Vantec NexStar 2 5.25" External Enclosure 1979

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SUMMARY: An attractive, light weight 5.25″ enclosure for desktop use.

Prod

The good guys at Vantec were nice enough to send a sample of their NexStar 2 5.25″ External Enclosure. There are two versions available, one for USB only and one with USB and Firewire.

Key Features

  • Interface: Two versions – IDE to USB 2.0 and IDE to USB 2.0 and Firewire
  • Dimension: 210 X 135 X 40 mm
  • Weight: 520 grams
  • 40 mm Cooling Fan
  • Internal Transformer
  • System Requirements: USB 1.1/2.0 enabled PC or Mac OS Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP Mac OS 8.6 and above
  • Ships with Driver Disc, Power Cable, USB Cable, Firewire Cable (Firewire version), User Manual and Screws

Note the weight – the case is plastic and relatively thin – I could easily flex the cover plates; I would not use this as a robust mobile drive package, although you could if you treated it with care.

The back shows the Power receptacle, power switch, fan, audio and USB/Firewire ports:

Back USB

The Firewire version features one USB and two Firewire ports:

Back Fire

Parts that ship with the enclosure include all required screws, cables, manual and Install disk for Windows 98:

Parts

Cables

Cables Close

CONTINUED page 2…

What’s Inside?

A look from the front shows the space for the CD ROM:

Front MT

Removing the plastic top shows the innards:

Open

Basically a LOT of empty space and the PCB for power and interface electronics with the PC or laptop:

PCB

There are three connectors – power, IDE plug and Audio outputs:

Connectors

OK, nothing complicated here. There are two plastic supports that screw in the side of the CD ROM for mounting it to the case. You then screw the drive into the case – very secure. So take the drive and…

CD NG

OOPS!!

This has happened to me before – not all CD ROMs are the same length – I measured three CD ROMs and they measured 7 3/8″ (OK), 7 5/8″ (OK but tight) and 8 1/8″ long (no way), manufactured in December 2002, December 1999 and June 2000, respectively.

CDs Measure

The long and short of it.

I buy CD ROMS on price and you can get all manner of sizes, so check yours before buying an enclosure.

Once the drive is mounted, it can be a tight fit:

Open w CD

After I fired it up, I noticed that the front LED was out of its slot. I found that in mounting the drive, I had inadvertently dislodged the LED:

LED

It’s held in place by a glob of silicone glue – pretty easy to knock off, but not earth shattering – just slip it back in place.

Once installed, screwed on and the clips in place, it’s a neat package:

Front w Drive

I also found that you really don’t need to screw down the top – the four clips were totally secure and sufficient to hold the package together; in fact, for desktop use, you could forgo using any screws.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, I found it easy to set up and a snap to use – the only time the driver disk is needed is for Windows 98 users. I would not buy this for use as a mobile drive – the plastic case is not all that robust and flexes easily under pressure. Not bad for what it is.

Thanks again to Vantec for sending this our way.

Email Joe

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