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USB 2.0 as a Multi-Purpose Solution: The External ATA Drive Case from ADS Technologies

Conclusion: A Highly Versatile Solution

There's no doubt about it - the USB 2.0 Drive Kit from ADS Technologies is a solid piece of hardware. We tested the housing with two of the latest hard drives and one CD drive. We thought that the CD drive would work properly judging from the promises on the package, so we also used a CD burner. But the drive kit passed even that test without batting an eye: an updated version of Nero recognized the Samsung drive as a burner and permitted all burn rates.

However, we do have to point out one small flaw of the USB 2.0 Drive Kit: the performance is a far cry from what USB 2.0 is actually capable of. Compared to a Maxtor USB 2.0 drive (see benchmarks), the ADS housing only just manages half the performance both at the maximum transfer rate (burst) as well during the writing and reading tests.

If used as a backup medium and in the course of day-to-day operation, this is more or less irrelevant, but especially if larger volumes of data (several gigabytes or more) need to be copied for transferal in a short space of time, you'll have to expect quite a wait.

Also, when burning CDs at 32x there were several buffer under-runs, which the burner was able to compensate for thanks to the burn-proof function. We therefore recommend using a maximum burning rate of 24x.

The ADS is able to score more points when it comes to installation, initial start-up and its foolproof operation. You won't find an easier-to-operate ATA device, neither internal nor external.

On the manufacturer's website, the housing is offered for $129. This is an acceptable price if you take the scope of functions into consideration. Nevertheless, those who need the versatility will have to accept compromises in terms of performance.