01-06-2013, 07:55 PM #1
Oyen Digital MiniPro HD Enclosure
If you're like me, you're no stranger to platform migration. And we all know that, in addition to buying all new accessories for that new tablet, one also has to save the hard drive from the old tablet to prevent it from falling into the hands of terrorists (hey, that's what was in some recent Bruce Willis movie...!). So now you're holding this 2.5" HD... what to do, what to do...?
Over the years, I've bought and used several brands of third-party external HD enclosures. They've all worked (well, mostly), but most of them seemed to be of sketchy quality, with cheap plastic or thin sheet-metal parts, microscopic screws and rickety little adapter boards with USB ports that seemed to break with distressing predictability. Of the various "house" brands and national brands that I have tried, only Van-Tec seemed to make a durable product and even some of their designs seemed to skate a bit along the edge. Then one day, while researching the market for my next external HD enclosure, I stumbled over the Oyen Digital MiniPro:
MiniPro Portable Hard Drive Series by Oyen Digital
Priced at $40 (enclosure only), this is not the cheapest enclosure that you can buy, but based on my rather extensive experience it's probably the best quality enclosure I have ever seen. Modern, too; the MiniPro features versions that have FireWire 800, USB 3.0 or USB 3.0 + eSATA ports. The basic enclosure is a tray plus sleeve with both parts made out of metal with a decent thickness and nicely finished with (I think) a black powder coating. Your 2.5" SATA drive is secured to the tray and the tray slips into the sleeve leaving an adequate gap for air to circulate around the HD to keep it cool. Stick-on rubber feet that cover the enclosure screws make for a nice cosmetic touch.
I purchased the USB 3.0 + eSATA version and so far, it has worked flawlessly for me. There is an impression that USB 3.0 is faster than eSATA for data transfer, but that is not true. The SATA format is the language of your HD and eSATA uses that format directly but with a different port configuration (than SATA) to communicate with the outside world. USB must translate SATA to USB and then USB back into SATA; it's fast, but eSATA still has the edge. Having both ports available means that I can leverage the faster eSATA connection when it's available; that's always nice especially if you're doing back-ups where GBs of data end up being transferred. If eSATA isn't available, well, USB 3.0 is still very fast...
The MiniPro enclosure is not as small as some other brands, so it may not appeal to every user, but if you're tired of flimsy frames and broken ports, the MiniPro might be for you.
Last edited by Steve S; 01-06-2013 at 11:23 PM.
01-06-2013, 11:31 PM #2
Re: Oyen Digital MiniPro HD Enclosure
I forgot an important note: Whereas USB provides provisions for power, eSATA does not. (eSATA is different from "Powered eSATA," which uses yet another different port configuration. The MiniPro does not use a Powered eSATA connection.) So just as inside your computer, if you elect to use eSATA, you must provide a separate source of external power to the MiniPro. Fortunately, The MiniPro includes an AC adapter to provide the necessary power. If you elect to use USB, no external power source is required...
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