Vizo Uranus

Drives, Reviews

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

Introduction

The demand for external hard drives has increased significantly in recent years, due to the need for more storage space and the added security from backing up data. A 500GB hard drive can be bought for as little as £35 and so pairing this with an external hard drive enclosure is a cheap way of protecting your data. The benefit of a hard drive enclosure over a pre-built external hard drive is that you can use one the old hard drives you may have lying around.

Features

  • Compatible with 3.5″ SATA Hard Drive
  • Support 480Mbps High Speed USB 2.0
  • Support 3.0Gbps High Speed external Serial-ATA( eSATA )
  • Dual One-touch Backup buttons for file and system( only under USB2.0 host )
  • 4 functions in it :

    One touch backup for file

    One touch backup for system

    USB to SATA HDD

    eSATA to SATA HDD

  • Sleek and elegant design
  • Aluminum housing for excellent heat dissipation
  • Built-in fan for better system cooling
  • Support plug and play & hot swappable

Specifications

  • Case Material : Aluminum
  • Host Interface:
    480Mbps USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 Compatible)
    3.0Gbps High Speed external Serial-ATA ( eSATA )
  • HDD Type : 3.5 ” SATA HDD
  • One Button Backup: Backup / Restore / Synchronize file and
  • Power Supply : AC/DC Power Adapter
    ( AC input: 100~ 240Vac , DC output: +5V/+12V)
  • Indicators : Blue for Power on / Purple for file access
  • Available colors : Black, Blue, Silver
  • Model No. : URA-350SA-BK, URA-350SA-BL, URA-350SA-GY
  • Weight : 400g (without HDD)
  • Dimensions : 210(L) x 125 (W) x 34 (H) mm

Packaging

The Vizo Uranus arrived in a white and yellow cardboard box. The front of the box features a large picture of the Uranus and some of the enclosures main features. In the bottom left hand corner is a sticker which shows the colour of the enclosure in the box.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

The back of the box gives a more detailed overview of the Uranus. It gives a product description, features, specifications, system requirements and package contents. The three different colours are also shown – black, grey and blue.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

The Vizo Uranus was securely held in place with Styrofoam and is also kept from moving by a completely white box made of a strong cardboard. Contained within the box are the following items:

  • The Vizo Uranus
  • A Plastic Stand
  • USB Cable
  • eSATA Cable
  • Screw fitting kit
  • Cleaning Cloth
  • User Manual
  • Power Cable and Power Adapter
  • Driver CD
  • SATA to eSATA adapter cable w/bracket
Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

The stand supplied with the Uranus helps to get air to the ventilation gaps on the bottom of the enclosure. The stand also has transparent rubber pads where the enclosure meets the stand helping to dampen the noise produced by the enclosure. The rubber pads also keep the enclosure in place and prevent it from moving about.

The user manual is a single sided A3 sheet which gives illustrated instructions on how to install a hard drive into the enclosure. It also features a diagram of the ports on the enclosure. The instructions are simple to follow and make the installation much easier.

The addition of a cleaning cloth is welcome as the glossy black surface quickly picks up finger prints and the cloth is very effective at removing them.

The USB and eSATA cables provided measure around 90cm and so these should be long enough for most people – however if you have your computer under your desk and want to have the enclosure on the opposite side of the desk you may find that the cable isn’t long enough.

Vizo Uranus

The Vizo Uranus is constructed of black aluminum and a strong silver plastic. On the right side of the Uranus the logo has been etched on in silver. The port labels are also etched on for: DC Jack, Power, eSATA and USB.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

The left hand side of the enclosure is completely black. It would have been nice for Vizo to have the logo and port labels on both sides so that you can place it anywhere on your desk.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

On the bottom of the enclosure is an air vent to help cool the drive. This vent is one of the main reasons for the supplied stand.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

Inside the enclosure is a small fan which I found to be noisy. This fan meant that I turned the enclosure off for as long as possible. I also noticed that the fan shifts a very small amount of air so it may have been a better choice to have more vents instead.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

On the front of the hard drive is a transparent strip which is lit up by an LED inside the enclosure. This is illuminated blue to indicate that the external hard drive is on and illuminates purple when data is being transferred.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

Installation

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For this review, we’ll be installing an 80GB SATA Hitachi 7K160 – the same hard drive we used for testing the Vizo Luxon Advanced ED.

The Vizo Uranus arrives already open so there is no need to unscrew anything.

The first thing that needs to be done is removing the plastic drive cage from the aluminum cover. You will then notice a single connector which is capable of both providing power and a SATA connection. The hard drive easily clips onto this connector and you will notice that it is held firmly in place.

Vizo Uranus Hard Drive Enclosure Review

You then simply use four of the provided screws to attach the hard drive to the cage. Once this has been done you just slide the aluminum casing back on and attach it with the Allen key and screws.

Testing

Oddly enough, the results we achieved from Uranus were exactly the same as the results we gathered from the Vizo Luxon. This could be because it uses the same chip inside the unit.

Conclusion

The Vizo Uranus looks amazing when compared to most other hard drive enclosures available on the market.

It also performs superbly when used with eSATA; however it performed much worse when used with USB. As many motherboards don’t have eSATA built in to get the most from this drive you need to install the SATA to eSATA adapter cable and this requires opening up your computer. Many people may not feel comfortable with this and for some people with store bought computers they risk invalidating the warranty by opening the computer.

Noise is also a big issue for the Uranus – especially when data is being copied to it as it becomes a major distraction and drowns out all other noise, including music.

Pros

  • Quick write speed with eSATA
  • Amazing looks
  • Solid Construction
  • Well Packaged

Cons

  • Short eSATA and USB cables
  • Would be much more efficient at cooling if made entirely from aluminum
  • Noisy
  • Large power adapter
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