Sunbeamtech Air Box USB 3.0 External HDD Enclosure Review

Storage/Other by leeghoofd @ 2010-06-29

It took a while for the external enclosure manufacturers to catch up with the motherboard makers. USB 3.0 however was introduced a while ago. Sadly at CeBIT 2010, we saw mainly prototypes, meaning they were not production ready. Sunbeamtech was the first specialist to send us a full blown USB3.0 3.5inch external enclosure branded under the Airbox name. External data backup via USB has always been painfully slow, surely compared to the more expensive Firewire and eSATA solutions. Will this USB3.0 external solution be able to close the gap ? Let us see if we can stuff it with precious data at blistering speeds.

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Conclusive Thoughts

Conclusive Thoughts

There you have it. How could I best describe this Airbox. Of course it's personal taste but I find it a very stylish solution. Besides its shear elegance it also performs at blistering speeds. Naturally you need the USB 3.0 option provided by your motherboard or add on card. I've tested this external enclosure on several brand and types of motherboards ( P55, X58, AMD870-880 and 890 chipsets ) and it worked in fabulous harmony with the NEC USB 3.0 chip.

Secondly the thermal aspects are not gimmicks. The 8cm cooler is a very efficient solution, which puts all the other efforts of miniscule fans solutions to shame. Being inaudible and able to adequately cool down your hard drive makes this Airbox ideal for long term endurance data transfer. For those that want some *bling* LED solution is a real jawbreaker, for those that don't fancy it, the LED button gives you what you want.

The compact design claim for portability is discussable, as the unit itself is pretty big. But the power supply unit is tiny, compared to the notebook alike solutions of the competition. No extra power cables, it has about the same size of a normal Nokia charger.

Madshrimps (c)

And the best has yet to come. Retailing under 30 euros you get a lot speed for the buck. Wading through zillions of online shops the competitors’ solutions retail at at least 45 euros. Only drawback is that Sunbeamtech needs to get solid ground in Europe. Maybe this Airbox can help them to achieve that and more e-tailers will start to list this nice product.

Sunbeamtech Air Box USB 3.0 Recommended for

+ Very fast external USB3.0 3 1/2" HD enclosure
+ Effective cooling solution
+ Very low price
+ Small power supply unit

- Availibility

A big thank you goes out to Terrence from Sunbeamtech for providing us the review sample and allowing us to test the USB 3.0 capability on a wide variety of motherboards.
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