Kingwin KF-201-DF mobile rack w/ LCD front panel reviewFormer staff writer - May 8, 2002
Category: Storage / Hard Drives, Gadgets, Modding
Today I am reviewing the Kingwin KF-201-DF mobile rack. Its basically a mobile docking hard drive bay, if you will; and it also comes stock with a blacklit LCD screen. The LCD screen can provide many usefull stats such as, HDD read/write data, temperature, built in alarm if temps get to high, and a few other features. The product is similar to the Kingwin KF-101-IPF Harddrive Mobile Rack, but with a few extra goodies. Let's have a look!
The Kingwin KF-201-DF mobile rack comes packaged very well. It is surrounded by bubble wrap to keep it safe.
Here is a picture of what you get. You will find a little four page manual, screws, two keys, and ofcourse the hard drive mobile rack.
This is the front of the HDD mobile rack. The LED display is located on the left and below it, you will see three buttons which control it. On the right side you see a silver looking lever. Behind this lever is the lock, where you can lock and unlock your hard drive to keep it safe. We will get in to that later. The front is pretty much all plastic however the top, bottom, and sides of the mobile rack are made of thick aluminum and is built to last.
This is the back of the HDD mobile rack. The only main feature back here is the fan. The fan helps keep your hard drive cooler.
As I said a few minutes ago, behind the lever is the lock. The lock has three different positions. 1. Power on & Locked (Which means you can't take the hard drive out) 2. Power off & Locked 3. Power off & Unlocked (Which means you can take the hard drive out).
Once you turn the lock to the unlock position, the spring released door will swing open.
You can now take hold of the door and pull the hard drive tray out.
To install the hard drive, we need to slide open the top panel. You will see where it says "Open".
Now that we have the top off, we can see inside to see what this mobile rack has to offer. The first thing I noticed when opening up the panel is the black rubber over the Printer Circuit Board. This prevents the hard drive from making contact with the electrical parts. If it did make contact with these electrical parts, it could burn up both your mobile hdd rack and your hard drive. However, Kingwin has prevented this from happening by installing the rubber guard. The next thing I notice is that little blue sensor on the Printer Circuit Board on the bottom right hand side. This little sensor is the temperature probe that reports back to the LED display what the temperature is. What are the Red, Green, and Yellow wires for? Well, those connect to your Master, Slave, and Cable select pins on your hard drive. You will connect these according to the instructions. It depends what hard drive setup you have. (Refer to the manual) The big flat gray wire is the IDE cable, and the other is the 12volt power plug.
I have installed an old Western Digital 30GB 7200rpm ATA100 hard drive, and I have already connected all of the wires. This is what it looks like installed. Now, all we have to do is installed it in our case.
Using the provided screws you fasten the mobile rack, like so.
Here are a few pictures of the LED Display. The LED display can show fan status, temperature status in celcius and fahrenheit, alarm status, master or slave status, HUTR (HDD Usage Time Record) status, and a temperature graph. The buttons feature up, down, and set.
I ran a benchmark just for kicks, and I found out that my 30GB 7200rpm ATA100 hard drive only ran at about the speed of a ATA66 hard drive. This is because whenever your hard drives go through any cables, pc boards or any kind of interference, it will slow down the transfer speed a bit.
One of the best features of the mobile hard drive rack, is that you can pull the hard drive out, while your computer is still running. If you have another bay on another computer you could swap hard drives in a flash! There isn't much I don't like about this mobile harddrive rack.. The whole mobile rack, seems very sturdy and with the aluminum frame I don't see why it wouldn't be. I think they should do a little work on the security lock. Where the lock meets the side of the mobile rack tray, it is made of plastic. I think it could be broken pretty easily if someone really wanted the hard drive. The lock itself is metal, it just needs to be metal where it makes contact to the side of the tray. I think it would have been cool if they made the temperature probe on a wire so that you can place the probe where you want it, if it's the hard drive, a cpu, or a video card. Just an idea, maybe they will think about doing this. Overall I was very pleased with the mobile rack and what all it could do. It's definantly a step above all the other hard drive mobile racks that I have seen.
We would like to thank Kingwin.comfor providing us this product to review!
- LED display
- Fan to keep HDD cooler
- Hot swapable
- Security lock isn't very secure
- Does not allow you to move temperature probe