Pros:1)nicely made components
2)separate USB and extra power cables
3)[potential for] easy cable-free connection
Cons:1)no integrated SATA hot-swap support
2)no way to secure enclosure in carry case
The Bottom Line: Make SURE your motherboard or controller card will support hot-swapping SATA connections. If not, save some money and be happy with a simple USB enclosure.
This unit is pretty nicely made, although the hard drive mount does rattle annoyingly inside the enclosure. The supplemental USB power wire is separate from the main USB cable, so if you dont need extra power you dont have that extra wire left dangling. The drive enclosures connector is a standard mini-USB, so you can use a different cable if you want to.
Recommend this product?
Caution: Despite Vantecs advertising, this enclosures SATA interface IS NOT HOT-SWAPPABLE in itself. It relies on being plugged into a third-party SATA controller that supports hot-swapping. If you do not have this controller you must restart your computer whenever you insert or eject the enclosure from the SATA tray. Ejecting the drive will freeze your computer.
Do not try to mount the rack in an empty 3.5 inch drive bay if the face plate of the bay is recessed deeply in the front of the computer case. The drive enclosure does not eject far enough to grasp with your fingers unless there is ample clearance around the opening.
The carrying case is coarse nylon fabric with a zipper and two pockets inside. The pockets will hold the cables, but they are not big enough to hold the drive enclosure so be careful it doesnt fall out when you unzip the case.
I bought this unit because it offered a quick and easy cable-free SATA interface to my desktop computer, as well as the usual USB connection for my laptop. If I had known the SATA interface needed extra hardware I would have just bought a cheaper USB enclosure.
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