I am always hearing of people needing more space to store music, videos, pictures, applications, and back-ups. The most common method of adding space to a computer is by adding a larger hard drive. This can be achieved by either replacing an internal drive that is already in use, or by installing a new internal hard drive. Another method of obtaining more space is by adding an external hard drive. You can either buy an enclosure with a drive pre-installed, or you can place your own internal hard drive in an exterior enclosure. Adding your own hard drive can be useful if you have an extra hard drive laying around, you are looking for a different design, or if the difference in price between an external versus an internal drive warrants it.
The external hard drive enclosure sent over for this review is called the HornetTek Hover. I had not heard of HornetTek previously, therefore I do not have any prior knowledge of the quality of their products. HornetTek has been manufacturing enclosures in China since 1999, with a goal of providing high quality enclosures at competitive prices. HornetTek currently offers around a dozen different enclosures, including models for single 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives, dual 3.5" hard drives, optical drives, and they even have a media player.
There are many other enclosures out there by more established and well-known manufacturers such as Vantec, Icy Dock, Thermaltake, and Coolmax. Each of these companies has a wide range of similar enclosures with a variety of options. In order to compete with these companies, HornetTek will need to offer enclosures with comparable options and also step forward with new designs and innovative features.
Before taking a look at the sample provided for review, let's take a look at some published data regarding the HornetTek Hover 3.5" SATA USB enclosure from the official product page on the HornetTek website.
» Universal fitting for 3.5" SATA I / II HDD Back panel Power
» ON/OFF switch
» Complies with SATA I / II, speed up to 3G/sec
» Complies with the USB-IF specifications for USB 2.0
» Operates at High (480Mbps) or Full (12Mbps) speed.
» Power: 24W AC Adapter UL/CSA/TUV/CE
» AC input: 100-240 VAC. (47Hz~63Hz)
» DC output: 12V / 2A
» Material: ABS 94V0 shell (Aluminum Cover and internal metal Shielding)
» Dimension (L x W x H): 225x 144.5 x 68 mm
» OS Supports Win 2000/ME/XP/Vista, Mac OS 9.x/10.x and above, Linux 126.96.36.199 or above
» Interface USB2.0
» File Transfer USB2.0 at 480Mbps max
» Plug and Play Yes
» Fan 50mm x 2
» HDD Support 3.5" SATA I/II HDD
» Material Front and back ABS panel
» System Support Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, Macintosh OS 9.X or above, Linux 188.8.131.52 or above
» CE/FCC CE/FCC Approved
» RoHS compliancy RoHS Approved
What I did not find available was any mention of the noise level for the two 50mm fans. While this is not critical, it would be helpful for the end user to know whether the fans are loud, or if the enclosure would fit in with a silent environment.