In Win Na External HDD Enclosure Review

damian - 2009-03-11 16:35:12 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: damian   
Reviewed on: March 25, 2009
Price: $49.99

Introduction:

These days, it seems as though we are always in need of those extra gigabytes of storage for our media. Flash drives are too small, and our external hard drives are packed like a can of anchovies. If this is the case, then it's always a good idea to have an external HDD enclosure. External HDD enclosures can be quite handy for the traveller, the musician or gamers that are frequently attending LAN parties. With enclosures, anyone is able to carry a true SATA hard drive, and depending on the enclosure limit, can carry as much as 500GB to a a terabyte of storage. There are plenty of companies that offer external enclosures and today we will be looking at one offering from In Win. In Win, a company founded in 1986, is one of the leading manufacturers for high quality chassis', enclosures, and power supplies. Today we will have a look at the In Win Na, a stylish, pearl-white HDD enclosure.

Closer Look:

The packaging of the In Win Na isn't anything out of the ordinary. It comes shipped in a brown box with the name and brand logo on each side. Upon opening the box, you see a plain white box, one bag, a manual, and what appears to be a gift from In Win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath the top layer is the well packaged enclosure. What is also included is a  power adapter, a USB cable, an eSATA cable and four screws used to mount the hard drive.

 

 

What you also receive is a beautifully "hand-crafted" piece of china made of 100% porcelain to go along with your matching enclosure.

 

Now let's take a closer look at the enclosure itself.

Closer Look:

The In Win Na has a basic yet elegant look to it. It's entirely made of plastic and is assembled into three pieces. You have the shell, which holds the hard drive cage and on top of that is the transparent cover that includes a step by step guide for installing the hard drive. The enclosure also comes with a built-in fan, which should keep the hard drive relatively cool, and that it's safe to keep on for long periods of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front of the enclosure simply has a power button and when powered, emits a white LED. The back of the enclosure has a small gap that covers any of the selected cables.

 

 

Instead of the standard "USB-only" enclosure, the In Win Na also accepts eSATA connectivity.

 

Installing the hard drive is as simple as sliding it across the PCB board until it reaches the connector. From there you screw it into place, select the appropriate connector, plug in the power adapter and you're set!

 

Specifications:

External Material:
Plastic and Porcelain
Interface:
USB2.0/1.1, e-SATA
HDD:
Support 3.5-inch SATA HDD, Up to 1000GB of storage
Transfer Rate:
480Mbps w/ USB 2.0 & 12Mbps w/ USB 1.1 3.0Gbps w/ SATA II & 1.5Gbps w/ SATA I
External Power Adapter:
100-240VAC, 50-60Hz, 12V/2A
O.S.:
Windows 2000, XP, Vista
Dimension(W×L×H):
131mm×201mm×70mm
Certification:
CE, FCC, BSMI, RoHS certified
Warranty
3-Year

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of In Win@http://www.inwin-style.com/en/pd/pd_detail.asp?IW_PD=Storage&PD_Class=3.5inch%20Series&PD_Name=Na

 

Testing:

The In Win Na definitely seems to shine in the aesthetics department, but just where does it fall performance wise? Well to find out, I will be running a series of tests using HDTune and SiSoft Sandra Professional XIIc. I will also test the amount of time it takes to transfer a 10MB, 100MB, and a 500MB file from one folder to another. Since the Na also has an eSATA connection, I will include that in the testing, as well as testing via USB connection.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Drives:

 

 

Benchmarks:

 

 

HD Tune:

HDTune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

 

 

SiSoft Sandra:

Sandra is a benchmarking utility designed to test all areas of a computer system. The area we are going to be looking at is the Physical Disk Performance and File System portion.

 

 

 

Test File Transfer:

These test files are created by OCC and used on all of our test suites like these. Time is measured by stopwatch.

 

 

 

 

The In Win Na went toe-to-toe against the Antec MX-100 using USB connectivity and did a great job at keeping up with the internal 1TB SATA hard drive, with the help of eSATA means of connection.

Conclusion:

The In Win Na is one of the most unique enclosures I have seen. Unlike the usual industrial "tough" looking enclosures on the market, the Na is more of a peaceful one that brings harmony to the table. Performance was also where it should be, both for USB and eSATA connectivity.  I was fond of the small 6cm fan that was included with the enclosure. Throughout the course of testing and loading of the 1TB hard drive, the included fan did a good job of keeping it relatively cool with temperatures in the range of 37 degrees Celsius. One downside to the enclosure was the material used. It felt as if thought it could break a little too easily. Perhaps it wouldn't be the most ideal enclosure for the traveller or gamer, but nonetheless it's nothing to be scared of for the average Joe. Another problem I did encounter, was the eSATA cable, as it was just a tad too short for my liking compared to the USB cable.

Overall, the In Win Na is a different enclosure that is sure to catch the eyes of family or friends. It offers excellent performance and also does a great job in keeping a hard drive well cooled.

 

Pros:

Cons: