Best Enclosure Ever Used (So Far..)
Written: Aug 10, 2012
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Sleek, compact, tough, powered by USB, simple setup, free mini screwdriver & carrying case
Cons:The automatic backup doesn't work, only works with PATA/EIDE up to 320GB
The Bottom Line: Never worry about losing your crashed laptop data again!
When my old laptop finally kicked the bucket in 2009 (due to a glass of beer spilled all over the keyboard.. third time was the charm I guess) I sort of freaked out. It happened in the middle of a school semester and I had all of my homework stored on it. It was bad enough I lost what I had currently been working on so I had no time to waste. None of my attempts to recover the computer (technical know-how, prayer, etc.) worked. I marched myself to the local Best Buy for a replacement laptop. I also needed to secure all of my un-backed-up information off the hard drive too. As I was wandering the hard drive & enclosure kit aisle, I saw an small end-cap with these Rocketfish 2.5" PATA/EIDE Hard Drive Enclosure Kit on sale and felt I couldn't go wrong. How right of a purchase it was!
I have to admit that it was the red box that drew my attention. But when I checked it out I liked how it didn't require a separate power cord. I wanted something that drew power straight from USB. Also in the box was a Y USB cable, carrying case, and small screwdriver for the screws. Not bad!
 INSTALLATION 
Installing my old laptop's hard drive took less than one minute. I slid the drive into the tray, connected the pins, and screwed in two screws to secure it. The tray goes into the outer case without any hassle of alignment or guides. Two small screws secure the ends and voila. Done. Right-side-up installation will have the "backup" button and LED light lined up correctly for use, though the drive itself will function upsidedown just fine. The drive was recognized by my laptop and I was back to finishing (and backing up) my homework in no time. There has been no instance that this kit has not worked. Except for the "backup" button, which is supposed to automatically backup the drive when you press it.. but it doesn't do that. Either way, the drive doesn't need both ends of the Y cable to function, and you can use other USB cables with it and it'll run just fine. It can handle hard drives up to 320GB, which is about enough for me.
 CONSTRUCTION 
Simplicity and durability are the best features of this Rocketfish enclosure case. The outside case is a single piece of hard aluminum with plastic lining the edge. There's little wiggle room on the inside so you won't get much of a rattling sound if you happen to shake it around. I've had this case packed away in boxes and backpacks and it's suffered no damage whatsoever. I've even sat and stepped on it. It feels solid and practically indestructible, unlike a lot of ready-made external hard drives which are cased in plastic. I can throw this drive in a bag or shove it in a pocket and be off without any worries of damaging the inside.
I like how the aluminum dissipates heat. I can remember only two times, when I had been streaming movies during a car ride, that the outer case got seriously hot. All I did was aim the car's AC vent on the case and it cooled down like a PC heatsink. My Western Digital Passport couldn't have done the same thing.
The look is a sleek, fetching red. The carrying case that comes with it is some cheap faux-leather stuff but it's not bad; keeps any scratches off so the aluminum stays looking new. The carrying case has a small mesh pocket that is supposed to be able to fit the Y USB cable, which it does, but not very well. It will hold a compact/shorter USB cable and won't be that thick to boot.
 FINAL THOUGHTS 
Since way back then I've turned this Rocketfish 2.5" PATA/EIDE Hard Drive Enclosure Kit as my on-the-go data storage. It's a LOT more portable and useful than my Dynex USB Enclosure Kit. All of the muscle is in the quality of the hard drive that goes in it. It runs on USB 2.0 and doesn't require a separate power cord. It's simple, tough, reliable, and I honestly couldn't have asked for more out of an external drive kit. I don't mind that there is no built-in automatic backup function - I organize my files so backing up is as easy as a drag & drop. If you're looking to buy a portable external drive but are worried about cheap construction, I recommend to buy this kit, stick a naked drive into it, and you're good to go!
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