Hard drive bays come in all shapes, sizes, features, and functions. What exactly are important in a good external hard drive adapter? Especially when considering the smaller 2.5" hard drives. Of course you're looking for something that will obviously connect your hard drive and transfer data, but what about the other aspects that push the experience beyond average? Today we look at the Eagle 2.5" External to see how it performs.
Product Name: Eagle Tech ET-CS2XMESU2-BK
Review Sample Provided by: Eagle Tech USA
Review by: Adam
Pictures by: Adam
This part is fairly simple. The external bay is packaged in a rectangular box, twice the size of the actual bay to allow for the inclusion of accessories, and the Eagle Consus has quite a few. Upon opening the box we find a cardboard place holder containing the drive of course, a mesh travel bag, an installation CD, instructions, mini-USB to USB cord, Y-USB to DC in, e-SATA cord, and a plastic stand should you opt to find a permanent location for the drive.
What seems simple at first is actually a little more complex, but not in a 'oh jeez I can't believe I have to go through this every time' way. More like in a James Bond secret compartment way. The external drive itself is a simple black box; and it comes locked. On the back we find the ports (mini-USB, power, etc...), and the front we find the door where the hard drive is inserted. The lock feature is a great idea, both for security and accident-proof reasons. However, a lock always needs a key. Eagle has stashed that said key under the external drive stand, a simple bent piece of metal that is inserted into a small hole, much like the mechanism you'll find on the manual release for a CD drive. So in reality, even a paper clip could be used to open the external (not quite as James Bond anymore), but still a cool feature. Once you open the drive, and it can be a little tricky if you're not used to it, the 'front door' of the external transforms into an arm that actually extends and swings to an obtuse angle, to help with the insertion of the hard drive. Once the drive is in, the door simply snaps back, locks, and you're set to hook it up.
The Eagle Consus features a self-claimed F.I.T. system, an acronym for Fast Installation Technology. Its their way of saying that this product is ideal for hot swapping hard drives, requiring not tools and little time to do so. The Consus is also unique in its exclusion of wall AC adapter; this external runs purely off the power of your PC. Of course, power source is largely a matter of preference, but not including the option to power from a wall outlet leaves those wishing to do so in the dark. Once the DC-USB power cord is connected, you can choose to either run a data transfer through e-SATA or USB. The USB power cable is Y-type, and the mini-USB a single, so to run this external strictly through USB you're going to lose a total of 3 USB ports. Even for e-SATA, you'll be eating up two.
The data transfer rate through USB 2.0 is 480Mbps, and through e-SATA a 3.0Gbps. While the speeds are quite typical, this external has a hard drive compatibility cap of 320GB. So anything above, obviously, is not supported. The Consus does, however, do a great job in optimizing the hot swapping of HDs using its F.I.T. system, and is compatible with both Windows and MAC OS. The inclusion of the mesh bag is a great addition, as well as the stand, allowing for the possibility of both portable and stationary docking.
A sturdy, simple aluminum design, the choice to carry the external (safely, I may add) or keep it stationed, and a hot swap system that allows for multiple hard drive transfers with no tools. Though there is no option for a wall outlet power source, the USB powered feature is ideal for those who are taking the external on the go, such as laptop users. However, the Consus does have a serious ceiling when it comes to capacity compatibility; not being able to use anything over 320GB may fall a little short for the more advance users, but be just right for those casual. Despite a few set backs, this external definitely makes it up in the swapping and portability areas, and is perfect for someone who lives a busy life, and quickly needs to access files. Who doesn't?