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The morning we visited Patriot memory, we got a chance to take a good look at Patriot’s inventory of SSDs, desktop memory, USB drives, and flash memory. Since the prices of flash memory have continued to plummet, you can find a well-built, rugged Patriot flash drive at about $20 for 16GB of storage. Memory is always affordable and SSD prices are coming down steadily. Patriot displayed hard drives ranging from 64GB all the way up to 480GB. Patriot now even has a Mac-compatible SSD line that uses the correct hardware and firmware to work seamlessly with Mac devices.
An exciting thing recently from Patriot is its line of home theater media streaming devices. These devices have the ability to stream media directly to a TV or other device, or even have it stored locally on a 2.5" SSD or 3.5" mechanical drive. Our favorite was the Gauntlet Wi-Fi device. It can be battery-operated and can provide five or more hours of totally cordless streaming audio, video, and pictures to your TV while being controlled by a smart phone, tablet, or PC. As far as portable cloud storage units goes, these are really one of the firsts.
The other line of streaming devices are larger, but have a little more horsepower. The PBO Alpine is an Android-based platform powerful enough to stream full 1080p at 30fps thanks to the ARM 926 processor. Out of the box, it will have iRadio, iTV, YouTube, Picasa, and a fully-functional web browser preloaded. It supports just about every video format, with DivX, MPEG, H.263 and H.264, MKV, and Real Video being some of them. The PBO Alpine does not support internal storage, but does have an SD slot and USB 2.0 port for external media input. The other PBO device is the Core XT, which is slightly larger, uses a Linux-based interface, and has a faster processor. It is capable of 3D HD playback and supports drives up to 4TB in capacity.