Vizo Uranus Review

Admin - 2007-02-15 19:14:37 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: February 27, 2007
Price: $61.95


    Welcome to Uranus! We hope your trip was enjoyable and hopefully the cosmic storm we encountered doesn’t leave you glowing for too long.

When someone mentions Uranus, most people think of two things, though most think of the planet. However, I’m referring to the hard drive enclosure “Uranus” manufactured by Vizo.

With our ever increasing storage demands, many people are looking for options to back up data, store MP3s, photographs and movies. One option is using hard drives, but in order to make that hard drive portable and easily accessible, you will need an external hard drive enclosure. The Vizo Uranus is one of those options.

Vizo Technology Corporation designs and manufactures computer peripherals, which includes hard drive enclosures, multimedia storage, system cooling, cold cathode lighting, crystal neon lights and card readers. Vizo is a worldwide distributor of its products and aims to provide high quality “Do it Yourself” solutions for all users.

Closer Look:

    The Vizo Uranus comes very nicely packaged. You can clearly see what is inside just by looking at the box. On the bottom left corner is a sticker with the actual color of the enclosure. Available colors are Blue, Black, Grey and Purple.


Looking inside the package you will notice that the hard drive enclosure is very well protected. The styrofoam is slotted to keep the enclosure suspended.

The enclosure itself is made of aluminum; it was also nice to see that it was actually colored. Other manufacturers just produce two shades: silver or charcoal. The center insert contains the means for installing a hard drive and it also has the enclosure's panel functions.


Also included are a power adapter, USB cable, eSATA cable, cleaning cloth, screw fitting kit, manual, driver CD and SATA to eSATA adapter with cable bracket and stand.


Since Vizo states that its products are made for all users as part of its “Do it Yourself “ philosophy, let's see how easy it really is to put this together.


    Installing the hard drive into the external enclosure was quite simple. I completed the task without looking at the instruction manual. You will need a SATA hard drive as one is not included with the enclosure.

After taking out the center insert from the enclosure, you will need to place the hard drive face up in the cradle and then slide it down into the connecting pin.


Carefully turning the cradle around, you will find four pre-drilled holes that align with the screw holes on the hard drive. You will need to fasten them together with the provided screws.


Once that is secured, slide the cradle back into the enclosure itself and fasten it to the enclosure with the screw fitting tool.



One Touch Backup

Your next option, if you choose, would be to either use USB or the provided eSATA cable. If you choose to use the eSATA cable, you will have to open your case and connect the cable to an open SATA port, then mount the bracket to one of your case's rear openings.


    Once the external hard drive enclosure is assembled and connected to your computer, the included driver disk needs to be installed. The auto-run feature on the disk will start the program and the on-screen display will assist you in the installation of the driver.


The Vizo Uranus uses PC Clone EX as its driver program. Installation took less than 2 minutes.




    Once the installation is complete, the PC Clone EX program has many options to choose from, including quick launch, system backup, file backup, file manager and settings.



The installation of the software was simple enough, but how easy is it to use? The Uranus comes with a one button backup; this is a feature that you need to try.


System requirements:


    You can use the Vizo Uranus in two ways with the USB connector: for system and file back up or as an external hard drive. The Uranus also comes with a SATA to eSATA converter. One concern of mine is that with PC Clone EX, if you are going to choose System Backup, you will need to format the drive using FAT32, which I feel is somewhat behind the times. When using File Backup, you can use NTFS, which has a more stable kernel.

I will first test the Uranus using USB for back up. The compression ratio will be at its default setting of five, on a scale from one to ten. I am also interested in seeing how well the drive will do under HD Tach. Hopefully, it will answer some questions about latency. Then I will test it as an external hard drive, which I will use HD Tach as the benchmark.

Testing Setup:


Let’s look at how quickly System Backup transfers files. The total amount of transferred files was 9.07 GB and it took sixteen minutes thirty nine seconds to complete.

Now let’s see if File Backup is any quicker. The total amount transferred was 4.35 GB; total time to backup was twelve minutes forty two seconds.

Both transfers took a little longer than I had expected, but I have not used other external hard drive enclosures before. Though when you consider that with the transfer rates of USB thumb drives, depending on the size, it may take two minutes to copy files, the transfer times were not too bad. Let's see why using HD Tach.


Higher = Better

Higher = Better

Lower = Better

Lower = Better

After running HD Tach, I can see why I felt like it took a while to transfer my files. The latency drops down a significant amount, which is reflected in the burst speed and average read.




Since the Uranus can be used as an external hard drive through the eSATA cable, I’ll test the transfer rates using HDTach. I will be comparing the times to the internal Seagate 750GB Barracuda, which I reviewed back in June.

Higher = Better

Higher = Better

Lower = Better

Lower = Better

Although eSATA can be considered an extension of your onboard SATA, it seems that when it comes to burst speed, we are losing over one hundred milliseconds. Since I am a firefighter, I will try to explain it in terms which might be more understandable. The problem is due to “Friction Loss”, in this case resistance. “Friction loss” refers to that portion of pressure lost by fluids when moving through a pipe, hose, or other limited space. The longer the hose, the more friction is created. Also, the diameter of the hose plays a big part as the bigger the hose, the less the friction. So when we connect the eSATA cable to the on-board SATA, we are adding friction (resistance), which is changing the burst speeds.


    In the past I have never worried about backing up my systems or having something that I can take anywhere I go. However, as I become more involved in different aspects of computing, I have found a need to save my data and be able to hook it up to any computer to access my work. The Vizo Uranus is a nice addition to my needs as it not only allows me to be more portable by using it as an external hard drive, but I can also back up my most treasured MP3s, documents and applications. I am impressed by the multiple colors to choose from and the fact that it is a one-touch backup for both the system and files. The fan can be a little loud at startup, but once it gets going, I have no issues. The weight of the product will be determined by the type of hard drive you store in it, otherwise it is light. The only setback to some may be the extra cost of a hard drive to use in the enclosure.