Akasa Integral P2 LAN 3.5″

Drives, Reviews

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

Introduction

I would like to say thanks to Akasa UK for providing us with this product for review.

The Akasa Group of companies was founded in 1997 with offices in Taipei and London. Their management team are all experienced in Electronic and Electro-mechanical product development. Akasa have grown since then and now have offices in London, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Features:

  • Supports 3.5 inch IDE drives with start up power requirements of 2A or below.
  • Hi-speed transfer
  • No TCP/IP settings required
  • Data can be secured with software key access
  • Multiple unit aggregation up to 8-LAN disks
  • Raid-0 and raid-1 for backup (MS Windows)
  • Hot swapable on USB and network
  • Sleek aluminium body enhances heat dissipation
  • Blue LED power and access indicator
  • OS Support Win 2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS 8.6 and above ( Drivers for Vista available HERE )

The Akasa Integral P2 LAN 3.5” is available in three colours:

  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Black

I’ve been boring and have chosen the Black one for review, so here goes…

Packaging

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

The Akasa P2 Integral LAN arrives in a cardboard box which is clearly labelled and has its features written in five languages on the back.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

Inside the cardboard box is another box, but a thicker one this time. This should help to ensure your Integral LAN doesn’t arrive damaged.

After opening up the box you will find:

  • The Integral LAN enclosure
  • User Manual
  • Software and Driver CD
  • Power Adapter
  • USB & Ethernet Cables
  • A Stand for the enclosure
Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

External Impressions

The Akasa Integral LAN looks very nice, it has a very glossy finish and looks pretty smart. Sealing the front and back of the enclosure is chromed plastic. Unfortunately, fingerprints show up very easily on the enclosure, although this is normal for anything this glossy.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

At the front of the enclosure is the word “integral” which light up blue when the enclosure is powered on.

At the back of the enclosure from left to right you will find:

  • USB 2.0 Port
  • LAN Port
  • Power Socket
  • Power Switch

With the enclosure held in its clear acrylic stand its very stable and certainly won’t topple over.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

Internal Impressions

The enclosure can be opened by removing two screws on the back. You can then slide the tray out of the enclosure where the hard drive will be seated.

The User Manual covers all of the installation with photos and diagrams.

There are three cables inside the enclosure:

  • IDE Cable
  • Molex Connector
  • HDD activity LED Connector
Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

Installation

Installing a hard drive in the enclosure was very simple. In our enclosure we installed an 80GB IDE Western Digital Caviar.

Installing the Hard Drive in this enclosure was very easy. There were 5 steps to installing a hard drive into this enclosure.

  1. Set the Hard Drive to master
  2. Screw it into the tray with four screws.
  3. Connect the IDE cable to the Hard Drive
  4. Connect the Molex connector to the Hard Drive
  5. Reconnect the 3 Pin connector for the Hard Drive activity LED

This installation method is fast, simple and stable and therefore I cannot fault it.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

Testing

If you’re using the enclosure by USB 2.0 you will not need to install any software, simply plug in and go.

However if you are going to be using the enclosure over a network, you will need to use the supplied software and driver on the CD.

The Installation for the NAS drive is all wizard based, so no IP Settings or anything, this should make it very easy and simple.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

When installing the P2 LAN Enclosure you need to enter an ID. This ID is found inside the enclosure but also on a label on the CD. This means that only people with the ID can have access to the drive.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

Also you can choose what kind of access you want the user to have to the drive.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

When the drive has been fully installed, it will appear in ‘My Computer’ as a normal hard drive.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

The enclosure looks pretty cool with the word ‘integral’ lit up blue at the front with its glossy black finish.

Akasa P2 Integral LAN Review

We tested the integral over both USB 2.0 and over LAN.

When used over USB we saw speeds of up to 35mb/s and when used over LAN we saw speeds of up to 11mb/s. This is fairly good for a NAS drive like this and in the real world 11mb/s was a good enough speed over LAN.

We left our NAS drive on 24/7 for 7 days. It did feel a little warm but over the 7 day period it never over heated and the hard drive stayed on for the whole 168 hours.

Conclusion

The Akasa Integral P2 LAN certainly is a nice product for most home users and enthusiasts. It’s very simple to install and comes with a well documented user manual which should aid even the most basic of users. The enclosure also looks rather smart and isn’t too big for any home- so it certainly shouldn’t spoil the look of your office. Sound is also a big factor for enclosures like this, especially when left on 24/7, but this enclosure is very quiet and didn’t over heat once when we tested it.

However I did find a small problem with the Akasa Integral LAN, the small rubber feet on the bottom of the enclosure fall off quite easily when moving the drive about, so maybe these should be secured a bit better.