Vantec NexStar 3i Hard Drive Enclsoure

Top ImageVantec has added another member to the NexStar 360 lineup. The 3i boasts some things that we have not seen from Vantec in their many ages in the industry. In the past year or so we have seen motherboards feature energy efficiency, now we have it in hard drive enclosures. The 3i has an integrated controller that can regulate power to the drive resulting in less power consumption, less noise and longer drive life. Adding the real reason why  we buy hard drive enclosures, which is for data storage, the new Vantec housing may be worth taking a look at.

Closer look

From the outside there isn’t much difference between the previous enclosures from the 360 line up and the new 3i model. It still shares the same long slender structure of the rest. I must take a moment and say that Vantec makes the sexiest enclosures on the market. The unit can be positioned to stand up or lay flat for better stacking. Vantec is known for making each enclosure they have in different colors but as of now white is the only color the 3i comes in.

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There isn’t much going on in front of the enclosure. Vantec keeps the front clean and spotless. The only thing that will grow your attention here is the Vantec insignia at the top, which also serves as the activity light when in operation. Being the backer for the eSATA movement, I was sad to see this unit did not support it. The 3i is strictly USB 2.0 and works with all the OS’s that supports the protocol. All the connects are neatly arranged on the rear of the casing.

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The sides of the enclosure show off the shine and radiate of the unit. Besides the product name are three indicator lights that tell what mode the unit is in. The unit supports three modes from power down, idle and standby. Each mode is a result from how long the drive has been last accessed or set by the user.

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Now we get the chance to dissect the enclosure, which begins with pulling apart the end from the rest of the box. Once apart you are greeted by a metal frame attached to a PCB board. The connection to the hard drive is permanently attached to the PCB, not like before when it was a short extension cable that would break in with time.

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