Vizo URA-350SA

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VIZO Uranus 3.5" One-Touch Backup Enclosure URA-350SA
(using Western Digital 250GB 3.5" WD2500KS)
Conclusion
February 18, 2007
Uranus URA-350SA: Introduction Uranus URA-350SA: What's In The Box
Uranus URA-350SA: A Closer Look Uranus URA-350SA: Installation Brief
Uranus URA-350SA: Benchmarks Uranus URA-350SA: Specifications
Uranus URA-350SA: Conclusion


VIZO URA-350SA
HDD Format: 3.5" SATA drive
Weight (enclosure only): ~400g
Weight (with drive): 955g (2 lbs 1.5 oz)
Warranty: 1 year
Official Website: Vizo.com.tw
MSRP: $69.99 | Click For Best Price
Western Digital 250GB 16MB: Click for best price
Pros
  • Easy to assemble
  • Simple to operate
  • Thick slab of aluminum
  • Built-in cooling fan
  • USB2.0 or eSATA data transfer options
  • Hearty Universal AC adapter
  • 4-pin DIN power jack for stable current
  • Bright LED display assures you can see status of the drive--and it looks cool, too
  • PCCLoneEX does a great job at organizing your files for the URA-350SA
  • Backup files and/or operating system files at the touch of a button
  • Sturdy case
  • Quiet to use (depends on hard drive being used)
  • High-quality finish
  • Cleaning cloth provided to wipe fingerprints off your URA-350SA and to give it a shiny slick finish
Cons
  • PCCloneEX only works with a USB2.0 connection--not the faster SATA connection
Observations
  • USB and SATA cords are much shorter than the AC adapter cords. For maximum distance from the computer, purchasing extension cables would alleviate the problem
Suggestions
  • Provide a horizontal mount
The Uranus URA-350SA by VIZO is an elegant way to add SATA-speed storage to your desktop. The aluminum enclosure is thick with a classy finish which really grabs your attention. And due to the enclosure being a solid piece of aluminum, it deals with heat from the hard drive very well. The small fan housed in the case certainly adds to the air flow of the enclosure which is essential when using any type of hard drive, but especially 3.5" drives.

Installation of a SATA hard drive with the URA-350SA took only a few minutes. PCCloneEX took a few more minutes, and I would estimate the total time of installation for the hard drive and software to be around 10-20 minutes (hooking up the cables to your computer, installing the PCI eSATA adapter bracket, etc.). I like the added protection of the hexagon screws for the outer casing of the URA-350SA. Some might ask why as it could potentially cause an inconvenience if the tool supplied by VIZO is lost. Well, don't lose the tool. Keep it someplace safe along with your other computer parts. Why? Because hexagon screws are not so common, you can be somewhat at ease the outer case will not be removed and your hard drive tampered with by inexperienced hands.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS

I unfortunately found a con, which was PCCloneEX's inability to be used with the SATA connection. While a USB2.0 is fairly quick for small files, when you're backing up hard drives where the typical capacity is 250GB or more, USB2.0 becomes futile and a SATA connection becomes mandatory. Hopefully we'll see FNet Corporation (the makers of PCCloneEX) update their software so it's more reflective of the current external needs by the consumer. Having BOTH options of backing up your data via USB and SATA, is the way to go.

The WD2500KS was rather quiet in the URA-350SA. I remember reading a few comments on the net about the enclosure being "loud" but this will depend on the type and quality of the hard drive you purchased. My Western Digital 250GB performed just fine and was quiet, according to my observations.

Overall, I was impressed with VIZO's Uranus 3.5" eSATA enclosure. It performed very well with the WD2500KS and I observed no mechanical issues. The enclosure might be considered a little more expensive than most enclosures, but the quality of the enclosure all the way down to the AC adapter, are above the quality you would expect to see in a typical external enclosure.

The URA-350SA is highly recommended and then some.


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