Sep 23

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I’m an old dog when it comes to storage enclosures. Unlike many, I still remember when USB enclosures were $100+ (and a lot still are!).

These days, sub $50 is about what you’re looking at with most coming in at sub $30 for a single drive, simple to use and install drive enclosure. When shopping for these, don’t let fancy labels and features mislead you.

99% of the time, these are almost always OS independent except for vendor specific and OS specific features (such as push button back-up and stuff like that).

Wasabi Gear.com provided me with an I/O Crest DataMate enclosure that supports SATA I and II drives. Best of all, this aluminum construction enclosure requires no screws in opening the enclosure, but you will want to properly mount and secure your drive on the inside. There are mounting brackets, screws and screwdriver included. The mounting brackets go on the drive and allow you properly seat it in the enclosure.

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Beyond the little 20 second tool work, there isn’t much else. Everything you need to get started (besides the drive) is included, including AC adapter, USB 3.0 cable, and aforementioned tools to seat the drive.

You can sit the enclosure on it’s side vertically or straight up flat on your desk. You’ll find an included snap-on base to help your drive stand up.

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Other than that, performance is pretty standard at just a little over 130+ MB/sec reads and writes. I didn’t put it through the paces as the initial numbers indicate that performance will be on-par with other USB 3.0 enclosures and my SATA drives are the cheapest you can buy.

The thing that gets me is the enclosure really reminds me of other branded enclosures that are going for $45-$99 in retail and on-line stores. It’s exactly like (except for the labeling and case color) the $99 model I spied at Best Buy earlier yesterday.

So live and learn kids. Don’t buy enclosures from a brick-n-mortar store, unless you want to pay double!

(Editor’s Note: Wasabi Gear.com provided us with the review unit for free. We reviewed the unit without any influence or compensation from Wasabi Gear.com and the unit was promptly returned following our testing.)

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