External hard drives are commonly used in all sorts of work places now whether it is an office or even just at home. One problem with external drives though is security – especially if you’re storing confidential data on your drive. One method of better securing personal files on a hard drive– which may be used in a number of places – is to install a removable disk enclosure in your chassis/s. One such manufacture which offers this kind of product is Enhance Technology. Introducing the Enhance IS210 removable disk enclosure…
About Enhance Technology
Founded in 1997, Enhance Technology has become the leader in engineering and manufacturing storage-centric systems and solutions, and makes premium RAID or JBOD storage disk arrays.
- Military-grade quality aluminium/steel housing
- Durable low-noise cooling fan from leading brand
- Standard 5.25″ CD-ROM size enclosure
- Passive key lock reduces potential electronic points-of-failure
- One model supports both Serial ATA (SATA) & Serial SCSI (SAS)
- Audible fan fail alarm and mute switch
- Colour option: Silver (brushed aluminium) or Black
- Description: 5.25″ removable disk module for 3.5″ disks.
- Disk Support: Both SAS & SATA 3Gbps disk drives.
- Host Support: 7-pin, SATA 3Gbps interface.
- Power: Standard 4-pin power connector.
- Cooling Fan: High-end ball-bearing 4cm x1.
- Security: Passive non-electronic locking disk tray.
- Indicators: ON/OFF LED, disk activity LED.
- Controls: Alarm mute button.
- Dimensions: 8.25″ L x 5.25″W x 1.75″ H.
- Ergonomics: Easy-pull tray handle.
- Colours: Black or Silver.
- Warranty: 3-Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty.
The IS210 arrived in a pretty boring OEM style box with thick foam padding protecting the product at all sides.
Also included with the drive is a collection of screws for installing a hard disk inside the unit and a couple of keys for locking up the drive.
The Enhance IS210
On the Outside
The IS210 features a black brushed aluminium front, top, and bottom. This looks pretty classy and sets a first impression of quality. Dotted about the drive are many screws for securing the various panels to the chassis of the unit. All these screws are black in colour and add to the ‘military’ style of the drive.
At the front of the Enhance is a honey comb grill in the centre and a robust steel handle which can either be flat against the drives facia or protruding for easy drive removal. The chrome joints at the end of the handles seem to very strong and of high quality. To the right of the handle is a lock – the same sort of lock you’d expect to find on a bike lock – this is chrome in colour and seems very durable.
In terms of indicators and switches, the IS210 has just two LED’s and one switch. The top light indicates whether the drive is on and the one below it is for HDD activity. These LED’s are the norm for most external drives like this. Oddly though, the switch is a mute button. Eh? Well… the IS210 has a built in alarm feature which buzzes when your hard disk gets too hot. This is a nice feature to include when your sacred hard drive gets too hot and you don’t know it.
The back of the drive has an array of connectors and ports. From left to right there is a 3-pin header for the onboard 40mm fan which is installed at the front, two SATA ports for primary and master and a Molex connector. The alarm speaker is also situated here (just below the Molex port) and looks very similar to a Bios buzzer. I found it a bit unfortunate that the IS210 is powered by only Molex, as most people now ditching Molex altogether for just SATA.
All the internals of the drive are made from steel. This considerably adds to the weight of the drive, but makes it feel a lot more robust and shock proof.
The rear connector, where the hard disk plugs into is very similar to the port we saw on the Vizo Luxon. It’s a one piece connector which slots into the drive providing it with both a SATA connection and power. This one-piece connection is nice to see as it makes installation easy and allows for no wondering cables inside the IS210.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a 40x40x20mm fan at the front of the drive. This fan is manufactured by Delta Electronics. Doing some research on the fan revealed that at 12V, it operates at 6300RPM producing just 24dBA. This is relatively quiet – according to the specs.
Having a wonder around the unit, revealed there isn’t any rubber noise dampeners. This is a shame as these can further help to reduce the humming from disk drives.
Installing the drive in a system is relatively similar to installing a DVD drive. It slots into an available 5.25” bay and is then screwed in place with 8 of the included screws – four at each side. The drive then connects up using a Molex for power and a single SATA cable which goes straight to your motherboard.
To install a hard drive into the enclosure it’s also pretty simple. The first task is to slide the bay out of the enclosure. Then all you have to do is screw the hard drive in place from the bottom of the bay. Once secured in place, just slot the drive in place and it’ll connect itself up to the rear connectors, easy enough.
When installed, I was a bit surprised by the noise levels. It’s rated at 24dBA – which is pretty quiet – but there’s no way this thing is that. The fan is very whiney and gets annoying within minutes. This probably isn’t a problem if the enclosure was used in a server environment. However at home, the fan is just too noisy to be able to put up with.
The Enhance IS210 is a great hot swappable hard drive enclosure. It offers great security, good quality and an easy installation. Aesthetically it also looks pretty good.
But one real downfall to this product is its acoustical noise. Its fan is pretty whiney which quickly becomes annoying.