ADS Tech USB 2.0 Drive Kit a Review


Is your computer system just a little bit less than you wish it could be?  Is your hard drive lethargic and slow because it's not as big as you once thought?  Do you want to be able to do what all the other guys on your block can do?  Like burn DVD's!

Then perhaps I have a solution to your problems sir, or madam.  With the USB 2.0 Drive Kit from ADS Tech and a hard drive or DVD-RW drive of your choice, your computer system can take a giant leap forward into the present day and even the future.  External drive enclosures have been around for a while, though with previous connectivity they could sometimes be a little slow.  Now with USB 2.0, hard drives, DVD or CD drives can transfer data at up to 480 Mbits/sec, over forty times faster than USB 1.0.  Thus hard drives and burners will work almost as fast as if they were internally built in to your system.

Some may not want to hassle with buying a drive and enclosure separately and putting them together.  There are external hard drives and DVD burners available on the market and for those who prefer everything ready out of the box that works too.  There are however a number of advantages to using an enclosure with an internal drive.  First, buying the two components yourself and putting them together is very economical, saving as much as 50% or more.  Second, you will have more choice in internal drives and can read user reviews so that you pick the one that fits your needs.  In addition, you can use the same enclosure for a hard drive and a DVD or other burner.  Just swap them out as necessary.  Of course you can always buy a second enclosure; they are stackable for easy storage. 

Putting an internal drive together with the USB 2.0 Drive Kit is simple and straight forward.  ADS Tech has built their enclosure quite well and easy to use.  As described in the instruction booklet, essentially the enclosure slides apart and a metal protective shield slides out of the way to allow you to place the drive in the enclosure.  You connect a power supply cable and ribbon cable, and then use the enclosed screws to secure the drive.  Finally slide the enclosure back together plug the USB cable and power cable to the back and you are ready to go.  Windows 98SE or 98 Gold will require drivers included on the Drive Kit CD.  With Windows XP, 2000, or ME as well as MAC OS 9 or 10 no drivers are required.

I tested the ADS Tech enclosure with an NEC internal DVD-RW drive.  The drive had been purchased to go in to another manufacturer's enclosure which did not work well with my system (Find one that is highly recommended, like the ADS Tech unit, will be my guiding thought for next time).  In ten minutes flat I had the drive installed and plugged in to my system.  About twenty-five minutes later I had burned 4.5 GB of data on to a DVD and could then delete it off of my hard drive.  All in all I burned about 15 DVD's, both data and video, as well as a few CD's with no hang-ups to my system.  The one small thing I did not like about the enclosure was that the built-in fan seemed to get louder with each additional day of use.  However, in exchange for enabling me to take about 60 GB of files off of my hard drive I was quite willing to hear a little fan noise.

I am sure that installing a hard drive in the enclosure would be just as easy and valuable.  With prices dropping on storage these days you could conceivably have another 160GB for under one hundred dollars using ADS Tech's enclosure.  Simple to set up, easy to use and also portable, the ADS Tech USB 2.0 Drive Kit could be just the upgrade your desktop or notebook needs.

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