Ten USB 3.0 HDD enclosures
Stay safe, drive fast
Product Round-up Undoubtedly, an HDD enclosure is always a handy thing to own, especially if you're likely to be tempted to upgrade to SSD storage and need to haul files off the old HDD. With USB 3.0 featuring on a range of enclosures, transfer speeds are pretty nifty. Yet, as I discovered during these tests of ten USB 3.0 enclosures, speed isn't really the issue. Connectivity options aside, the only major the differentiating factor between products nowadays is build quality and price.
For tests, a SanDisk Sata 3 SSD was used for benchmarking to give them all a chance at optimal throughput and, if you check out the results at the end of the piece, you'll see it was a close run race. Anyone with an affection for Lindy hardware may like to know the company's USB 3.0 range is on the way this autumn, but it currently offers a 5.25in USB 3.0 unit, if you need to go that far back in time with data recovery. Oh, and just for the record, with the exception of the Enermax and the Zalman, the 2.5in enclosures on test come with a dual-headed USB cables to suit bus powering issues on some laptops.
Akasa Lokstor X31
Thermal solutions specialist Akasa offers a wide range in the USB 3.0 domain, with its latest enclosure, the Lokstor X31, fronting the pack. Here, the HDD slots in through a bookcase-like drawer system, sitting securely without the need for a screwdriver.
The aluminium build is sturdy and with with an additional metal plate screwed to the bottom, rests neatly upright. While rather on the heavy side, manufacturing feels of a higher quality than some of its inexpensive rivals and there were no noticeable heating issues with the thicker housing.
The Akasa logo on the front, which doubles up as the LED indicator – glowing blue when powered on and flashing pink when in use – polishes the design. The addition of a key and lock system for greater security, helps it stand out further as a serious piece of kit – don't misplace the key, though.
There's only so much you'll ever need with an HDD enclosure and Akasa's design is by far one of the most convenient. There's also a version with an eSata output, should you need it, but either way, prices seem fair and well set.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Akasa
Akasa Lokstor X21
Akasa's smaller enclosure for 2.5in drives continues with the bookcase-like pullout panel design, accessed here by pushing and sliding a button on the top. You'll have to fiddle the button again for the drawer to close, as it won't just click shut easily, however, the build is impressive and again there's no need to screw fit drives in place.
It's sturdy, compact, there's a standard LED indicator and an eSata model too, if required. In the battle for budget enclosure supremacy, the Akasa certainly makes a strong case here – badum tish.
Reg Rating 90%
More info Akasa
Next page: Enermax Brick 3.5in
Re: Why blue LEDs?
My theory on blue LEDs is that the world (as in the world outside of R&D labs) had to put up with boring red dome LEDs for decades, then green ones came along, which were mildly distracting, then yellow, orange, multicoloured and white ones, but they were all rather boring. Mankind's nature is to want what he can't have and for a very long time in the world of LEDs, that thing was the colour blue.
Finally, along came blue LEDs. They were dazzling and bright and shiny and above all very expensive. If your project or gadget had a blue LED it was cool, period. The delayed gratification that happened with blue LEDs elevated them briefly to uber-cool status. Now blue LEDs are cheap, but the coolness factor hasn't decayed enough. At least it hasn't as far as product designers are concerned. After all, they are the same people who drooled longingly at the blue LEDs in the RS catalogue while everyone else was busy thumbing their mum's Littlewoods one, and consequently every new piece of PC hardware we buy has more and more of the fucking things. I can see five right now from where I'm sitting, and that's only because six of my motherboard's eight power phases are idle right now. If I start up a 3D app, this place lights up like bloody Heathrow.
Why blue LEDs?
How can anyone who lives in a country where the emergency services use flashing blue lights find blue LEDs in anyway relaxing? Normally, seeing flashing blue lights in your peripheral vision means you should immediately look around for a way to free up the road, lest you delay some poor sod on his way to hospital... And seeing flashing blue lights suddenly appear behind you means pull over and ask the good officer politely how you can help him.
Re: Why blue LEDs?
Agreed, blue LEDs in consumer products is the work of the devil or a politician*. There is a big reason why car tail lights tend to be red and emergency lights are often blue. It's the same reason that many devices designed to be used at night tend to use red illumination. It's because red is a nice low energy photon, which is also likely the reason red LEDs came out so long ago, and won't wreak havoc with your night vision. Blue on the other hand is a high energy photon and the LEDs are usually bright enough so you don't need night vision because they illuminate the room sufficiently to see clearly. Either works but when visiting a friend out of state and crashing on the pull out sofa bed in the den I found the blue LEDed wifi router blinking away like a bloody lighthouse in the corner to be a bit distracting.
*I know, it's a distinction without a difference.
Re: ISOs and rugged
> Just install Hyper-V
I hope Microsoft doesn't actually pay you for this Genghis Khan Subliminal Marketing effort.
You should also check where in a virtualized system "security" enters the game. It's instructive.
Re: Why blue LEDs?
But these enclosures will never be seen in a server room. Similarly the hugely loud fans found in equipment in server rooms would never be tolerated in a home/office environment.
Blue LEDs are seriously irritating for people with gradually worsening short sight: blue is the first colour to lose focus. And besides that, the light emitted is horribly intense.
Blue LEDs: not even once.