Monday, February 1, 2010

Macally G-S350SU Hi-Speed eSata/USB2.0 External Storage Enclosure for 3.5inch SATA HDD Reviews

Macally G-S350SU Hi-Speed eSata/USB2.0 External Storage Enclosure for 3.5inch SATA HDD Reviews
Other products by Macally Ratting 4.5 Out of 5.0 Special Offer Total New 25 Total Use 0

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PRODUCT FEATURES:New environment-friendly, power saving technologyDesigned for all 3.5-Inch SATA I and SATA II hard disk drivesSolid Aluminum body for excellent heat dissipation and protection to your hard disk driveSupports USB2.0 (up to 480Mbps) and USB1.1 (up to 12Mbps) host connectionESATA port (up to 3.0Gbps) readyUSB2.0 transfer rate up to 480 MbpsHot plug and playHorizontal position for stacking, and space saving vertical position with standEasy-to-access front power buttonActive LED to indicate power and data access statusTwo types of stands are included

Technical Details

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Customer Buzz
"Initial impressions" 2010-01-28
By Richmix
I bought two of these enclosures to house WD Caviar Green drives. I haven't yet had an opportunity to try out the eSATA feature because I don't have cables (the unit only comes with a USB cable and a power adapter). I intend to purchase these cables separately, but keep this in mind if you want eSATA. Add about $5 on to cover the cost of an eSATA cable if you don't already have one.

Build quality of the enclosures is good. When I first ordered them, I thought from the pictures that they were white. They aren't. They are aluminum with a normal, brushed aluminum finish. They look good. The back panel with the connectors is plastic, but this is hardly an issue since, well, it's the back. It's rarely seen, by me or anyone else. The power button does glow brightly (blue) when the unit is on, but I don't find this intrusive. It's not -as- bright as some other devices I've used, and with a drive enclosure, you can simply turn it around. I don't recommend tape over the button, though, since it's actually a button and not just a light.

The drive carrier slides into the aluminum casing using guide rails. This makes installation a snap. Just unscrew the two screws securing the plastic back to the carrier, and slide the whole thing out. However, while I appreciate the fluidity of installation, the carrier doesn't fit very snugly into the casing; it stays loose, partly as a product of the design decision to allow the carrier to be easily removed. This means it rattles during operation. I've found this can be remedied by placing a phone book or other external drive on top of it when in use. The rattling is rather quiet, and though it is something I would expect from an inexpensive enclosure, it's still somewhat disappointing.

Because it's made of aluminum and because the front and back of the case have plenty of holes or vents, these enclosures are well-cooled. With my Green drives in them (WD15EARS and WD10EACS), they are cold to the touch even after being left on for all day and night. Since there is no active cooling (fans), I expect this means my drives will stay cool all the time, even if I never turn them off.

Several unusual design decisions hurt these otherwise excellent enclosures, though. The unit is very slick. If you don't use the provided rubbery "feet" and plan to keep it on a hard-top wood, plastic, or glass desk, expect it to slide around with even the slightest pressure. I mean slight--if the USB cable plugged into the back twists or bends even a little bit on its way to the computer, the torque of the twist will probably rotate the enclosure. This is annoying, but you can easily circumvent it by using the provided rubber feet.

The feet are not build directly onto the unit, though. They are separate; you screw them onto the unit whenever / if ever you feel so inclined. Their design flat out sucks. A single screw secures each of two plastic feet to the bottom of the unit. And I mean the bottom. If you want to use the feet, the only side of the case with screw holes to provide for their use are on two of the loopy protrusions on the case's edges. This means that, when using the feet, the case can only stand up vertically as shown in the Amazon picture. The feet, though, are wider than the protrusions: if you use them, you can't stack the enclosures horizontally. Alternatively, you can adhere the rubberized feet to one of the horizontal case faces. This would allow you to use the unit horizontally without sliding, however it would also prevent you from using the unit vertically. My advice: get third party rubber feet for horizontal use, and pray you're able to remove the feet when you need to. (I'll tell you why the praying is necessary right now.)

I'm also a little bit unsure about the ability to remove the feet. As I said before, the feet secure to the unit with a single screw, right in the middle of the foot. This allows the foot to rotate, which I find annoying. More annoying, though, and the part that makes me unsure, is that when you put the rubber pad on the foot itself, it covers the screw hole. This means you cannot use a screwdriver to remove or loosen the screw without removing the rubber pad and potentially ruining the adhesive. This might never become a problem because the adhesive itself seems to secure the top of the screw well, meaning you can just twist the feet to unscrew them, but I don't trust this solution. Because of this, since the ability to use the enclosures horizontally is very important to me, I don't feel comfortable using the feet at all. It would suck to have them get stuck in the unit.

Each unit comes with a 3ft USB cable and a much longer power cord. I'd have liked to see an eSATA cable or at least 6ft USB cable, but no dice. Overall, I'm happy with the purchase for the price. If you need an eSATA enclosure, this is the best value I've seen in this price range by far. If you plan to use it with USB, there may be better options, though there certainly are worse ones. This enclosure simply works and keeps your drives safe--two excellent qualities for one costing $30. If you want more, consider spending more.

Customer Buzz
"Excellent product" 2010-01-26
By Ken Matthews (PGH, Pa United States)
Not sure about the other reviews.. My Western Digital powers down in the unit. I leave it on all the time with out any problems.. Well made unit and excellent price here at Amazon. I use Win 7 and have it set to power down the harddisk in a halfhour of no use. Works for me..

Customer Buzz
"Very nice" 2010-01-10
By oatmeal
Very nice little enclosure. I used it to bring a WD MyBook 750gb drive back to life after its enclosure failed.

It was entirely plug-and-play. Took only minutes to assemble, and the instructions, while accurate, were really not even needed. It was that simple.

It's quiet, too.

Longevity: no idea. Just got the thing, what am I, Nostradamus?

I'd definitely get another of these if I need one, or recommend it to people.

Customer Buzz
"Good, cheap drive enclosure" 2009-12-27
By J. Gaiser
Good, cheap drive enclosure. However, don't expect G-Drive quality despite the G-Drive styling. The plastic parts feel cheap, but so far the enclosure has held up.

Customer Buzz
"SATA I only?" 2009-11-06
By Ottokrat (San Jose, CA)
Have this unit and the more expensive, easy swap Sans Digital 3.5 Removable Bay Usb & Esata External Enclosure Usbesata Sata ii. (Note this other unit is sometimes listed as Sas Digital.) I also have several drives, all SATA II. But I only get SATA I when any of them are using this Macally unit; using the same cable, the same eSATA port on laptop, and the same drives (several tested), with the Sans Digital, and I get SATA II.

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