Icy Box IB-318 review
A quality enclosure that brings the cost of USB 3 down for anyone with a spare SATA hard disk
Review Date: 3 Mar 2010
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £39 (£46 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
USB 3 has been on the scene for a few months now, but until now we’ve only seen the occasional external hard disk or motherboard bearing the new standard. The Icy Box IB-318 adds hard disk enclosures to that list, allowing any 3.5in SATA/300 hard disk to be converted to a fast external USB 3 drive.
As our tests have previously demonstrated, USB 3.0 is far faster than its predecessor.
It’s three times quicker than USB 2 and even marginally faster than eSATA, and coupled with a compatible motherboard or PCI-Express card, the IN-318 will offer incredibly fast file transfers.
Aside from the obvious speed boost, the Icy Box is a good-looking piece of kit. The exterior is made from clean, brushed aluminium and is marred by nothing more than a discreet pair of logos.
The addition of a simple, curved stand, allowing it to stand stably on its end, increases its versatility.
It’s sensibly designed, too. The rear panel hosts a physical power switch and DC input alongside the blue USB 3 connection, and the front offers two LEDs: a blue light for power status, and a red one for hard disk access.
Fitting a hard disk, meanwhile, is as simple as removing the internal caddy and screwing a drive into place.
The IB-318 isn’t for everyone. If you buy it with a new 1TB drive (for around £54 exc VAT), the total cost will exceed the price of a Buffalo DriveStation USB 3.0 HD-HXU3, with the same amount of storage, by around £10.
For the huge number of people with a spare hard disk to hand, however, it represents a cost-effective investment.
Author: Mike Jennings
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