I suddenly got a need for a 3.5″ external drive box, preferably USB 3.0.
As usual, I chose the cheapest one, in this case by AGE Star. It costs around 12 USD, I payed even less because of the bonus program. Let’s see what you get for being a cheap ass. The first thing that struck me it actually sells in full color retail packaging. My traditional unboxing. The contents include the container itself, a quality USB 3.0 cable with protective caps, and also a screwdriver, drive mounts, desk stand and of course – external power supply, as the case is intended for 3.5″ which unlike 2.5″ counterparts, cannot be fully powered by USB. The power supply has this output and is a wall charger, which is a great improvement over older designs popular a couple years back. They were bulky and looked more like laptop adapters. Let’s look around the box itself. The case is made of metal, not plastic. This was another surprise for me, as I expected cheap plastic. We all really need to say thank you to those Chinese guys whose slave labor allows us to buy such quality things for such a low price. And this price has shipping and shop fees included. Lets remove the mainboard. By the way the bundled screwdriver is too small to fit the screws. Well, that’s the device. The rest is just the box. My case has a little problem – one of the decorative plates is loose. Well, that’s easily fixed. Unhook the panel to reveal the screws underneath. Apply a little pressure on the screw holder to compress it slightly, screw everything back and rehook the panel. Try not to break the hooks while removing and replacing the panel. Let’s install the hardrive and finally check the device. To install the HDD you have to put this plastic rails on the sides. Then connect the mainboard and just slide the harddrive inside the container. Drive in the screws. You can also slide in the desk stand. Connect the wiring and power on the device. Let’s check the write speed. Personally, I was amazed. The HDD I use is a last years 7200 rpm model. The source where I copy from is a SSD drive. So, 8 movies (4.1 Gb total) copied to the box in under 35 seconds. It took 1:52 to write a single 13 Gb archive. The average write speed is 115 megabytes per second. This is a huge difference for me, as my other USB 2.0 2.5″ 5400 rpm HDD only gives around 30 megabytes per second. So my write speeds multiplied by 4. This is very useful for creating backups, and that’s for I purchased this box in the first place. On the whole, I’m rather pleased with the product.