Royale featuring 60 colourful jellybeans that are systematically eliminated as each round unfolds – is taking the world by storm.

It seems Fall Guys is the gaming darling at the moment – I’m told it sold 2 million copies on Steam since August 4 – and from the outset, it’s not hard to see why: It’s got an undeniable charm about it with its bright colours, cute characters and bouncy music as players navigate a variety of mini-games designed to slowly eliminate players until only one remains. It’s also nice to see an Battle Royale game where there isn’t an assault rifle, rocket launcher or frying pan to be seen.

Fall Guys is an assault on the senses, too, and can be chaotic and frantic one moment then frustrating and confusing the next as you avoid rotating paddles, disappearing tiles and other players.

Sadly, my experiences with it swings more towards the frustrating, with my constant inability to progress much further than the first round, which means I can either watch the remaining rounds as a spectator or quit the game and find another one [and inevitably go through the same process].

Luckily, each round is no more than a few minutes long so it means each game is probably over within 10 minutes so you won’t need to wait that long for the next one, but for me, the frustration of constantly missing the cut just outweighed any fun I was having with it. I can see Fall Guys perfectly suited to someone who maybe just wants to play for 30 minutes or so then leave it until the next day. It’s also perfectly suited to young players as there is no violence or bad language [unless its from mum or dad cursing at being eliminated – again.]

I love that a cutesy, colourful game like this is taking the online world by storm and that so many of my online friends love it, but – and I feel kind of bad for saying this – I’ve decided it’s not for me, I’m afraid, and that’s OK.

Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventures still popular

It’s been a busy few days so here’s some news …

Price aggregation site PriceSpy tells me that Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventures claimed the top spot for as most clicked-on game for the second month in a row.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says:  “Over the past few months, we’ve certainly noticed more of a presence from Nintendo Switch games placing amongst the top three spots on our popularity board.

Martinvesi-Bassett says:  “Based on the total number of clicks received, despite launching in October last year, June’s most popular game was found to be Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure.

“Whilst price drops can often attract gamers to click more on older game releases, we believe this not to be the case for the rise in popularity for Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure, as the price point has remained fairly static since it first launched.

“Instead, a big contributing factor that may have led to the rise in popularity for this particular game is Covid-19 and lock down, as people had to stay in and they wanted to stay active and feel motivated.”

Martinvesi-Bassett says it was reported globally that Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure was sold out, which most likely occurred as a result of all of the lockdowns that were taking place. “Such news most probably also contributed to the increased consumer demand here in New Zealand,” she says.

PNY XLR8 RGB memory review

PNY XLR8 RGB memory review

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as buy parts for a new gaming PC, putting it all together into a nice case then powering it up and cheering when everything works just as it should. It’s a real sense of accomplishment of a “I made this” type.

I’ve build several PCs over the years but only one has had a tempered glass side panel: My current PC which is built into a Montech Air 900 mid-tower case that I won in an online competition earlier this year.

Cases only h ave tempered glass side panels for one reason: To show off the shiny, RGB-lit goodness that lives inside it.  I know RGB components aren’t for everyone but I guess it’s the PC gamer equivalent of a car enthusiast who mods and tweaks his car to show off to other enthusiasts.

The only RGB lighting in my PC when I built it came from my Sapphire RX580 graphics card – up until PNY Technologies sent across a 16Gb kit of dual channel XLR8 RGB RAM (3200Mhz) to put through its paces.

Rated at 3200MHz, the XLR8 RAM is backward compatible with 2133Mhz, 2400Mhz, 2666Mhz, 2800Mhz, 2933Mhz and 3000Mhz frequencies. It has a CAS latency of 16 [timings are 16-18-18] and it supports XMP 2.0.

EASY AS ONE, TWO, THREE …

As anyone who has built a PC will know, RAM is one of the easiest things to replace and installing the PNY RAM was straightforward enough, replacing the two 8Gb sticks of vanilla Team Group RAM (rated at 2400Mhz) that were currently in my PC.

However, I did have to remove my RX580 GPU and disconnect my case fans header to fit the sticks in as clearances on my PC’s Asus mATX B365M-K motherboard were pretty tight. It just meant I had to manage the cables a little better, too.

PNY’s RAM draws 1.35v of power and the RGB lighting is powered via the RAM slot on your motherboard so you don’t need an RGB header on the motherboard to connect it to, which is nice for those of us with motherboards like mine that don’t have the aforementioned header. The RGB lights – consisting of five LEDs within a frosted lens – sit on top of the two aluminum heat spreaders.

TRIPPING THE [RGB] LIGHT FANTASTIC …

The memory supports a number of lighting control software such as Asus’ Aura Sync, MSi’s  Mystic Light Sync and ASrock’s Polychrome sync but unfortunately, my Asus motherboard doesn’t support RGB control so I couldn’t control the light patterns, instead just letting it “do its own thing”, which still looked nice. My motherboard is also restricted to 2666Mhz frequency RAM, so that’s what I set the frequency to in my motherboard’s BIOS.

PNY’s XLR8 RAM does what it says on the tin: Lights up your windowed PC case with undulating displays of neon colours – and I quite like that.

Look, RGB inside your PC won’t make it run any faster: It’s purely for aesthetics and a nice addition to someone who has a case with a side window and wants to show off the PC they spent countless hours tinkering on and getting just right.

As I said earlier, RGB components aren’t for every PC owner but if it is, PNY’s RGB XLR8 RAM is a good starting point to begin that RGB journey.

PNY’s  XLR8 RAM is available from PB Tech in New Zealand and mWave in Australia and available as a 32GB kit (2x16GB) and 16Gb kit (2 x 8Gb) or a 16Gb single channel stick and an 8Gb single channel stick.

Carrion (Nintendo Switch) review

Carrion is a horror game with a twist: You are the monster in the dark, hunting the humans – not the other way around.

In what has been described by its creators as a “reverse horror”, you control a red amorphous tentacled blob that escapes confinement in a secret research facility and must escape.

The publisher behind Carrion is Devolver Digital, a breath of fresh air in the games industry that is, to be honest,  groaning under the weight of companies like EA and Ubisoft who trot out the same formulaic games time and time again.

Devolver champions the indie [independent] developer, like Phobia Game Studios the team behind Carrion, allowing them to release their games to an audience that they might not otherwise have had access to – it’s smart business practice and Devolver’s actions have paid dividends for both gamers and it alike.

Carrion is Metroidvania in style, with the monster having to unlock doors to progress to the next location and that often involves backtracking to locations you’ve visited before and pulling levers that will unlock chambers in another area.

Sometimes the monster will have to deposit some of its biomass into watery pools so that it reduces in size, allowing it to squeeze ever so slightly through panels that are too tight for a large mass of gelatinous goo to fit through so it can fire sticky webs to hard-to-reach switches and levers.

Throughout the research facility are terrified scientists and armed soldiers that the monster can taunt with its roar – then devour, with some of them helping him grow in size. It’s not all beer and skittles, though, with later locations having tougher foes that require a bit of tactical nouse to outwit [here’s a tip: doors ripped off from their hinges are a great help in taking our unsuspecting enemies.] The monster also has echolocation that helps locate other deposits of biomass, which acts as save points.

Carrion loses a little momentum sometimes, especially in flashback sequences where the monster has visions of the scientists that originally found it, but overall, I enjoyed my time immensely – with one caveat: It frustrated me more than once that there wasn’t some form of in-game map [albeit an optional small one.]

I get that the developers were wanting you to feel like you were an evolving blob, not sure where you are, so having a map to find your next goal would break that immersion, but I found myself getting lost numerous times, unsure where to go.

I eventually had to resort to watching a YouTube play through just so I could see what I had to do to solve the section I was stuck on. It also required some serious back tracking to previous locations to find a switch that I should have flicked or a containment area I should have breached to gain the ability to become invisible and pass through security lasers\.

Bottom line is I had a great time with Carrion – the no-map frustrations aside. It’s also perfectly suited for the Switch and was a nice antidote to a busy day in the office.

For gamers always wanting to be the ‘bad monster”, Carrion is your chance to be that monster.  Go forth and chomp, blobs.

Death Stranding (PC review)

This review was originally published over at Koru-Cottage, another site I write for.

Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding is a game that polarised gamers when it came out on PlayStation 4 and you had two camps. Those that saw it almost as the second coming as one of the best games they’d ever played.  Versus those that found it good looking game hindered by repetitive gameplay.

I never played Death Stranding on PlayStation 4, but did play Metal Gear Solid V on the console and wasn’t a fan. It just didn’t gel with me. I just didn’t get it.

It was with some trepidation that I agreed to look at Death Stranding on PC when asked by the esteemed editor of this fine publication. I was curious to see how it played on a PC with more powerful hardware than a PS4. Also how Guerilla’s Decima game engine – which was used in Horizon Zero Dawn – scaled to a PC. Where there are a wide range of hardware variables at play, unlike consoles which are standardised in their design and hardware.

Players control Sam Porter Bridges (played by The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus). Broken down to its core elements – it’s a game where you play a courier in the future (Sam Bridges), tasked with reconnecting a fractured America. He does this by delivering vital packages from point A to point B, all the while reconnecting the UCA (United Cities of America) to a network that will reunite them.

It’s kinda weird, man

Let’s be honest here, Death Stranding is a weird game. I mean, in one encounter with the game’s ghostly enemies – BTs – a trike I was riding got stuck in some black goo that rose up from the ground. A giant tentacled whale then dropped from the sky, ate me, then when I found my body (after floating through water), a giant crater had suddenly been created, surrounded by dead fish. I wish I’d remembered to get a capture of it: It was wild. Seriously, WTF, Hideo?

In another encounter, the aforementioned tentacled whale returned, but I threw three grenades made out of Sam’s blood at it and it exploded in a shower of gold flakes. Another time, I clearly overloaded poor Sam with too many containers, causing him to stumble and fall, dropping all his cargo and causing the baby strapped to his chest in a pod – a BB which can help Sam sense the BTs – to cry. Again, WTF, Hideo?

Death Stranding PC - Norman

Anyhoo, this review is focusing more on the technical aspects of this PC port. How it looks, how it works with mouse and keyboard and, importantly, whether higher frame rates mean a better gaming experience. [Spoiler alert: of course they do].

better, stronger, faster on pc?

The tweakable graphics options for this PC version of Death Stranding aren’t massive but there is enough to show that the Decima engine on which this game is built is hugely scalable if you’ve got a moderately good graphics card (ie current or last generation). Kojima Productions have clearly spent time getting this conversion right.

You can customise the level of graphics quality you want [I ran a mix of very high and high settings]. There’s no tweakable FOV slider, which will frustrate some people, but a really nice touch is that you can select the maximum frame-rate, which goes from 60FPS right up to 240FPS.

I’m running an AMD Radeon RX580 – a still capable GPU but not current generation – and I  locked the frame rate cap at 120FPS.It’s liberating at how much smoother game play is when you’re not locked at 30 frames per second like with console games.

With my RX580, I was averaging 100 frames per second. I can only imagine how high the frame rates are with a top-end GPU like an RTX2080 or higher.

Death Stranding already looked good on the PlayStation 4 but it really does look stunning on PC. With highly detailed environments, characters and weather effects – it just shows how talented the team at Kojima is.

If you’ve got the hardware, you will be impressed with how good Death Stranding looks. I did notice a few stutters, however, in early cinematic sequences which seemed to sort themselves out after a quick restart.

Death Stranding PC - Tricycle the fun!

keyboard or traditional mouse & keyboard?

Using the mouse and keyboard took a little getting used to for me as lately I’ve been more used to using a controller. Using the standard W-A-S-D set up for movement was familar and worked. I had to stretch my fingers a bit when using V for melee combat against MULEs but it was doable. You can use a controller. Although I had no luck using my wired Xbox 360 controller which the game wouldn’t recognise.

The game has a comprehensive photo mode (all the photos in this review were captured using it) and it brings a tonne of options for in-game photographers.

However it took me a while to work out how to actually take a photo: There is no on-screen “capture” button. It was only after a bit of sleuthing using Dr Google that I found you have to use either Steam’s photo capturing software or something like nVidia or AMD’s photo capturing solutions to take a screen shot. It’s a bit finnicky so an actual on-screen “capture” button would be a nice addition.

Death Stranding PC - wind in my hair

I’m more hours into a Hideo Kojima game than I’ve ever been before and you know what? I actually think I’m starting to like it. I’m not sure whether it’ll completely win me over but I’ve found myself kind of enjoying creeping through its BT-infested plains and silent valleys.

Death Stranding is one of the most polarising games in recent memory and I’m still to be convinced that Hideo Kojima is a genius. The bottom line is it is absolutely stunning on PC and provides frame rates that only a current generation console could dream of.

To that end, I have high hopes for games like Horizon Zero Dawn, another Sony game which is also PC bound and uses the same Decima graphics engine. It’s a pretty exciting time to be a PC gamer.

Norman Reedus Winkie

D-Link DIR-X1560 Wi-fi 6 router review

I’ve always been a fan of D-Link routers so was interested to see whether it’s new Smart DIR-X1560 wi-fi 6 would “unleash” the “lightening fast” speeds that the marketing brochure promised me.

D-Link seems to targeting the connected/smart home market with this wi-fi 6 router as it says the AX1500 is the “ultimate router for the connected home”, perfect for device-heavy homes and offering more bandwidth without affecting data-intensive applications like 4K streaming and gaming.

D-Link says wi-fi 6 (which uses the 802.11ax protocol) delivers speeds up to 2 to 3 times faster than 802.11ac routers and offers up to 1200 Mbps on the 5GHz band and 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.

Out of the box, the DIR-X1560 is a pretty bare bones router offering four gigabit LAN ports, an WAN port, a WPS connection button and the power button at the back  – and that’s it. There’s no anti-malware protection and parental controls are fairly basic.

It’s also quite a bit smaller than the DIR 3060, too, with four antennae instead of six like on the DIR 3060.  There’s also no USB port so when you need to update the router’s firmware you’ll need to do it via the internet and not using a USB stick. It also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but I didn’t test out those features.

Setting up the DIR-X1560 was super simple like most of the other D-Link routers I’ve used  and you can either scan the QR code in the supplied documentation and use D-Link’s smartphone app or connect it to the internet via ethernet then visit the D-Link site to complete the setup. I chose the QR code/app route and it was hassle free: Within a few minutes I was up and running and connect and the unit had even upgraded its firmware.

My five-year-old home is internally wired with ethernet ports in various rooms (ie study, bedroom, kitchen, family room) so I can plug devices directly into the walls to ensure consistent internet speeds but the services panel where everything technical enters the property is located in the garage about 15 metres away from the main living areas  – and that’s what the DIR-X1560 was plugged into.

I tested the speed of the wi-fi from three rooms in my house: The main bedroom (which is one of the closest rooms to where the router is situated), the study/spare room and the kitchen/dining area.

The bedroom speed test returned around 38.5Mbps down and 34.5Mbps up, the study, which is about 12m or so away from the router, returned speeds around 25Mbps down and 15Mbps up, while the the kitchen/dining room gave speeds of around 10Mbps down and 11Mbps up [Not spectacular speeds from the kitchen but the signal had to travel from pretty much one end of the house to the other, passing through several walls on the way.]

My main test of the DIR-X1560 was to stream countless hours of Netflix and Neon (a New Zealand-based streaming service) across a variety of devices (Samsung smart TV, Apple iPad, Macbook pro) – often two of them at the same time – and I experienced no lag or drops in the connection or quality from the moment I set it up. It provided perfect speeds for interruption-free streaming.

Look, the DIR-X1560 isn’t the most feature-packed wi-fi 6 unit –  if you want more features and more LAN ports you’ll have to look elsewhere – and I get faster speeds from my DIR 3060 but for $NZ279/$AU249, it’s a solid entry level router that delivers good speeds if you’re wanting to head down the wi-fi 6 route.

PNY launches HP memory products into New Zealand and Australia

HP’s x796w flash drive.

PNY Technologies has launched HP memory products into Australia and New Zealand for the first time. The initial launch centres around four HP USB flash drives: the HP x796w, HP x760w , HP v245w and HP v150w.

PNY Director Sales, ANZ & Oceania Richard Clarke says the HP products are PNY’s major and continued commitment to launching high-quality memory products into New Zealand and Australia. “They are the first of many across the entire HP memory product range that we will launch local,” he says.

The HP x796w offers a USB 3.1 mobile solution to store and share your music, photos, files and more. With a durable and metal casing, it has a push-pull design and is ideal for large files. It’s also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and comes in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB sizes.

The x760w comes in 32Gb, 64Gb, 128Gb and 256Gb storage sizes (USB 3.1) and has a clip-on hook meaning it can be securely attached to a backpack.

HP’s v245w flash drive.

The pint-sized v245w is water and shock resistant and comes in 16Gb, 32Gb and 64Gb sizes, and the v150w has a sliding, lid-less and cap-less design, weighing in at 32Gb, 64Gb and 128Gb sizes.

All four USB sticks are available from JB Hi-Fi across New Zealand and Australia.