Today I will present you what I consider a necessary gadget to have for anyone owning a PC. We all know how important mobility is these days. The same is true for our data. It is great to have all our that locked under the hood of our PC or notebook. But it can be a headache when we need to share data between different PCs. It is true that nowadays you have a lot of possibilities for that. Some are more time consuming than others. I will present you a gadget which I personally have purchased. Recently I decided to change my normal hard drive with an SSD. But then I had another issue. What to do with the old hard drive. Well I had two options:
- Option #1: purchase myself a hard drive caddy instead of my optical drive
- Option #2: purchase myself an external hard drive rack
I have chosen option #2 for two reasons:
- I have the mobility of a portable hard drive, in fact you transform your internal laptop hard drive into a portable one
- It is way more cheaper
The decision was to go not with the most cheapest one, because there are a few options in this area. Instead I preferred to choose a better branded one. It is true that there a cheap options which work great. But the my first pick was not available at the time of purchase. The decision was to go with ADATA EX500 2.5 inch external HDD/SSD Enclosure (rack).
The reasons behind my decisions were the following:
- ADATA as an HDD/SSD manufacturer inspired more trust than a no name brand
- the enclosure is tool-free which is great when you need to quickly switch the hard drive from the inside
- it has USB 3.1 instead of a traditional USB 2.0
What is the difference between USB 3.0, and 3.1
You see there are in fact 2 versions of USB 3.1 called Gen1 and Gen2. USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2 came out in July 2013 to replace the USB 3.0 standard. USB 3.1 Gen1 is capable of speeds up to 5 Gbps whereas USB 3.1 Gen2 is capable of speeds up to 10 Gbps. So what is the difference between USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen1? Well, in fact they are the same thing. The USB-IF organisation published an article where they stated that all USB 3.0 connectors capable of 5Gbps will be now classified as USB 3.1 Gen1. You can read the whole article by following this link.
This means that now all USB 3.0 cables with 5Gbps are now referenced as USB 3.1.
General feeling about the product
Before starting any statement about the product I need to highlight that this article was not sponsored by any means by ADATA. I have purchased the product by myself and decided to review it because it is a really nice looking product.
First things first. The hard drive enclosure is really well packed in a cardboard box as you can see it in the image above. Once you will open the box you will find inside the following:
- 1 cable with USB 3.1 cable
- the external hard drive enclosure (rack)
- 2 pcs of self adhesive foam if you want to mount a 7 mm thick ssd, the foam has an exact thickness of 2.5 mm
You won’t find any instruction manual or leaflet in the box because all the information you need can be found printed on the box.
Speaking about the product I can tell you that it is really nice looking. The red cover is made out of brushed aluminum and the body of the housing is made out of plastic. The XPG ADATA logo are not laser printed, but it glued on the brushed aluminum. About the plastic housing all I can tell that it isn’t the cheap one. Instead it is nothing extraordinary. Still it is nice to hold it in your hand. You don’t have the sensation that it will slip out of your palms. The design of the enclosure is certainly eye catching even though we are speaking about a product that costs only $9.99. All in all the product feels good, not cheap in any sens of the word. For sure you will not be ashamed to take it out from your bag.
I know that most of you prefer to have all sort of benchmarks when it comes to performance. I will avoid to do that. Not because I couldn’t do it, but because I find it more relevant to have a day by day user experience about the product. This might be a subjective opinion, but I assume this risk. Inside the enclosure I have mounted the hard drive which was inside my laptop a Lenovo G510. It is manufactured by Seagate and it is a 1000Gb (1Tb) SSHD at 5400 RPM. Before I forget, you don’t need any tools to open and mount the hard drive. You just need to move the latch to the open position and slide the top cover towards the latch. You just need to slide your hard drive or SSD in the SATA connector and that’s it. Slide the top cover back and lock it. You are good to go.
However, if you mount inside an SSD which has a thickness of only 7 mm it is advised to mount the foam pads. They will assure a good fixation. In the rest you don’t hear the hard drive or SSD inside moving around.
Read & write speeds
Related to its performance I will not go into details. Although they might seem to be cool to present graphics and charts compared to other products. I prefer to tell you my personal opinion about the product during daily usage. This said pluged in a USB 3.0 port you will reach the following speeds:
- 100 Mb/s write speed
- 80 Mb/s read speed
This was tested on my Lenovo G510 laptop with Intel Core I3 4000-M at 2.4Ghz processor 8 Gb of RAM and Windows 10 installed. The hard drive mounted inside was my former 1Tb Seagate 5400 RPM hard drive. Speeds probably will vary from one system to another. This is one of the reasons why I find benchmarks sometimes useless. Although you cannot compare it to an SSD. My opinion is, but this is a subjective one, the hard drive in the external rack behaves even better than when it was mounted in my laptop.
ADATA XPG EX500 external hard drive enclosure
Other aspects to consider
There is an aspect which probably for somebody is important. When you plug in the external enclosure when you check it under Device manager you will see only the name of the enclosure. In this case only XPG EX500 is displayed. There is no hint or information about the hard drive/ssd mounted inside. Because I own only one of this product for me is not an issue. The problem that I see is the following. If you own 2 or more of these external enclosures with different hard drives in it you might be annoyed. Why? Because you will need to pop them open to see which one’s which. You will not get any information when you plug them in.
While opening them is not an issue because it is tool free, it might be annoying if you are in a hurry. Therefore my recommendation would be to mark these enclosure if you have 2 or more of these.
Other aspects that could be a problem for some of you is exchanging the hard drives quite often could damage the usb 3.1 port. It is a little hard to take out the hard drive. First of because the case fits the hard drive perfectly. Secondly the snug fit involves more attention from your side to pull it out. You need first to raise the end of the hard drive / ssd and after to pull it out gently. I don’t do that often, but this could be also an issue.
To summarize my little review about the ADATA XPG EX500 external hard drive enclosure I have to admit something. Initially I have ordered another enclosure. But because it wasn’t dispatched after 3 days I canceled that and ordered this one from another place. Overall I am happy with it. Certainly isn’t all polished aluminum, but it looks really nice. Build quality is fine. What I miss is some sort of rubber feet on the bottom. I have told you that it is not slippery, but the fact is when you place it on a plastic surface like laptop lid it might slip. I have chosen this one for its USB 3.1 port and because of its looks. You can purchase it for around $9.99. If any issue will appear with this product I will update this post.