Tagan IB-220U-Wh HD Enclosure Author: faceless105 -- Posted: 2007-08-03
With mobile computing becoming more and more common so is mobile media. Just about everyone I know already owns a thumb drive but I've actually been seeing more and more people with portable hard drive enclosures. Today I'll be reviewing the Icy Box (IB-220U-Wh).
I'll skip a pic of the box because it was a little beat up from the shipping, but the enclosure came untouched. Out of the box this is a pretty sleek looking enclosure. It's designed for a 2.5 inch Hard Drive so an old laptop hard dive would be ideal for this. One cool feature that this enclosure has on it is a small screen with light up icons to show that it has power and if the drive is sitting idle or if it is reading/writing.
The enclosure is pretty solid feeling. The entire enclosure is comprised of essentially three parts. The top piece of the enclosure is the first and is made from a very thick plastic acrylic. The bottom piece of the enclosure is composed from stainless steel, so you know it'll last you. The final piece sits inside the enclosure. This is the electronics; this handles the USB connection, HD connection, and the LEDs. Noticing that half of the enclosure was plastic I was a bit worried about the cooling, but after placing my hand on the steel portion of the enclosure I found this shouldn't even be a concern.
The construction is very simple, which is something that everyone loves. The enclosure snaps open. To install your hard drive all you need to do is plug the electronics into it. The drive will fit perfectly snug inside. Then all that is left is to snap the enclosure shut again. The drive is completely plug and play. With the USB cable they included you plug the two large ends into your computer and the smaller end into your enclosure. It's extremely easy to work with these.
One large advantage that the smaller drive enclosures hold over the 3.5 inch enclosures is of course they are less then half the size. Beyond that they don't need to be plugged into the wall. This lets you just pull it out of your pocket and plug it in. The size is a great factor because like I just mentioned you can more then easily carry one of these around in your pocket.
Price is also a large factor. While you can get a 2 GB thumb drive for $20-$30, this price will dramatically jump as you get to the larger capacities. As of this moment the largest publicly available thumb drive is 16 GB and cost well over $100. Now if you didn't want to go over $100, you could easily get a 60 GB laptop drive and enclosure, and enjoy having four times the storage space, for the same price.
Another advantage that mobile hard drives have over thumb drives is they are roughly 50% faster. They are both limited by the speeds of your USB capabilities, but the physical hard drive is able to read/write much faster then a thumb drive. Here is a comparison to show the difference in the benchmarks. The Enclosure houses a Toshiba Hard drive, and is up against my Lexar 1gb thumb drive.
They also include some nice little extras with this enclosure. First they do go that extra mile by including a mini screw driver to secure your drive. They also give you a nice little leather bag to carry your enclosure in.
I'd like to thank Tagan for giving me the opportunity to review the Icy Box. I really do have to say that this is a very nice enclosure. It looks great and performs just as well, which is always a plus in my book. Anyone in need of higher capacity mobile storage then thumb drives want to offer, the really do recommend checking out the Icy Box or any of Tagans other hard drive enclosures.
As always if anyone has any questions/comments for me then feel free to shoot them my way :)