Computer Geeks 2.5-inch USB 3.0 Drive Kit
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 05-07-2010
Provided by: Computer Geeks
Pages:
Conclusion


The Computer Geeks 2.5" USB 3.0 Drive Kit includes everything needed to add portable, lightweight storage capacity to your ExpressCard-ready laptop. You get an unbranded, NEC controller 34mm ExpressCard that offers two USB 3.0 ports along with a plug-in AC adapter for powering those USB devices. This is coupled with a sturdy aluminum 2.5" SATA enclosure with A to A USB 3.0 cable and handy travel case. Finally they throw in a "refurbished" 2.5" SATA hard drive to complete the package. The drive actually appears as if it may be a system pull from another enclosure perhaps, with foam anti-vibration strips pre-applied. Although our drive was 5400rpm, 8Mb cache, SATA-II 3Gb/s as advertised, there was a discrepancy in the make, model and capacity. The kit was supposed to include a 500Gb Samsung drive and what we received was a 250Gb Hitachi. Geeks assures us that this mistake was simply a matter of the wrong drive being included with our kit, and that customer bundles would have the correct hardware.

Other than the drive mix-up we experienced no major problems with the bundle. We did have to remove a few of the foam pads from the drive before it would fit into the enclosure, however these pull off easily without tearing or leaving behind any sticky residue. Once installed the drive is pretty much ready to go, you will have to use the included driver CD in order for your system to recognize the NEC-based USB 3.0 ExpressCard, even with Windows 7. It is a bit of a bummer that the card requires an AC adapter in order to power the drive, however the other alternative would be to use a second USB cord to draw voltage from one of the laptop's USB 2.0 ports, similar to the eSATA enclosure we tested earlier this year. It would be nice to have that alternative as this allows users to go completely AC-free with their laptops, although it does shorten battery runtime. You could always forgo the extra speed and plug directly into a USB 2.0 port as well.

The Computer Geeks USB 3.0 drive kit will set you back a mere $89.99, which is a bargain if you figure what the individual components would cost you. OCIA.net awards the Geeks kit our Silver Seal of Approval.




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