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  • Plastic, not Aluminium
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      02.04.2004 19:18
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      • "Plastic
      • not Aluminium"

      +++Introduction+++ A while back here on Dooyoo I presented you my Emprex DVD-burner. Since I do work on several PCs and since a multistandard DVDrewriter is still not that cheap - although prices have come down at an astonishing rate over the last year - I felt really reluctant to buying one for each workstation I use. So when I saw this external 5"25 inch drive housing advertised at a local dealer's website I took the plunge mainly to be able to use the mentionned DVD-burner anywhere I like. +++Features+++ So what is it ? It is simply an external housing for all types of 5"25 inch drives, be it CD- or DVD-Readers and/or burners or any other devices. In fact the package comes with internal adapters so you could even fit in a 3"25 harddisk if you would wish to do so. The device communicates through the High Speed USB 2.0 protocol and comes with its own USB-cable and power adaptor. The Mentor ME-525 has an Anti-Shock design. So its main purpose is to make any kind of drive you decide to install in it a mobile storage device. But since it basically is a plastic box it is not unbreakable if dropped. But the enclosure with screwless design makes it utterly user-friendly and very easy to install. As said data is transferred through an internal IDE to USB 2.0 interface and thus it can work with both through PC & Mac Plug and Play hot-swappable connection. Therefore Win 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Mac OS 8.6 or above are supported. The case is of also of a stackable design with dimensions of : 265 x 165 x 55mm (L x W x H), so it really isn't as small as that. On top of your PC, if ever you have a tower like me, seems to be the logical place for it. +++When to buy+++ This type of external drive housing could be useful to anyone that has no more free drivebays left in his PC, who uses a laptop or someone who needs to work on several machines. The main condition to be able to use it as
      intended, is that whatever you connect it to needs to have the Highspeed USB 2.0 on board or data transfer will be slow. People still having machines with only USB1.1 can forget about using this housing to install a CD- or DVD-burner as under USB1.1 the data transfer speed is too slow to provide sufficient data to today's highspeed burners. When using it with a burners inside it, make sure that the machine you connect it to has decent burning software installed. Obviously it is a Do-It-Yourself solution, but this has the advantage, contrary to those readymade solutions that are out there that you can install in it any drive you like, e.g. a spare CD-burner that was left over after a systems upgrade. As the housing is quite cheap the total cost of housing and device installed in it will work out cheaper than readymade total package solutions (e.g. Philips Jackrabbit, Maxtor, Iomega, etc.) The finish is good and the screwless design works really well. The colours, with a mixture of faint purple and silver are quite attractive (see picture). If ever you decide to install a 3"25 harddrive in it you obviously leave the frontplate - which is equipped with ventilation holes - in place. If ever you install a 5"25 drive the frontplate of the drive fills up the void. And here we come to my main concern : As this external housing has no type of mechanical cooling (no ventilator) installed and with a 5"25 burner installed there is really very litle room left for air to circulate and to cool down the drive inside. I haven't tried my luck yet but I can imagine that if ever you have a DVD (or CD)-burner in it and you would be burning disks continuously overheating problems could occur. And unfortunately there is no room left to install a small aftermarket ventilator yourself. +++Conclusion+++ So this external housing is excellent value for money, providing you with a goodlooking and
      affordable external storage solution and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to be able to install a drive in it. My sole concern could be possible overheating problems when burningdisks one after another when ambient temperature is already on the high side. It is undeniably a mobile storage solution but the sheer size and weight of it will keep you from wanting to tug it along all day. Cheers, Vik

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