Can this tiny $35 product REALLY make your old and slow computer like new again? Read our xtra-PC Review below…
Many computer users struggle with slow speeds and lag on their PCs or laptops. This can be a result of apps or programs that use up large amounts of CPU power and RAM (which largely controls the speed of your PC’s functioning), or simply just having many different tabs open while browsing the internet. Video and music streaming sites such as Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix can also contribute to slow performance of your PC. It is common that your PC is lightning-fast out of the box, but after a few months and a variety of software updates, slows to a crawl.
A slow machine can be irritating at best, and dramatically affect productivity at worst! This can be a huge problem, especially as more and more of our lives are spent on computers, whether we are working, studying, or during leisure time. Many of us, such as the increasing number of people who work from home, actually rely on our computers for our livelihood. The tedium and frustration of dealing with a slow computer affects most of us at some point.
There are various ways to tackle this issue – from “defragging” your computer (removing unwanted programs and processes that run in the background, taking up CPU power and reducing speed) to replacing components, such as RAM sticks, with upgraded versions. However, these methods are typically time-consuming, difficult, expensive, or all of these!
There are other solutions however, and in this review, we will be exploring one of these products and deciding if it lives up to the hype that we have seen. The product is called the Xtra-PC, and it was designed to be an easy, affordable and portable solution to the problem of speeds.
Xtra-PC – What can it do?
Xtra-PC is a small USB stick designed to boost the overall speed of your PC or laptop. There are three different models of the product, with different levels of speed-boosting capabilities. Using Xtra-PC enables you to view and edit documents and files, stream music or video, play video games, or anything else you might use the computer for, with an increase in speed and performance!
The Secret Behind the Technology
Every computer has an operating system (or OS). It is what runs the entire machine. The most popular and common are Windows (made by Microsoft) and iOS (made by Apple). These operating systems feature lots and lots of software that is already installed – a lot of it that you will most likely never use – which means that your system has been slowed down already straight out of the box. Many professionals tend to use the Linux operating system as an alternative, as it is much faster and is free and open-source.
In addition to operating systems becoming slow, Internet Service Providers – or ISPs – also cause problems. Most companies that develop ISPs place a cap on the maximum speed that your internet can reach. This can be affected by your location and the location of your wireless router. Using a Linux OS, such as that of the Xtra-PC, can help to overcome this problem. Installing a Linux OS on a separate disc can be difficult for people with less knowledge of computers. With Xtra-PC, this problem is supposed to be reduced, as the product is incredibly easy to use and comes with full customer service from the manufacturer.
Features of Xtra-PC
- Package Dimensions: 5.7 x 3 x 0.5 inches
- Weight: 0.16 ounces
- Connection Type: USB (2.0 or 3.0)
- Manufacturer: Prairie IT, LLC
Who Can Benefit the Most?
Xtra-PC was designed for anybody who wants to increase the speed of their computer. If you are using an old or cheap laptop or PC with low specifications, Xtra-PC may be the right solution for you, especially if you don’t have the money to upgrade to a new machine! Another solution is to replace individual components such as RAM or the CPU (central processing unit) but this requires technical knowledge that many people don’t have. If the world of computing is overwhelming or daunting to you or a friend or relative, a simple solution like the Xtra-PC is potentially a better option than either upgrading or replacing your computer.
An alternative solution is to use the disc cleanup setting to remove temporary files and unneeded programs. Although this can improve speed, it can also be time-consuming, doesn’t always work, and sometimes inadvertently deletes programs that you didn’t want to remove, or didn’t know that you needed!
If you have any of the following problems – consider Xtra-PC
- Want to continue using older, familiar computers with older operating systems. For example, many older and less tech-savvy people have spent years getting to grips with a particular computer and don’t want to have to learn a whole new machine!
- People with computers affected by viruses or malware
- People with computers that don’t have a hard drive
- People with computers that don’t have their own operating system
The manufacturers of Xtra-PC claim that the product can be installed and used on any computer (PC or Mac) that includes a USB port. If your computer doesn’t have a USB port, it is possible to get in touch with the manufacturer and gain access to an online version of Xtra-PC that works every bit as well – however you will need an internet browser and connection every time you wanted to use this.
There are, however, also some technical system requirements other than just the USB port. Your computer or laptop will need to have at least a 700 MHz microprocessor, as well as a 2.0 or 3.0 USB port, and at least 512MB of RAM. You will also need a GPU (graphics processing unit, or graphics card) that is capable of supporting connections from HDMI, VGA, or DVI.
Your computer also needs to have access to a BIOS (basic input/output system) that enables you to access your computer and use a USB drive without using an operating system. The first time that you use the USB device, you will also need to have an internet connection (whether that is through a wireless or a wired network card) in order to install it, but this won’t be necessary after installation.
As you will see in our review, it is also compatible with Mac computers, although it may require a few extra steps to install. Thankfully, the manufacturer offers detailed instructions on how to do this!
The Setup Process (No Tech Skills Required!)
Setting up Xtra-PC on your computer is incredibly easy. When the product arrives, just remove the product from the packaging, plug it into your computer as you would any other USB device, and load your computer up. After that, all that you need to do is press the boot menu key (usually ESC, F1, F9, F10, F11, or F12, but your computer should tell you which!) and follow the simple instructions on the screen to install the driver and the Linux operating system. You’ll need to insert the Xtra-PC USB stick and then turn on the computer. From there, you’ll see a start-up screen and can just hit the boot menu key to proceed.
The first time that you use the product, you will need an internet connection to set it up, however, any other time after that you will not need to be connected to the internet to use it!
The Setup Process
There is not much that you need to know about how to use Xtra-PC once you have inserted it and installed the driver. It is best to close any programs that are already running before you do this. It can sometimes take up to a few minutes for your machine to recognize the device, but once it does you will be presented with a helpful and easy-to-navigate window that guides you through the installation process. The time that this process takes will be dependent on your internet speed, although it should take no longer than an hour even on slow speeds. During the installation process, it is important not to leave your computer entirely as different windows will pop up with different prompts that you will need to answer to continue. At the end of the process, you will notice that there are some changes to your screen as you will now be using the Linux operating system.
Linux is easy to use and recommended by most IT professionals for everything from office work to surfing the web to viewing treasured photos of family or friends. There are many, many guides and tutorials available online that will show you how to use a Linux operating system – it can seem daunting at first to learn a new operating system, but most people who switch to Linux report improvements in their system’s performance and their own satisfaction!
As soon as you have installed the device, you should notice a huge difference in the time it takes for your computer to boot up and be ready to use! The Xtra-PC also includes many of the same features and much of the same functionality that you will probably be familiar with from using a Windows or Mac operating system. This means that you can install and use many of the same programs and apps that you have already been using.
Benefits Of Using Linux OS
The main feature of the Xtra-PC product is the Linux operating system. Linux enables you to do the same things you would on a Windows or iOS operating system, but with faster speeds and a more streamlined interface. Whether you want to check your emails, access/edit documents and files, use spreadsheets, browse the web, stream music and video content, watch television or films, all of this is just as easy with Linux OS as with any other OS.
Why Is It “Better”?
What makes Linux OS differ from other operating systems such as Windows and iOS is the customization possibilities. The software is open-source (which means that it was created to be shared and used however you see fit, with no licensing issues to worry about), enabling you to use it however you want with full access to use and edit and program or software as you see fit.
Linux OS supports popular web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, and gives you full access to online programs such as Google Docs, Google Drive, and the rest of the GSuite programs, as long as you log into your Google account. It is also compatible with Open Office and other cloud-based software for editing and sharing documents. If you’re looking to edit in Photoshop or similar programs, Linux is also great for this and runs at a faster speed than other operating systems.
If it’s just entertainment you’re after, Xtra-PC’s Linux OS also has you covered. Music and video streaming apps such as Netflix, Spotify and Youtube are fully compatible and run smoothly, as do video games! Security is also no concern – antivirus software is fully compatible with a Linux OS.
Linux OS is well-known and highly-regarded for being much more secure than its competitors. Xtra-PC provides a clean, safe Linux operating system that is resistant to viruses and malware!
The only potential downside to using a Linux OS is that there is a possibility that not every single one of your files will transfer smoothly from your old OS to the new one. This is because some programs are designed specifically for use with a single operating system. Another potential issue that we were made aware of is that of the device skipping over one or more files during use.
However, these issues are generally easily fixed in a few minutes, and having a faster machine in general will save more time in the long run!
Different Xtra-PC Options
There are three different versions of the Xtra-PC product, with different technical specifications for different price ranges:
Although the Turbo 16 is the basic model, it still does a fantastic job of increasing system speed despite lacking some of the advanced features of the more expensive models. The Turbo 16 retails for $49.99, but is often available from the official site for just $34.99.
The Turbo 32 model retails for $89.99, but is available on the official site for just $49.99. The Turbo 32 is 1.5 times faster than the Turbo 16, and comes with an additional 32GB of storage.
Retailing at $159.99 but available from the official site for $79.99, the Pro model is top-of-the-range. It doubles the speed of the cheapest model and offers a whopping 64GB of storage! Perhaps the biggest draw of the Pro model is the included file rescue software (usually worth $99 itself!). One last thing – the Pro model also comes with free shipping and handling from the official site!
Is It Worth Buying?
Ultimately, whether or not Xtra-PC is the right product for you is dependent on your individual needs! We have compiled a list of the pros and cons of the product to help you decide whether this is the right product for you.
- Really increases computer speed: In one test, boot times were compared on the same laptop computer at first without the Xtra-PC device plugged in, and then with it. Without Xtra-PC, the laptop took 45 seconds to fully boot up – with the Xtra-PC it took just under 3 seconds!
- Keeps older computers useful for longer: Xtra-PC will save you the time and money of having to replace an outdated machine.
- Linux OS has a huge range of programs and apps that are compatible: From GSuite apps to Open Office to Spotify and Netflix, Linux OS has every base covered.
- Comes with included apps: Firefox, Open Office, Audacious, Thunderbird Mail, Photo Viewer and Media Player all come pre-installed with Xtra-PC!
- Smooth internet browsing capabilities: Your favorite websites will load even faster than on other operating systems, so you can surf the web smoothly and with ease.
- Xtra-PC is well-regarded: The product has been recommended by ABC, Yahoo, and USA Today as well as by many consumers.
- Pro version available: A Pro version, that includes software for recovering lost, deleted or damaged files, is also available.
- Not great for access to Microsoft programs: If you are particularly wanting to use Microsoft programs such as Office, a Linux-based device is probably not best for you. However, there are plenty of alternatives to these programs, such as the Gsuite apps and Open Office, and they are generally every bit as useful and intuitive as Microsoft’s versions.
- It can take some time to set up: The Xtra-PC can take around an hour to install if your internet connection speed is slow.
If you are looking for a product to speed up the performance of tasks on your computer, there are other similar options to the Xtra-PC device on the market. We will explore a few of them here and work out how they measure up.
- Linux Mint 19.0 Cinnamon Install USB: The Linux Mint Cinnamon Install USB is a product that features a Linux OS in addition to 16GB of extra storage. Customer reviews are generally good for this product but some users have complained of technical issues.
- Kali Linux Bootable USB: The Kali Linux Bootable USB was designed for penetration testing and ethical hacking, however the user reviews are mostly negative, with technical issues and insufficient customer support cited frequently.
- 9th and Vine USB Drive: The 9th and Vine USB Drive was designed to help you recover corrupted or missing files, or reinstall programs. It is highly affordable, but some users have complained that it simply did not work.
If you buy Xtra-PC, you also have access to contact their top-quality dedicated customer support team, who are highly trained in helping with troubleshooting and providing tech support solutions – so there is no need to worry if you have any issues! In addition, the official site is very helpful and includes a FAQ for most common queries.
What Do People Say?
Reviews are generally very positive for this awesome flash drive. The official site includes testimonials praising the product’s low price, high performance, and wide range of features – you can read these in more detail here.
Where Can You Buy It?
Xtra-PC is available from several websites, such as Amazon. However, you should be careful when ordering from Amazon to avoid third-party sellers who may have already used the device and installed the software on another computer. Amazon does have some benefits though – for example, it is slightly cheaper than from the official site, and if you are an Amazon Prime customer then shipping times should be very quick.
Buying from the official Xtra-PC site, however, has benefits too – shipping is fast, multiple payment methods are accepted, the warranty is extended, and you can view a wide range of products. The main draw for ordering Xtra-PC from the official site is that there is a generous discount for buying in bulk. If you have friends or family members who would also benefit from the features of Xtra-PC, you will get a 40% discount for ordering multiple products at a time!
The time that your product will take to reach you depends where you are in the world – if you are in the United States, it should take around two business days, whereas if you are in Canada it may take around seven. If you live elsewhere in the world, it may take between two and four weeks to arrive.
Money Back Guarantee
If Xtra-PC does not match your expectations, the manufacturer offers a full refund within 30 days! This money-back guarantee is dependent on the product being in good condition and being accompanied by the original packaging.
Our Verdict And Conclusion
Overall, we were very impressed with the Xtra-PC. It was much easier, simpler and cheaper (especially the lower-end models, which are still pretty effective) than replacing or upgrading a slow machine. The increase in speed is instantly noticeable from the moment we booted the computer up, and performance stayed speedy and smooth whatever tasks we used the computer for!
While a Linux OS is nothing new, having the ability to quickly use one just through this simple USB device was incredibly convenient and easy. The extra customer support also made this product a worthwhile choice.
As you can see in our review, xtra-pc performed better than other similar devices on the market, and for that reason we would certainly recommend it. If you’re not sure, there is nothing to lose with the 30-day money back guarantee!
We hope that this xtra-pc review has been helpful to you in choosing the best solution to slow computer speeds!
- 1 Xtra-PC – What can it do?
- 2 The Secret Behind the Technology
- 3 Features of Xtra-PC
- 4 Technical Specifications
- 5 Who Can Benefit the Most?
- 6 If you have any of the following problems – consider Xtra-PC
- 7 Compatibility
- 8 The Setup Process (No Tech Skills Required!)
- 9 The Setup Process
- 10 Benefits Of Using Linux OS
- 11 Why Is It “Better”?
- 12 Different Xtra-PC Options
- 13 Xtra-PC Turbo 16
- 14 Xtra-PC Turbo 32
- 15 Xtra-PC Pro
- 16 Is It Worth Buying?
- 17 Alternatives
- 18 Customer Service
- 19 What Do People Say?
- 20 Where Can You Buy It?
- 21 Shipping
- 22 Money Back Guarantee
- 23 Our Verdict And Conclusion