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Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review
Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: This sleek black case accomodates any standard 3.5" IDE hard disk.
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Vantec Apr 11 2005   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Vantec NexStar 3

Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review

Since USB 2.0 came along with its 480Mbps transfer rate, external hard drive enclosures have gotten a lot more practical. Couple that with the falling cost-per-gigabyte of hard drives, and suddenly using physical drives for external backup looks like a pretty cost effective solution, especially for small businesses and home users.

The intuitive ease with which Windows XP and 2000 (along with Apple OSX and most recent Linux incarnations) handle USB attached storage makes backing up to an external USB drive a painless task for any computer user. The data transfer rates are still not directly comparable to internal drives, but they are close enough to make transferring large files bearable.

Today at PCstats, we're taking a quick look at one of Vantec's latest external IDE drive solutions for USB 2.0, the NexStar 3 enclosure. This sleek black case accomodates any standard 3.5" IDE hard disk. As you might expect from Vantec, a company which first made its name with heatsinks, the outer shell of the enclosure is made of solid aluminium to help draw heat away from the drive inside.

Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 Hard Drive Case


Aluminum enclosure and parts, stand, USB2.0 cable, power adaptor and plug, driver CD and manual.

The Vantec NexStar 3 enclosure comes in four colours, red, blue, grey and black. We tested out the 'Onyx Black' version of the product and we were quite impressed with its shiny black mirror finish. Unfortunately, as with most products with shiny black cases, fingerprints show rather strongly on the NexStar 3.

The rear of the case holds the USB and power plugs as well as the power switch.

The front of the case is featureless except for the Vantec logo which doubles as a snazzy blue activity LED for the hard drive (when you plug in the internal cable the correct way, that is).

The sides of this enclosure are featureless except for a set of rubber feet which support it if you decide to sit it horizontally instead of vertically on the included plastic stand. The enclosure is fanless and silent. In our usage tests, the body of the NexStar 3 got mildly warm. It's worth noting that the NexStar 3 has no shock protection of any sort, as it's just a bare aluminium enclosure with an internal drive rack. While it'll provide a little bit of protection to your drive in a fall, it won't handle rough treatment.

The Vantec NexStar 3 comes in a nicely illustrated box which includes a USB cable, a laptop-style external power adaptor, assembly screws, a small print manual and a CD. The manual is pretty sparse, as you might expect from a product of this nature, and contains some rather unfortunate ad-copy claiming that "Form and functionality collide with style in the Vantec Nexstar 3..." Indeed.

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Contents of Article: Vantec NexStar 3
 Pg 1.  — Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review
 Pg 2.  Drive Installation
 Pg 3.  File transfer speed tests

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