A.C.Ryan are a great company putting out some real amazing products at the moment. Today I will be looking at another great product from their Pro-Data range, the useful and reliable "UDrive USB2.0 to IDE/SATA2 external converter".
Coming in an impressive 2 tone packaging box, the UDrive is aimed at techies and enthusiasts that need a "no thrills, no frills, plain & simple multipurpose workhorse." The packaging informs that the unit will connect all 2.5/3.5/5.25" IDE drives and all SATA/SATA2 drives to USB for quick and easy use.
The contents include the UDrive unit itself, Driver CD for Win 98, a short SATA cable for SATA use, a standalone AC power supply (molex output), and 2 power supply adapters (molex-SATA and molex-2.5" power supply adapter). The unit itself feels solid but not of overly exciting quality. But the true value of the unit is in its reliability and flexibility. It really is a no frills workhorse!
The U-Drive and its power supply are very easy and self explanatory to connect. It really is the easiest way to quickly gain USB access to any drive on-the-fly. I can't truly relay how useful it is to have such quick and easy access. It can even be used for drives still installed in other cases, eliminating the need to network or remove the drive for backup purposes or large file transfers. And being USB 2.0 compliant the transfer rates are quite steady and fast.
Another thing this unit is usable for is connecting to 5.25" IDE drives (ie: CD/DVD drives). I planned to use this to hook up a DVD burner to my family computer, however I ws unable to do so as the side of the unit itself plugged into the IDE port of the drive blocked access to half the power connector and prevented me form connecting power to the drive. This may be different for different drives (and definitely for SATA drives), however this could theoretically also be fixed with a short IDE extension cable.
Overall the UDrive is a very solid product and an invaluable tool for all techies, modders and PC enthusiasts alike. I've used this tool many times already in the short time I've been reviewing it, and will probably buy more for all of my techie friends so they too can experience it's usefulness and flexibility. I'd recommend this one to all of you out there and can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed by its performance and use.
Amazing flexibility and ease of use
No Drivers Required (Win ME and up)
A definite essential workhorse for all techies
First impressions are slightly low on appearance and quality, however overlooked
once the reliability of the product is experienced
Physical Size too big for most IDE optical drives (would need extension)
Special thanks to A.C.Ryan for providing us the opportunity to review their great product. Their promotions team are great people to deal with and would recommend A.C.Ryan product to everyone on their quality, reliability and support.