StarTech SuperSpeed 3.5in
All connecting parts from this larger Star Tech enclosure pop off the top, which makes fitting an easy task. The downside is that the design feels cheaply built and for a decent fit, you'll want to get the screwdriver out and secure a drive in place.
LED status lights are also built into the connecting part, with windows on the opposite side of the enclosure simply picking up glowing blue from the distance. It's more unexceptional housing that simply does its job and clocks out at five, so it does feel somewhat overpriced, but hunt around and you should find the StarTech gear around half price. The power lead is shorter than usual too, which might appeal to some keens to avoid desktop coils, but maybe not everyone..
Reg Rating 65%
More info StarTech
StarTech SuperSpeed 2.5in
This lightweight aluminium slidey-case is a doddle to use, although as with the Enermax rival, you can't unslot drives without initial tilt, so there are slight fragility concerns. Plus, with only two points to fix the slidey panels in place, it would only take one missing screw for them to remain endlessly loose.
The StarTech is merely basic parts assembled in a basic way, so no brownie points for innovation here. There's a green LED light on the rear that blinks while in use, as well as the standard faux leather pouch for added protection. The price reflects its minimalist build, though, so if you're looking for a bog-standard portable and cheap quick-fix, the StarTech SuperSpeed could be worth a look-in. And if you don't want to rely on split USB cables, there's a slightly bigger Superspeed option for the same price.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Star Tech
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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.