Vantec NexStar-3 Hard drive enclosure review.
Vantec NexStar-3 External 2.5" Hard Drive Enclosure Review
Manufacturers product page-Vantec Technology Inc.
This review features a hard drive drive enclosure that admittedly has been around for a while, but I decided to submit it due to the timing of my laptops demise and the realization that other people could be in the same boat. My laptop had a motherboard failure that left me with components that, for the most part, could not be used anywhere else. One of the exceptions is the hard drive. I bought an enclosure to recover my data and then use the drive as a storage drive.
Features-(from the Vantec website)
-Aluminum Casing Cools Down Your Hard Drive
-Transfer Rates Up To 480MBPS w/ USB 2.0 (12MBPS w/ USB1.1)
-Easily Add Storage To Any System With USB
-Hot-Swappable: Plug And Play Without Rebooting
-Attractive Blue LED Indicates Power/HDD Activity
-USB Powered for drives up to 160GB
Interface:--IDE to USB 2.0
Dimension:-132 X 80 X 15 mm
Supports:-Window 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP
Mac OS 8.6 & Above
drive height: -9.5 mm
Packing and accessories
Driver Disc, User Manual, 2.5" HDD Enclosure
USB / Power Cable, Screws, Carrying Bag
The enclosure was packaged in a box within a box that used a cardboard insert for separation of the components. The contents are light and there was no visible damage.
I unpacked the contents and was impressed by the small size of the enclosure and the smooth glossy finish of the enclosure.Attachment 1752Attachment 1753
I prepared to put my Toshiba 2.5"-40gb. IDE hard drive into the external enclosure.
The fit of the hard drive pins to the corresponding socket was tight and required enough force that I needed to carefully support the socket on the PCB with my other fingers to prevent damage to it. As you can see there are four pins that do not connect with anything, I am not sure what they are for as this did not affect the operation of the hard drive.
The next step was to secure the hard drive to the PCB with four screws, slide the hard drive into the enclosure and secure it with two screws.
The included cable has two USB plugs that may both be plugged in at the same time to provide enough power for larger drives. In my case there was enough power supplied by using just one USB plug.
I plugged in the NexStar drive and it was detected by Windows XP immediately, without any tweaking whatsoever. For those who like bling there is a blue power light in the shape of the Vantec logo.
I recovered all the files I needed from my laptops demise then formatted the drive. I then ran some speed tests using HDTune to determine the throughput I was getting. From that I could not determine if I was getting the maximum advertised transfer rate for the external enclosure, but the results were consistent with the performance of the Toshiba's hard drive of 27.5 mbps (max)
There is also an included carrying case that has room for the drive and cable. This will help to prevent scuffing and scratches when not being used or transported.
All in all, the drive enclosure exudes high quality, is simple to assemble and use. It is up to you to determine if you want to spend the extra money to use on an older IDE hard drive. It does allow you to use a hard drive that may otherwise be sold for a pittance or scrapped. I have another laptop on its last legs and this external enclosure with undoubtedly be used for its hard drive also.
I am happy with this product and would not hesitate to use VanTec enclosures in the future.
Nice review :D
I Often suggest to folks that think their old laptops are useless to buy an external drive enclosure for their hard drives. Its amazing how many people think that the only way to get an external drive is to buy and expensive premade.
Its a nice looking enclosure too, and the carry case really tops it off. Its nice that it comes with a cable that allows you to increase the power input, but if you didnt have to use it i think i'd be switching out the cable for a normal one; that cable looks like it would catch on everything if it wasnt plugged in.
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