Versatile portable data / multi-media 2.5″ hard drive enclosure – Joe
SUMMARY: Versatile portable data / multi-media 2.5″ hard drive enclosure.
The good guys at Vantec were nice enough send a sample of their latest product, the Vantec AVOX Jukebox. This differs from other portable HD enclosure units in that it incorporates multi-media capabilities in addition to the usual portable storage functions – it can play movies, music, or a picture slide show when connected to the AV inputs of any television. In addition, there is a remote control unit to access the unit’s multi-media features through on-screen menus.
- Digital Multimedia Player via Home TV or Car TV
- USB 2.0 external HD storage via PC (USB 1.1 Compatible)
- Stereo, Digital Coaxial 5.1 channel sound
- Composite Video, HD Component 480p, 720p, 1080i; NTSC / PAL
- Play ripped DVD files same as original DVDs
- Separate power supply or USB powered
- Weight: 160 grams without HD
- Dimension: 80 x 148 x 24 mm
- HD: 2.5″ IDE HD, NTFS / FAT32
- Firmware Upgradeable
- Remote Control Unit
The remote control unit is fully featured:
The Vantec AVOX ships with all cables needed for audio and video input to a TV:
The front has LEDs for Power, HD access and IR activity; on the extreme right is the IR receiver:
The back show ports for the USB cable, the power plug, digital audio output or external remote control, receiver, video output for Y, Pb, and Pr, and AV output for composite video / audio:
To mount a 2.5″ HD, the front panel opens up
and the top cover slides off, revealing the PCB and HD connector:
The bottom of the PCB contains all of the components:
Installing the HD is a snap – slide it into the connector and screw it onto the PCB:
Then slip the PCB with the HD back into the enclosure and pop the cover and front panel back onto the enclosure – took all of five minutes.
To test the HD enclosure, I used a Fujitsu MHR2020AT MHR2 Series 20 GB (EIDE, Ultra DMA/100, 12 ms access, 4200 rpm, 2 MB cache, 100 MBytes/sec transfer rate) as the test drive – this is a low performing drive, so faster HDs should show better results. I used HD Tach with results as follows:
I stored some sample audio, video and photo files on the HD and used the composite video plugs to hook into my TV. The following screen shots are literally that (not the greatest, but you’ll get the idea):
The opening screen (after a splash screen) allows access to video, audio and photo files – note that you can also develop a playlist as well:
When you select a function, the screen displays all the folders on the HD. If you’re in the Video tab, if you select audio while in Video, any files in the folder will not display, so you can only access the relevant files in each tab.
When you select a folder, all files in the folder will be displayed; under Photo, there is also a thumbnail shown when you highlight a file:
Note that it also displays file and folder data on the bottom of the screen.
In use, I found Vantec’s AVOX very easy to access files and play them on my TV – there was no hesitation or skipping of the files I played. All in all, very easy to set up and play.
As a portable HD enclosure, it performed flawlessly – Windows XP quickly installed the necessary drivers and it was ready to use within one minute. The external power supply also helps in situations where the USB ports may be “tapped out” with other peripherals.
For anyone who wants external data storage and to easily port data and multimedia to a TV, Vantec’s AVOX is a nice package to consider.
Thanks again to Vantec for sending this our way – a very nice package.
The included manual was sparse but contained all the information needed to set up and use the AVOX – the manual can be downloaded HERE.
The following graphics are taken from the Manual and give a view of AVOX’s functionality: