Usage, Findings and Conclusions
I decided not to "benchmark" these enclosures, as doing so is pretty pointless. The enclosures are limited to the USB 2.0 spec. as well as the individual hard drive that you decide to use. I did use both of these enclosures on several occasions, and they performed flawlessly. Both drives look really nice and feel solid. The included leather carrying case was an added benefit. The quality of the case was very nice; it didn't feel cheap or flimsy. Each enclosure comes with a special USB cable, which has a split on one end with two USB connectors. Most USB ports are "powered", but for those that aren't (say, on a keyboard), you may need to use both USB connectors to operate the drive properly. I didn't have this problem, however, and only required a single USB connector.
Enclosures such as these can come in very handy when you want to carry around a large amount of data with you at any given time. They can also be very valuable when trying to recover data from a "broken" computer. During my review period, one of my roommates came to me and asked if I could help him retrieve some data that was on his old laptop. The laptop "died" over a year ago and he has been without the data ever since. Always up for a challenge, I decided to give it a try. I removed the HDD from the laptop and installed it in the NexStar SX (IDE version). I then connected the enclosure to my computer and was able to successfully back up all of the data in question. My roommate was extremely happy, now having his data and not having to pay a computer shop a small fortune to do so.
I would easily recommend either of these enclosures to anyone looking for a quick and easy method of transferring data from one location to another. Granted, both of these drives lack support for SATA connectivity, the price tag generously reflects this. As of writing, the IDE versions (in both black and silver) retail for $19.99 while the SATA versions (again, in both black and silver) retail for $21.99.
OCIA.net has awarded the Vantec NexStar SX External HDD Enclosures our seal of approval!