All-in-all, the Silverstone MS05
provides a convenient means of carrying your diagnostic software tools and installation files to friends and family sites to which the local guru often gets drafted when things go sour. And now that notebook size drives have sufficient capacity, it can also work for system backup, though most would prefer the added speed and capacity of the desktop drives for that duty.
It is attractive and light when carried as an external drive, all you need to carry is the drive housing and the two cables. Since the power connection is a standard barrel, a wall-wart could be added to make it self-powered for those situations where system port power isn't up to the task. I would like to have seen a nicely padded carrying case included for protection when in portable mode. But I suppose that would have added to the price and necessitated extra packaging. I suppose I can come up with one locally.
As far as I can tell, there is no direct competition for the MS05 kit, so I can't compare it with something else. I'd guess the Vantec EZ Swap EX MRK-250FD
comes closest but when you are using the Vantec as external, it is only USB yet is SATA connected when docked (not recommended for hot plug/swap). It can be Jerry-rigged for external SATA, but not true eSATA. Luckily the MS05 works as well as any kit like this could be expected to and the Vantec has the same protrusion problem when docked. The lack of ventilation in the housing and the detail flaws drop the overall rating of the MS05 a bit, but it makes up partly for this for reducing packaging waste.
Now Silverstone, let's see this same idea in a 3.5" drive size kit - I have some ideas, call me! ;-)Specifications
For completeness, here is the MS05 Specifications Table with edits for clarity and additions from personal observation.
Cable Lengths - USB: 22", eSATA: 19", Docking Bay: both approx. 22".
Gross weight: 1.25 pounds.
Thanks go to Silverstone Technology Co., Ltd
. for providing the review sample.
PS: It appears that I was wrong about there being no direct competitor for the MS05. I was notified by a reader of the Tagan Icy Box (part no. IB-266StUSD-B)
. I guess I just can't keep up with everything any more.
The article text and photos are (C)opyright June 2008 in the USA by W.A. (Bill) Hill, Jr. It is published on MadShrimps with permission of the author. Any trademarks or other intellectual property of others used in the article are covered under the "Fair Use" provisions of US copyright law.