In keeping with the digital lifestyle, we keep a lot of multimedia on our computers. The megapixel count on our digital cameras is quickly increasing and, as a result, so the are the file sizes of the resulting images. The same can be said about all the digital camcorders infiltrating the market, as well as downloaded movies, music, and games. All of these files take up a heck of a lot of space, and especially when it comes to family photos and videos, we don't want to lose them. Having a reliable backup solution becomes absolutely paramount, because -- unfortunately -- computers are known to fail for a number of reasons. You don't want your laptop to suddenly crash and burn, losing all of those vacation pictures you've accumulated over the years.
Sure, you could back up that data onto a series of blank DVD discs, but those are only a few gigs in size. It doesn't take much to fill up a disc, so it's probably a better option to look at online storage or, alternatively, a reliable external hard drive, particularly one with loads of space. The NexStar MX external hard drive enclosure from Vantec sounds it fits the bill, because it houses two drives instead of just one. And each of these drives can be up to one terabyte in space, effectively giving you enough room to backup a full 2TB of photos, music, videos, documents, and whatever else you want to store. Most importantly, it looks great doing it too!
Specifications and Features
The biggest selling point of the NexStar MX Dual 3.5-inch SATA HDD enclosure is the very fact that it can house a pair of hard drives, but that's not the only thing going for it. Here's a quick rundown of the key specifications and features.
- Supports two SATA I/II hard drives for up to 2TB of total storage
- USB 2.0 external interface
- Up to 480Mbps transfer speed
- Front ventilation and rear fan for active air circulation and cooling
- 3.5-inch Serial ATA hard drives supported
- Dimensions: 197x123x72mm
- Plastic and aluminum alloy construction
- Three LED indicator lights
- Free ArcSoft TotalMedia Backup software
I'd hate to nitpick, but I must. Where is the eSATA and or Firewire connections?
Inside The Box...
As you may have noticed, the NexStar MX does not actually come with any hard drives of its own. It is simply an enclosure and you'll need to provide those beautiful 3.5-inch spinning platters on your own. For the purposes of this review, I used a pair of SATA 250GB Seagate Barracudas. My impression of the hard drive enclosure may be a little colored by this choice, but I'd imagine that the user experience will be pretty similar so long as you use a hard drive from a respectable company. What you do get inside the box is your usual smattering of manuals, screws, power adapter, software and even a USB cable.
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