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Lava Agni 2

A soft, transparent TPU case

66W PD Fast Charger

A USB Type-C to Type-C Cable

USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Jack Converter

Sim Ejector Tool

Pamphlets and User Manual

The Lava Agni 2 boasts a dual-curve design that looks and feels premium. It comes in a single “Viridian” color option, which looks more like emerald green. While the frame is polycarbonate, the back is made of glass and has a matte finish which works well in hiding smudges and fingerprints.

The phone has a striking resemblance to the OnePlus 11R (review), which has a polycarbonate frame with a similar profile and in-hand feel. The 202-gram weight is distributed evenly and does not cause any discomfort or strain during extended use.

Barring that, the Agni 2’s huge camera module at the back can be very polarising- some may like it, while some may outrightly hate the design. Whatever the case, it does attract quite a few eyeballs.

The front offers a flagship-grade look with a curved screen and a centered punch-hole camera. The bezels are extremely thin on the sides and you get a good screen estate for media consumption. The phone doesn’t look like a typical Lava by any means, and the brand has done a great job on the design.

In terms of durability, the front is protected by Schott Xensation glass. The screen didn’t come with a pre-applied screen protector but thankfully, I haven’t noticed any scratches so far. The oleophobic coating is great and keeps everyday smudges away.

The Lava Agni 2 feels premium and sturdy in the hands. And while it comes with a clear case inside the box, this is one phone I was comfortable using naked for the most part. Overall, it is easily one of the best-built phones under Rs. 20,000.

Update (25 June, 2023): Another OTA has fixed the sudden increase in display brightness  when using fingerprint app lock. It still happens but the brightness jump is lesser than earlier. The update also seems to have fixed the palm or false touch rejection.

The Lava Agni 2 has a 6.78-inch curved AMOLED display with a Full-HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. It has an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a pixel density of 388ppi. 

The panel has an automatic peak brightness of 950 nits under sunlight and a standard maximum brightness of 500 nits. It further supports 10-bit colors, Widevine L1, HDR, and 105% NTSC/ 109.28% DCI-P3 color gamut.

The Agni 2’s screen is quite legible for everyday use. The text looks sharp and the contents are easily visible even in bright daylight. It is vibrant but may also look oversaturated in a few instances. You can switch between Vivid and Natural profiles but they both look too colorful in my opinion.

You can lock the display at 60Hz, or 120Hz, or set it to Dynamic. The latter actively monitors if you’re touching or scrolling on the screen. In case of inactivity, it switches down to 60Hz but as soon as you touch the display, it’s pumped back to 90 or 120Hz (provided the app supports it). This means the phone is able to save battery without compromising on the overall smoothness.

The Lava Agni 2 has an automatic brightness sensor- initially, it didn’t seem to be calibrated well. There were sudden brightness shifts and it lacked consistency- the screen either appeared too dim or too dark at times. I had to disable the auto brightness since it was too hard to live with it. The issue is now fixed with a software update.

I also carefully inspected the display for any anomalies. Some may feel there’s screen bleeding along the edges of the curved display, but it’s mere refraction that is present on almost all curve display phones, albeit slightly more pronounced on the Agni 2. However, I did notice slight color banding issues, especially when watching dark-colored content as discovered by Mr. Techpedia on YouTube.

There were no tinting issues, but I did notice graininess with a green tinge when you push the display to the lower brightness levels with extra dim mode and open a dark or grey background. However, it’s a tiny issue and doesn’t affect your experience unless you forcefully try to imitate the problem in a dark environment.

Overall, the display is sharp, bright, and looks great. Only minor software issues like the screen brightening with the fingerprint scanner in the app lock and inferior palm rejection are holding back the experience. But I am sure these will be shredded off in the next few updates. 

The Lava Agni 2 gets powered by the new MediaTek Demensity 7050 processor which is a rebrand of the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 we’ve seen on Realme 10 Pro Plus, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Galaxy A54.

It is a 6nm-based octa-core processor paired with 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. As evident, the phone comes in a single RAM and ROM combination.

The Agni 2 seems properly optimized and delivers good everyday performance without any lag or stutter. Animations are smooth and apps open quickly. The RAM management is fine too and apps stay in the memory for a long time. 

The capable processor along with the 120Hz display together deliver a buttery smooth performance without any heating. And despite coming from a flagship phone, I had no issues with the Lava Agni 2.

Gaming and Throttling Test

The Dimensity 7050 is not a gaming processor but still can run all major games with ease. PUBG New State ran at 90fps while Call of Duty Mobile ran well at smooth graphics with max frame rate and high graphics with very high frame rate.

Worth mentioning, there’s a Game Booster mode onboard that gives you accelerated performance, a game sidebar, and screen customization while gaming. It can also optimize overall gameplay by restricting background tasks and blocking unwanted interactions while gaming.

The phone has Vapor Chamber Cooling and only got a little warm during extended gaming sessions. I didn’t notice any overheating except during the phone’s initial setup. 

I also conducted a 15-minute thermal throttling test which stays in the green zone, indicating the phone manages heat well and does not throttle easily. You can check the graph above.

AnTuTu, GeekBench, and A1SDBench Benchmark Test

On AnTuTu v9, the Lava Agni 2 scored 5,35,800 points. Whereas, Geekbench 6 gave a single-core score of 994 and a multi-core score of 2351 points. In storage tests, we got sequential read and write speeds of 698MB/s and 245MB/s respectively. Whereas, the RAM test yielded 8125MB/s as shown in the test above.

Lava is using its own home screen launcher called “Quickstep” which is a letdown in my opinion. While it lets you customize the app icon and name, you cannot change the grid size, icon shape, or even the icon size. For the same reason, I had to use a third-party launcher as my default.

Coming to the extras, the Agni 2 comes with all the essential features one would want. You can customize the always-on display screen and use edge lighting for notifications. You can also choose between different lock screens, fingerprint animations, and charging animation styles.

Other features include App Lock, WhatsApp app clone, and Smart touch, followed by DuraSpeed which boosts foreground apps by restricting background items (I disabled it within the first few days). The latest update adds an additional dialer to record calls without warning which can be handy at times.

There’s also a unique Background Stream feature in the quick settings tile that lets you play YouTube videos in the background without premium. And since it’s a curved panel, Lava has added a side application bar that you can toggle from any screen to quickly access your favorite apps.

The phone, at the time of writing, is running Android 13 with May 2023 security patch. Lava has promised to give Android 14 and Android 15 alongside 3 years of security updates for the device. However, it would be interesting to see the timing of these updates.

Lava Agni 2 has a quad-camera setup at the rear. This includes the primary 50-megapixel shooter with a 1µm pixel size, accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, a 2-megapixel macro, and another 2-megapixel depth camera. For selfies, there’s a 16-megapixel camera upfront.

As the night hits, the camera starts to struggle and you can see grains creeping into the picture for obvious reasons. There is a Night Mode onboard but it doesn’t help much. Yet, the images are passable and can be used.

Portraits look great on this phone with accurate edge detection and natural background blur. However, the macro camera is more or less useless with negligible details and muddy colors. Lava has given AI mode in the Camera app but it usually ends up oversaturating the images.

AI Mode







The Selfie camera is good and takes social-media-ready pictures in good light. Even the portrait mode works great with good edge detection. However, the HDR needs work and it often blows out the highlights in backgrounds. Plus, there’s significant noise in low-light selfies.


Portrait Mode Selfie


The phone can record 2-4K videos up to 30fps and FHD videos at 60fps. EIS (or electronic image stabilization) does not work at 4K, and the video is quite shaky when walking. Switching to 2K makes things a little better while recording at 1080p at 60fps, and EIS is what gives the best result.

Anyways, videos are not a prowess of the device, and it shows. Also, it’s worth mentioning that you cannot use the ultra-wide angle to record videos which are quite disappointing. I also feel that the camera UI and switching between zoom levels need more work.

Lava Agni 2: Speakers, Haptics

The Lava Agni 2 has a bottom-firing single speaker, which is loud enough and sounds decent. However, I would have liked a stereo speaker setup as the audio gets muffled if the bottom is covered. There’s no audio jack, but you can use the given adapter, which gives good output with headphones.

The Widevine L1 support allows you to play HD content on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Hotstar, and other streaming services. The phone also gets HDR playback, but it only works on YouTube and not on Netflix.

The phone has quite good haptic feedback. The vibration is crisp and doesn’t feel spongy. Plus, you can customize the interactive haptic strength in the settings. However, it makes a small feedback noise while typing, which cannot be turned off, and is annoying during the night unless you disable complete haptics.

The phone also packs in GPS, Beidou, GLONASS, QZSS, and Galileo for navigation. I did not face any network issues on the device, and both Wifi and mobile data worked well indoors. The call quality was great too, and there are no issues in hearing the other party and vice versa.

Sensors like Accelerometer, Proximity, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, and Ambient Light are present onboard. The phone does not have NFC.

The Agni 2 equips a 4,700mAh li-polymer battery. On a full charge, the phone lasted us a full day of use with about 4-5 hours of screen time. Usage involved YouTube, social media, and little calling on Wifi for the majority of the time.

Surprisingly, on only 5G, we managed to get about 6 hours of screen time with 17 hours of idle time. Usage involved web browsing, YouTube, and little gaming. All-inclusive, you can easily expect a day’s worth of battery life from this phone.

Agni 2 supports 66W PD charging, and the brand ships a made-in-India 66W fast charger inside the box which charges the phone in about 50 minutes. You can also use the charger to charge other phones and devices that support PD charging, including MacBook, iPad, and iPhone.

While I didn’t face any major issues with battery life or charging, there was one instance where PD charging simply didn’t work. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened again, and Lava has fixed the problem with the latest update.

The Agni 2 comes with 1 year of warranty. And interestingly, Lava is also giving a free 1-year replacement warranty under the Agni Mitra program. If you face any hardware defects with the phone within the first year of purchase, the company will send engineers to your doorstep to check and replace the phone with a brand new unit if eligible.

As for service center availability, Lava currently operates over 700 authorized service centers across India with a presence in almost all states and major cities. You can check the full list on their official website. All in all, there’s no issue with the service center and repair availability for Lava smartphones.


Premium design

Curved 120Hz AMOLED display

Good primary camera and portrait

Fast charging (charger inside the box)

Clean Android software


Software bugs  

Below-average macro camera

Single speaker


However, that doesn’t mean there are no cons. There are bugs affecting everyday usage, the secondary cameras aren’t that great, and the phone has a single speaker. But again, we won’t call out Lava for that considering it’s their first phone in the segment and it’s quite close to perfect.

If you’re looking forward to buying a mid-range smartphone for around Rs. 20,000, the Agni 2 is a great buy provided you can wait for the software bugs to be squashed out. This is one device that I have personally recommended and purchased for my friends. And it’s a no brainer if you are aware of the cons and their impact on your usage. 

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Avast Secureline Vpn Review: Pros, Cons, Verdict (2023)

Avast SecureLine VPN

Adrian Try

Effectiveness: Private and secure, poor streaming

Price: Starting $55.20 per year (up to 10 devices)

Ease of Use: Very simple and easy to use

Support: Knowledgebase, forum, web form

Ever feel like you’re being watched or followed? Or someone’s listening in to your phone conversations? “Do we have a secure line?” You’ve probably heard that said a hundred times in spy movies. Avast offers you a secure line to the internet: Avast SecureLine VPN.

A VPN is a “Virtual Private Network”, and helps protect your privacy and enhance your security when you’re online, as well as tunnel through to sites that have been blocked. Avast’s software doesn’t try to do more than it needs to, and is fast, but not the fastest. It’s easy to set up, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.

Why Trust Me for This Avast VPN Review?

I’m Adrian Try, and I’ve been using computers since the 80s and the internet since the 90s. I’ve been an IT manager and tech support guy, and know the importance of using and encouraging safe internet practices.

I’ve used a number of remote access applications over the years. In one job we used GoToMyPC to update our contact database on the main office’s server, and as a freelancer, I’ve used a number of mobile solutions to access my iMac when out and about.

I’m familiar with Avast, having used and recommended their antivirus program for many years, and making it my business to keep up to date with the best security practices and solutions. I downloaded and thoroughly tested Avast SecureLine VPN, and researched the testing and opinions of industry experts.

Avast SecureLine VPN Review: What’s In It for You?

Avast SecureLine VPN is all about protecting your privacy and security online, and I’ll list its features in the following four sections. In each sub-section, I’ll explore what the app offers and then share my personal take.

1. Privacy through Online Anonymity

Do you feel like you’re being watched or followed? You are. When you surf the internet, your IP address and system information are sent along with each packet. That means:

A VPN can help by making you anonymous. That’s because your online traffic will no longer carry your own IP address, but that of the network you’re connected to. Everyone else connected to that server shares the same IP address, so you get lost in the crowd. You’re effectively hiding your identity behind the network, and have become untraceable. At least in theory.

The problem is that now your VPN service can see your IP address, system information, and traffic, and could (in theory) log it. That means if privacy is important to you, you’ll need to do some homework before choosing a VPN service. Check their privacy policy, whether they keep logs, and whether they have a history of handing user data over to law enforcement.

Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t keep logs of the data you send and receive online. That’s a good thing. But they do keep logs of your connections to their service: when you connect and disconnect, and how much data you’ve sent and received. They’re not alone in this and delete the logs every 30 days.

Some competitors don’t keep any logs at all, which may suit you better if privacy is your biggest concern.

Industry experts have tested for “DNS leaks”, where some of your identifiable information may still fall through the cracks. In general, these tests have indicated no leaks in Avast SecureLine.

Another way you can be identified is through your financial transactions with your VPN service. Some services allow you to pay by Bitcoin, and that way they have absolutely no way to identify you. Avast doesn’t do this. Payment must be made by BPAY, credit/debit card, or PayPal.

My personal take: There’s never a guarantee of perfect anonymity, but Avast does a pretty good job of protecting your online privacy. If online anonymity is your absolute priority, look for a service that keeps no logs and allows payment via Bitcoin. But Avast provides privacy sufficient enough for most users.

2. Security through Strong Encryption

The traceable information that normal browsing broadcasts isn’t just a threat to your privacy, but to your security as well, especially in certain situations:

On a public wireless network, say at a coffee shop, anyone else on that network with the right software (for packet sniffing) can intercept and log the data sent between you and the public router.

Maybe the coffee shop doesn’t even have wifi, but a hacker can set up a fake hotspot to make you think it does. You end up sending your data straight to the hacker.

In these cases, they don’t just see your data—they could also redirect you to fake sites where they can steal your accounts and passwords.

A VPN is an effective defense against this type of attack. Governments, the military, and large corporations have been using them as a security solution for decades.

They achieve this by creating a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server. Avast SecureLine VPN offers users strong encryption and pretty good security in general. Unlike some VPNs, though, it doesn’t offer a choice of encryption protocols.

The cost of this security is speed. First, running your traffic through your VPN’s server is slower than accessing the internet directly. And adding encryption slows it down a little more. Some VPNs handle this quite well, while others significantly slow down your traffic. I’ve heard that Avast’s VPN is reasonably fast, but not the fastest, so I decided to test it.

Before I installed and activated the software, I tested my internet speed. If you’re not impressed, I live in a part of Australia that’s not too speedy, and my son was gaming at the time. (The test I ran while he was still at school was twice as fast.)

When connected to one of Avast SecureLine’s Australian servers (according to Avast, my “optimal server”), I noticed a significant slow-down.

Connecting to an overseas server was even slower. When connected to Avast’s Atlanta server, my ping and upload speeds were significantly slower.

My speed through a London server was a little slower again.

My experience is that download speeds may be 50-75% of unprotected speeds. While that’s fairly typical, there are faster VPNs out there.

If security is your priority, Avast offers a feature that not all services do: a kill switch. If you’re unexpectedly disconnected from your VPN, SecureLine can block all internet access until you reconnect. This feature is turned off by default, but is easy to enable in the settings.

I continued testing Avast’s speed (along with five other VPN services) over the next few weeks (including after I got my internet speed sorted out) and found Avast’s speeds in the middle of the range. The fastest speed I achieved when connected was 62.04 Mbps, which was a high 80% of my normal (unprotected) speed. The average of all the servers I tested was 29.85 Mbps. If you’d like to wade through them, here are the results from every speed test I performed:

Unprotected speeds (no VPN)

2023-04-05 4:55 pm Unprotected 20.30

2023-04-24 3:49 pm Unprotected 69.88

2023-04-24 3:50 pm Unprotected 67.63

2023-04-24 4:21 pm Unprotected 74.04

2023-04-24 4.31 pm Unprotected 97.86

Australian servers (closest to me)

2023-04-05 4:57 pm Australia (Melbourne) 14.88 (73%)

2023-04-05 4:59 pm Australia (Melbourne) 12.01 (59%)

2023-04-24 3:52 pm Australia (Melbourne) 62.04 (80%)

2023-04-24 3:56 pm Australia (Melbourne) 35.22 (46%)

2023-04-24 4:20 pm Australia (Melbourne) 51.51 (67%)

US servers

2023-04-05 5:01 pm US (Atlanta) 10.51 (52%)

2023-04-24 4:01 pm US (Gotham City) 36.27 (47%)

2023-04-24 4:05 pm US (Miami) 16.62 (21%)

2023-04-24 4:07 pm US (New York) 10.26 (13%)

2023-04-24 4:08 pm US (Atlanta) 16.55 (21%)

2023-04-24 4:11 pm US (Los Angeles) 42.47 (55%)

2023-04-24 4:13 pm US (Washington) 29.36 (38%)

European servers

2023-04-05 5:05 pm UK (London) 10.70 (53%)

2023-04-05 5:08 pm UK (Wonderland) 5.80 (29%)

2023-04-24 3:59 pm UK (Wonderland) 11.12 (14%)

2023-04-24 4:14 pm UK (Glasgow) 25.26 (33%)

2023-04-24 4:17 pm UK (London) 21.48 (28%)

Notice that the fastest speeds were on the Australian servers closest to me, though I did have one good result on a Los Angeles server on the other side of the world. Your results will vary from mine depending on where you are in the world.

Finally, while a VPN can protect you from malicious files, I was surprised to discover that one reviewer discovered some adware inside the Avast SecureLine VPN software. So I scanned the installer on my iMac with Bitdefender Virus Scanner, and confirmed it does indeed contain adware. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised—I remember the free version of Avast Antivirus being ad-supported. Not ideal in an app designed to make you more secure!

My personal take: Avast SecureLine VST will make you more secure online. Other VSTs may offer a little more security through additional features and options, and Avast’s inclusion of adware is disappointing.

3. Access Sites that Have Been Blocked Locally

Businesses, schools, and governments can restrict access to the sites you are able to visit. For example, a business may block access to Facebook so you don’t waste your work hours there, and some governments may censor content from the outside world. A VPN can tunnel through those blocks.

But do so at your own risk. Using Avast SecureLine to bypass your employer’s filters while at work may cost you your job, and bypassing a country’s internet censorship may end you up in hot water. For example, in 2023 China started to identify and block VPNs—call it the Great Firewall of China—and in 2023 they have started to fine individuals who circumvent these measures, not just the service providers.

My personal take: A VPN can give you access to the sites your employer, educational institution or government are trying to block. Exercise caution when deciding to do this.

4. Access Streaming Services that Have Been Blocked by the Provider

Some blocking comes on the other side of the connection, particularly when service providers want to limit the content to limited geographical regions. Avast SecureLine can help here, too, by allowing you to decide which country it looks like you’re in.

We’ll cover this in more depth in a separate article, but Netflix and other streaming content providers don’t offer all shows and movies in all countries, not because of their own agendas but because of the copyright holders. A show’s distributor may have given one network exclusive rights in a particular country, so they can’t sell Netflix the rights to show it there as well. Netflix is obliged to block it from anyone in that country.

A VPN can allow you to choose which country it appears you are in, which may help you bypass Netflix’s filter. So, since January 2023, they’ve been proactively trying to block VPNs, and have had a fair amount of success.

This is a concern—not just if you want to access another country’s shows, but even if you just use a VPN to enhance your security. Netflix will try to block all VPN traffic, even if you just want to access local shows. When using Avast SecureLine, your Netflix content also has to go through the VPN. Other VPN solutions provide something called “split tunneling”, where you can decide what traffic goes through the VPN and what doesn’t.

So you need a VPN that’s able to access the streaming services you use, like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and the BBC. How effective is Avast Secureline? It’s not bad, but not the best. It has servers in many countries, but only four are “optimized for streaming”—one in the UK, and three in the US.

I tested whether I could access Netflix and the BBC iPlayer (which is only available in the UK) while Avast SecureLine VPN was enabled.

Streaming Content from Netflix

Notice the different ratings for “The Highwaymen” depending on the location of the server I had accessed. You may find that Netflix does block you from a certain server. Just try another one until you’re successful.

Unfortunately I didn’t have much success streaming content from Netflix. I tried eight servers at random, and only one (in Glasgow) was successful.

Random servers

2023-04-24 3:53 pm Australia (Melbourne) NO

2023-04-24 3:56 pm Australia (Melbourne) NO

2023-04-24 4:09 pm US (Atlanta) NO

2023-04-24 4:11 pm US (Los Angeles) NO

2023-04-24 4:13 pm US (Washington) NO

2023-04-24 4:15 pm UK (Glasgow) YES

2023-04-24 4:18 pm UK (London) NO

2023-04-24 4:20 pm Australia (Melbourne) NO

It was then that I noticed that Avast offers four special servers that are optimized for streaming. Surely I’ll have more success with them.

Unfortunately not. Every optimized server failed.

2023-04-24 3:59 pm UK (Wonderland) NO

2023-04-24 4:03 pm US (Gotham City) NO

2023-04-24 4:05 pm US (Miami) NO

2023-04-24 4:07 pm US (New York) NO

One server out of twelve is an 8% success rate, a spectacular fail. As a result, I can’t recommend Avast SecureLine for Netflix viewing. In my tests, I found it to have the poorest results by far. To compare, NordVPN had a 100% success rate, and Astrill VPN wasn’t far behind, with 83%.

Streaming Content from BBC iPlayer

Unfortunately, I had a similar lack of success when streaming from the BBC.

I tried all three UK servers but only had success with one.

2023-04-24 3:59 pm UK (Wonderland) NO

2023-04-24 4:16 pm UK (Glasgow) YES

2023-04-24 4:18 pm UK (London) NO

Other VPNs have more success. For example, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and PureVPN all had a 100% success rate.

Streaming content is not the only benefit you get when using a VPN to appear that you’re in another country. You can also use them to save money when purchasing tickets. That’s especially helpful when you’re flying—reservation centers and airlines offer different prices to different countries.

My personal take: I don’t want to have to turn off my VPN and compromise my security every time I watch Netflix, but unfortunately that’s exactly what I’d have to do when using Avast SecureLine. Are you curious about which VPN is best for Netflix? Then read our full review. So was happy to see I can still access it. I wish that more “streaming optimized” servers were offered and that I had more luck accessing the BBC’s content.

Reasons Behind My Ratings

Effectiveness: 3/5

Avast includes the essential features to make your online activities more private and more secure and offers an acceptable but average download speed. However, it is my tests when trying to connect to streaming services were very poor. If this is important to you, I cannot recommend Avast SecureLine.

Price: 4/5

Avast’s price structure is a little more complex than other VPNs. If you need a VPN on multiple devices, then Avast is in the middle of the range. If you only need it on one mobile device, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Ease of Use: 5/5

Avast SecureLine VPN’s main interface is a simple on and off switch, and easy to use. Selecting a server in a different location is simple, and changing settings is straightforward.

Support: 4.5/5

Avast offers a searchable knowledgebase and user forum for SecureLine VPN. Support can be contacted via a web form. Some reviewers indicated that technical support could only be contacted by phone and that an additional fee was charged. That no longer seems to be the case, at least in Australia.

Alternatives to Avast VPN

ExpressVPN is a fast and secure VPN that combines power with usability and has a good track record with accessing Netflix. A single subscription covers all your devices. It’s not cheap but is one of the best VPNs available. Read our full ExpressVPN review for more.

NordVPN is another excellent VPN solution that uses a map-based interface when connecting to servers. Read our full NordVPN review for more.

Astrill VPN is an easy-to-configure VPN solution with reasonably fast speeds. Read our in-depth Astrill VPN review for more.

You may also check out our roundup review of the best VPNs for Mac, Netflix, Fire TV Stick, and routers.


If you’re already using Avast’s popular antivirus product, you may want to stay within the family when choosing a VPN. It’s available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. You can protect up to ten devices for $55.20/year. But if streaming content from Netflix or elsewhere is important to you, give Avast a miss.

VPNs aren’t perfect, and there’s no way to absolutely ensure privacy on the internet. But they’re a good first line of defense against those who want to track your online behavior and spy on your data.

Review De Ecoflow Delta 2


Acabados robustos

Diseño que facilita el transporte

Fantástica aplicación de móvil

Tiempos de carga rápida con X-Boost

Garantía de 5 años


Ruidosa con cargas elevadas y carga rápida

Precio de batería de expansión

Sin ruedas para desplazamiento

Peso de 12 kg

Nuestro veredicto

EcoFlow ha actualizado su unidad más portátil, con permiso del modelo Delta mini, para dotarlo de mejores baterías que ahora soportan hasta 3000 ciclos completos antes de sufrir degradación por debajo del 80 % de su capacidad. Destaca además por sus posibilidades de expansión. 

Mejores precios hoy: EcoFlow Delta 2




Ver oferta

Las estaciones de carga de energía como la que analizamos en esta ocasión, han evolucionado tecnológicamente hablando de forma significativa en los últimos años, integrando baterías más eficientes y permitiendo su carga a través de paneles solares. 

Lejos quedan ya los típicos generadores ruidosos que dependen de fuentes de energía más contaminantes para dejar paso a productos como el Delta 2 de EcoFlow. Veámos todo lo que puede ofrecer este producto a la hora de suministrar energía allí donde no haya, o en lugares donde se produzca una caída de tensión. 

Diseño y calidades

Manetas para desplazamiento

Bandeja superior portaobjetos

Tapas de protección en conectores

Partimos del hecho de que el Delta 2 es una segunda generación de su predecesor, con lo que físicamente no hay muchos cambios con respecto al original, con agarraderos en ambos lados para facilitar el transporte de un lugar a otro, dado que estamos moviendo un equipo de 12 kg de peso (lo que una bicicleta plegable).

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

El frontal se encuentra liderado en gran parte por su pantalla LCD, con tamaño suficiente como para poder interpretar de lejos la información que brinda el equipo en cada caso. Aunque no ofrece posibilidad de regulación en inclinación como sí tienen algunas impresoras, sus ángulos de visualización son amplios y con gran nivel de brillo. 

Un pequeño indicador LED nos informa que el Delta 2 se encuentra emparejado con tu dispositivo móvil para poder gestionarlo a través de la aplicación EcoFlow, algo que abordaré más adelante. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

Ya por debajo, aparece una gran variedad de puertos de carga. En concreto, cuatro son de tipo USB A, y otros dos USB C, con lo que la mayoría de usos quedan cubiertos si estás pensando en cargar smartphones, tablets, portátiles o dispositivos electrónicos.

En el lado opuesto, encontrarás aún más puertos y opciones de conexión. Hay una pequeña cubierta cerca del mango que se levanta para revelar los puertos de entrada. Es aquí donde encontrarás el puerto típico de carga, así como el dedicado para paneles solares XT60 y el de mechero de automóviles. También hay un interruptor de protección contra sobrecargas. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

Por debajo, comprobarás que hay cuatro enchufes de salida tipo CA que puedes utilizar para conectar cualquier tipo de electrodoméstico como nevera, microondas, robot de cocina o herramienta de trabajo, ofreciendo la conexión habitual tradicional que tienen los enchufes de pared. 

Ya en la parte superior, el Delta 2 sigue contando con una generosa superficie a modo de bandeja en la que podrás depositar cualquier tipo de objeto como un móvil, smartwatch o auriculares inalámbricos mientras sus baterías están siendo cargadas. 

Los botones de funcionamiento por zonas impiden que haya fugas de energía”

Habrá alguien que pueda echar en falta alguna zona de carga inalámbrica lo que facilitaría algo las cosas, pero dado que lo prioritario aquí es facilitar la carga sin perder un ápice de energía, el Delta 2 solo contempla la carga de equipos de forma cableada.

Tal es así que cada zona de puertos y conectores dispone de su correspondiente interruptor de activación o desconexión, de manera que no basta con conectar por cable el dispositivo para que comience a cargarse, sino que también hay que habilitar el puerto mediante esta medida de seguridad. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

Esto es beneficioso de cara a impedir que el hecho de dejar cables conectados sin carga sean una fuente de pérdida de energía, además de optimizar lo que realmente quieres alimentar. Estos factores también son parametrizables mediante la aplicación del móvil. 

Físicamente, el equipo está bien distribuido. En la parte superior de los laterales, apreciamos la presencia de dos ventiladores a cada lado que se encargan de expulsar el aire caliente hacia el exterior aplicando el efecto de chimenea para facilitar su salida.

Ya en la base del Delta 2, notamos la presencia de tacos de goma que evitan que el equipo pueda desplazarse si lo situamos en lugares en cuesta o superficies que no son totalmente lisas, a pesar de que el peso lo impediría. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

Por último y no menos importante, mencionar que el Delta 2 amplía sus capacidades de expansión ayudado por el puerto que permite conectar una segunda batería de 1000 Wh, o bien, otra de 2000 Wh, con el fin de agregar capacidad y mayor autonomía. 

Conectores y puertos

2 puertos USB C con USB 3.0 Power Delivery

Carga de hasta 100 W

Cable adaptador de coche

Ya hemos comentado el tipo de puertos con los que cuenta el Delta 2 y su ubicación. Ahora toca el turno de desglosar la potencia y el amperaje que brinda cada uno de ellos con el fin de tener claro cuál es el propósito principal de cada uno. 

La mayoría de las veces procederás a efectuar la carga de su batería a través del conector AC. No obstante, debes saber que en el paquete se incluye el cable para el mechero del coche (para las escapadas al campo), así como el conector XT60 bastante común para proceder con la carga mediante paneles solares. 

No experimentes con la Delta 2 y no la utilices como un SAI para tu ordenador”

EcoFlow dispone de su propio sistema con paneles que pueden aportar 110, 160, 220 o incluso 400 W de potencia. En cualquier caso, podrás manejar paneles de diferentes marcas siempre que cumplan con el tipo de conector mencionado y sean de menos de 500 W.  

En el momento de escribir esta review, la compañía oferta el Delta 2 junto al panel solar portátil de 220 W con 4 paneles solares y grado de impermeabilidad IP68 a un precio de 1798 €. EcoFlow oferta productos promocionales para que puedas ahorrarte dinero en la compra de varios de sus productos.

La carga a través del conector de coche tiene una potencia nominal de 12,6 vatios y 10 amperios, lo que equivale a 128 vatios, mientras que los puertos del cargador tipo cañón pueden alcanzar los 38 vatios cada uno a 12,6 voltios. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

En lo que respecta a las conexiones de salida, ya hemos mencionado que en el frontal disponemos de 2 puertos USB C 3.0 compatibles con Power Delivery lo que significa que pueden ofrecer voltajes de 5, 9, 12, 15 o 20 voltios todos ellos con 5 amperios de corriente. 

Esto significa que ambos puertos pueden cargar un ordenador portátil por el conector con una potencia de hasta 100 vatios. 

En el caso de los cuatro puertos USB A, dos de ellos son estándar de 5 V, mientras que los otros dos identificados con el color azul admiten velocidades de carga más avanzadas con QuickCharge 2.0 y 3.0 de hasta 12 voltios. 

Por último, los seis conectores de la parte trasera de corriente alterna CA ofrecen una potencia nominal de 1800 vatios con una sobretensión fijada en los 2700 vatios. Si encendemos el modo X-Boost del Delta 2, es posible incrementar el dato hasta los 2200 vatios de manera puntual para alimentar algo potente como una sierra de mesa o herramientas de taller.

EcoFlow menciona que el Delta 2 es compatible con la salida sinusoidal pura, lo que significa que deberías poder usarlo con dispositivos que tienen motores de corriente alterna CA con datos variables, como un microondas o una mini nevera. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

De hecho, X-Boost está pensado para conectar aparatos que no requieren de un voltaje exacto, como pueda ser un calentador o herramientas eléctricas, a lo que añade que solo se debe utilizar un puerto en esos instantes. 

No tengo medios para poder comprobar la calidad de la onda sinusoidal del Delta 2, pero EcoFlow destaca que bajo una carga típica de 1600 vatios, la calidad de la señal ha sido mejorada con respecto a la generación del Delta estándar. 


Una de las grandes evoluciones que ofrece el Delta 2 se encuentra en su componente clave, que no es otro que su batería. EcoFlow ha evolucionado la química y ahora ofrece celdas de fosfato de hierro y litio lo que triplica con creces el ciclo de trabajo de la batería. 

Si con el equipo Delta original de 1000 Wh, las baterias degradan su capacidad al 80 % tras superar los 800 ciclos de cargas completas, con el Delta 2 pasamos a un rango muy superior de hasta 3000 antes de que las baterías sufran esa misma degradación. Es un dato significativo. 

Tal es así que con tantos ciclos de carga habrá usuarios que se planteen la posibilidad de usar el Delta 2 como un dispositivo SAI (sistema de alimentación ininterrumpida), manteniéndolo enchufado todo el tiempo para evitar los picos de tensión en sus ordenadores. 

Pues bien, debes saber que esto solo funcionará en portátiles ayudados por sus baterías, pero no en un ordenador de escritorio. Esto se debe a que el Delta 2 tarda 30 milisegundos en tomar el control una vez que se corta la energía. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

En la mayoría de los ordenadores con especificación ATX, la fuente de alimentación dura 16 ms desde que se sufre el corte hasta que se pierde la energía del sistema. Los 30 ms son demasiado lentos para mantener encendidos los ordenadores de sobremesa, con lo que se apagarían antes. 

En el caso de otros dispositivos como ventiladores, neveras o la mayoría de equipos domésticos, no importará este dato ya que la pérdida de energía por una fracción de segundo no les afectará al funcionamiento. No debes temer por la pérdida de tu trabajo y datos. 

La Delta 2 deja de ser silenciosa al conectar carga superior a los 800 W”

EcoFlow menciona que es posible cargar o alimentar a 13 dispositivos a la vez, una situación que rara vez se dará. Comprobamos que bajo una carga elevada de dispositivos (por encima de 800 W), el Delta 2 hace funcionar tres pequeños ventiladores a velocidades altas para mantener el circuito de carga y las baterías a temperaturas aceptables. 

Esto origina un ruido que en exteriores como pueda ser el campo, hará que pase más desapercibido. Sin embargo, dentro de un hogar típico, el sonido es un tanto estridente fruto de que los ventiladores giran a revoluciones muy altas. Lo medimos y nos ofreció un dato de 57 dBA. 

Esto mismo sucede también cuando activamos la carga de la unidad al valor máximo de 1200 W o activamos la carga X-Boost de la que hablaremos a continuación. Disminuye el ruido ligeramente a velocidades más bajas, pero incluso con la configuración a 200 vatios, los ventiladores entran en acción. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

Si eres de los que pensaba usarlo para alimentar algún equipo médico en la habitación mientras duermes, si éste consume más de 120 vatios, tendrás que escuchar los ventiladores o buscar otra alternativa ante esta situación. 

Consultado este hecho con un portavoz de EcoFlow nos ha comentado que planean abordar este hecho de reducir el ruido de los ventiladores con una próxima actualización del firmware de la unidad. Sería la solución más sencilla y beneficiosa para el que ya dispone de un Delta 2.

Autonomía y carga

Carga completa en 1 hora y 20 minutos

Modo de carga rápida X-Boost

Control de velocidad de carga desde App

Cuando el Delta 2 recibe la carga de una toma de corriente CA, es posible llevar a cabo la carga completa del equipo en aproximadamente 1 hora y 20 minutos. La entrada no funciona siempre a su potencia máxima de 1200 W, reduciéndose a medida que te aproximas a la carga completa para preservar la vida útil de la batería. 

Ayudado por la aplicación del móvil, también es posible establecer los niveles de carga a los que quieres que deje de cargarse la batería del Delta 2, con el fin de que las celdas no se degraden con tanta rapidez como si llevaras a cabo los ciclos completos de carga. 

Con X-Boost puedes cargar la batería en solo 1 hora, pero no debes abusar de la carga rápida”

Haciendo uso de X-Boost, la batería del Delta 2 puede cargarse un poco antes de tiempo llegando a barajar valores de poco más de una hora. Mis pruebas vienen a corroborar la ficha técnica del fabricante que indica que en 50 minutos tienes el 80 % de la carga completada.

No obstante, no es muy recomendable hacerlo así de forma habitual, dado que la carga rápida puede tener un impacto negativo en la vida útil de la misma, a pesar de que como ya hemos mencionado, estas baterías de nueva generación soportan los 3000 ciclos de carga.

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

Conviene manejar los tiempos de carga y salvo que te surja un imprevisto y tengas que cargar la estación con la máxima velocidad, es mejor reducir el valor incluso hasta los 200 W (para lo que tardará algo más de 6 horas) con el fin de hacerlo de manera eficiente.

Ante la ausencia de paneles solares, no he tenido la oportunidad de probar los tiempos de carga con esta modalidad. En cualquier caso, la estimación para un panel de 160 W puede llegar a requerir de hasta 8 horas de conexión siempre que tengamos un día totalmente soleado. 


Dentro del apartado del software de gestión, los ingenieros/as de EcoFlow parecen haber invertido tiempo en mejoras sustanciales para poder controlar sus estaciones de energía, algo que se nos antoja necesario si queremos contar con una mayor supervisión. 

Así, el Delta 2 ahora añade soporte para dispositivos Android e iOS, algo de lo que carecía el modelo original. También puede conectarse a la red wifi de casa para monitorizar de forma remota su estado a través de una conexión a Internet desde cualquier parte, siempre que permanezca activo y conectado a la red. 

Tras la instalación inicial, la aplicación requiere de un inicio de sesión, algo que podría incomodar a algunos. En los casos en los que no haya posibilidad de red wifi, es posible aprovechar el soporte de Wi-Fi Direct ante la ausencia de Bluetooth. 

Alfonso Casas / Foundry

La aplicación resulta sencilla de usar con las funciones justas y necesarias para gestionar la estación. La pantalla principal muestra el estado de la carga y una estimación de horas de autonomía en tiempo real que quedan en función de la carga que le conectes, algo que no parece muy preciso que digamos. 

Desde aquí podemos modificar las tasas de carga de cada puerto o zona de conectores, establecer cuándo se apaga el equipo, controlar la descarga de energía, ver la temperatura del sistema y establecer los tiempos de espera. 

Si habilitas las notificaciones, también puedes ser informado en la pantalla de tu móvil de cada situación que se de en el equipo. Al fin y al cabo, si la unidad se mantiene conectada a tu red wifi de casa, puedes gestionar todo esto en remoto desde cualquier parte con una conexión a Internet. 


El precio de la estación de carga Delta 2 queda situado en los 1199 €, un precio ligeramente superior a los 1099 € que cuesta actualmente el modelo EcoFlow Delta mini con una potencia inferior de 1400 W. Ahora bien, tiene un tamaño algo más compacto. 

Hasta el momento, no tenemos muchas referencias de productos que hayamos probado previamente, con lo que es difícil hablar de la competencia. Lo que sí puede añadir es que tuve la ocasión de visitar la feria IFA de Berlín del pasado año y comprobamos que las estaciones de carga son productos con una gran oferta de marcas y modelos.

Más allá de la necesidad puntual de su uso que podamos tener con una simple salida al campo, cada vez son más los usuarios que debido a las altas tarifas eléctricas se decantan por tener un equipo de estos en su casa para ahorrar energía, cargándolo en horas de tarificación baja (valle), para alimentar a dispositivos en las horas de mayor precio (punta). 


La nueva estación de carga EcoFlow Delta 2 llega con interesantes ventajas frente a la generación anterior. Partimos de que sus baterías son más eficientes, con lo que la vida útil del equipo se amplía y tendrás más tiempo para amortizar su compra. 

A esto hay que añadir que también se gana en disponibilidad. El sistema de carga rápida X-Boost, aunque algo ruidoso debido al funcionamiento de los ventiladores, te permitirá tener lista la estación cargada al cien por cien de su capacidad en menos de 1 hora si la enchufas a la corriente eléctrica. 

La variedad de puertos de conexión es muy amplia y seguro que encuentras uno para cada tipo de electrodoméstico o dispositivo que tengas que utilizar en medio del campo. Este modelo no dispone de ruedas, pero la marca tiene modelos de mayor capacidad que facilitan su transporte.

Otro aliciente de EcoFlow es que ofrece una garantía extendida de 5 años en el equipo, con lo que ante cualquier problema asociado a sus baterías, tendremos una respuesta por parte del servicio técnico o incluso de reposición. 

Gracias al conector de expansión del Delta 2, también podrás apilar baterías externas Delta Max hasta alcanzar los 3040 Wh, un valor bastante interesante cuando se trata de tener energía auxiliar en el hogar para una casa típica de campo. 


Capacidad de 1024 Wh

Almacenamiento extra con baterías hasta 3040 Wh

Potencia extra con X-Boost hasta 2400 W

Carga del 80 % en 50 minutos

Conectividad Wi-Fi y Wi-Fi Direct

Recarga con paneles solares (de 3 a 6 horas)

Baterías LiFePO4 con 3000 ciclos de carga

App móvil EcoFlow para Android e iOS

Gestión de puertos y energía suministrada

Dimensiones de 400 x 211 x 281 mm

Peso de 12 kg

Logic Pros Review: Ik’s New Extremely Affordable Analog Uno Synth For Mac/Ios

Today it’s all about IK Multimedia’s latest analog synth hardware. IK’s lineup of music production and live sound gear is largely considered to be for those with a budget in mind or as amazing beginner rigs for aspiring producers. The new UNO synth is designed to be just that with an extremely competitive price tag and wide platform compatibility with your existing recording environment. After having the chance to put the portable analog synthesizer to the test over the last couple weeks in some electronic-based music productions and more, it’s time to see what the new IK Multimedia UNO Synth is packing.

Build Quality:

The UNO is a small, portable analog synthesizer that is powered via USB or a 4 AA batteries. Immediately upon unboxing the unit, I noticed how light it was and the almost tablet-like shape of the synth. It has a small lip built-in to the frame of the unit so it can sit on your desktop or a tabletop at a convenient angle. For the most part, I’m into the sleek physical shape of the unit and the thin bezel-like framing around the outer perimeter even if I would have preferred a more 3D-like approach to some of those flat front-panel controls.


It carries two analog multi waveform oscillators along with a noise generator. The fully resonant, multi-mode filter supports your typical low pass option along with a high pass and band-pass modes. It is a two-pole, 12dB filter with bit of a brassy tone to it. It isn’t as harsh as I would like, but all things considered it out performed my expectations, especially with the available, front panel modulation options and built-in drive control. 

UNO has full ADSR filter and amplitude envelopes, although only the attack and release portions are available as front panel controls on the unit itself with the decay and sustain phases left in the companion Mac/iOS editor (more on that below). UNO’s LFO supports a series of wave shapes from sine and square to sample and hold. We get physical controls for the wave selection, rate as well as normalized connections to the oscillator pitch and filter cut-off.

Performance Controls:

UNO has 6 preset performance controls: Dive, Scoop, Vibrato, Wah, Tremolo, and Hold. A great little feature for beginner synthesists/music makers as well as being a unique option in general, these options offer up simple ways to add interesting pitch bends and nuances to a part or performance. You can think of them as high-level macro controls for preset modulation paths that can be turned on and off as part of a performance with a simple touch of a button.

The vibrato, wah and tremolo are tied to the main LFO setting to some degree but you can dig in a little deeper with them and get into more complex performances via the Mod Wheel section inside the companion software editor. While I personally would have liked to see more typical physical controls for the Pitch Bend and Mod Wheel alongside the Performance controls, these preset style performance options are great for impromptu sketches in combination with the sequencer. They are also fantastic for those just looking to make some crazy synth sounds without diving into sound design all that much.


iOS/Mac Integration & Editor:

UNO is completely compatible with your Mac and iOS DAW setup. I was able to get it loaded up as an External MIDI Instrument inside of Logic within seconds of connecting the synth to my computer and downloading the free Editor app. It essentially works the same way just about all big name hardware synths with MIDI do. That means you can record and send MIDI performances from a track in Logic out to your UNO Synth and back again, easily integrating it into your productions. You can get more details how the External MIDI Instrument plug-in works inside of Logic Pro X right here.

You can create patches and store as many as 100 of them on the physical unit. But you can create as many presets as you want, store them on your computer and then “upload” the most pertinent 100 of them to the unit depending on the application at hand as well.

Final Thoughts:

After having UNO integrated in to my Mac Pro battle station for a couple of weeks now, I can easily say it sounds a lot better than I thought it would. The modulation options and overall controls are a little bit limited for someone who already has more expensive analog hardware in their collection, but all things considered, I’m impressed at $200. Any experienced synth player is certainly going to have all kinds of suggestions on what’s missing and what could make it better, but as far as I’m concerned, it hits all the major points beginners need to get a handle on.

The filter sounds quite good and the overall compatibility with Mac and iOS DAW setups was on par as any of the big names in the space. Those performance buttons are great for beginners and scale keyboard option can help out in that regard as well. You can lock the normally chromatic keyboard to various scales which can be great for finding new ideas and the like no matter how experienced you are.

I’m not in love with the feel of the flat design on most of the front-panel toggle switches and buttons, but everything is quick, responsive and works just fine. The multi-mode knobs along the top of the UI are quite robust and won’t be falling off anytime soon with normal wear and tear.

It always nice to have knob-per function style layouts on hardware synths, but these kinds of things drive the cost of the unit up significantly and IK has implemented a tidy multi-function system on the top panel. The free UNO Synth Editor app offers up some of the additional features and controls IK couldn’t squeeze on the front panel as physical controls. Considering the price here, I think IK did a good job getting as much as possible in physical form, but it would have been nice to see the Oscillator Shape and Pulse Width modulation sources easily accessible inside the LFO section on the actual unit.

I would suggest that IK’s new UNO synth might actually be one of, if not the best introductory options for those looking to dive into hardware instruments. In some cases, when computer producers try to bring their creativity outside of the box with hardware like UNO, things don’t always pan out the way they would like. Whether it be the few extra steps it might take to get the synth into your MP3 or having to stray away from those beloved Software synths, it just doesn’t end up being as practical as it sounds sometimes. Having said all that, if you’re on the fence in that regard, UNO is an extremely affordable and solid sounding analog instrument to figure it all out.

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Ssds, The Pros And Cons

Solid state disks (SSD) made a splash in consumer technology, now the technology looks set to dominate the enterprise storage market. “Get ready for a disruption in the storage ecosystem,” said Burton Group Analyst Gene Ruth. Given the overwhelming challenges IT organizations faces today, is that predicted disruption coming soon or will it merely end up on hold?

“HP agrees with industry insiders that SSD will be more widely used in storage systems as early as next year and as a result, is working closely with its partners now to deliver innovative solid state storage technology solutions,” said Jieming Zhu, distinguished technologist at HP StorageWorks.

“The storage industry has been trapped within the confines of a hard disk drive so long that it’s difficult for it to think out of that box,” said Ruth. “SSD technologies are game-changing and drive a whole new thought pattern around persistent storage.”

Ultimately, SSDs challenge the infrastructure all around them. “Traditional RAID may not apply, busses are too slow, driver stacks have too much latency, file systems don’t properly leverage them, form factors don’t apply, performance is not linear, and on and on … it’s a brave new world. We’ll have to see how vendors choose to live in it,” said Ruth.

Storage vendors are all struggling with how to implement around SSDs — “whether to take baby steps or big leaps.” Whatever they decide, we should see some interesting new products this year. One key question remains center of the discussion: will vendors charge a premium for SSD performance and enhanced functionality or will they pass on savings and establish a new performance vs. cost expectation? “I hope they price in the savings,” said Ruth. Unit pricing will not be the only consideration, however.

“Solid-state drives offer 50 to 100x performance improvement in certain applications and specifications over traditional hard disk drives,” said Troy Winslow, director of marketing at Intel NAND Solutions Group. “This performance improvement, particularly read and write input operations per second (IOPS), combined with lower power consumption in both idle and active states, means solid-state drives deliver greater performance and consume less power than traditional storage.”

Energy efficient. “Using SSD technology reduces the overall power consumption of devices such as disk arrays, servers and laptops, but also improves their performance and environmental ruggedness,” said HP’s Zhu.

Low latency. SSDs implemented for use as physical disk space allow users to automatically migrate active blocks of data between drive types, increasing performance by keeping frequently accessed blocks of data on “Tier 0” SSD storage, and dynamically moves inactive data to less expensive, lower tiers of storage. “By combining automated tiered storage feature sets with SSDs, end-users have the ability to purchase only the number of drives required to house active blocks of data, where other vendors require the costly purchase for entire volumes,” said Bob Fine, director of Product Marketing at Compellent.

Durability. “SSD is designed to operate in more extreme environments of up to 70 degrees Celsius. With no moving parts, SSD drives are less fragile and silent than hard disks, which are more susceptible to operational and non-operational shock and vibration,” explains Zhu.

Control of unstructured files. The incredible rise of unstructured data is having a dramatic impact on storage and data management applications. “We’re seeing growing demand for specialized storage systems, including storage media that give users the control or flexibility they need to manage unstructured files over their lifetime,” said Jon Affeld, senior director of Product Marketing and Business Development at BlueArc, a provider of high performance, unified network storage systems. “In the near term it will serve as a powerful caching tier for fast access to files that are in high demand. Moving forward, we can expect the use of SSDs to get more sophisticated as we see data management applications incorporating more powerful search, classification, archiving and retrieval functions.”

Compatibility with operating systems “All SSD vendors provide existing input/output storage protocol compatibility, interoperable with the existing operating system storage stack,” said Zhu.

Article courtesy of CIO Update

Nvidia’S Ai Dominance: Pros And Cons

MLPerf is the definitive performance benchmark for Artificial Intelligence. The latest set of competitive performance benchmarks were released this week, and NVIDIA so dominated the benchmarks they effectively stand alone in this market right now for core functions like image classification, object detection, and machine translation. Others either didn’t have a technology ready to submit to a category, or their performance was so low to be arguably meaningless. 

Let’s talk about the promise and the problems with being so far out front.

By being so dominant in this space, it places NVIDIA’s core technology at the top of any shortlist for those partnering in this area. It helps explain why Mercedes, a famous company for not accepting technology from others for critical strategic programs, partnered with NVIDIA. If they wanted a viable self-driving platform backed by deep simulation, NVIDIA was the only short term path to achieving that goal. 

As a result, expect NVIDIA to gain even more partners, to dominate more industries, and to remain the definitive leader of the segment.  Tactically they are unbeatable.  But this kind of overwhelming leadership can lead to problems.

There are three unique problems that NVIDIA will now have to deal with, given their extreme leadership.  They are false confidence, regulatory oversight, and higher than average intellectual property theft.  Let’s take each in turn.

While most every major AI tech vendor (and several universities) is participating in MLPerf, it is unusual to submit results when you are well off the mark.  Those not submitting benchmark results could be far better off than these latest charts indicate, and they may be far more competitive than they appear as a result.  

NVIDIA, believing they are unbeatable, could falsely feel their lead is unbeatable and slow down their impressively fast development effort allowing the other firm(s) to pass them and then be unable to keep up. While there is no evidence I can see that NVIDIA is slowing down, the risk remains very real. A closer ranked competitor generally will help drive the leader to ever-higher performance, something that NVIDIA will have to do itself until such a competitor emerges. 

When you are effectively the only vendor capable of performing at an adequate level, you own the market.  That could have anti-trust implications because of the resulting market power. We just saw Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google begin what will likely be a dance concluding with one or more of them being broken up (odds favor Google and Amazon being broken up, Facebook being sanctioned, and Apple being left to the States which have begun their actions). 

Tighter competition generally shields the leading company from this kind of government response. Right now, NVIDIA doesn’t appear on any anti-trust action I’m aware of, but NVIDIA will need to be very careful they don’t abuse their market power to avoid being in that hot seat.  NVIDIA has a decent reputation with its partners, and if they maintain that, they should be safe here, but it remains a risk. 

When you are as far out ahead as NVIDIA does competitors, and particularly other countries will look to mine you for information illegally. This means everything from placing people in the company to get that information, appearing as customers rather than IP thieves to gain access to it that way. 

This level of leadership in a technology area seen as a critical part of the next industrial revolution will be an extremely attractive lure that many may not be able to resist.  NVIDIA needs to be able to share its technology with customers (it has sizeable open-source component) so that those customers can implement it in their products but, in so doing, will increase the likelihood of IP theft, meaning the firm will need to be extraordinarily vigilant.   

When it comes to core AI technology, NVIDIA remains the company to beat and by an impressively significant margin. However, this is based on public information, and few are sharing where they are. This can lead to several problems for NVIDIA ranging from false confidence to intellectual property theft that NVIDIA should be able to deal with if they don’t take their eyes off the ball, and NVIDIA’s CEO is known for having eyes in the back of his head. 

The biggest potential problem, though, is the abuse of their market power because that is something that tends to catch every company that becomes dominant up eventually and it is the most difficult to mitigate because it means putting in place oversight which managers universally find annoying. 

Right now, NVIDIA stands alone, that will change, and whether NVIDIA remains out front or not, as this market matures, a lot will have to do with how the firm anticipates the related unique threats, including typical executive behavior. 

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